Date - 23rd January 2011 Distance - 4.25 miles
Ascent -
1460 ft
Map - OL4 Start point - Layby on Orthwaite road (NY 236 310)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Cockup 1657 505 NY 2590 3143



Allen and Tetley were huddled over the laptop as Shaun with Little Eric and Grizzly came into the room.

"What are you looking at pals?", asked Little Eric.

"The pictures Dad took on the walk from Clapham with Uncle Eric last Wednesday", replied Tetley. "Despite it being misty on the first section to Austwick there are enough for us to write a story."

Looking up Allen said, "Ooh you bring tea, Shaun. Great I'm gasping for a cuppa", as he went and got the mugs.

Meanwhile Grizzly had taken the lid off the biscuit tin.

Tetley said, "I'll lend a paw to fill the mugs, pal."

"Thanks", said Shaun.

These passed round and biscuits selected, our thoughts turned to walking.

"I wonder if Dad will take us out on Sunday?", mused Grizzly. "It would be nice to go to the Lakes too."

Allen tapped a few keys and said, "the forecast is for a bright day with sunny periods and light winds."

"So", said Shaun, "we need to come up with and idea to take to Dad."

"Getting on with the Birketts, would be best", replied Little Eric. "This is the main focus for the rest of you this year."

Allen had navigated to the outstanding list, saying, "there are some challenging walks to come but perhaps best to leave until later in the year."

We scanned down Shaun saying, "how about we do Cockup. With less than 30 summits to climb, it is inevitable that some of the walks will involve just one summit, and this will be the case here."

"They have all got to be done and while it will be a long drive, there will be plenty of time for the walk", went on Tetley.

"Ok", said Allen draining his mug. "I'll see what Dad thinks." Then as he trotted out of the door he called out, "please can you refill my mug, pal."

"That will be his third", remarked Little Eric. "Such a tea belly, just like Dad."

Allen soon returned and he had an excited look on his face. "Thanks pal", he said to Shaun, accepting the steaming mug. "Dad agrees with our idea. He says it will take less than three hours. So, the second part of our day will be a complete contrast. He is going to have a snack at Armathwaite Hall, and we will get to go in too."

"Wonderful", cheered Tetley. "That is Dad and Uncle Brian's luxury hotel. We have never been there, although Fletcher has told us all about it and indeed written stories for our website."

"What a super day we have in prospect", went on Shaun. "Roll on Sunday."


The Walk

We were up and ready quite early to ensure we did not delay Dad.

The route we took was up the M6 passing the Howgill Fells, Little Eric remarking, "I have 9 left now to complete the challenge, after our two recent walks."

"Yes the second involved lots of walking in snow", said Allen. "A real winter adventure."

At Penrith we took the ever so familiar A66 west, and soon the mighty bulk of Blencathra came into view. "From this approach the saddle between Hallsfell and Atkinson Pike, is clearly defined, giving the mountain its nickname 'Saddleback'", commented Grizzly.

At the roundabout we took the A591 passing under the slopes of Dodd and Ullock Pike. Shaun said, "shortly we take the narrow road right that goes to Orthwaite. Our start is from the road, at the first layby, about a quarter mile from the junction."

Tetley commented, "normally we have gone further to the layby at Peter House Farm."

"Yes" replied Shaun. "For ascents to Great Calva, and Sale How and Hare Crag for example."

As forecast the day was bright with a few sunny intervals and little wind, even on the summit.

Dad got ready, while we settled in the rucksack.

Dad shouldered this, Shaun pointing a few yards ahead, "we go through that gate and along the bridleway."

Just through the gate this clear sign indicated where the route led.

"That's Ullock Pike rearing up", pointed Allen. "It was one of the summits I had to climb last year on my quest to complete the Wainwright challenge. We did the walk with Uncle Eric. We also summited Watches, Long Side, Carl Side and Dodd."

"It is a long steep ascent up The Edge to the summit", recalled Grizzly.

Shortly we reached a junction. Shaun said, "we keep ahead, and ignore the path right. That leads across the fields and through those walls to Watches the lowest dark area below Ullock Pike. This overshadows Barkbethdale, with the steep craggy slopes of Broad End on to its left side. The Ordnance Survey map actually calls this part of the fell White Horse."

Crossing the fields, we soon reached Barkbeth Farm, where the path is now diverted to the right of the buildings. Beyond it led left above Barkbeth Gill to descend to Hole House.

"We cut back right to the footbridge over the rushing Barkbeth Gill", instructed Shaun.

