Date - 29th December 2013 & 1st April 2014 Distance - 5.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7 Start point - Moor Top car park (SD 3422 9651)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



The rain may have been lashing on the window, but all was well with the world, as we had steaming mugs of tea in paw, and Grizzly and Little Eric were passing round the cakes.

"What have we got today, Grizzly?", asked Shaun.

"Well I have had a day off, as Little Eric has done the baking", he replied.

Opening the tin, Little Eric said, "I have made the coconut & cherry slice, and some fruit scones."

"Lovely", exclaimed Tetley. "one of each please, if that is OK."

"Sure pal", replied Little Eric, offering the tin.

"Me too", enthused Allen, rubbing his tummy in anticipation. Then taking a bite, he closed his eyes in ecstasy and said, "mmm delicious!"

A few minutes later, Shaun picked up the iPad, and tapped away. "What are you looking at?", asked Little Eric.

"The list of walks we have done this year. The distance walked is more than 2012, and if we could fit in another before the end of the year we will have walked 300 miles."

"It would be great to get to that milestone, but the weather is so changeable, and most days it is pouring with rain", said Tetley.

"Well there are still few days to go this year, so let's see if any of them will be a half decent day, to walk", said Allen. "Go to the Met Office app and see, Shaun", he added.

It took just a few taps, and then after a few moments, Shaun looked up and said, "Friday is the only day really, but the question is will Dad be free."

"I will gladly go and see, but first we had better come up with and idea of where to walk", replied Allen.

Helpfully Tetley said, "I do recall that Dad has considered a walk from Grizedale Forest that takes in Esthwaite Water, but somehow we have never got round to it. The details will be in the walks binders."

So with Shaun and Allen's help he lifted them down and then we poured over the index. A few pages were turned over, before Grizzly suddenly called out, "is this the one, Tetley?"

"That's it, pal."

We browsed the details finding that it was originally published in 2001. Getting the map, Shaun traced the route for us. "It is completely new ground, and it looks interesting too."

"Nice to know we can find new places to walk, after all the many adventures we have had in the Lake District", remarked Grizzly.

"I think it is a great idea", enthused Little Eric.

"So do I", added Allen, as he picked up the instructions, and heading out of the door, called out, "I'll see what Dad thinks, and keep paws crossed that he is free Friday."

After he had gone, Tetley, laughing said, "you had better pour him another mug of tea, Shaun, as you know what a tea belly he is."

Not many minutes later, Allen was back. "Thanks pal" he said accepting the mug of tea. "Dad is free and is more than happy to do the walk. Like you said Tetley, he has thought about doing it on more than once occasion."

"Just great", cried Grizzly, helping himself to another piece of cake.

After we had done the walk, Dad suggested that it was one to recommend to Uncle Eric, which he did and it was repeated with Uncle Eric, when they finally got to walk together again, after Dad's lay off following his operation. This was on the 1st April 2014, and he thoroughly enjoyed it too. Our pal Southey came along today as well and he thought it was great.

The narrative below, is based on the first time we did the walk in December 2013. Dad took only a very few pictures when we went with Uncle Eric, but we have included just a couple, as well as using the one he took that day of the tarn in Grizedale Forest.


The Walk

So Friday dawned, and amongst all the stormy days with rain and wind, this was an oasis of calm and a lovely winter day. As it was not too far to drive, we did not have to set off very early, but we made sure we were ready in good time nevertheless.

As Dad headed out of Morecambe, Little Eric asked, "which way do we go?"

"Along the A590 Barrow road, turning off just before Rusland Pool, to take the road through Satterthwaite", Shaun told him.

This was very narrow and with another car we got behind a large group of cyclists, and it was only when they could stop safely that we were able to get past. Perhaps it was meant to be as just a little ahead a group of deer were attempting to cross the road, the larger of the group jumping the walls on either side. Thankfully they had done this by the time we reached that spot.

Satterthwaite is a pretty village, but very narrow and winding, so Dad took care. "It is a long time since we last walked through here", remarked Tetley. "January 2008 if my memory serves me correctly."

Soon Grizedale Forest was reached, and passing a car park, Allen said, I saw a meter, so we are going to have to pay."

"That's OK", replied Dad, "but I do not have enough change. We better make a stop at the main visitor centre, and see if I can get some by maybe buying something in the shop."

Well, as it turned out, on inquiry at the information point, he was able to pay the fee here, for Moor Top, our start point, so all was well.

It was about another mile to the car park, clearly signed at the entrance.

After Dad had parked we wasted no time in settling in his rucksack, which once ready Dad shouldered and then he strode off, towards the exit.

