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" Dale Head with the Family"

Date & start time: Wednesday 22nd July 2015, 4 pm start.

Location of Start : Honister Hause NT car park, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 25 136 )

Places visited : Dale Head and Yew Crag Quarries.

Walk details :   2.5 mls, 1350 feet of ascent, 2 hour 5 mins.

Highest point : Dale Head,  2,473ft - 753m.

Walked with : Paula, Jenna, Tom and Abi, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Summer skies but with a cool breeze on the top.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. License number PU 100034184.


A classic local walk up and back to Dale Head summit from Honister.

Two of our daughters and two grandchildren are with us for two days and wanted to walk on the fells once the weather had cleared.

Dale Head suits everyone including Harry, our elder dog.

We parked at Honister in the car park behind the youth hostel.

On the other side of the fence the bus has just returned from taking another group on a mine tour

In their overflow car park is a strange looking vehicle.

A seriously fast looking Mercedes with a camera rig held on an overhead gantry.

Looking down on the car park you suddenly notice that there are a lot of identical looking Vauxhaul cars.

I wander across to get a better view of the Honister Crags and the activity below.

We passed a film crew on the way up and thought it was just a news item - a talk to a camera out on the fells.

It turns out they are filming a new Vauxhaul Car Advert here on the Honister road climb.

They've permission to close the road for a while in order to do the filming.

We're heading up hill so by the time we're back at the car it will all be clear again.

Looking down what is technically known as Gatesgarthdale . . . to most folk it is known as Honister Valley.

Across the way is the mine entrance, the suspension bridge and the start of the Victorian Slate Incline.

The top half of the fell where the mine addits can be seen opening out onto the old track

that climbs precariously across the face of the crag.

Back to our walk . . . the girls stride out, following the fence line up towards the distant summit.

As we climb the views expand.

Here at the sheepfold there is sufficient altitude to see the whole of the Glaramara ridge across the way.

Sibling rivalry !

Okay Class four  . . . settle down . . . hey you at the back come down here to the front.

That's better . . . perhaps we may get a reasonable class photo now !

Moving on . . . Tom was talking about Honister slate and the geology of the area.

Paula (his mum) takes a picture of the upturned strata for him.

He also found a lovely black beatle walking across the path.

A quick photo and he was allowed to continue on his way to the other side.

[ hey . . . Why did the beatle cross the road ?   . . . to get to the record shop of course !]

Follow the fence line was the general instruction.

Sometimes the path meanders around a small outcrop of rock or a damp patch . . . but onward and upward is the rule.

Detail of a wire tensioner, complete with wire . . .
. . . from the old Victorian boundary fence that climbs the fell.

We pass a couple of Herdwick sheep . . . Mum could be saying . . . " Turn round and have your picture taken dear, you may become famous ".

Why don't you hold your cursor over the picture to encourage the little one to look at the camera.

Dylan, un-phased by seeing sheep, has followed Jenna to the top . . . but turns to see where we are.

The summit of Dale Head . . . don't panic we're not that far behind.

Fine weather, sunshine and a slight blue haze, gives us a classic view down the length of Newlands Valley.

With her warm top on her person rather than round her waist, Abi stands by the summit cairn.

There's a slight breeze up here and it has a cool edge, like it has had most of the summer.

Tom pleased to be at the summit of another Lakeland fell.

The edge is so close it feels like flying.

Abi grabs a quick snack . . . Harry and Dylan have heard the crackle of the wrapper .

I seem to have a reputation for taking photos.

See the result of the artist's work . . . a dozen photos later . . . plus a little magic from the computer.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

The camera technology does the trick again . . . this time delaying the shutter for ten seconds,

sufficient time for me to place myself alongside the summit party.

A little light stonework to complete the efforts of a previous visitor who managed to complete the first foot or so.

The cloud base has dropped now to cover the highest fells . . . a sign of the passing of the warmest part of the day.

I hold back for a picture of the distant summits as the others make their way down.

Rather than exactly retrace our steps

Paula, Tom, Abi and I cross the non-existant fence line and walk over to the Yew Crag Quarries.

There's one particular open quarry that always excites.

The top walkway implies the quarry was originally much shallower . . . but good slate was found and the miners deepened the pit.

It is about thirty to forty feet deep at this end . . .
. . . we clamber down the rather slippery slope.

Rather than haul the stone up from the base of the quarry, they had constructed a tunnel to take it out through the bottom.

An exciting fifty yard cut through the solid rock is possible without torches.

Abi concentrates on where to place her feet.

Confidence building as she crosses the pool without getting her feet wet.

Jen's b&w picture of me emerging . . .
. . . and mine of Tom and Abi.

There's plenty more to see further down but it all gets a bit steep and hazardous.

We cut back across the fellside to re-join the main path down to Honister again.

Ann and Paula at the bottom, Tom part way up, Abi and I still making our way down.

The bus is parked for the night, the camera car lined up to be driven into its transporter

and the film crew hospitality bus no doubt serving its last cup of tea for the day . . . as we complete our late afternoon sojourn onto the fells.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a fence line to follow and history to follow on from.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous event - 19th July 2015 - George Fisher's Summer Outing 2015

A previous time up here - 29th March 2005 Dale Head, Grandchildren and Industrial History

Next walk - 22nd July 2015 - Loweswater Sunset