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" The Mockerkin Mob Christmas Walk "

Date & start time:      7th December 2022.  10.15 am start.

Location of Start :     Foulsyke House, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 142 215).

Places visited :          Whinny Ridding Woods, Pottergill, Thackthwaite, Latterhead and back.

Walk details :              4 miles, 775 ft of ascent, 2 hours 20 mins.

Highest point :           The Quarry above Thackthwaite, 830 ft - 255m.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal, plus 19 other walkers.

Weather :                     Overcast and cool, but dry throughout the walk.


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


I've managed a few walks with this long established local walking group.

As time goes on people's capabilities differ and often walks are catagorised A and B, based on how strenuous people want to be.

Today however the December Walk was open to all as it was a "Christmas Event" to round the year off.

  I join in as one of twenty walkers on the day.

We meet at Foulsyke house at the invitation of Joan, to do a round walk in the valley taking in the lower slopes of Low Fell.

Our leader today is Peter.  He's the one with his hand in the air pointing out which direction we plan to go.

We head out on the track that skirts the eastern slopes of Low Fell.

It will take us through Whinny Riding Woods (below the Lonesome Pine) and out along the fell wall, heading north.

The wildlife scrapes/ponds that were dug last year are all of a sudden beginning to green up.

They aim to introduce more bio-diversity to the land and encourage insect life for reptiles and birds to feed upon.

Whinny Riding Woods has been around for a long time . . .
. . . but this week it is looking very different.

The woodland here is yet another victim of the larch disease (Phytophthora Ramorum) which is spreading across the country.

To clear it, the excavators have invaded the woodland and turned old tracks into new roadways,

turning quiet woodland pathways into stark muddy tracks.

Half way through the woods, how the scene has changed.
At the far end, the old track continues on towards Pottergill Farm.

This was an old farm of which little is left standing.

The public footpath leads us towards it, then climbs above the retaining wall on some old steps.

It was an extensive dwelling with a central house and barns either side.

This end was an area best described as a small farmyard, though it is hardly much more than an enclosed gated area.

Surprisingly the path takes an abrupt turn.

On some very old maps there used to be a path continuing on, meeting the road once again at Latterhead, but that route has been lost over time.

For us today we must climb a short but steep ascent, up to the top side of the fell wall, in order top continue the walk.

As we climb of course, the views become more extensive.

From the stile we can look back at Crummock Water and the Buttermere Fells.

There's rain up in theme there hills, but it stays well clear of us as we walk north along the fence line.

Ahead is the Lorton Valley and on the far side, the start of the Whinlatter Pass behind the village of Lorton itself.

The owners of the fields has added a small seat in the field at the top of the rise,

presumably to allow them to stop for a moment and also enjoy the extensive views on offer.

Ahead is a small but very wind blown stand of larch.  No way is this a commercial plantation nowadays.

It will however make a very convenient place to stop for refreshments, nearly half way through the walk.

[ Instructions for the walk were to bring a coffee or small drink for this stop, but no need for lunch as the walk was not an over-long one.]

Sufficiently refreshed we progress on, half of the party staying low by the wall,

the other half traversing up the fellside to pick up an old path which led to the quarry a hundred feet above.

This was most likely the source of some of the early building stone for the village of Thackthwaite down in the valley below.

It appears too big to just to provide walling stone for the field boundaries.

The zig zag path brings us down to the fell gate where an old track leads directly down towards the village,

and here we meet up with the rest of the walking group once again.

The track has been lost to nature over the intervening centuries and is now an overgrown ditch full of trees.

The footpath off the fell diverts sideways here to allow us to walk down the field's edge and avoid the obstructions.

Lower down, where the fields give way to woodland, the path is reunited with the old track.

It has been kept open by the passage of walkers (and farm animals ?) as the stream has chosen a different course off to the right.

The track emerges onto the valley road at the old farm, now known as Thackthwaite House.

Looking across to Brook Farm on the other side the road, as it passes through Thackthwaite Village.

Opposite is a lovely mature monkey puzzle tree one of the gardens. 

Our route now turns right, to head back to Loweswater.

The houses at Redhow taking its name (or giving its name) to the adjacent wooded summit in the fields away to the left.

An old cauldron acts as a water trough, or somewhere to wash your boots presumably !

Looking back after passing through the narrows at Latterhead.

The old barns were converted several years back and now have families living in them, adding nicely to the valley population.

Cold Keld implies the site of a cold water spring,

but the building ahead now goes by the more attractive name of Rosewell House.

Scale Hill Cottages across the valley, with Scale Hill (Brackenthwaite How) and Grasmoor behind.

We stay on the narrow road , which is also part of the Coast to Coast cycle way, Sustrans route 71 and the Lakeland cycle loop it seems.

An old farm byre seem to be receiving major renovation.

Planning permission to improve it years back was turned down, so something has changed !

Nearly at the end of today's walk as we look across at the ponds on Godferhead's farm land.

Had the visibility been better we could have seen Great Gable at the head of the valley.

As it is, we'll just have to do with Whiteless Pike, Rannerdale Knotts, Robinson, Fleetwith Haystacks and the High Stile Ridge.

The end of the walk as we return to Foulsyke House.

We gather in the garden for a Christmas Group Photo, taken remotely and kindly provided by John MacFarlane (5th from left).

For those that are counting, there are twenty one here now as Loes joined us towards the end of the walk.

Hands up who fancies a spot of lunch ?

- - - o o o - - -


Joan and her helpers have worked hard

to provide a hearty lunch of soup

accompanied by various classic Christmas delights

which we enjoyed within the warmth of the house.


As the lunch progressed

the low winter sun came out from behind the clouds

and lit up the summit of Grasmoor opposite,

much to the delight of everyone indoors.


All too soon it was time to head home.

I must put up a few more

of my own Christmas decorations.

as Christmas is fast approaching.


- - - o o o - - -

- - - o o o - - -


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

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

This site best viewed with . . . a delightful lunch after a very sociable walk.

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

Previous walk - 27th November - Crosscanonby Walk

A previous time up here - 27th February - Mockerkin Mob's Fellbarrow

Next walk - 8th December - Frosty Crummock Water


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