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" Fellbarrow with the Mockerkin Mob "

Date & start time:      27th February 2022.  10 am start.

Location of Start :     Graythwaite House, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 115 232).

Places visited :          Mosser Track, Fellbarrow, Crabtree Beck Valley, Darling Fell and back.

Walk details :              5.1 miles, 1625 ft of ascent, 4 hours including 2 stops.

Highest point :           Fellbarrow   1,363ft - 416m.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal, plus Loes and 18 other mobsters.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies but windy on the tops.


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


Well this is a first for me, an outing with my local fellwalking group the Mockerkin Mob.

They generally draws their members from Mockerkin, Loweswater and the Lorton Valley so I know most people already.

Ann and I used to bump into them occasionally when we were out walking, but today I formally walked the group for the first time.

Their outing this week is more local than some of their walks, so I know the fells well, but even so I walked some paths today I've never rambled before !

We met at John and Judy's house at Graythwaite, near the Grange Hotel, at the far end of Loweswater Lake.

We met and parked on private ground next to their house, so if you are thinking of following this walk yourself then

please park by the silver phone box and walk up Grange Lane from Waterend, to join the circular route we will be doing today.

- - - o o o - - -


All group walks should start with a group photo

so why make an exception for this one.

James on the left is the current leader of the Mob

and John and Judy (2nd and third) are today's walk leaders.

The others will remain anonymous to protect the guilty !

You may however recognise Loes in red from my previous walks.

- - - o o o - - -


There is a footpath through Graythwaite land but it heads due north more directly towards Mosser.

There's no right of way through their woods where we are walking today.

A glade in the centre of Graythwaite Woods where the trees have been blown down in previous years.

John was able to salvage them for firewood at the time and only the stumps remain.

These smaller native deciduous trees were planted about 15 years ago

and now form a reasonably mature woodland, much more green in summer.

John discusses the woodland maintenance regime with a fellow Peter.

From the woods we walk over to join Grange Lane, where several extra members are waiting to join us.

We now total twenty folk for the walk, a good crowd for The Mob . . . must be the post lockdown enthusiasm !

- - - o o o - - -

From the gate which has brought our friends up directly from Waterend, we now head on up Grange Lane.

That's Darling Fell which we plan to ascend on our return route.

In the field this side of the Mosser Track are the Belted Galloway cattle from Askill Farm.

We turn left and head north on the old Mosser Road.

The ground is fairly wet at present so we pass on the first fell access track.

That won't actually take us direct to the summit of Fellbarrow anyway.

The one we want is the second right, a track which crosses the infant Mosser Beck.

It is easy enough to wade through today.     Peter and Loes stop and turn for a photo !

The path soon starts to get a lot steeper as we climb towards the northern summit of Fellbarrow.

Fine views north to Scotland this sunny day.

Did I mention that the path was steep ?

Never mind, it will take us direct to the summit cairn.

Judy forgot to mention the false summit and the extended ridge beyond !

We pause for a breather.

Loes find the "Pile of Stones" marked on the O.S. Map.

It looks too small for a sheep fold , it was more like a small shelter or perhaps an old grouse butt ?

Mockerkin Mob Special Lemon Drizzle Cake on offer . . . well done John and Judy !

A view down over Cockermouth and north across the Solway . . . to accompany our refreshments.

- - - o o o - - -


Whilst everyone was re-packing their bags

I set off in advance for a quick walk up to the trig point.


Dougal wanted to climb the trig so I helped him up.

So as not to be left out, I suppose I should also offer

the experience to Dylan as well.

I ended up taking a few more photos than planned.


- - - o o o - - -


However the main purpose of the advance walk to the summit . . . was to catch the clear all-round view.

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

Here's the today's full Mob . . . nineteen plus myself behind the camera of course.

What goes up must come down, so we descend from Fellbarrow . . .
. . . heading south towards Smithy Fell and Low Fell.

A temporary split in the ranks . . .

The main party skirted around Smithy Fell but four of us opted to climb up and over.

The purpose was to visit the Parish Boundary stone that sits on the ridge.

The boundary can be seen on the O.S.Map as a grey dotted line Starting at Meregill Beck above Thackthwaite.

It zig-zags over Fellbarrow and Smithy Fell, then skirts Darling Fell, going west down to Dubs Beck near the Grange Hotel in Loweswater.

