Date - 8th July 2009 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent - 1580ft
Map - OL4
Start point Wath Bridge-Flat Fell/Dent (NY 031144) Coldfell Gate-Cold Fell (NY 055101)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Flat Fell 892 272 NY 0525 1371
Dent 1155 352 NY 0415 1289
Cold Fell 955 293 NY 0581 0920



All was well. Mugs of tea in paw and plenty of biscuits.

"I think Yorkies are one of most favourites", said Allen, as he took another.

"So I can see", said Little Eric. "That I think is your third. I can see Grizzly and I will have to stock up soon."

Shaun had refilled his mug, then said, "does yours need topping up, Allen?"

"Yes please pal."

All was peaceful, until the whirlwind that was Tetley, came bursting into the room, calling out breathlessly, "I've just heard Dad talking to Uncle Eric. We are going walking tomorrow starting from Cleator Moor, to finally climbed three of the long outstanding Wainwright Outlying Fells."

"Which ones?", asked Grizzly.

"Flat Fell, Dent and Cold Fell", replied Tetley.

"They are about as far away from home as is possible", said Allen.

"Magic, replied Shaun. "That will mean that Dad you and I will only have two left to complete that challenge.

Then he said, "here's your tea, Tetley. Oh and you better dig into the biscuit tin before Allen scoffs them all."


The Walk


It was a quite early start as there was a long drive ahead of us. The plan was first to drive to Uncle Eric's, where we decamped to his car.

"Hi Uncle Eric", said Grizzly. "Nice to see you. Thank you for offering to drive us the rest of the way."

"You're welcome lads. Nice to see you too. It will be good to finally get these tops done."

The route was to and then north on the M6 to leave at junction 40 and take the A66 west as far as Cockermouth. At the large roundabout by the Herdwick Wool Centre, we took the A5086 to Cleator Moor, turning off to park by Wath Bridge, under which runs the River Ehen.

Having got his boots on, Dad was ready, so we settled into the rucksack, Shaun issuing instructions. "Cross the bridge then after about 180 yards, turn right along the interestingly named Nannycatch Road."

Almost immediately a hill rose up left. "Is that Flat Fell?", asked Little Eric.

"No lad. It is actually Kinniside Cop, that is private land", replied Allen.

Nannycatch Road ended at a gate, where beyond we continued along a track. "We have to walk on until the wall on the left turns up the fell, at which point we can make a diagonal ascent up the slopes of Flat Fell to its cairned summit", advised Shaun.

"I have been thinking about the name, and wonder if it is due to the unusually broad, level top.", mused Allen.

"You are right pal", replied Grizzly. "That is the conclusion Diana Whaley came to."

"One down", cheered Tetley. "Come on pals let's sit by the cairn."

The hill in the background is Dent, our next objective.

Leaving the summit, Shaun said, "we have to descend in a direction just a little east of south."

A narrow track eventually materialised and wound steeply down through bracken to Nannycatch Gate, seen here below with Raven Crag dominating over it.

Passing through the gate, we were in the heart of the beautiful Nannycatch Valley, which you can see is idyllic with its green brackened slopes either side and forest above.

Strolling right along the valley, Shaun said, "we are looking for a narrow path on the right that climbs steeply."

Keeping our eyes peeled, it was not long before, Grizzly called out, "there it is."

Eventually the path led to this enormous ladder stile, giving access to a forest road.

Here Uncle Eric climbs the stile.

Little Eric laughed, "it is so tall, I wonder if in these days of Health and Safety, one needs to have taken some course or other before climbing over!"

Areas of the forest had been felled, so the signpost directing walkers doing the long distance Coast to Coast path stands out. This route was devised by Alfred Wainwright and crosses England west to east from St Bees Head to Robin Hoods Bay.

Taking the path as directed, to the right, we now climbed on to the summit of Dent marked with a small cairn.

As we scrambled out, Tetley called out, "come on Dad take our photo especially as it is the 100th Outlying Fell summit for Shaun, you and I!"


We marvelled at the view, all along the Solway Firth with many Scottish Hills beyond, the Isle of Man across the Irish Sea, and of course extensive views of our beloved Lakeland Fells. "Breathtaking", said Grizzly.

"This is the first time in all my years that I have seen Isle of Man from Cumbria", said Uncle Eric

Our thoughts were with Aunt Tish and Uncle Eddie, who come from there.

"Truly magnificent to the fells", called out Allen. "The nearest fell is Mellbreak. Behind is the bulk of mighty Grasmoor with to its right behind the top of Crag Fell. On the left is the pointed top of Hopegill Head."

Strolling on an easy descent followed across the fell and joining a forest road to walk through Blackhow Wood to the road at Black How, where turning right it was about a mile to the start at Wath Bridge.


"Right that's two done", cheered Tetley. "Just Cold Fell to summit."

This is some miles away and involved driving to what Wainwright described as Coldfell Gate. Yes, once there was a gate across the road but it has long been replaced by a cattle grid, that was very noisy as the traffic sped across.

As we started off a farmer in his tractor stopped to talk. He explained that in fact he owned the very fell we were to climb having been bought by his grandfather in 1957. It was then part of a large estate, and was being sold to pay death duties. He actually told us that it is of no value, just ownership on a Deed of Title. At the time he was grazing his cows with calves and sheep on it .

Setting off we took a line to avoid disturbing the cows and calves. It was about a 0.6m of steady climb to the flat top with a tiny two stone cairn.

The farmer had said, "the cairn has recently been put there. Suddenly there seems to be a lot more walkers climbing it."

Grizzly said, "the name derives from the Old Norse kaldr meaning 'cold'. This is appropriate given the exposed location."

The top has little to recommend it other than the view, and here we include this of the Isle of Man on the horizon.

"Just a case of returning by the same route", said Shaun

"I very much doubt we will come here again", said Tetley. "But finally it is ticked off by us all."

Our thanks go to Uncle Eric, for driving us there and back, and of course to Dad for taking on yet another adventure.


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