Wednesday, 19 October 2016

South-east Lakeland


The south-east covers the area of Morecambe Bay as far south as Warton Crag in Lancashire and as far west as the Leven Estuary and then following the southern section of Lake Windermere up to the town of Bowness and then across to the town of Kendal, this large area I have already been exploring the area of Arnside and Silverdale area on previous missions, so I will not go over that area again.
So this mission will be using Alfred Wainwright's book the Outlying Fells to explore the rest of this  area, by exploring this area will give me a better understanding of how the present Lake District fells have shaped the area  beyond the main fells from the last Ice Age.
With covering a large area I would not have a base camp but living out of the van moving from place each day with my trusty travel companion Sam the dog.


Arnside was my first stop over after coming off the motorway to spend the night on the promenade  and I had a lovely calm sunny evening across the Ken Estuary looking across to  Grange-over-Sands and Whitbarrow all upcoming mission over the coming days. And again in the morning a lovely morning of sunshine across the estuary.


Day 1 Beetham Heritage

Walk 7 miles.

As I reached the village of Beetham the clouds had rolled in and by the time I had left the Heron Corn Mill car park to set off on my walk it was overcast,  I  walked through the nice limestone village of Beetham.
Limestone rock was to be the main rock over the coming days, away from the volcanic rocks of the fells, the Lake District is surrounded by a band of Carboniferous limestone.
Out of the village crossing pasture fields with sheep, you pass a granite boulder this was transported here during the Ice Age, it would have lain in a sheet of moving ice a glacier and deposited hear, the rock itself came from the Shap fells.

The next part of the walk  took me through woodland, limestone woodland of hazel, ash, rowan and yew all growing on areas of limestone pavement, there was also plenty of Hart's tongue and Polypod ferns.    
Out of woods and on the road to Slackhead where I spotted a male stag fallow deer in the woods. On through  Slackhead and back into the woods, it was raining lightly now has I reached the Fairy Steps, a set of steps cut into the face of the small limestone cliff using natural features in the rock.

Fairy Steps

On through the woodland to Haverbrack and out onto a short section of Kent Estuary in the light rain. I left the estuary and went to the deer park where seeing a small group of male Fallow stags. As I climbed the views should have opened out to the fells but no because of the rain. I passed a large herd of bucks who where on the move.
The last section of the walk back to the car park, despite the weather it’s still been a good walk with plenty of verity from limestone woodland to the estuary and into parkland.   

Day 2 Whitbarrow Part 1

8 miles

Having spent the night at the foot of Whitbarrow in a layby on a small country lane I was eager to get out for a walk, but that the morning had produced a grey morning of low cloud, so not wanting to be on top of Whitbarrow without having good views, my second option was a circular walk around the bottom of Whitbarrow.Whitbarrow stands out in the surrounding landscape standing with a white west-facing scarp and an elevation of 215 m (705 ft) made of Carboniferous limestone of around 350 million years old.
I was walking on its eastern side through woodland with only brief glimpses of the cliff face. It was not till I started the climb over Whitbarrow that I got any views and the sun was now out, with the first warmth of sun I spotted a grayling butterfly warming up. 

I loved the rugged limestone top of Whitbarrow with its sparse vegetation and wide open views north to the Lakeland fells, but it was over before I was back in the woods on its western side now these woodlands are much older than the large woodlands on its eastern side. These had the typical species of yew, hazel and ash.
I was now heading down to the valley floor through Witherslack Woods and onto Witherslack Hall. From Witherslack Hall there was a short section of road walking along the valley bottom, you get some great views of Whitbarrow. I left the road for a track to Mill Side village a lovely village and the end of the walk.

Chapel Head Scar

Whitbarrow Part 2

½ miles

After an hours rest I was back out, passing through Mill Side I started the climb up Whitbarrow through the woods and then through scrub to the top on this hot sunny afternoon. Whitbarrow is a National Nature Reserve and is managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
As you follow the paths over the summit through the rocky grasslands and scrub trees, there were wide open views all around me, it was stunning beautiful and the trees of yew and juniper stood out because of the way the wind had sculpted them. There were small areas of heather also, this denote to more acidic soils. There are also limestone pavements and they have their particular species such as hart's tongue fern, and rigid buckler fern, and all around me was flowering harebell.