[ 'Meregill Beck' if spotted on a map is often a name associated with a boundary of some sort. (Angus Winchester)]

The faint initials suggest L for Loweswater . . .
. . . and M for Mockerkin or Mosser Parish.

For a more detailed Parish map see

The view down Crabtree Beck Valley, our onward route once we rejoined the main group.

- - - o o o - - -

When footpaths were last formalised back in the 1970's (?)

the path from Thackthwaite was mapped as it rose up the

Meregill Valley and then south to Watching Crag, but the cartographers

missed the section joining it to the Low Fell path.


It has now been formally recognised on the ground

with a signposted route down the valley.

It is strangely marked as a 'Permitted Footpath'

despite being across Open Access land.

- - - o o o - - -

The right of way we used to reach the fence.
The permitted footpath beyond.

Down in the valley of Crabtree Beck there was a team out planting young saplings in the valley.

We stopped for a quick chat and understand they have already planted over 1500 trees in recent days, with plenty still left to do.

We leave them to their work and walk on down the valley.

- - - o o o - - -

This land is now part of the recently formed Low Fell Nature Reserve

created by a Community Interest Company called "Buy Land Plant Trees".

This is a spin off following the recent sale of the Oak Bank farmland.

The parent company behind this work is the same one

that developed the highly successful "Chimney Sheep" Eco product

which uses Herdwick Sheep fleeces to make draught excluders.

Their sign graces the new stiles that border this large area of fell

that the company is aiming to re-wild.

They are using Country Stewardship management ideas

to create a more natural landscape for a better Eco future.


- - - o o o - - -


While we were in this relatively sheltered valley suntrap the decision was made to stop for lunch.

Afterwards we could either skirt round or climb Darling Fell, a decision best made on a full stomach.

- - - o o o - - -



Up it is . . .


The steep path that drops down from Low Fell south top

climbs even more steeply up this side of Darling Fell.



The path starts by following the fence line upward

and then heads off left to Darling Fell summit.



Perhaps that extra sandwich lunchtime was not such a good idea,

because now we have to climb steeply up on a full stomach !


- - - o o o - - -


Still, the super views this sunny day are a great distraction and we quickly gain height.

As we do, we start to see over the top and around the side of Low Fell at Grasmoor, Mellbreak Crummock and the high central fells.

Looking over to Mellbreak with the Mosedale, Hen Comb and the White Oak Valley to its right.

High Nook Tarn suddenly catches the sunlight.

Normally difficult to spot under Black Crag, the bright reflection makes it really obvious today.

Everyone reaches the cairn on Darling Fell.

This is not actually the true summit but is a great viewpoint never the less.

That spot over there claims the high ground and the path heads conveniently in the right direction.

Over the imaginary stile on the top of the fell . . . both the stile and the fence to the left of it have almost disintegrated.

The sunshine also shines brightly on Loweswater, below us now as we walk the summit ridge.

Ahead is the steep descent towards Askill Knott.

- - - o o o - - -


Rather than follow the path directly down

towards Miresyke and Askill Farms,

we cross the fence and aim to join the Mosser track

closer to Graythwaite Woods.


Technically this is open access land so we don't actually need to ask,

but as we know the grumpy land owner

we thought we would see if it was alright to cross her fields.


. . . she doesn't appear to object

after all she's one of The Mob today !

Cheers Kath.


- - - o o o - - -


Back to the first Solway views we had from the Mosser Track earlier in the day.

Just a short distance further on we turn down Grange Lane.

The Belties from Askill Farm have been given extra fodder and are now gathered round the feeder.

With the bigger lens I can zoom in on the cattle, Lingcomb Edge leading up to Red Pike and the summit of Pillar Fell beyond.

Grange Lane which will lead you back down to your cars parked at the silver phone box, Waterend.

Those who joined us here earlier in the day left us now and make their way down the track.

The rest of us will cross over the private farm field field back to the top of Graythwaite Woods.

At just after two o'clock on this nice afternoon our walk draws to a close back at Graythwaite.

A big thanks to John and Judy for leading the walk today.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

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Previous walk - 25th February - Back and forth over Low Fell

A previous time up here - 8th December 2012 Sunrise and Low Fell

Next walk - 28th February - The Spring Garden