Approaching the road, Shaun called out, "We turn right a few yards, and then take the signed track left."

"You can tell that this side of the sign faces north, from the moss that has formed on the wood", remarked Grizzly.

"That's something else I have learned", said Little Eric. "Every day's a school day."

Beyond the gate the track stretched away before us towards the house at High Barn, with the forest away to the right.

Past the house the waymarked path, unsurprisingly muddy in places, led on descending towards a gate, with Esthwaite Water as a backdrop.

"Isn't that a lovely scene", remarked Allen. "Typical Lakeland."

After the gate the path was narrower and again muddy in places, meandering to cross a small stream and then finally down to a footbridge, which can just about be made out through the trees in the lower centre of this picture below.

The mountains formed a dark and brooding backdrop, Little Eric saying, "I think the large rounded one is Red Screes."

"Well done, that's spot on pal", agreed Tetley. "Those to the left are part of the Fairfield Horseshoe."

Crossing the footbridge, we then climbed the stile into woodland, walking through this on a path that was deep in leaves at times and to come to a few houses, some painted white and very typical of Lakeland.

Past these we came to the road, where Shaun called out, "we got left as far as Howe Farm."

As we walked Dad said, "look lads, the field boundaries are interesting here, instead of stone walls, that are comprised of slate slabs stood on end. These seem to be a feature of this part of the Lake District, although I confess I do not know why"

Coming to Howe Farm, Shaun instructed, "we go left up the access, to then just before the house go right."

This was clearly signposted and after passing through a gate, the path led over the field to the cluster of houses that is Roger Ground...

... and on out to the road, where it was right. For a narrow road we encountered quite a bit of traffic. "Odd that there is so much traffic", mused Dad.

Glancing at the map, Shaun explained, "this is because, if we had gone left, it would take us to where we are parked."

"Ah, that explains it", replied Dad.

In the direction we were walking, we soon came to the Hawkshead to Newby Bridge road. "We go right then immediately left along that track to Water Side (B&B), but before reaching the house, we take the kissing gate in fence on left, to round the house grounds and then through a gate to the shore of Esthwaite Water", Shaun advised.

It was lambing time, when we walked with Uncle Eric. In the adjacent field a ewe was naturally protective of her recently born lamb, despite there being a fence, but with a bit of perseverance, Dad finally managed to get a shot. Ahh!!

It was as we passed through the kissing gate, on the day with Uncle Eric, that our pal Southey commented, "that is a nice view towards those houses, with the sweep of the hill and woodland riding behind."

"You know, you're right", replied Dad. "It is nice to see things I missed the first time."

The path by the lake was muddy and led in a fairly short distance to the Nab, that afforded a charming view along the lake. Very peaceful with just two men fishing from a boat, and while we were standing in quiet contemplation a flight of swans skimmed over the surface.

Esthwaite Water, is one of the smaller and lesser known lakes within the National Park, privately owned, and being known for excellent fishing, particularly trout and pike. It lies between the much larger and well known lakes of Windermere to the east and Coniston Water to the west. Close to the northern extremity is the town of Hawkshead, where famously the poet William Wordsworth went to school. Our Dad tells us that whenever he and Uncle Brian drive past it, Uncle Brian always remarks that Wordsworth skated on the lake, when it was frozen obviously! Close to the southern end is Near Sawrey, where Hill Top was the home of Beatrix Potter. The lake was the home of Jeremy Fisher, in one of Beatrix Potter's stories.

"Can we walk any further along the shore?", asked Tetley.

"No", replied Shaun. "This is the limit of the public footpath, and indeed the only allowable right of way on the shore."

To avoid the muddy path by the shore, Dad climbed the bank behind the Nab. Here we took the opportunity to jump out for our picture, Dad kindly letting us sit on his map case, so we would not get wet.

He took this shot too, of the northern most reaches fringed by reeds and with the ducks a dabbling.

"OK, where now?", asked Little Eric.

"We need to reverse our route along the road to Roger Ground, taking the path on the right signed to Hawkshead Church", Shaun told him.

At first this path was narrow with more of the slate slab walls bordering the path and the fields...

but then opened out crossing over pastures, where Dad snapped this shot of a small group of sheep. "Oh heck", cried Allen. "I was beginning to think we might get away without any sheep pictures."

"Sadly no luck pal", responded Grizzly, giving him a comforting pat on the shoulder.

After a while we came to a gate on the right, that was the path to Hawkshead, from which we were afforded a beautiful view of the church. "You have got to take that picture", demanded Grizzly.

Note again the slate slab wall bordering the path.

"The view over the village to the mountains, is worth taking too", called out Little Eric. "That is the Fairfield Horseshoe, to the left and the rounded hump of Red Screes to the right."

