Date - 24th January 2015 Distance - 7 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7 Start point - Ings (SD 4446 9876)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Shaun, with Little Eric riding on his back, and Grizzly, arrived to find Southey and Tetley huddled over the laptop, as Allen tapped away with his paw.

"What are you on with?", asked Grizzly.

"We are looking at the pictures Dad took on the last walk from Hest Bank, to see if there are enough to make a story", replied Tetley.

"Despite it being cloudy and very grey for the first part, the shots have come out OK and are quite atmospheric and representative of the day", went on Southey. "There are some nice ones along the canal which will illustrate that part well too."

Glancing up, Allen said, "ooh you bring tea and cakes. Just what I need. I'm.."

"Gasping for a cuppa", interjected Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter. "I know I keep saying it, but you really do take after Dad in this respect!"

"What's the cake?", said Southey.

"Well I have made mincemeat slice", replied Little Eric, "while Grizzly has done an orange cake."

"I thought I would make something different", said Grizzly. "I have tried my best, but I do not think that it will be as good as the cakes that Dad gets from Eileen, at Newby Head. Her cakes are truly to die for and it is no wonder that Dad calls where she lives Cake Heaven!"

Allen and Tetley had got the mugs that they helped Shaun fill these, while Grizzly passed round the cakes.

"Mmm", said Southey, "the orange cake is delicious. I think Eileen would be proud of you, Grizzly."

"Thanks pal, I appreciate that."

So all content our thoughts then turned to considering our next walk, Shaun saying, "with Dad not being at the Lifeboat Shop at present, there is a choice of days at the weekend. What is the prospect for this one coming?"

Little Eric put his plate down and got the iPad, and after a few taps said, "looks good for Saturday, and Dad has nothing else in the diary."

Have you got any ideas, Shaun?", asked Allen.

"Well I have been looking in the folders of walks and have found one that Dad did a long time ago, again long before we were adopted. We have done some parts when we climbed Sour Hows and Sallows, but then we started from the end of Browfoot Lane, but this starts in Ings, taking in the area known as Hugill."

"Sounds good", agreed Tetley, "and there should be some nice views, up to the fells. Let's see what Dad thinks."

"Yes please", called out Southey, "It will be yet another new area for me."

"If you give me the sheet , I will go and ask", said Allen as he drained his mug.

"Here you are", said Shaun, "and I will refill your mug for when you get back."

"Thanks, "called out Allen as he dashed out of the door.

Just a few minutes later he was back. "Dad is very happy to do the walk. When he did it is 1989, it was with his sister Elaine. Saturday would have been her 75th birthday, so it will be rather poignant."


The Walk

As Ings is not a long drive Dad had said that we would not be setting off until about 09:30, so unlike many of our walks in the past, we did not have to be up at the crack of dawn.

As we heard Dad finally slam the boot shut, it was time to get settled in the car. Trotting out through the kitchen, we said our goodbyes to Uncle Brian and Gladly, who were busy doing the Daily Telegraph crossword.

"Enjoy, and behave yourselves", replied Gladly.

"We always do", responded Allen.

Taking the M6 to junction 36 it was then along the road bypassing Kendal and so on towards Windermere. The plan was to use the large car park by what was once the Little Chef, but to our surprise it was all boarded off. The cafe had had a number of owners, but had been closed for a long time, and it looked like houses were going to be built here now.

"Oh heck", exclaimed Little Eric.

"It will not be a problem", replied Dad. "There is a layby at the other end of the village."

This was full too, so Dad then said, "we'll park, on the lane that leads to the Crook road."

Dad quickly got ready and with us settled in the rucksack, off we went.

Shaun instructed, "it is across the main road and then up Grassgarth Lane that as can be seen is a cul-de-sac."

This climbed steadily past houses. At a gateway there was a seat that commemorates the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. "We could have our picture taken here", suggested Grizzly.

"Yes, but we plan, for Southey's sake to climb to the Williamson Memorial on High Knott, which is a Wainwright Outlyer", responded Tetley.

So the decision was to stay firmly in the rucksack, for now at least.

"Our route is a bridleway off to the right, further up the hill, which we then follow to its end joining a metalled road, by Hugill Hall", said Shaun.

This was clearly signed, and climbed steadily. Grassy initially it was soon rough and stony.

Nearing the road, Little Eric called out, "what are those sheep?"

"Jacob sheep", replied Allen. "They are distinctive for their colour and large horns when older."

"Lovely, but Herdwicks are still my favourite", added Tetley.

Just a few yards further were this group of geese too.

Reaching the road, Shaun instructed, "it's left."

This took us past Heights that was once the home of Thomas Williamson who is commemorated by the fine cairn on the top of High Knott that he used to climb it every day before breakfast.

The cairn, built by the Rev. T. Williamson, his son, incorporates a tablet, inscribed as follows:

In Memory of
of Heights, in Hugill, Gent.
who died Feb. 13th 1797
Aged 66 years
Erected 1803

Shaun was reading the Outlying Fells book, and said, "the narrative defines the route to the top, as on along the lane to a corner, where take the gate on the right and up to an awkward stile in a wall corner, where once over it is just the matter of climbing to the cairn."

"That's right", agreed Tetley, "but if I remember correctly the awkward stile has now been blocked up, so there is no way to get over the wall. We had to walk along by it pass through a cross wall, and then climb left to a gate and gain access to the top."

"So then, from here the best way seems to be through the gate opposite the barn into that field and then though the gate at the top", said Dad.

Now we should point out that all this land belongs to Heights, and is actually private, and is not access land as defined by the recent CRoW (Countryside Rights of Way Act). Nevertheless Dad set off, only to hear as he got just a little way beyond the gate, the farmer call out, "you can't go that way."

