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" Mockerkin Mob - Heughscar Hill "

Date & start time:       26th November 2023.   9.30 am start.

Location of Start :      Just up from the Church, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 474 244).

Places visited :           Roehead, The Cockpit, the Cop Stone, Heughscar Hill, Roman Road.

Walk details :              7 miles, 850 ft of ascent, 3 hours 25 mins.

Highest point :           Heughscar Hill. 276 ft - 85m above sea level.

Walked with :              Loes, Peter, Lois S and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Overcast but clear. A hat and gloves day.



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


The Mob are out again, not in great force but today's crew "make a happy bunch of Brothers" nevertheless. (Shakespeare (Henry V) and Peter). 

Four of us head out for Pooley Bridge to walk on the extensive moorland of Askham Fell, visit the antiquities there

and scale the summit of Heughscar Hill at a gentle 276 ft above sea level.

Parking on the roadside just outside the village (the advantage of one car).
A photo of three quarters of the group.

The walk gradually climbs up out of the village, where we look out on fields on the southern side of Ullswater and the River Eamont.

We're heading out for an extensive rather than intensive walk around the interesting moorlands of Askham Fell.

Views to our right as we climb the hill expands to include Ullswater (previous) and now Dunmallard Hill and Pooley Bridge.

The creation of the Ullswater Way in recent years has resulted in some new direction posts.

We bear right, signposted Howtown, but in fact just heading for The Cockpit stone circle on the flat ground ahead.

The ancient stone circle lies quite low on the ground.

It seems to have aquired a modern name, perhaps associated with the middle ages, but in fact has much older history.

Dougal has found something else to investigate, as we stop to look around and appreciate the stones.

Behind us two mountain bikes have come down the Roman Road and are heading off towards distant Askham Village.

The long distant views west from here include Helvellyn, Great Mell Fell and Blencathra.

The track is part of the old Roman Road but it branches off close to the stone circle and the fell track we see is the one heading off towards Howtown.

[ The little red coated spaniel belongs to a guy who had stopped for a coffee break and was already at the stones when we arrived.]

In the far distance we could see a rock on the horizon that Peter had planned to visit.

So we set off across one of the myriad of moorland tracks across the area, shown on the map as Moor Divock.

The area is pot marked with sink holes formed as a result of weathering of the underlying limestone rock.

Gradually the standing stone / rock/ glacial erratic (*pick one to suit) grew larger as we approached

From its proximity we were able to look south east into Heltondale, to Bampton,

over towards Sedbergh and then onward to the southern Howgills.

- - - o o o - - -


The history of the Cop Stone is not specifically known

but Peter suggested it might have been a meeting place

or way marker on the tracks over the moors.


Having reached our goal we turned and re-traced our steps,

this time heading off on a direct route to Heughscar Hill.


Along the way this pair of stones and a small stone circle

a hundred yards away from here seemed to be aligned so well

with the summit that we suggest it may not be a coincidence.


- - - - o o o - - -

Peter stands by the small stone circle which is identified on the map as a "Cairn Circle".

For us it would be a suitable place to stop for a morning coffee as we've been walking a while,

the stones were a suitable height and we also had some of Karen's famous flap jack burning a hole in Peter's rucksack.

Drone photos nowadays are all the rage in outdoor photography . . . but how about this elevated panorama taken from the top of the highest stone.

Who needs a noisy helicopter device !

- - - o o o - - -


Time to move on and ahead we look towards Cross fell and the Pennine Hills.

Peter was either searching for Dufton Pike or the best route across the slightly marshy ground.

The map shows sink holes, quarries and cairns and the ground reflects that, having many irregular bumps and hollows along the way.

Panic not, the path through it remained good and any wet patches were firm due to the overnight frosts.

Did I tell you it was cold ?

Plenty of space up here on the moorland . . . you could say "mushroom" to move around.

Another turn on our circular tour of the high ground.

We cross this well defined path and head on via the upper path towards Heughscar Hill summit.

The track we cross is from Pooley Bridge to Askham and forms part of the Ullswater Way.

It also shares the route with the Askham Fell Loop (wherever that takes you?).

Looking west as we walk towards the summit.

The high fells opposite are Lonscale and Loadpot Hill, which then lead on to High Street in the distance

Near the summit the path turns more northerly.

Two fellow walkers sit on the rocks that form the start of the small, north west facing Heughscar escarpment.

We divert away from the edge a hundred yards or so in order to pass the summit cairn.

The hills in the distance are the Pennines once again

and the smoke is from a factory at Penrith rather than the usual one at Kirkby Thore.

The map doesn't make a feature of it, but there's a small but well formed limestone pavement  just along from the top.

Someone's been bailing bracken for some reason, in fact when you look around quite a lot of the fell has been cleared.

The most likely culprit is the Cumbrian company that's making garden compost out of bracken and wool.

At last. someone has found a use for that ubiquitous weed !

Clearing it in this way will help better expose the grass for grazing and hopefully make money from an otherwise value-less commodity.

We follow the footsteps of the Romans as we join the old 'High Street' Roman Road that runs below the escarpment.

It starts at the roman fort of Brocavvm next to Broughton Castle and crosses the high ground via Troutbeck

to the Galava Roman Fort at Ambleside.

We've come full circle and once again we pass the stone seat at the head of the track to Pooley Bridge.

This time there are folk sitting on it and at quarter past twelve, probably enjoying an early lunch with a view.

We head on down the track, caring not for the sandwiches in our packs.

It seems a bit to early to eat and we suddenly have a better idea . . .

It's been a cool day, as witnessed by the ground frost and ice

so something warm and spicy from the Sun Inn at Pooley Bridge will do just nicely, thank you very much.

The sandwiches will no doubt keep till tomorrow.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.

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

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Previous walk - 25th Nov 2023 - Siddick Ponds Murmuration

A previous time up here - 10th / 12th April - Easter with Cathy and Mark

Next walk - 29th Nov 2023 - Dale Head and a Coffee

- - - o o o - - -

Talking of keeping things fresh, I've chang ed the dates and inserted new pictures to make 2024 another memorable calendar year.


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- - - o o o - - -

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- - - o o o - - -

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