2017 July to December


Sun, 2 Jul 2017

A small A group set out from Wasdale Head up the valley along Lingmell Beck to ascend by Piers Gill, giving spectacular views in all directions. They continued up to Broad Crag col and on to Scafell Pike in mist, before descending to Lingmell Col. Climbing Lingmell, they kept to the right to look into the awesome Gill. Their final descent was via the grassy nose of Lingmell to join the path back to the cars.

Thur, 6 Jul 2017

On a humid evening a small group gathered at Deepdale Bridge and set off just after 5.30 p.m. across the valley to join the bridleway to Boredale Hause. They then turned to follow the Coast to Coast route to Angle Tarn. After a brief stop to take in the tranquillity of the tarn, the group found the footpath on the west side of the tarn up to Brock Crags where the interesting evening cloud effects were admired. The return route was along the footpath traversing down under the summit towards, but above, Hartsop, eventually joining the Hartsop to Patterdale path and thence back to Deepdale Bridge.

Wed, 12 Jul 2017

In perfect walking weather, the A group destination was Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. Parking near Irton Pike, they gained the ridge on to Whin Rigg, following the edges path, looking down the spectacular gullies that fall away to Wast Water. After Illgill Head, they had a grassy descent to Maiden Castle, appreciating views of the high fells all around. The old coffin route took them to Burnmoor Tarn before following the beck down Mitredale and its array of bright flowers. From Porterthwaite, the group walked on forestry tracks back to the cars.

On this sunny day, the B group set off from Scale Hill Bridge walking across fields to Foulsyke Cottages near Loweswater village. Taking a low track through mixed woodland and a short steep ascent to springs, they continued north on a level path with views across the Lorton Valley, to meet the path up from Thackwaite. Making a gradual ascent on grassy slopes, they continued along the Low Fell ridge with the panorama of the Western Fells and lakes. The descent from the summit was by way of a steep path towards Darling Fell crossing Crabtree Beck and traversing the end of Low Fell. Fell ponies were grazing beside as the group completed their circuit back through foxgloves and bracken before retracing their steps through the forest path.

Also enjoying the good weather, the C group met in Portinscale for their walk in Newlands. They followed the footpath across fields to Ullock before continuing along the road to Braithwaite Bridge. After walking by the Newlands Beck to Stair, then along the road to Skelgill and Gutherscale, they joined the Cumbria Way to Lingholm and Nichol End and back to Portinscale.

Sun, 16 Jul 2017

After days of rain and mist, the A group was blessed by good weather for its circuit of Newlands. Setting off from Littletown car park, passing through Low Snab Farm, they ascended Hindscarth via Scope End. On top it was perfect weather for walking – light winds, fluffy clouds. With a spring in their step the group walked on to Dale Head with stunning views down the valley. Instead of descending directly to Dalehead tarn, they followed the ridge round to little visited Launchy Tarn before beginning the long climb to High Spy and Maiden Moor. They continued to Cat Bells before doubling back for their descent through the old mine workings to Littletown and a well-earned cuppa.

From the Leisure Pool in Keswick, the B group began their walk along the old railway path, seeing the massive erosion, before following the diversion though lovely woodland and river scenery to Latrigg road end. They crossed over the bridge to Derwentfolds then followed the Glenderaterra Beck to emerge on the main path below Blease Fell. Under Lonscale Fell was the stop for lunch then a while later a coffee stop at Gale Road! Refreshed, they continued over Latrigg and that wonderful view before descending and finishing their walk.

Sun, 30 Jul 2017

As in friendships, to renew or to find anew the delight is of equal measure. For some in the A group a past acquaintance with Hell Gill allowed the joy of rediscovery, for others the expansiveness of welcoming the new. For all a keen anticipation of what was to become. And there, our own friendships neither old nor new but familiar over the years, brought reassurance to the group in the cloud wraiths enfolding Bow Fell and then Esk Pike until the gift of sunlight unwrapped below us Esk Hause and generously lit our way towards Angle Tarn and Rossett Pike. The descent past Black Crags and down Stake Pass had seen a day of acquaintances with this land, some new, some reaffirmed, all to be celebrated in the walk to the Old Dungeon Gill in the fells’ most endearing rain!

