Date - 15th March 2015 Distance - 8.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL5/OL19
Start point - Crosby Ravensworth (NY 6204 1472)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Crosby Ravensworth Fell 1316 401 NY 5930 1087



As Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrived with the tea and cakes, they found Southey lost in his own world reading the Cumbria magazine while Tetley was reading the Dalesman magazine.

"I think we should whisper, as it is like a library reading room", said Grizzly softly.

Southey looked up saying, "the latest copy arrived today, and I could not wait to get reading the articles. It was so good of you to arrange the subscription, and I am widening my knowledge about the Lake District where I was adopted."

Putting his magazine down, Tetley said, "what's the cake selection today?"

Little Eric has made flapjack, and I have done apricot and cherry slice", replied Grizzly.

"Lovely, I'll have a piece of each, please", called out Southey, who had gone to get the mugs and plates. He then helped Shaun fill the mugs with tea.

Grizzly was about to take a bite of flapjack, but froze with it half way to his mouth. "Where's Allen? It's almost unheard of for him to miss tea and cakes!"

"Well a while ago he was looking at the iPad", said Tetley. "Dad only has Sunday free this weekend and the weather looks good so he went off to see if we will be walking."

He can smell tea a mile off so I am sure he will be back very soon", laughed Shaun.

"In anticipation of a yes from Dad, once we have had tea we had better get our thinking caps on", said Little Eric.

Well at that moment the whirlwind that was Allen came dashing into the room. "No need pal", he said breathlessly. "A walk is on and Dad has made the decision for us."

"Now just sit and calm down", said Tetley, handing him a mug of tea and offering the cakes.

"Thanks pal. I thought I might miss out."

"Heaven forbid", cried Southey. "That would be a disaster."

"The cakes are delicious, thanks pals as always. Now, about the walk. Every time Dad goes south on the M6 from Penrith, and gets just past Shap there is a summit on the left that none of us have ever visited. It is called Crosby Ravensworth Fell, and he is determined that we should bag it. So he has decided that we will repeat the walk from Crosby Ravensworth we did in 2010, but with a variation to take in the summit."

"It will be all new to me", said Southey.

"It is interesting, as we will see the line of the Roman Road called Wicker Street and there is the Oddendale Stone Circle to visit too", said Tetley.

"Can't wait", cheered Little Eric. "Wherever we go it is always a grand day out!"


The Walk

Dad had said that we would be setting off about 09:00, so we were up early and all lent a paw getting the picnic ready and stowing it safely in Allen's rucksack.

As soon as Dad was ready, we dashed out to the car, calling goodbyes to Uncle Brian and Gladly, who were busy with the Daily Telegraph crossword.

"Have a good day", called out Gladly, "and behave yourselves."

"Thanks pal, we will", replied Allen.

Our route was via the M6 to junction 38 at Tebay then on the road through Orton to take the fork left on the narrow road that drops down to...

...our start point being the small parking area opposite the village hall.

The day was dry, with a rather cold breeze and predominantly cloudy with the result that the distance views were rather poor.

"Are we doing the variation that Uncle Eric suggested in 2010 via the Lyvennet Beck to Holme Bridge?", asked Grizzly.

"Yes lad", replied Dad. "It will add a bit of distance and avoids much of the road walking in the published walk."

"Right then", said Shaun, "if that is the case, we have to walk a short way towards the church to get to the path on the right that is signed Holme Bridge."

Here is the view of Crosby Ravensworth looking to the church.

Just a few yards further, Tetley called out, "here's the path."

Through the gate we crossed the pasture to another gate and then followed by the fence on the right to a gateway and so come beside the Lyvennet Beck. Dad walked to the bridge, Shaun calling out, "that's not the way."

"I know", replied Dad. "I just want to take a shot of the rushing beck from the bridge. The beck starts on Crosby Ravensworth Moor and after running through here, goes on through Maulds Meaburn and Kings Meaburn, where its name then changes to the River Lyvennet, to eventually join the River Eden."

As Shaun quite rightly stated this was not our route but rather over the stile immediately to the right then up the field to the stile in the distance.

Beyond the second stile a clear path emerged running by a fence. All of a sudden Southey said, "I have a feeling that we are not alone."

"Your correct", replied Little Eric, looking up right to see us being eyed by this group of sheep.

Their curiosity satisfied some moved off, and Dad was able to snap this shot of the single brown one in the group.

"Darn it!" exclaimed Allen. "It hasn't taken Dad long to end our chances of a sheep picture free story."

"Never mind pal, but that was an opportunity too good to miss", laughed Tetley.

The beck swung away left, but then came beside the the path again as we reached Holme Bridge...

