Bush Howe

Bush Howe is the lowest of the six 2,000ft fells to be found in the Howgill Fells and is a ‘stepping stone’ for people walking between The Calf and Fell Head.

Height (m): 623
Height (ft): 2044
Prominence (m): 18
Classification: Nuttall
Hill No: 2760
Grid Ref: SD659980
OS Map OL19
No. of Visits 2

With only 18m prominence Bush Howe looks like a mere grassy bump on the ridge when viewed looking down from the summit of The Calf. Indeed it is lower than White Fell Head which separates Bush Howe from The Calf. However, White Fell Head has very little prominence whereas Bush Howe has enough for it to be classed as a Nuttall, though it fails to qualify as a Hewitt.

Approaching Bush Howe from White Fell Head
Approaching Bush Howe from White Fell Head

The approach from Fell Head to the north is somewhat different. The seventy odd metres of ascent from Windscarth Wyke, the saddle separating Fell Head from Bush Howe, is a steep slog on grass. Even here though Bush Howe is backed by much higher ground and does not stand out from the crowd.

Bush Howe from Fell Head
Bush Howe from Fell Head

The summit of Bush Howe is also fairly unremarkable. The highest point being marked by a small pile of stones, a typically small cairn for the Howgill Fells. The view is limited by the close proximity of The Calf and Fell Head and is only open to the north-east and south-west. That said the view of the steep slopes of Fell Head is especially impressive.

The top of Bush Howe looking towards The Calf
The top of Bush Howe looking towards The Calf

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Bush Howe is one that is no longer named on the Ordnance Survey map. Known as the ‘Horse of Busha’ or the ‘Black Horse of Bush Howe’ it is, as its name suggests, a horse shaped figure on the hillside. Whether it is man made or just a natural formation of dark Silurian rock is something of a mystery.

The Horse of Busha or Black Horse of Bush Howe as seen from Seat Knott
The Horse of Busha or Black Horse of Bush Howe as seen from Seat Knott

The best view I’ve had of the Horse of Busha, albeit with the help of my telephoto lens, was from Seat Knott a mile and three quarters to the south. It is certainly an unusual and intriguing feature and one that I need to take a closer look at next time I’m on Bush Howe. For some of the legends surrounding the horse and one man’s attempts to take a photo it is worth reading David Raven’s article on The Megalithic Portal website.

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