"What a pretty sight", called out Little Eric. "Worth a picture Dad."

The path led to a gate, and on by the fence on the right, through more gates to cross Mill Beck. Then rounding the sharp left and right turns the track led to a t-junction with another bridleway.

"We are at the road again. Why did we not start from here?", said Little Eric.

"Because there is no where to park", replied Allen.

"OK we go right to start the ascent of Cockup, that is clearly in front", pointed Shaun. "We have about 1000 feet of climb."

After an initial muddy section along a track, the pathless way is then over pastures, with an unrelenting and steep ascent to reach the gate in the distant cross wall. Through this we were then on access land, and with no slackening of the gradient, a track continued ahead, trending left.

Seeing a narrow path going left, Shaun said, "that is the route to the summit."

Still as steeply as ever this led to the cairn on the flat summit.

What can we see over there?", pointed Little Eric.

After weighing it up and looking at the map Shaun said, "the nearest ridge is White Hause and Little Calva. Then the pointed summit more distantly left is Knott."

"That was my last Wainwright", called out Grizzly. "A momentous day for me."

"Picture time", called out Allen, "come on pals let's sit at the cairn."

Tetley commented. "despite the modest 1657ft height, this fell is no push over"

"Quite" agreed Dad, "steep and unrelenting climb. Reminds me of Lonscale Fell."

There were fine views across the Solway to Scotland. Also of Binsey, Lord's Seat, Broom Fell and Sale Fell above Bassenthwaite Lake, which we enjoyed while having a snack and drink.

"So where now?", asked Little Eric.

"It was not possible to make this into a circular walk, so we just return by the outward route", replied Shaun.

"At least it is all downhill", cheered Tetley.

So back at the car, that was the walking done for the day.

"Right Armathwaite Hall here we come", cheered Grizzly.

Returning to the A591, it was right to the Castle Inn, where we turned left, the road arrow straight to entrance. Through the gateway Dad drove slowly along the wooded drive, to the car park.

"Wow", called out Allen. "The building is just like Fletcher described."

"Come on Lads let's go and sit in the lounge."

"Ok", replied Tetley, as we followed him in.

The lounge is sumptuous, and we sat together on a comfortable chair, just taking in the relaxing atmosphere. Grizzly said, "I can see why you and Uncle Brian love to come here."

Dad was recognised by a number of the staff, who made a fuss, enquiring too, where is Uncle Brian. Dad explained that he was here after a walk.

His order was taken and he enjoyed a lovely cheese savoury bloomer and his favourite Assam 2nd flush tea.

Afterwards, Little Eric asked, "can we see the room that you always stay in?"

"No lad, as it is probably occupied by other guests, but I will show you the way to it up the stairs."

Halfway we sat and posed below the window.

"Can and see some of the grounds?, asked Shaun.

"Yes, sure, come on."

Scampering round we ran out onto the lawns to view the hotel. "Oh wow", called out Grizzly.

Then turning round, Tetley said, "what a superb view to Bassenthwaite Lake. The pointed fell is Catbells with the ridge right rising to Maiden Moor. The nearer fell on the right is Barf."

"This is the view you and Uncle Brian have from the room. I can see why you always have room 131", said Allen.

Walking across to the far side of the lawns, Dad pointed, "that is a yew tree, and according to the gardener is one of the oldest in Cumbria. Possibly 600 years old."

Then taking us right, Dad pointed to this line of trees. "They are lime trees and there are 21. The gardener told me that they were planted by a previous owner to mark the occasion of his son's 21 birthday."

"Thank you Dad for the interesting information", said Little Eric.

Tetley then said, "To round off our visit will you take our picture in the grounds."

"How lucky our pals are to come here for their holidays", said Allen.

We should mention that our pals and notably Fletcher have written a number of stories of their visits. You can find them from the home page by clicking the link 'Other Hug Tales'.

Setting off for home, Dad said, "I want to do some reconnaissance for the next Lake District walk. We have just two other fells to climb in the Northern Area as defined by Bill Birkett, and the plan is to start from the end of the narrow road in the Mosedale valley between Bowscale Fell and Carrock Fell."

"We have never been along there before", said Grizzly.

"That's right", replied Dad. "I need to see if there is space to park."

As we arrived Allen called out, "yes there are spaces."

"Great", cheered Shaun. "Weather permitting we can get these ticked off next weekend."

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

In fact the walk was deferred, as Uncle Bob rang to see we could walk together in the Yorkshire Dales. Super, as it is ages since we saw Uncle Bob!


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