Date & Time: Friday 11th May 2007. 5 pm start. ( NY 136 312 )

Location of Start : Junction on the old A66 west of Cockermouth, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Watch Hill and over to the edge of Setmurthy Common woods.

Walk details : 3.75 mls, 633 ft of ascent , 1 hrs 40 mins.

Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs Megan, Jodie, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : A cooler afternoon with the prospect of rain showers.

I think sheep are going to feature a lot on this walk.

 

A late afternoon stroll but also chance to do one of the few northern of Wainwright's "Outlying Fells" walks.

The route started by following the Allerdale Ramble, a Cumbrian long distance path, from the outskirts of Cockermouth up onto Watch Hill.

The Ramble then cuts off east towards Bassenthwaite but we continued over the fields a short way to the top of Watch Hill.

The route climbs slowly up though lowland fields full of cows and sheep.

Cattle just inside the gate were non-committal, but this ewe stamped her feet to signify she was not happy at us invading her space.

The lambs are getting quite stocky now and Mum is (naturally) losing her winter fleece so looks a little strange.

What are they looking at ?

Ah ! Jo and Ann following up the farm track close behind me.

The town of Cockermouth, and the secondary school are not far below.

It may be an outlier, but due to it's slightly detached position away from the main fells it commands a fine vista.

This is the view across Slate Fell to Grisedale Pike, Ladyside, Hopegill Head and Whiteside.

A little further around and Red Pike and Mellbreak come into view.

As we passed a small but delightfully diverse mixed plantation we looked over to Skiddaw and Ullock Pike.

The rain of the last few days had cleared the air slightly.

   
Bright new shoots on the conifer
Green flowers on the Sycamore tree . . .

. . . and wonderful yellows on the adjacent Gorse bushes.

With agricultural land comes gates, and this was one of many on this short walk.

A small quarry near the summit of Watch Hill provided a vantage point for the sheep to "watch" us.

A family portrait.

Sheep 21, with her youngsters, 21a and 21b.

Turning their collars up against the damp air, Ann and Jo look across from Watch Hill to the woodland of Setmurthy Plantation.

This is as far as we go today, the stile in the far corner of the photo above.

A brief pause on the second small summit and concern on Ann's face as she looks at the weather behind me.

Behind her though, is the distant Solway and the hills of Dumfries and Galloway

What was Ann looking at ? That rain shower, already watering our garden, and soon to water us by the look of it.

 

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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a pair of waterproof trousers (which were left at home today)

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