Date - 08/07/2009 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



Tetley came rushing into the room, and breathlessly called out, "I've just heard Dad talking to Uncle Eric. We are going walking tomorrow starting from Cleator Moor, so we will be getting some of those long outstanding Wainwright Outlying Fells done at last".

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


The Walk


Dad drove to Uncle Eric's, who then kindly drove us via the M6, A66 and A5086 to Cleator Moor, parking by Wath Bridge, under which runs the River Ehen.

Crossing this and walking ahead for about 180 yards, we turned right up the interestingly named Nannycatch Road. At its end and through a gate, it becomes a track. We walked on until the wall on the left turned up the fell, at which point we made a diagonal ascent up the slopes of Flat Fell to its cairned summit. The hill in the background is Dent, our next objective.

Leaving the summit we descended, a narrow track eventually materialising and winding 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. Strolled right along the valley, to take the narrow path on the right climbing steeply, eventually reaching an enormous ladder stile giving access to a forest road. Here Uncle Eric climbs the stile. It is so tall, that we wondered if in these days of Health and Safety, one needs to have taken some course or other before climbing over!

Now that the trees here have been felled 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 we now climbed towards the 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 the 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 - wonderful. We were particularly pleased to be able to see the Isle of Man, as in all his years this was the first time that Uncle Eric had seen it from Cumbria. In the wonderful prospect below, the nearest fell is Mellbreak. Behind is the bull of mighty Grasmoor with behind and left the pointed top of Hopegill Head.

Now followed an easy descent over fell and through forest to the road at Black How, where turning right it was about a mile to the start at Wath Bridge.


Well that was two done. All that remained today was to ascend Cold Fell. 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. 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 . 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 - recently put there according to the farmer, who had said that suddenly there seems to be a lot more walkers climbing it. Here we are by the cairn.

The top has little to recommend it other than the view! . Returned to the car by the same route.

Thanks Dad!!


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