Limestone pavement.

Sculpted Trees

I made my way to the highest point known as the Lords Seat with great views all around, this is one place I must revisit in early summer and spend some time to study the plants.

Top of Whitbarrow is also scatted with erratic  rocks brought from the high fells by the ice sheets of the last Ice Age and when it retreated they left these boulders behind.
From the Lords Seat, I made my to Witherslack Hall on the way down  there were some great views and then it was back into the woods and then back to Witherslack Hall, with a repeat of the walk back to Mill Side and the end to the walk.

Evening Walk Newton Fell south.

2 ½ miles 

I had moved from Mill Side to Lindale village and had a few hours rest before coming up with this walk, what was only a short excursion  up Newton Fell to Dixon Heights I knew this walk was going to have its problems before I started it, but did not realize how bad they were going to be.
Since AW put this walk together in the 1970s there has been some development such as the A53 bypass what cuts the beginning of route off, so I had to cross a busy road with caution and made it to the other side, this where it went wrong the public right of way was there, but AW wanted to go another way but the problem was there was no sign of it through tall bracken but I went on in the right direction fighting my way uphill through the bracken, after some hard work and determination I made it out of the bracken into a clearing, thinking this is a walk to do in winter when the bracken was down and not in the height of summer has I was doing.
It got better as I found a track and could see the ruined tower on the summit.On the summit I had a good rest, and enjoyed the good views.

Dixon Heights 
Newton Fell is made up of slates, siltstones and sandstones, formed in the sea, during the Silurian period about 420 million years ago. These rocks are known to geologists as the Windermere Group.

Whitbarrow from Dixon Heights 

The return route was at least better and then the crossing of the bypass again and back into the village.

Day 3, Newton Fell north

1¾ miles 

Day 3 a lazy day after all the missions yesterday, I parked up next to the A53 near the Whitestone caravan site to do a small circular to take in Newton Fell north.
I went under the bypass, to pick up a footpath across fields to a minor road. You get a good view of the whole length of Newton Fell. A short section of road walking then from Byre Bank you pick a track up that takes you to the Bypass again and with a quick dash across the road to pick the track up again now climbing with views improving and easy going through the bracken but could not find the path to the summit of White Stones but found my return path through the wall and then more bracken to tackle down Newton Fell to the caravan site and the end of the walk.
The rest of the day was spent in Grange-over-sands relaxing, then I headed down to Humphrey Head for the night. Had a lovely evening there and had a good sunset.


Day 4 Hampsfell  

½ miles

This is one walk I have been looking forward to after reading good things about the area, so on a quiet early Sunday morning I had parked up on the main road next to Eggerslack Wood and walked into Grange-over-sands and through the town to head out on the Grange Fell Road all up hill, with nice views opening up across Morecambe Bay on this sunny morning, I turned off onto a track to Fell End up on fell end there are wide open views all around you. I sat there resting taking in the views.

Morecambe Bay from Fell End

Hampsfell is an elevated ridge of limestone that looks over the Kent Estuary and it was along this ridge that I aimed for the summit what is crowned with a small building known as the Hospice. With wide open views around I first pass through grassland then onto limestone pavement under my feet, to reached the summit with all the joy in my heart on a beautiful summer’s day. The summit is 723 ft (220 m). 
I first checked out the hospice with its steps leading to the roof and a view indicator and what a great view of the fells to be seen. I stayed some time on the summit.


From the summit I made my through a lovely area of limestone pavement and scrub with their stunted growth of trees on the pavement. As I slowly descended off Hampsfell and into the lovely woodlands of Eggerslack Woods.
This has been great walk one what I need to see again in spring or early summer to look into the plant life and butterflies. I was soon back at the car and the end of the walk.

Hampsfell skyline

Humphrey Head

4 miles

Just to the west of Grange-over-sands is Kent’s Bank, I parked up at the railway station to start my next walk. Humphrey Head is a limestone outcrop that sticks out into the Kent Estuary. 
Wainwright says: Fellwalkers need an occasional change of scene. Here  on Humphrey Head.

