JEFFREY'S MOUNT, WHINASH & BRETHERDALE from ROUNDTHWAITE

 


Summary

Date - 17th February 2009 Distance - 8.5 miles
Map - OL7/OL19 Start point - Layby on Roundthwaite road (NY 611029)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Jeffrey's Mount 1240 378 NY 6040 0241
Casterfell Hill 1204 367 NY 5965 0210
Belt Howe 1339 408 NY 5881 0208
Roundthwaite Common 1427 435 NY 5827 0247
Winterscleugh 1522 464 NY 5764 0286
Whinash 1545 471 NY 5707 0371

 

The Walk

Dad has made countless journeys north on the M6, passing on the left as you exit the Lune Gorge, a hill called Jeffrey's Mount, saying often to himself, I will climb that one day. Today he was going to realise that ambition. This hill is at one end of a ridge on the north side of Borrowdale and we were to walk the length of this before returning via the valley of Bretherdale. The day was cloudy but dry apart from a few spots of rain around lunchtime, and being much milder than of late we took a picnic lunch. Picking up Uncle Eric we drove towards Tebay turning off and parking in the lay-by on the Roundthwaite road overlooking the motorway, the village of Tebay and the railway.

Uncle Eric is an expert on railways, so there was a little delay starting off as he explained the layout of the now long gone station etc at Tebay, and also watching the trains too. It was interesting and we made a note to tell the "Railway Bears" when we got home.

Strolling along the road we then took the bridleway left climbing to a gate. Once through we branched left on a cart track that ascended the fell, eventually reaching the cairn on the summit of Jeffrey's Mount, punctuated with further stops to watch the trains.

Looking southeast there was a fine view of the Lune Gorge. See how the motorway and railway sweeps through.

The map showed the track petering out half way up, but in fact not only did it continue to the summit, it then continued as a clear route over all the succeeding fells and all the way to the Breasthigh Road. So, over grassy moorland that for the most part was dry with just the odd boggy patch in the dips, the path meandered with gentle climbs and descents over the summits. We encountered some wild ponies who were totally unconcerned about us.

The flat and rather indefinite summits of Casterfell Hill, Belt Howe and Roundthwaite Common were crossed, the GPS helping pinpoint the actual tops. On the latter the summit was adorned with a triangular fenced area with a barbed wire top. There was no apparent hazard inside, so we were puzzled by what it was for.

To our chagrin there were no cairns, but finally at Winterscleugh our patience was rewarded.

It was on to the final summit of the day, Whinash, after which we descended to a track called Breasthigh Road. The ridge walk had been superb. At times there were good views into Borrowdale and to the impressive south ridge.

Allen remarked, " only Shaun and Tetley have done that".

"Yes", replied Grizzly. "He will have to do it again for us".

At the end of the ridge, we could see the A6 road at Hucks Bridge. Before the building of the M6 this was the main road to Scotland.

The Breasthigh Road is a track open to all vehicles and in consequence very churned up, making it rather hard going. We followed this down into beautiful Bretherdale with its rushing beck fed off the hills. It was here that in the distance we saw the first walkers of the day. The "road" was followed eventually to Midwath Stead, a tiny group of houses some of which were under renovation, so it seems this tiny community is growing. The road out was followed climbing up to pass Bretherdale Hall. Soon after we took the track to Bretherdale Foot and on over the fields to come to Dyke Farm, reached by a steep field ascent. Dad reached the gate before Uncle Eric and chatted to the lady of the house. When he remarked the footpath then went left, she said that it was OK to use their drive, which saved a steep climb on Pikestone Lane. They chatted a while, and Dad played throw the rubber ring for their dog Molly - she had a great time!! The road descended to Roundthwaite and then climbed up to the car at the end of a very enjoyable walk.

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