I wouldn't be paid to stay at Birks Farm holiday cottages from my experience today.
I was walking part of A Pennine Journey* from Sedbergh to near Cautley returning on the other side of the valley and passing through this place on a public footpath.
The farm had a complex number of tracks and gates, and to be fair the right of way was well marked with yellow paint, but despite that I got off track by about twenty yards. There was a shout from a farm building. The guy came out and demanded aggressively where I had come from and where was I going. He was large powerful and threatening. He shouted telling me not to come on his property and then shouting again frenziedly, directed me through a gate onto the public footpath - I tried to communicate with him, but yet again he shouted out "And don't start telling me to calm down," and then he finished off screaming out "f*** off!"
I reckon this is the most unpleasant encounter I have had with a land owner in over 60 year of walking. How on earth he has managed to secure the handwritten testimonials shown on his website I can't imagine.
The walk was not very inspiring except for it skirting underneath the eastern edges of The Howgills which seem to have unique colouration which is attractive, but for some reason I have have always failed to define I have not been attracted to walk over them very often. My best acquaintance was walking the whole of the main ridge following The Dales High Way a few years ago. At the place marked Fawcett Bank on the map there was an interesting discovery: a gate that could be opened and closed by a long length of string, some electronics, and an apparently hydraulic piston, and a bit further on there was another. I couldn't work out exactly how they worked, but they did.
From my emergence onto the A683 I had intended to continue by tracks and minor roads back to Sedbergh, but heavy rain started and I route marched back down the main road.
*A long distance footpath originated from an early walk by Alfred Wainwright.
|Typical Howgill scenery|
|This and next three - the electronic, hydraulic, string controlled gate|
|Note string running on the wall - pull and it opens or closes the gate|
|This box is fixed next to the gate at the end of the wall in the photo above|
|String runs from this tree stump back to the gate - note small orange marker on string halfway , click to enlarge|