Humphrey Head
From the railway station, I took the path that is on the seaward side and followed this with the view being of flat salt marsh and Humphrey Head till I reached the headland and then into the woodlands that cover its eastern side and out into fields to Humphrey Head Point. 

Where I had a short break then started the climb to the ordnance survey triangulation station, 171 feet (52 m), this is where the weather changed and I had my first shower. I soon came full circle and repeated my walk along the estuary back to the railway station. It’s been another nice walk, but it needs further investigation to find its secrets. Now I have found the main paths around this nature reserve I need to know when to visit it, and discover the flora.

Humphrey Head Point

Bigland Barrow

¾ miles

I took the car up to Newby Bridge for this late afternoon walk and set out on this sunny afternoon along a bridleway through heather and bracken an easy route and the views start to open up as you climb higher. Since starting these walks I must say away from the main fells of the Lake District there are some great walks in such a beautiful part of Cumbria I am surprised they are not walked more often. I get my first view of the summit with its strange looking tower.

Observation tower

Lake Windermere and Gummer's How
I reached the tower, the tower is a relic of World War 2, it did have a roof but now gone, I climbed the rusty ladder to get up to it and got inside it to check the view. I came back down and found a place to sit and rest up and enjoy the view across a wooded landscape.
The summit is 630 feet (190 m) is a good viewpoint and one I intend to visit again.
From the summit, I headed towards a tarn and through an area of bracken and lost my path around the tarn. It took some time to get back on course and a fair bit of country road walking and the walk was at the end.

It's been a good day of  exploration and I was now tried from it and I took the van up to Gummer’s How car park for the evening, and was surprised with the view from the car park, the view looked up the valley that is Lake Windermere sits in. I decided to spend the night in the car park.

Day 5 Gummer’s How.

2 miles

I was up nice early this morning and the sun was already out warming up the morning as I checked the car park view out again, before setting off for the little walk to the summit of Gummer’s How, within 30 minutes I was at the summit and enjoying the view up and down Lake Windermere. I retraced my path back to the car park.

Gummer's How summit

Lake Windermere
From Gummer's How you get to see the full length of Lake Windermere at 17 km long or just over 10 miles and the largest lake in the Lake District National Park and also the largest in England. Windermere is a ribbon lake formed 13.000 years ago by two glaciers and has 18 islands.

Staveley Fell, Cartmel Fell.

½ miles

I had put two of Wainwrights walks together to make a bigger walk, and I used Gummer’s How car park as my starting point and set off through the wood to Sow How Lane you get a nice view from the lane looking south down the Winster Valley.
I left the lane for a bridleway to Sow How Tarn it was easy walking and a nice area to walk through I passed the tarn and onto Raven’s Barrow an open area of grassland I headed over to the monument and had my first break there.

From the monument it was downhill into the woods and on to Foxfield and then you start to climb again with nice views south again, then I went into a plantation heading for Simpson Ground Reservoir. The path deteriorated  when I started to look for a path for Staveley Fell the plantation what I had been going through came to end when I came to an area what been cleared felled and I could not find a path to the top through all the dead trees lying on the ground. So I gave up and I just finished my walk off,  it's been a nice walk but for the last section.

Brant Fell

2 miles

After being out in the rural countryside for several days Bowness came of a bit of shock as I came into the town and was met by the hordes of tourists that was there, after some difficulty of finding a parking spot I found one and joined the tourists for the afternoon to look around Bowness but did not stop long feeling uncomfortable with so many people around me.
So this being my last walk of the day I was glad to be back out in the countryside on this small walk. Through fields and woodland, I was soon at the summit but I did not have it to myself, I sat there taking in the nice view with Lake Windermere dominating the view it was good, I had a good hour up here relaxing.

The lower reaches of Windermere

The upper reaches of Windermere

Then I headed back to the busy town of Bowness.

Day 6 Scout Scar.

½ miles

My last day and having spent the night in the car park at Scout Scar, not the quarry car park but the other car park.
This is one walk I was so looking forward to doing having read much on this limestone area, I took the car to Kendal and found a parking space near Serpentine Wood to start this circular walk. 
Up through Serpentine Wood, an interesting woodland for its flora, so a springtime mission to visit.  You leave the woodland for the open ground of the golf course with views down to the town of Kendal I crossed the golf course and then across the Kendal bypass by way of a footbridge.
It's here where the bypass cuts through the limestone you get a good view of the limestone known as Park Limestone. on the other side of the bypass, the footpath continues onto Cunswick Fell to the summit, I take my first break at the large cairn of Cunswick Fell and enjoyed the view to the ancient eroded volcanoes of the Lake District.

