Sunday 24 April 2016

Exploring Scandale Beck From Soulby

 A late start meant that we missed the worst of the rain, which wasn't forecast! Still after a bit of a faff we parked outside the village hall (against the signs I'm afraid) in Soulby, just a couple of miles West of Kirkby Stephen. All new paths again today, as we headed upsteam.....

The sturdily built three arch bridge in Soulby, it has managed to survive the floods of last year.

Just a little way up the lane towards Soulby Mill is this tribute to make do & mend!

Lots of Primrose's on the banks beside the paths, tracks and streams.

Scandale Beck, with the trees and bushes still full of wreck from the storms.

We left the banks of the beck and followed this old lane towards Crosby Garrett. As you can see one side of the path has had its hedge laid, the other side certainly needed doing.

Lots of May blossom out as well now...still a bit chilly to cast any clouts though!

As we headed back to the beck at Chapel Well we were treated to this view to the distant Pennines beyond Scandale.

Smardale Viaduct from Chapel Well, (which is actually a spring from what we could see).
We followed paths, bridleways and byways back to Soulby on the other side of the beck.
It had managed to stay dry whilst we were out, It would appear these paths are little used, we saw no one indeed very few bootprints even.

Thursday 21 April 2016

A Wander Beside the Upper Hodder

We headed for Bowland today and parked at Dunsop Bridge. The weather was great, the sun definitely had it's hat on. Riverside paths formed the basis for today's walk, as flat as possible for P!
Lots of pictures of bridges coming up......

Dunsop Bridge claims to be the centre of the UK...What parameters are used I don't know.

If Brunel made footbridges, this is what they would look like!
This does double duty by carrying a water pipe over the River Hodder.

The Hoder just South of Dunsop Bridge. There were lots of Martins making nests in the sandy banks along this stretch.

Quite an imposing pile. Knowlmere Manor

Further along the drive is this curiously named "Giddy Bridge"...Why?

Then it was back down to the river to cross this unnamed bridge, although an apt name would be "The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge"!

Back down the North bank of the Hodder. We paused to look at this concrete effort which carry's the water pipes across the river built in 1926 by the Fylde Water Authority.
Its only a short distance back to Dunsop Bridge, where ice cream was consumed!

Sunday 17 April 2016

Towtop Kirk

A walk from Bampton on the Eastern edge of the Lakes today. The low fells, gills and valleys are frequented only rarely by your normal tourist/fellwalker, indeed we didn't see anyone today on our walk.

Once we'd gained a bit of height, the Lowther valley was seen to great advantage.
Here looking North towards Whale and Askham.

Field paths and a bridleway brought us to the open fell near Moorshill. the valley directly infront is Cawdale. I have visited Cawdale from "tother" side a couple of times. Once on a "Saunders Mountain Marathon"!

This old clapper bridge over Cawdale beck has been repaired with a bit of concrete.
Its done well to survive the recent floods. It gave us access to......

....Towtop Kirk. Not the most impressive, and the light/my photo does it no favours!
More here for those who might be interested in this type of thing.

Our return route was across the marshy ground in the middle distance, before picking up this bridleway.  

Having crossed some access land and Cawdale Beck, (again) we came across this small dam. At a guess I think it was probably made for a water supply, but now is possibly a hydro plant?
From here it was an easy downhill walk back to Bampton and the car.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Thack Moor and Black Fell

A North Pennine walk today, I was out on my own and headed for Renwick. This little village nestles under the Pennines just Northwest of Hartside Pass. Lots of pictures.....sorry!

There's a good track to lead you up to the open fell. Behind the Lakes fells filled the skyline.

This track leads unerringly to just before the final rise to Thack Moor, which can be seen in the distance in this photo.

As far as I can tell this track was built to give access to this small coal pit. Although there are some small quarries and a n odd limekiln lower down the fell.

The spoil tip, now long grassed over provides a good vantage point to look over the Eden valley.

Just a short way from the old coal pit and I arrived at the trig point of Thack Moor....This is a relatively recently promoted 2000' top. The main reason for my visit!

Now I thought I'd have these hills to myself....but I was surprised to find perhaps 25 people having their lunch against the wall. It turned out they were members of the  "Dumfries Ramblers" club.
My final hill for the day is in the middle distance Black Fell.

Not far along the broad ridge is this well built sheepfold, it would provide a very sheltered camp/bivi'd have to carry water mind.....

....Unless you were to wring it out of your shoes! this is pretty much what conditions were like underfoot along the ridge :-)

Before I got to Black Fell I crossed Watch Hill the large cairn has a sandstone block with a weathered name carved on it.

In the last dip before Black Fell is this once grand sheepfold, it even had a little hut complete with fireplace. No doubt a fire would have been welcome working up here in all weathers.

Black Fell, with Cross Fell in the distance above the trig. The overnight snow almost all gone in the warm sun. I was unsure if I'd visited here in the past, I still am! I normally have an excellent memory regarding ascents! Anyway I've been there now:-)

From Black Fell it was down across Green Band heading for the waterfalls of Longtongue Beck. 

Not the most impressive, there is a larger single drop just below here. I wouldn't however make a special visit just to see it though.

In a side beck, Great Stockdale Beck I think was this old lead mine level. Very low, only about 80cm! Lord knows how you would have worked such a mine?

A short climb out of the gill and I reached this track which contours across Green Rigg. It eventually joins the outward route and led back down to Renwick.
A great days weather.
I really need to check out how many Nuttalls I've got left!

Sunday 3 April 2016


Murton is one of the small villages lying under the Pennines. These sandstone clad villages at the edge of the Eden valley are connected by lots of footpaths and bridleways. Although I've walked many of them there are still gaps here and there. So today we set off from Murton to fill one or two gaps below of what we saw!

As we left the car park in Murton, Murton Pike filled the view. But our route would skirt the edge of  the fell as we headed North. 

The path was there, but more like a sheep trod. Keisley Bank was far as I can remember I haven't visited the top. So I'll have to remedy that at some point.

The path contours into Trundale Gill, here High Cup started to come into view.

After some lunch beside the gill we headed for Harbour Flatts.
There's an unusual view of High Cup from here.

Rural wandering led through Brackenthwaite and Flakebridge Wood. Another path followed Murton Beck back to the village. Roman Fell (seen above) filled the view for much of the return leg of the walk.