The B group’s Eskdale Round began with an ascent of Hollinghead Bank from Beckfoot Bridge. Old mine workings were passed before Blea Tarn was reached. From there it was a loop past Bleatarn Hill before the descent to Boot. Having passed the water wheel, a variety of stiles of varying difficulty was negotiated before crossing the River Esk at Doctor Bridge. The final climb of the day was up Stanley Ghyll before the party made its way to the Boot Inn for liquid refreshments. Inside, a member of the party was serenaded with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Starting from the car park near Yew Tree Tarn, the C* group walk went through the woods before joining the path up Hollin Bank. Turning right, Low Arnside soon came into sight and then High Arnside before the path went through Iron Keld Plantation. Here the route joined the Cumbrian Way to Knipe Fold. Following the road a short distance the group turned right and walked over fields to Rose Castle and then Tarn Howes. Going down by Tom Gill the wonderful waterfalls brought the walk back to the car park. A day of sunshine and showers.


Wed, 2 Aug 2017

The B Group started their walk at the ford over Carrock Beck, in dry weather, with the beck on their right-hand side for a short distance before bearing south up a grassy path to the top of Carrock Fell. Their first experience of rain occurred on the boggy trek across to Hare Stones. Here they joined the Cumbria Way for a short while to the top of High Pike, where lunch was taken in the dry. However, the rain then started and visibility was reduced to about 10 metres for much of the walk down above the disused mines and the slopes called Sunny Bank (!) before arriving soaking wet, but still cheerful, at the ford.

Wed, 9 Aug 2017

The A group set off from Mardale Head, walking around the lake before turning west to climb the Rough Crag ridge – an interesting ridge walk with some gentle scrambling and leading directly to the summit cairn of High Street. Continuing over the plateau to Thornthwaite Beacon, the walkers had lunch keeping out of the clutches of the keen north westerly wind; there were no volunteers to climb the Beacon, which now feels a little more unstable than it did a few years ago. After heading east and over Mardale Ill Bell, the shelter at Nan Bield Pass was a most welcome refuge from the wind before the last ascent up to the iron and stone cairn of Harter Fell. The final descent was via Gatescarth Pass down to Haweswater.

There are several hidden gems among Lakeland’s outlying fells, Beacon Fell and the surrounding area undoubtedly fitting this description. The B group walk began a mile south of Torver, where the Cumbria Way heads towards the delightful Blawith Fells and their highest point, Beacon, all adorned with picturesque rocky outcrops and carpeted with heather. Hidden in a fold of the hills is the tranquil Beacon Tarn, enjoyed by the group before they proceeded along the undulating grassy path leading to the equally peaceful Woodland valley. The route then skirted round the sprawling Woodland Fell and its northern satellites before swinging back towards the Cumbria Way past a small tarn-like reservoir embellished with water lilies – albeit without a frog in sight.

The C group Solway walk started at Port Carlisle, beside the old silted up canal port. The canal was constructed to Carlisle in 1823, but was short lived, and was filled in to create the bed of a railway in 1854. Continuing along the shore, the group saw sea asters in full flower before turning inland to Glasson Moss where the new viewing tower was used to gain excellent views of the Northern fells. Along the boardwalk, common lizards were basking in the sunshine then along the shore path back to Port Carlisle many redshanks were feeding, along with 17 little egrets – including juveniles.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017

In perfect weather and with excellent visibility, the A group left Burnbanks bound for Hare Shaw, via Naddle Farm. Walking through heather and bilberries and enjoying views across to the Pennines, they followed a faint path to cross the Old Corpse Road and then climb Selside Pike and Branstree. Continuing to the Gatescarth Pass, they turned towards Mardale Head and the Coast to Coast route along the western side of Haweswater. The lakeside path was interesting and varied – views, becks and waterfalls – and took them back to Burnbanks.

The B group set off along the track to Devoke Water from the Ulpha Road soon branching to the right to gain the tops of Rough Crag and then Water Crag, seeing Muncaster Castle nestling in the valley. Descending to very boggy ground to cross Linbeck Gill at the west end of the Water they sloshed through more bog before the pathless ascent to the column on top of White Pike. Views – the coast and all the estuaries to the west and the magnificent Lakeland fells to the east – breath-taking! On to Yoadcastle and Woodend Heights before making a bee line descent and final climb up Seat How where the glorious weather called out for a short spell of sunbathing before the return to the cars.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017

With a belief that the forecast would prove correct, the A group hurried along the shore of Ennerdale Water willing the cloud to rise above the summits. The humidity was high on the ascent to Lingmell and a break to look down on the Water was welcome with low cloud swirling over the forest. The group continued down through the heather to cross Low Beck and begin the ascent of the ridge to Steeple whilst enjoying the splendid rock scenery of Mirk Cove and Black Crag. The highest point was reached on Little Scoat Fell and the way remained clear to Haycock and Caw. The descent down the ridge above Silvercove Beck brought the group back to the forest and lakeside return.

