Date - 21st January 2009 Distance - 6 miles
Map - OL5 Start point - Swirls car park, Thirlmere (NY 315170)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Great How 1100 335 NY 3134 1877


The Walk

The weather was forecast to be dry with some sun. It was too, in Morecambe, but not in the Lakes where we had frequent hail showers with the odd flurry of snow and then some light rain later.

Uncle Eric had driven us from his house in Kendal, and he parked on the lake side car park, above Thirlmere, at Swirls. Dad was soon ready and we jumped into his rucksack and settled ourselves. Carefully crossing the main A591, we walked through Swirls car park and on to the open fellside below White Side. Across the fields we could see our ultimate objective Great How.

This delightful path undulated along passing above the tiny settlements of Thirlspot & Fisher Place, before descending to the hamlet of Stanah. Reaching the road we walked a short way along towards Legburthwaite, before crossing a field to the main A591. Then we walked right for 100 yards, before again crossing the road. Looking back there was a superb view of Castle Rock. We had climbed this with Uncle Eric almost 2 years ago.

Through a gate a signpost directed us on to a wide track through the woods.

This eventually turned right, rounding the fell and we came to a four-armed signpost. Here we went right following the track and climbing steadily. A small track signed to the summit led off right and wound its way up to reach a t-junction. Turning left we soon reached the cairned top of Great How.

"Come on Dad, take our photo", cried Shaun, as we jumped up on the cairn.

Although being only at 1100ft there were excellent views all round. East across to the Dodds, and also down to the dam on Thirlmere.

Raven Crag, which we have climbed before was in view across the lake although cloud was dusting its summit.

It was lunch time and there was a seat on the summit, but the weather today demanded more shelter, so Uncle Eric found a fallen tree trunk inside the woods to sit on. An excellent spot under the trees out of the wind, but the roof leaked when the hail came on! Before making our descent we walked to the other seat that commanded a superb view south along Thirlmere-similar to the one from Raven Crag. This would be a wonderful lunch spot in nicer weather. We descended; returned to the four-armed signpost, then headed south alongside the lake to eventually reach the car. The final part was by the Helvellyn Beck, where the waterfalls thundered down-no chance if you fell in. Good job they were well fenced off. This ended a very enjoyable walk and moved on our total of the Birkett Fells.

Uncle Eric then drove to Grasmere. Yes you've guessed, cafe time. We were happy to stay warm in the car and have the rest of our picnic, while Uncle Eric and Dad went to the Miller Howe Cafe. Tea was the order of the day and Dad also had a delicious fruit scone with butter and jam. There is a shop here that mostly sells just jigsaws. Passing it Dad noticed they had for sale the largest in the world - a massive 24000 pieces!!!


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