Cunswick Fell
From the summit I came to Cunswick Scar a limestone edge that I followed for a short distance, through fields and scrub to the car park I stopped in last night.
A short section of road walking and then the path to Scout Scar escarpment with stunning views around me I made my way to the shelter known as the Mushroom and there I had another rest. Scout Scar is 771 feet (235 m).

Then it was back along the escarpment for another mile of stunning landscape views along the route checking the flora and enjoying the long distance views.
the path took me away from the edge and across some stunning scrub landscape.
heading now back to Kendal. I can see myself coming back to this walk again to discover its secrets. The last part of the walk was road walking back into Kendal. 


Geology and history

The coast of Morecambe Bay has not always looked like does today from the end of the Ice Age to the Roman Period there have been marine transgressions, this where the sea level rises relative to the land and the shoreline moves toward higher ground, resulting in flooding. There is evidence that at least six marine transgressions, of varying intensity, affected the coasts. Whitbarrow is one example where the shoreline would have been and Humphrey Head would have been an island.

The limestone of the area also has caves and evidence of human activity comes from Kirkhead Cave near Grange-on-Sands and appears to have been occupied during the Upper Palaeolithic Period around 10,000 years ago.
This has produced artefacts defined typologically to this period, while three Palaeolithic-type blades have been claimed from Lindale Low Cave to the North-east of Kirkhead, near the entrance of the River Kent. This gives evidence of early hunters exploiting the megafauna of the tundra landscape on the edge of the retreating ice. 
There is a certain amount of evidence that the caves around Morecambe Bay witnessed continued occupation during the Mesolithic period, such as the Whitbarrow Bone Cave on Whitbarrow which revealed faunal remains.

Final words

I known now that after exploring a few of these sites that there was to be revisits back to explore them more in detail, when not knowing the area to be explored it is difficult sometimes to find somewhere to park, or what state the paths are in or if there are any paths at all, what is the best month to visit, to find what you want to see, and timing it with the weather, these are all things to think about.  But now I am getting a better understanding of this area and it’s so different from my main walks of the Lakeland fells.
A new word came up on several of my walks allotment. The term 'allotment' is not used in the modern sense of plots for individuals to grow vegetables in, but land that fell within the bishops power to allocate for grazing or cultivation.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Central Lakeland part 3

Grasmere and the Langdale Pikes


Introduction my third mission on working my way through Alfred Wainwright's pictorial guides, The Central Fells and here I am near the end of book three, and in all the fells in the book the Langdale Pikes are the cream with some of the highest fells and the most popular group of fells in the book. My last mission was the Thirlmere Valley and at the head of that valley is Steel Fell where I am planning to start my first walks from Grasmere and my base for my walks will be the campsite in the village of Chapel Stile.

Day 1 Evening walk; Silver How from Chapel Stile

An evening of sunny spells as I and Sam the dog left Chapel Stile for the gentle climb out of the valley. I love my first walk of my holidays as it prepares me for the days ahead of fell walking and the views start to open and I get the familiar look of the rugged and craggy fells  I knew I was glad to be back.

Chapel Stile

I got a nice view back down Megs Gill to Great Langdale, I reached the plateau and admired the water in the bogs because of reflections, then it was on the path up to the summit and some good views of Grasmere and Helm Crag, few yards from the summit I got a view of Grasmere and Rydal Water. Had a nice rest enjoying the views naming the fells is always a good practice because they do look different from whatever point of the compass you view them at, and the distance they are at.
In Wainwright books, he always gives you a summit view with all the names of the fells. The how in Silver How is derived from the Old Norse word haugr for a hill or mound: The return walk was by Spreading Crag and Raven Crag back into the village.

26/05/16, 7.53 miles.

Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag from Grasmere

I parked up on the A591 and walked into the village of Grasmere to start my walk on this cloudy morning, after checking out the village shops I took to the river path and then by road to the foot of Steel Fell and started my climb as usually, the views start open up across Grasmere to Loughrigg Fell a lovely view. As I reached the summit two other walkers turned up. There was a low cloud on most summits, Thirlmere was in view in the valley and with this view, I stopped for a short break and chattered with some fellow walkers.

The next section was to Calf Crag a level walk following a fence line going around boggy areas, before I climbed to the summit I stopped to admire the view down Far Easedale.  I started the climb for Calf Crag summit, what was now in a low cloud so I did not hang about up and over I came down Calf Crag heading for Gibson Knot I came out of the cloud with clear views to Gibson Knott, Helm Crag and beyond.
And I made my way down to Gibson Knot and the summit, the views improved around me leaving the cloud still covering most fell summits. Only a brief stop on the top of Gibson Knot, before I was on the move to Helm Crag, along this ridge.

Calf Crag and Gibson  Knott
Helm Crag rocky summit was reached first was the large protruding rock known as the Howitzer, this being the highest point on the summit but not the end as you walk along the ridge you come to the second group of rocks known as the Lion and the Lamb. The view to Grasmere and beyond is good, and as you descend you get this great view and this will be memorised as one of my top views. AW wrote of Helm Crag.
 “The virtues of Helm Crag have not been lauded enough. It gives an exhilarating little climb, a brief  essay in real mountaineering, and in a region where all is beautiful, it makes a notable contribution to the natural charms and attractions of Grasmere”

The Lion and the Lamb

From the summit, it was down to Grasmere and the end to a good walk, pity about the low cloud on parts of the walk.

Helm Crag

Grasmere, Rydal evening walk.

After a long rest in the village of Grasmere, I decided I still had the stamina to do an another walk or a saunter around the water bodies of Grasmere and Rydal. I left Grasmere by road and was deep in thinking, there is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Wordsworth was a walker; his work was bound up in walking in the Lake District.  Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the brain open to thinking. It helped Wordsworth with creatively writing as it helps many artists today.
Back on the walk going around Grasmere Lake, I leave the road for footpath known as the Loughrigg Terrace and this where you get good views to Helm Crag and the Dunmail Raise.

Grasmere Lake
This volcanic area is very complexed with several fault lines running through the area, the Coniston fault line is just one of them. As you leave the terrace you get the first glimpse of Rydal water as you head towards it, there are two paths lower one to the shore of Rydal water the upper one to the quarries and caves this is the one I was taking. Rydal Water is one of the smallest lakes of the ribbon lakes.
Next stop was Rydal Cave a man-made cave and was part of the quarry supplying slate to the local area. A series of stepping stones leads over water what is full of fish.

Rydal Cave
I crossed the River Rothay to the main road and crossed this also to Dove Cottage, this William Wordsworth’s first home in the lakes. And I also passed Rydal Mount onto a track is known as the Coffin Route, going through a nice wooded area of oaks with glimpses of Rydal Water through the trees. You come to White Moss and the car park on I went to Grasmere going through more woods to finish off my walk back in Grasmere.

Rydal Water and Silver How.

27/05/16, 9.28 miles.

Day 3 Tarn Crag, Sergeant Man and Blea Rigg from Grasmere

Back to the same parking spot this morning and the weather had improved from the grey overcast sky of yesterday to a morning of sunny spells as I set off into Grasmere village.
I left Grasmere with a big beef pasty in my bag, not had one like this in years, back in the days of doing the South West Coast Path, I use to live off these then.
Back on my walk and heading into Easedale. The climbing started in Easedale with the climb up Sourmilk Gill, where do these names originate from?

Sourmilk Gill
There some nice waterfalls along this section, I stop for a short rest at Easedale Tarn, enjoying the sunshine and the view to my next destination Tarn Crag. Easedale Tarn as all the evidence of a glacial corrie all the classic features were around me from an arete ridge to moraines.

Tarn Crag
The climb up to Tarn Crag was pathless but easy going up to Gateshead Crag where I picked up a faint path up to the summit of Tarn Crag. And a rest stop to tuck into my pasty and share it with my dog Sam and enjoy the view on this sunny day.

