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" Three go to the Whinlatter Fells"

Date & start time:      4th June 2021.    10.40 am start.

Location of Start :     By the Forest Centre, Whinlatter, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 206 245 )

Places visited :          Whinlatter Centre, Barf, Lords Seat, Broom Fell and Graystones.

Walk details :              6.7 mls, 1550 ft of ascent, 2250 ft of descent, 5 hours 15 mins.

Highest point :           Lords Seat, 1,811ft - 552m.

Walked with :              Neil, Ian and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                      Blue skies and summer clouds. Slightly cool breeze when we stopped.

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A leisurely stroll it seemed but we still managed a respectable six and a half miles, four summits, 1500 ft of climbing and lunch out in the sunshine. 

The three amigos set off to walk some, if not all, of the Whinlatter Fells on this lovely June day.

We pass on the direct climb of Whinlatter Fell in preference to an anti-clockwise linear walk ending at Scawgill Bridge.

The start at Whinlatter and my walking companions today, Neil and Ian, Dougal and Dylan.

Technology in the sky . . .

. . . part of the Whinlatter "Go Ape" adventure centre.

" Climb in the trees, cargo nets, walkways, zip wires, all the fun of the fair."

We however opted for a more gentle walk along the forest tracks of Whinlatter, heading for our first summit of Barf.

We've avoided the climbers, the cyclists, other dog walkers . . .

. . . large and small groups of family or friends . . .

and a procession of electric two-wheeled Segway scooters . . . on our initial walk along the forest tracks.

Through the gaps in the trees we can see Derwent Water . . .
. . . and the classic rising path alongside the wall to Grisedale Pike.

A slight navigational challenge as we search for our preferred forest track to Barf.

Confused by the vagueness of the  conventionally mapped roadways and the addition of new cycle routes, we take a wrong turning.

However we were soon back on track, confirmed by Gps on Neil's and my phones . . . why didn't we think of that earlier !

The path I was looking for was slightly hidden by several intervening years of growth and a lack of use by wheeled vehicles.

Soon it gave us views of Bassenthwaite Lake . . .
. . . and the summit of the fell we wanted to visit, Barf.

Where the trees had been cleared slightly, the view down allowed us to see the old Swan Hotel

and the white painted rock of The Bishop, perched on the lower slopes of the fell.

Our path would cross the Beckstones stream . . .
. . . accessed by a slightly tricky stile at the edge of the forest.

Now clear of the trees we can see amore panoramic view of the majority of the Helvellyn Range.

In the picture too is Derwent water and the town of Keswick.

The summit of Barf duly climbed.

Our reward is a fine view, taking in the southern end of Bassenthwaite Lake and across the way to the Skiddaw Fells.

To our left, the continuation of Bass Lake and across to Binsey, the most northerly of the Wainwright tops.

With the big lens on, an aerial view of Woodend Farm down on the old A66 road.

The picture makes you almost want to reach out and move the vehicles by hand, as if they were toys.

Across the lake, nicely catching the sun, is St Bega's Church.

- - - o o o - - -

It is with the first summit achieved, a sheltered spot out of the breeze and these lovely views, that we stopped for a bite to eat.

A relaxed re-start and the summit view as we leave.

The slightly confusing shapes of Bowfell and Esk Pike.

Normally we would think of a chunky Bowfell and a pointed Eskdale Pike but they look different from this angle.

(We thought they were great End and Scafell but the shapes didn't make sense)

Leaving the summit of Barf to start the gradual ascent of Lord's Seat.

On the more damp sections of the ridge the cotton Grass is in bloom, heralding the start of another new summer season.

Sentinels of the ridge . . . weathered shapes of secondary forest growth,

not planted by man but growing from seed distributed most likely by the birds.

Back in April Ian and I saw these trees on the Lords Seat ridge from below and he first described them as

"A meeting of Standing still in a line for a long time, competition winners".

Today, Ian claims his rightful place amongst those "Standing still in a line for a long time winners".

We didn't stand still for too long and were soon on the summit of our next fell, Lord's Seat.

Thought you might like to see the complete view.

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

From our lofty perch we now had a full view of the direct ascent of Grisedale Pike.

Forward looking . . . the Aiken Beck Valley that we will be skirting around today.

Our final steep descent to Scawgill bridge will be down the far side of the woodland.

Another set of buildings that I haven't looked at properly before . . . Wythop Hall Farm.

From the popular Lothwaite Fell beyond, the Hall is always hidden by the trees.

A local resident of the feathered variety.

It is either a Meadow Pippet or it could even be a skylark, there's a few about today.

Frances Wallace:

I reckon the bird maybe a Song Thrush.

Looks a great walk.

Looking back whilst walking across to our next summit of Broom Fell.

Working left to right around the higher ground there's Lord's Seat then the heather covered Whinlatter Fell.

It is difficult to make out as it rather blends into the front of Grisedale Pike.

The large cairn and shelter on Broom Fell.

The view is extensive,

which makes sense as you can see and recognise Broom Fell from a host of Lakeland (and Scottish) locations.

As our early lunch on Barf only involved one sandwich, we stop in the shelter to eat our second ones . . . very laid back.

I add humour to our second lunch spot by trying to take a time-delay shot, the camera balanced on top of the rucksack.

This was the second photo attempt as the first was spoilt when the wind blew the rucksack over !

Thankfully the camera still worked . . . and we were soon on our way.

Ling Fell to our right now as we approach Widow Hause.

It will be very different this visit as the area has been clear-felled.

Sadly the thick moss on the exposed walls has shriveled up and died.
The weird stile crossing is still as decrepit as last time.

The summit of Graystones . . . with a dog toy that Dougal found on the ridge and will carry all the way home.

A final glance back at Scotland as we turn the final corner and start our descent.

The green Vale of Lorton, with Mellbreak and the Loweswater Fells at the far end.

The patchwork panorama of the Aiken Beck Valley.

The final farm, in fact the only farm in the valley, is Darling How, seen here amidst the green fields.

More tree clearance on the western side of Whinlatter Fell should mean easier access to Brown How and Whinlatter top from this side.

Must try it some time.

The only way is down . . .
. . . and it gets steeper as we go.

Zooming in on Scawgill Bridge below.

Poles come to the fore on this sort of descent . . . for balance if nothing else.

Ian seems to be contemplating which will be the easiest route down.

Job done . . . as the path eases slightly down at the quarry.

Enjoyed the route ?     . . . that's a yes.

The last few feet of careful descent . . .

. . . end we are down at road level and soon back to the second car.

A short drive back up to Whinlatter to fetch mine and we're on the way to the Wheatsheaf in Lorton for a well earned pint !

- - - o o o - - -

The inspiration for doing this route was gained when I walked the Aiken Beck a week or so earlier.

Parking at the bridge, it was a short (dog) walk up the valley, alongside the beck, to visit Spout Force.

We'll not visit the waterfall today . . . but I do offer you two pictures from that visit.

Following the path will take you to a viewing platform overlooking the top of the waterfall

but to really appreciate its full extent you've got to get your feet wet and clamber up into the ravine . . . Dougal declined !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera (apart from these last two with my phone).

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

This site best viewed with . . . two amigos to walk with.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 29th / 30th May Haystacks and a Swim

A previous time up here - Thursday 18th June 2009 Barf and Lords Seat

Next walk - 8th June 2021 Helvellyn via the Edges