A large group of B walkers left the village of Gamblesby and using ancient field paths and green lanes climbed steadily up towards Hartside Cafe. Extensive views were enjoyed looking back across the Eden Valley toward the fells of the Lake District. The group then followed another boggy track into Ricker Gill, crossing the new bridge before continuing downhill on tracks. Field paths were followed across the valley to return to the starting point.

From Ambleside town centre the C group route crossed Rothay Park before turning onto the old road under Loughrigg towards Rydal. After taking a diversion to visit Rydal cave, they returned to the admirable newly surfaced foot/cycle path along the shore of Rydal Water to White Moss. On a perfect day, there were many families making the most of being in this lovely area.

Sun, 27 Aug 2017

The A group escaped a busy Bank Holiday in the Lake District by walking in the Howgills, starting from Sedbergh. They followed the River Rawthey upstream for several miles until Cautley Spout came into view where they turned into the hills and climbed the steep path by the side of the waterfall rewarded by a lunch stop at the top. The group then continued up Red Gill – admiring the Andy Goldsworthy sheepfold en route – and Force Gill to reach the Dales High Way near The Calf. After a brief return trip to the summit, they headed southward and made for the small peak of Winder, overlooking Sedbergh, before dropping down to the town and a welcome visit to the tea shop!

After taking the bus to Stonethwaite, the B group set off along the Cumbria Way before making a steep ascent through woods. Emerging from the trees, they were rewarded with views of valleys and fells covered with lush vegetation as a peregrine falcon flew overhead. Their route to Dock Tarn continued alongside Willygrass Gill through an abundance of heather. Floating lily pads and surrounding wispy low cloud made for an atmospheric scene. On the way to Watendlath an encouraging patch of bright sunlight appeared in the distance slowly spreading across the valley as the group returned to Keswick via Ashness and along the terrace above Derwent Water.


Wed, 6 Sept 2017

After a summer of unseasonal weather, the A group made the water logged journey from High Row over the mixed terrain of Horsemire Head, Low How and Dowthwaitehead to the open U shaped valley of Glencoyne. From Glencoyne Head, they carried on up to Stybarrow Dodd, spotting the ski hut and button lift on Raise, before turning towards Watson’s Dodd and a mist covered Great Dodd with its summit cairn and much appreciated wind shelter. Their final top was Clough Head before descending to the Old Coach Road and following it back to High Row.

The B group set off from Hartsop with a steep climb to reach Brock Crags. They then descended to follow the path around Angle Tarn, stopping for lunch overlooking the Tarn. After climbing both tops of Angle Tarn Pikes, the group headed down to Boredale Hause and proceeded through Calf Close Wood back to Hartsop. Despite an unpromising weather forecast, they enjoyed wonderful views and were fortunate to escape with only one short shower.

The C group also started from Hartsop but opted for a low level walk. They took the pleasant track to Brothers Water continuing to Sykeside, Hartsop Hall and Cow Bridge – stopping for lunch on a tiny beach where they were entertained by wildlife at the water’s edge.

Wed, 13 Sept 2017

Despite the dire weather forecast, the A group decided to brave the worst that Storm Aileen could throw at them. From Cow Bridge, they walked towards Hartsop and tackled the very steep climb to Hartsop Dodd suffering only a few gusts of wind and short showers. Conditions under foot had been very wet but the the walk over Caudale Moor to Stony Cove Pike was surprisingly dry. After the descent to Kirkstone Pass, the steep climb to Red Screes was enjoyed in clear, bright weather and lunch was taken at the summit with superb views in all directions. The group descended to Scandale Pass continuing down Caiston Glen where the beck was in full spate and the waterfalls splendid.

Wed, 20 Sept 2017

From Whitehaven station, the B group took a ten minute train journey to St Bees. After alighting from the train, they walked along the prom, dodging the crashing waves, before continuing to St Bees Head along the steeply rising start of the C2C path. In reducing visibility, the walk continued past the old lighthouse and on to the RSPB reserve – deserted as the guillemots and razorbills had flown to their winter habitats. The group were able to peer into the last working ‘Bee stone’ quarry before following the cliff top edge with its occasional steep drop into the sea below. By now a steady fall of rain pushed them on past the Haig Colliery mining museum, before the descent into Whitehaven.