Next stop was Sergeant Man and the going was straight forward as the summit came into view. So far on this walk I have not seen any other walkers till Sergeant Man came into view I could see people on the summit.

Sergeant Man
Wainwright's description;
“Sergeant Man is merely a rocky excrescence at the edge of the broad expanse forming the top of High Raise”.
I made it to the summit and sat there taking in the views.

The next part of my walk was along the wide ridge to Blea Rigg, the way was very rock with my path fading hear and there but the summit of Blea Rigg was in view and some nice views also of Pavey Ark.

I made it to the summit of Blea Rigg and a shortstop to look at AW book about the summit and a spot of map reading to find my path back to Grasmere and Easedale Tarn, it has been another good walk and some great views, so by the time I finished the walk in Grasmere I went back to the campsite at Chapel Stile.

Day 4 Langdale Pikes backpack

28/05/16, 11 miles.

You save the best till the last and that’s what I have done  with the Langdale Pikes. These are Loft Crag, Pike o Stickle,  Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.

And the weather was on my side, this sunny morning as me and Sam the dog left the campsite to walk the valley bottom to Old Dungeon Ghyll and then start the uphill climb. From the valley the Langdale Pikes rise spectacularly, their volcanic domed tops stand proud. I reached Old Dungeon Ghyll and it was busy with walkers on this Saturday morning with many parked cars. The Langdale Pikes  is a popular walk , so I started the climb up, It seemed a long climb up, was this because of the extra weight I was carrying? On this warm sunny morning, there were plenty of other walkers also out today as they pass by me. I stopped for a rest on a small grassy plateau and sat there enjoying the views. The last push up between Loft Crag and Thorn Crag and I was on the large plateau with the main climbing done, one short climb to summit of Loft Crag, from the summit I could see several other summits which I was intended to visit and you could see how busy it was up there with other walkers on other summits.

Pike O Stickle

It was in this area that the Langdale Axe Factory was discovered, these stone axes were taken from this area, and archaeologists have found these axes all over the British Isles. Made from greenish Borrowdale volcanic stone, 11 inches long, with roughly parallel sides about 3 or 4 inches wide, made during the Neolithic period, 4 to 3000 BC.
I came off Loft Crag and headed for Pike o Stickle along the ridge with the pyramid pike in view, I climbed to the summit, it was busy with walkers coming and going. Pike o Stickle was the most prolific site for the stone axes, found just below the summit on the scree slope.
The view from the pike was extensive to north, east, south and west.

Loft Crag

It was time to move on, so back down to the plateau and across the boggy area to Harrison Stickle and up to the summit for a great view of Pavey Ark and the tarn where I intend to camp tonight.

From the summit it was back down to the plateau and head for Thunacar Knot, Thunacar Knot was nothing special not even as a viewpoint just pile of stones to mark the summit. I was off again on the path now to High Raise. A steady uphill walk with plenty of people still coming and going as it was now late afternoon.
High Raise is regard as Lakeland’s most centrally situated fell. As I reached the busy summit and the views north and north-west are splendid with all the central fells in a view from the Ordnance Survey trig point In AW book the Central Fells, High Raise is the highest fell in the book. From the summit you have a good all round panorama, you may be dwarfed by the higher fells but it is still a great view, I sat down to rest and enjoy it all on this late sunny afternoon with only a light breeze.

After my rest I started the walk to Sergeant Man an easy walk over the plateau with Sergeant Man coming into view, this time, I did not visit the summit but bypassed it to pick up the path for Blea Rigg, so far along the Blea Rigg path I turned off to pick another path up to descend down to Stickle Tarn, as I descended you get great views of the bulk of Pavey Ark.
I made it to Stickle Tarn and found a spot to set up my wild camp for the night and to relax and  to sit and stare up at Pavey Ark while cooking, there still was a few walkers about this evening and  also I was not the only one wild camping next to Stickle Tarn.
 I sat there have something eat while staring up at the towering cliff face of Pavey Ark and tracing the path of Jack’s Rake, feeling anxious  because Jack’s Rake is a grade one scramble as a rock climb  AW description of this climb.
Nonetheless, as a walk it is both  difficult and awkward in fact, for much of the way the body is propelled forwards by a series of convulsions unrelated by normal walking, the knees and elbows contributing as much to progresses as hands and feet.
I watched a father and I presume his daughter of around 10 years of age, walk by heading for Jack’s Rake I watched them climb, and I could follow them as they ascended Jack's Rake from where I was sat. I made my mind up and put Sam in the tent and went for it.