Shaun said, "our route is not to Hawkshead, rather left along to that gate beside the woodland."

Reaching it, Tetley remarked, "the opening mechanism is unusual, with the sprung plunger, that when depressed lifts the latch!"

Beyond Dad strolled along the good path with views to Latterbarrow, rising above Hawkshead, away to the right.

"Ooh I remember our visits to that summit", remarked Allen. "the top is adorned with that magnificent monument."

This is seen below, the shot taken on 24th February 2011.

Reaching the t-junction at Walker Ground, it was left then immediately right on a grassy path, that led to a fence. "We climb left beside this", said Shaun.

On through the gate at the top, Dad took this shot of a long derelict barn, tucked in the corner of the field, with the dark conifer woodland behind.

The way now led across pasture, passing through more kissing gates, followed by a good track with a beck on the right in a deep gill which we crossed on a tractor bridge. A short climb on a rough stony path brought us to a further kissing gate, into a large pasture.

"Look, Herdwicks!", exclaimed Allen. "I know I was moaning about sheep pictures earlier, but the lovely Herdwicks are my very favourite sheep."

"Mine too", cried the rest of us. Then Shaun went on, "if they did not roam the fells, and keep the vegetation down, then we would find it much harder to get the the summits."

The field was literally full of them grazing, but Dad had a bit of difficulty getting a decent shot, but eventually he snapped this of one that we reckon had been around for a few years, judging by the horns.

The path climbed steadily reaching the top as we crossed the farm access, where we saw that more of our lovely Herdwicks were being released into the pasture. From here it was just a case of descending to the bottom left corner, where a kissing gate gave access to the road. Note again the utilisation of slate slabs.

"Do we go through the kissing gate?", asked Little Eric.

"No", replied Shaun. "We go through the gate in the wall on the left and follow the direction to Grizedale Forest, as indicated by the signpost."

Effectively we were now heading back on ourselves, climbing an indistinct and rough muddy path.

Shaun advised, "Dad we need to drift a little to the right."

"OK lad."

This then soon brought us to a stile onto a track, where Shaun instructed, "we keep ahead over the pasture."

Soon then we joined another path that wound left crossing a stream, and then on over more pasture keeping midway between the gill on the right and the forest fence to the left, to arrive at a gate into the forest.

The narrow path led through the trees, coming to a forest road, which was crossed to continue on a wide track.

After a little while, Grizzly called out, "we are coming to a junction."

With no hesitation, our guide Shaun, replied, "We take the left fork."

Again the trees pressed in on either side, but then a gap appeared on the right, where we could see a small tarn. "I'm going to deviate to see if I can get to the side for a picture", said Dad, as he dropped down the banking.

"It is a pretty tarn", remarked Allen. "Does it have a name?"

"Not according to the map", replied Shaun.

We could see people on a path on the right side, but that was not to be our route today. Instead Dad retraced to the path, where we turned right to continue, and not far along noticing a path going right, Grizzly said, "that must lead round the tarn."

This track ended at another forest road, where Shaun called out, "we go immediately left."

At the next junction, we just kept on ahead and then very shortly reached Moor Top car park, our start point.

"That was a lovely walk, thanks Dad", called out Little Eric.

"Thank you Lads, for suggesting it. It is good to have finally done it and we have explored completely new ground too".

We jumped out of the rucksack and settled in the car, while Dad got changed.

"I guess you are going for a snack and some tea?", remarked Tetley.

"Sure thing. I am going to drive up to Grasmere and see our friend Kim Dunkerley, at the Wordsworth Hotel where she works, and where I can have a snack too.

The route was along and steeply down the narrow road we had walked along at Roger Ground, then via Hawkshead and on to Ambleside, to take the main road north to Grasmere.

Arriving Allen said, "we will sit in the car, while you take Fletcher and our new pal Earl to see Kim."

Pleased to see Dad, Kim came and gave him a Christmas hug. Then she fussed Fletcher, adopted at Armathwaite Hall, where Dad first met Kim. Then our pal Earl was fussed too.

She said, "he is rather like Kiki."

Kiki is one of our hug pals too, and Kim has a Kiki too, that Dad bought for her.

After a little chat, Dad then went for a snack, having a Brie, tomato & avocado ciabatta, with a warming pot of tea.

Finally it was time to leave, Kim being busy checking some guests in and showing them to their room. So Dad waited until she returned to say a proper goodbye, with a hug and kiss.

The Lakes were very busy today and there had been lots of walkers about, which was good to see. So now it was home, with just a little delay getting through Ambleside, which we were not surprised about.


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