Sun, 24 Sept 2017

The A group parked in Patterdale and walked along the road into Grisedale. From Ruthwaite Lodge they climbed steeply towards Cock Cove, the route seeming to get steeper the closer that they got to the Cove. A well-earned rest was taken before beginning the scramble up The Tongue to Dollywaggon Pike. The wind was strong and grew stronger during the day but all coped well and the views were spectacular. The ridge path was followed to Nethermost Pike and on to Helvellyn. The group descended via Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam continuing to Hole-in-the Wall, Grisedale and the cars.

The C* group started their walk from the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, exploring the “Gruffalo trail” during their progress towards Seat How. From there they walked along forestry tracks to the base of Barf and after negotiating the stile and water crossing, made their way to Barf summit for lunch. After taking in the panorama of Bass Lake, Keswick and the surrounding fells, the group continued along a somewhat soggy path to their destination of Lord’s Seat, after which it was downhill all the way to the Whinlatter cafe.

Wed, 27 Sept 2017

Setting off from Tilberthwaite, an A group followed the path to the north of Yewdale Beck and onwards to Birk Fell Man. Taking care on the slippery rock, the group ascended into the low cloud via Wetherlam Edge to the summit. Visibility was very poor and navigation difficult as they descended to Swirl Hause and on up Prison Band to Swirl How. Some time was spent at the poignant memorial at the site of the Halifax bomber crash in 1944 before leaving the mist behind on the descent of Wet Side Edge. The track through to High Tilberthwaite brought the group back to their start.


Sun, 8 Oct 2017

On a glorious sunny morning, the A group parked in Patterdale, walked on the Hartsop track to Deepdale Bridge and headed for Hartsop above How with splendid views over the crags of Fairfield, Angletarn Pikes and Ullswater. They scrambled up the side of the valley directly to Hart Crag and on to Fairfield for lunch. The descent down Cofa Pike on dry stone was enjoyed by all but the long climb to St. Sunday Crag stretched muscles more than many wanted, although the views from Gavel Pike offered some compensation. The descent was down to the col under Birks and round a wet and poor path until a better one was joined to Arnison Crag. Well-earned drinks were taken in the Patterdale Hotel.

While modest in height, the rocky knoll of Gummer’s How, perching above Fell Foot near the southern tip of Windermere, is a nationally recognised viewpoint. Having ascended it from the Fell Foot Brow car park, the B group viewed the extensive panorama of the Lakeland fells, Howgills, Pennines and Morecambe Bay. The walk’s next objective, Staveley Fell to the south, presented a total contrast, being sprawling, partially wooded and much quieter. The loop around its extensive perimeter took in a mixture of wide forest roads and winding footpaths, with the surprise element provided by the glistening Simpson Ground Reservoir, a tarn-like sheet of water well-concealed inside the plantation.

A very small C* group left the car park in Seatoller, climbing to the summit of High Doat before taking the terrace path towards Castle Crag. They climbed part way up the Crag before descending to the River Derwent. A detour was made near the YHA, trying to find a different route back to the car, but in reality a round trip was made, discovering some paths new to the group and the delights of Scaleclose Coppice. On the return to the YHA, a refreshing beverage stop was taken before returning along the river bank, crossing a rocky ledge with the aid of a chain. A via ferrata? Well hardly!

Wed, 18 Oct 2017

The A group met near Grasmere and took the relatively uncommon route up the nose of Seat Sandal. Any suggestion of cloud had cleared by the time Fairfield – the next objective – came into view so with great views over Grisedale Tarn to St Sunday Crag and beyond, the steep ascent to Fairfield was achieved in time for lunch. From there, the group passed over Great Rigg and at the next col took a vague path high above Greenhead Gill direct to Alcock Tarn. As the footbridge at the bottom of Greenhead Gill had disappeared courtesy of “Desmond”, the return route necessitated a river crossing which was fortunately achieved with aplomb!

The B group left Coniston in beautiful sunshine to walk some distance along the lakeshore; before leaving the lake to walk towards Torver they stopped to enjoy a welcome cup of coffee. They then crossed Torver Beck and continued to Scar Head before climbing up to pass Banishead Quarries and meet the Walna Scar Road. Here the group walked down towards Coniston before turning north and climbing gently on the old Quarry Road to Crowberry Haws. Finally, descending the popular path to Coniston Old Man, they looked into the Coppermines valley before continuing back into Coniston.

Relishing a dry day and sunshine, the C group set off from the Old Sawmill car park and walked up forest trails along the north eastern side of Skill Beck to the top of the valley, where there were excellent views across Bassenthwaite Lake and across to Keswick. The Osprey Look-out was deserted, but there were plenty of other birds to grab attention and back in the woods, red squirrels.


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