from SELSIDE BECK car park



Date - 15th March 2012 Distance - 4.25 miles
Ascent -
Map -OL6
Start point - Car park by Selside Beck (NY 296909)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Brock Barrow 751 229 SD 2981 8981
Low Light Haw 820 250 SD 3015 9008
High Light Haw 860 263 SD 3033 9047



Little Eric and Shaun trotted in to find Allen tapping away on Dad's laptop, while Grizzly & Tetley, were pawing through a walk book.

"We bring tea", called out Little Eric.

"Great", replied Allen, abandoning the computer to get the mugs.

Then all settled with steaming mugs and biscuits, Shaun said, "what were you looking at?"

"Well", said Allen, "Dad says we are to walk tomorrow, but has left it up the us to decide what to do."

"We want to go to the Lakes, but on checking the weather, Allen reckons there will be heavy low cloud, so it does not seem worth going up high", went on Grizzly.

"We have thought about advancing your Outlyers, Little Eric, as this is the best chance you will have of completing a Wainwright challenge", went on Tetley.

"How kind and considerate of you all", replied Little Eric. "Dad already repeated about 100 of the 214 Wainwright fells so that you all could complete that challenge, which was quite enough, so I cannot expect him to now repeat a further 110 for me. So which Outlyer ones are you suggesting we do tomorrow?"

"We have come up with the idea of climbing those on the east side of Coniston Water, namely Brock Barrow, Low and High Light Haw", replied Grizzly. "They lead on to Top o'Selside, but we have all, you included, done that", he went on.

"That sounds just great and it will take my tally to 61, leaving just 43 to go", enthused Little Eric.

"We need to get Dad's approval", said Allen, draining his mug and strolling out of the room.

"Pour him another mug, for when he gets back", said Tetley. "You know what a tea belly he is!"

He was not long and his smiling face told us that Dad had agreed.


The Walk

The weather forecast Allen had seen was quite correct, and whilst the day stayed dry there was indeed low cloud covering the higher fells.

We took the route, as if we were going over to Eskdale, but at Lowick, took the right fork towards Coniston, then turning right to the tiny community of Nibthwaite, where we turned north on the east side of the Coniston Water, to park in the small area by Selside Beck.

"There appears to be a path from here beyond that barrier at the rear", remarked Shaun. "I guess it must climb up to the track on the ridge along which we will return, so if we can find it at the top, we can make this a truly circular walk."

"That's a good idea, lad, so you must all keep a look out later", replied Dad.

"So what is our outwards route from here?", asked Little Eric.

Shaun was quick to reply. "Walk back along the road to Nibthwaite, and there go along the short narrow lane and on through the gate at the end."

In the wall on the left, can be seen the red painted wall post box. Little Eric who is interested in these said, "it has been were for well over 100 years, as it was installed during the reign of Queen Victoria."

Beyond the gate there were paths left and right. Looking at the map, Allen said, "that to the left will be our return route, if we fail to find the path down to the car park."

Dad strode out on the path to the right that climbed steadily by the wall.

"That's Brock Barrow, our first objective dominating the view ahead", remarked Tetley.

"There will be a junction soon", called out Shaun. "This path will continue ahead, to where the old path used go up the fell, but this is now choked with gorse. So instead we need to go left and make the ascent from that side."

The narrow path left climbed to level out by an old plantation with a ruined wall. "We should go right", said Shaun, "but there is no apparent path."

So Dad just climbed the rough ground over a brow, where he then found the clear path, that would lead to the summit.

Looking ahead, to a rock outcrop, Grizzly pointed, "that sheep is standing guard, like a sentinel."

Our way was past this outcrop, and as we approached the sheep naturally moved off. It was nevertheless a good vantage point, and Allen said, "that will make a good shot down over Nibthwaite and the southern reaches of Coniston Water."

Despite its modest height Brock Barrow's summit is marked by a well constructed tall cairn, not dissimilar to the stone pillar on Bonscale Pike, above Ullswater. Grizzly told us, "Wainwright's original book on the Outlying Fells, refers to this as an unnamed summit. However subsequent to this it became named on the OS maps, and is included as a named summit in the second edition revised by Chris Jesty and published in 2011. The name means 'the hill frequented by badgers'."

"Right" called out Allen, unfurling the rope he carries on his rucksack, "I'll shin up to the top and secure the rope so that it will be easy for Little Eric to make the climb."

"Thanks pal", replied Little Eric with relief.

And, here we are.

"The last time we were up here was with Uncle Eric in 2006 on a gloriously clear day", said Tetley. "There is a truly magnificent view of the whole of Coniston Water, backed by the Coniston Fells. What a shame you cannot see it today, Little Eric."

"Never mind", he replied, "I will just have to look at the photo Dad took then."

Coniston Water stretches away, with above left, Coniston Old Man, Swirl How, Black Sails & Wetherlam

Tetley then said, "I recall it was actually taken from the lower cairn, by the ruin about 100 yards further ahead, which is on our route."

Having descended the narrow trod from the second cairn, this continued right to soon reach our next objective Low Light Haw.

"Ooh good", cried Little Eric, "another big cairn for us to sit on for our picture."

"There's the final summit High Light Haw", pointed Shaun.

So safely tucked in Dad's rucksack again, he headed down and then up again to High Light Haw.

"A cairn here too", enthused Little Eric.

"It is not actually the highest point pal", advised Tetley. "That is about 50 yards further on, unmarked amongst the heather and moss."

"I'll make sure we visit that point", said Dad, "but if you hop out I'll take your picture at the cairn to show that Little Eric has now bagged the summit."

Descending from here, Dad got us on to the main path that we followed in the direction of Top o'Selside.

"We should soon see the track from High Parkamoor, which we need to take", called out Shaun.

This indeed came into view, and we crossed to this, to then walk left.

Not before however, as we had made our way down, we passed a blackfaced sheep sitting by the path. He was totally unfazed by us and sat contentedly while Dad snapped off a shot.

"Darn", huffed Allen. "we had been doing so well, not seeing many sheep today, and I was hopeful of getting a sheep picture free story"

"Well", said Tetley, "as it is Dad's fingers that dance over the keys, writing our story, we really cannot object to including this picture."

The track was wide and stony, running straight and level for a stretch beside a substantial wall, before dropping down, eventually to lead all the way to Nibthwaite.

We were now looking for the path down to the car park, so we kept our eyes peeled.

Suddenly Shaun called out, "look the beck crosses the track here, and according to the map it is Selside Beck, which passes by the car park."

"Look", called out Grizzly. "There's a kissing gate on the right, so that must be the way down."

"Right", said Dad, "let's go", as he went through the gate.

At first we began to think that we had made a mistake, as the path went in completely the opposite direction. However soon it described a circle, leading unerringly to the car park.

"Time for refreshment now Dad?" said Tetley. "I know where you will be going too, Jane & Sam's at Low Newton."

"That's right lad, and I will take you all in too."

"Ooh great", cried Little Eric.

Here he had the lovely piping hot vegetable soup with crusty bread. Of course he had a pudding, apple apricot and chocolate crumble with cream. This was absolutely gorgeous! Dad chatted to them and there was some of the usual banter.

Although only a short walk it had been nevertheless enjoyable and our pal Little Eric has ticked off another three outlying fells.


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