 Evening mission, Pavey Ark. 121.92 meters of ascent, 400 feet.

Jack's Rake

The first section was up the scree slope to the start of the rake at Easy Gully  and then the climbing starts, as you are looking for polished hand holds to pull you to the next section, this was going well so far till I could not find a hand hold, I stopped to think things through and look at the view, the only way I could see around it was over to my left and very close to the edge. And that’s where exposure got to me, because so far I was in the comfort of the rake, but now I had to go back down a section and then up again out of the rake and very close to the edge, with my heart pounding away I went for it and made it up to the next section and found a grassy ledge to rest and take a few photos, so far I was about half the way up.

Stickle Tarn
The next section was up another gully and onto another ledge, I started to feel the exposure again, I could see my tent it looked so small next to the tarn.
I will be glad when I have reached the top, so I moved on again from the ledge to a gully and made it to the top so pleased that was over and pleased with myself for doing it, I made it to the summit of Pavey Ark and had a good rest while taking in the views.
Nobody was to be seen anywhere on the summit, I set off across the top looking for the path known as North Rake, this was going to take me back down.I found the well-used path and made my way down. I was pleased   to see Sam the dog and he was pleased to see me, I looked back to the cliff face of Pavey Ark and looked at what I have just achieved feeling pleased with myself .


Day 5 Homeward bound.

I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning; I sat there having my breakfast looking up at Pavey Ark what was in full sunshine. I was now thinking about how the Ice Age had carved out this bowl where Stickle Tarn now sits, and the hanging valley what looks into Great Langdale at the edge of the tarn where I was heading next.
But first I started to pack the tent up, and then made my way around Stickle Tarn and picked the path up for Stickle Ghyll, and I started heading down into the valley. It was a busy Sunday morning with lots of walkers passing me on their way up  As I got lower into the valley it got hotter,  I made it to the Dungeon Ghyll new hotel and crossed the road for the valley path back to the campsite.
I had a rest at the campsite, there was nothing else to do as everything was packed away so after my rest and a spot of lunch, I left the campsite and the Lake District. It's been another good holiday, but I had plans for one last walk so I took the car to Leighton Moss.

Yealand walk.

I arrived at Leighton Moss car park, but this time, I was not visiting the nature reserve, but going on a circle walk to look into prehistory.
The early hunter and gathers from 6,000 years ago would have been keen bird watchers, they would have been hunting the birds, you could image them hunting in the tall reedbeds.  I walked along the main track through the nature reserve with the tall reed beds around me. The Moss was a sea inlet 4,200 BC surrounded by dense woodland. Mesolithic settlers would have come hunting for ducks and deer as there were plenty of resources for them.
I left the nature reserve as the track started the climb to Leighton Hall and on through the site, then the path starts to climb more steeply up to Summerhouse Hill where I came across a seat and I took advantage of this because of the view from the seat looking over Leighton Moss at 400 feet above sea level.
Summerhouse Hill
From this point I moved on through some trees on a flat area, dotted with limestone blocks, these stones are said to be the remains of a stone circle.  Also nearby is cairn consisting of an oval mound and is kerbed, and was excavated in 1778 which recovered a human skeleton, a large glass bead and an urn contained human bones, both cairn and stone circle are from the Bronze Age.
The whole site sits on a ridge with the village of Yealand Conyers so you have views to the west and east, magical place to let your imaginations take over and see it as some special place to the people of the Bronze Age.
The next section of the walk follows the ridge through some lovely woodland with brief glimpses of views east, I came to the village of Yealand Storrs. Archaeologists have unearthed a structure of sockted wooden planks believed to be part  of a causeway, they also found pieces of flint, dated to around 4,200 BC, the end of the Mesolithic period, local farmers have also found Stone Age tools.
I went through Yealand Storrs and on the path for Trowbarrow Nature Reserve. I passed through the  reserve and through Trough to end the walk at Leighton Moss. And also the end of the holiday and another successful mission.