Dad immediately turned back and went to the barn to see him. He made it plain that it is private land, despite it being included in Wainwright's book. We did detect some sympathy with Dad, but he pointed out that some walkers leave the gates open and so his sheep stray. To quote him, "a case of the few spoiling it for the majority." I think he felt that Dad was a responsible walker, but he said, "I really cannot make an exception." Well we fully understood, and we have all been up there before, except Southey, who is not doing the challenge anyway. Dad admitted this to the farmer, who we reckon had probably guessed this.

Here we are, on 5th April 2009, at the cairn.

So now Dad strode on along the lane, where after a while we came to a stile on the right. "We climb this and walk across the field to another stile", was Shaun's instruction.

Beyond this there was this magnificent view of the one side of the Kentmere Horseshoe, "What can I see?", asked Southey.

Little Eric jumped in quickly saying, "from the back is Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts. You climbed the last two with us in September."

"Oh yes I remember now. We started from Sadgill in Longsleddale", replied Southey.

Looking more to the left, Allen then said, "that is Sallows, with Yoke behind and distantly on the right, Mardale Ill Bell, dropping right to Nan Bield Pass.

"Mardale Ill Bell is one I still have to climb", said Little Eric.

"Well lad, when the weather gets warmer I intend to take you there and do the other three summits, so that you will have completed Wainwright Book 2 Far Eastern Fells", replied Dad.

"Thank you."

Continuing the path led on through a gateless gap, giving a further view of the fells and now the Kentmere Valley. "Beautiful", breathed Southey.

Strolling on the clear path led down to the road near Browfoot Farm. "We go right", advised Shaun.

"This is the road we drove along to its end at the bridleway, when we climbed Sour Hows and Sallows in February 2013", said Tetley.

"Really is it that long ago", said Dad in amazement. "Time really does fly by."

"The path is diverted round the farm", said Shaun, pointing to the sign, and in the field we could see that it crossed a tiny bridge then climbed the slope beyond.

Just here we meet a lady cyclist who seeing us commented, "I see you have your guardian angels."

"Yes, my faithful companions", I replied.

Over the hill it was right by a fence and through a gate, then crossing the field to a gate onto a lane by the River Kent, which was followed to Ullthwaite Bridge.

"We go left not right", said Shaun.

"I know lad, but I want to get a picture of the river looking upstream", said Dad.

"Brr, it looks cold", said Grizzly, with a shiver.

Along the lane as instructed by Shaun, we soon passed the substantial building of Croft Head. Once a farm, the barns are now converted to dwellings.

Just past this, a three-armed signpost was reached. "OK, we go straight on", said Shaun.

The clear and at times rough track was then followed, as it climbed and meandered. First it was walled on both sides but soon after a gate it became open, and then passing through two more gates, we came to this old stone Bothy.

"What was it's function?", asked Southey.

"I guess it would have been used long ago by shepherds to sleep in, when looking after the sheep on the fellside", replied Tetley.

It stood above Black Beck, running down in a series of tiny falls, which Dad forded by stepping stones.

Shortly the track passed through another gate, then over a brow, to climb to yet another distant gate.

"Wow", called out Grizzly, "that is a superb view of Sallows."

"The instructions now state we will ford another stream on stepping stones by a large tree", read out Shaun.

"Glancing at the map", Allen went on, "this is one of the streams that join and feed in to Park Beck."

Soon the path came near to the beck and we followed by it. Ahead was a wall and a gate. "We descended to that gate from Sallows", said Grizzly.

"The main path beyond the gate goes to the right by the wall and on round Whiteside End and down into the valley at Kentmere Hall. A path we have walked before more than once if I recall correctly", said Tetley.

Today we did not venture through the gate, but here turned for home, fording the beck yet again on stepping stones.

"OK" said Shaun, "we now just follow the track"

Muddy at times and with pools of water, this led south via gates in walls and passing on the left the very boggy Mickle Moss. Eyeing this, Little Eric said, "you would definitely not want to stray into there."

Eventually we came to a junction, meeting another track at right angles.

"We should go right here through the gate, then left at the first gate, by a large ash tree", instructed Shaun.

"Seems something has happened to the tree", remarked Southey. "Struck by lightening?"

In the first field sheep were grazing, and these two posed for Dad. "Darn!", exclaimed Allen. "Just when I was hoping we would get away with a sheep picture free story."

Through the gate by the remains of the tree, the path led down to the property called High House. Again we suspect that this was once a farm, but now looks like holiday lets.

Walking down the metalled drive it led on to pass through woodland at the end of which, Shaun said, "we should go left through this gate."

Across the field and via a another gate, the path then meandered on down. "We are looking for a footbridge over the River Gowan", said Shaun.

Very soon Little Eric piped up. "there it is over to the left."

Beyond we climbed to a gate and then on up the field passing to the left of a building, to go through a kissing gate and cross a tiny bridge to the buildings at Grassgarth. This is the bridge and gate looking back.

Then joined the lane, being the one we had walked out on initially from Ings, at this point now where it ends. So all that remained was to follow this back to the start, making a stop to have our picture taken on the seat we had passed before. Well you did not think that you were going to get away with us all not making appearance in the story today!

Reaching the car, Little Eric said, "thanks Dad, that has been a lovely walk."

"Hear, hear", added Southey.

"Well you should thank Shaun, really, as it was he who suggested it", replied Dad.

"Are you going for refreshment?", asked Tetley.

"Yes lad, I am planning to go to Wilfs in Staveley. However it gets very busy, and there is difficulty parking too", said Dad.

Well this proved to be the case, so instead we just drove home, where Dad had a late lunch, and also shattered Uncle Brian's peace!


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