...adjacent to which this gated gap stile and tiny bridge give access to the road.

"We go right towards the village until reaching a house where it is left on a reinforced track that is called Slack Randy", instructed Shaun.

"I wonder what the origin of the name is?", mused Grizzly.

He was met with silence, and looking on the Internet later, revealed no more information.

"According to the published walk we will see some boulders of Shap Granite", said Shaun, "So let's keep a look out."

As the track climbed on, Little Eric called out after a while, "there are a group of rocks ahead."

"They look like limestone", said Tetley, but as we came close, he then said, "the one at the front is Shap Granite as you can definitely see the pinkish tinge."

"There's a junction of tracks ahead", said Southey.

"It is the left fork we want", replied Shaun. "In fact we follow it keeping by the wall and ultimately we will walk to the distant prominent tree in the skyline."

Blackfaced sheep were grazing as we walked along, and to Allen's chagrin, some posed for Dad to get another shot.

"Well seeing as it will be your fingers dancing over the keyboard Dad, I suppose we will have to let you include the picture, but that is the very last sheep picture in this story!", said Allen firmly.

Eventually the path became grassy and as the wall ended we kept ahead on a grassy track towards the prominent tree. It had certainly looked to be a long way, but after 20 minutes it was reached, seen here with the smaller tree and the area of limestone pavement.

Past the tree a post was reached. Shaun said, "I think this perhaps once had the 'Coast-Coast' sign referred to in the narrative."

"So where exactly do we go now?" was Southey's question.

"Our bearing is north-west to the corner of that conifer plantation where I can just make out there is a waymark", replied Shaun.

The path descended and about half way we crossed a grassy track. "This lies on the line of the Roman Road called Wicker Street, which linked Brougham with Low Borrow Bridge", said Grizzly.

"We have been to the start of it then", replied Tetley, "as we have passed the site of the Roman Fort at Low Borrow Bridge. It was near there that we started the walk with Uncle Eric to Black Force and Carlingill with Uncle Eric in December 2008."

"I have said it before, but you certainly have an amazing memory of our past walks, Tetley", said Allen.

Soon the plantation was reached and Dad said, "this is where we make our deviation off the published route to Crosby Ravensworth Fell."

"The bearing is south-west", advised Shaun.

Dad got his compass out and lining it up, pointed saying, "that way then."

A path led to a waymark, after which the way was trackless over rough grassy and heathery terrain and passing some grouse butts. Looking back the conifer plantation now seemed a long way away. Dad ploughed on then suddenly Little Eric called out, "look that there's the summit. Two prominences, one with a cairn and the other with the trig point."

The cairn on the mound to the left is very substantial, and at first thought that it might be hollow and fashioned into a shelter, but closer examination showed it to be a solid pile of stones. "Wow that must have taken some time to build", said Southey.

Dad now turned the camera on the other mound with its trig point that is considered the actual summit. Sadly the views of our beloved Lakeland Fells were not clear today, but it can be seen that some of the higher ground is snowbound.

At the trig point, we wasted no time in scrambling out of the rucksack to settle on top for our picture.

Far below we could see the M6 motorway, the traffic hurrying north and south. "Ahh, how nice to be up here where it is so peaceful and quiet", mused Allen.

We sat on a little longer, then settled in Dad's rucksack for the return walk, keeping a bit more to the left to avoid some of the rougher ground, and finding a sheep trod for part of the way.

"That's the cement works at Shap", called out Allen. Actually we laughingly refer to it as the 'chip shop' and could see that there were a few pans on.

Arriving once again at the wood corner, it was left uphill on a wide grassy path, to pass an L-shaped wood called Potrigg and then a conifer plantation. Passing a cairn on the rise to the right, Shaun said, "this is where we should strike off left to the ancient double Oddendale Stone Circle. The picture below shows part of the outer circle and the inner circle.

The outer ring of 34 stones has a diameter of 27.1 metres ( 89 feet), with the tallest stone just 64 cm (26 inches) high. The inner circle is 7.4 metres (24 feet) in diameter forming a kerb of almost contiguous stones around a low mound, with the tallest being just 40 cm (16 inches) high. The site was extensively excavated in 1997 revealing that the stones replaced two concentric circles of oak wooden posts dating to the Neolithic, c. 2,872-2,350 BC. During its history it was a burial site.

Cutting off a corner we walked in the direction of the hamlet of Oddendale, to regain the path finding some rocks that provided a suitable place to sit and have our picnic.

"I'm ready for this said Southey", rubbing his tummy with feeling.

Allen was quick to slip his rucksack off and pass the sandwiches round. "There are cheese and chutney, or ham and tomato", he said.

We all tucked in and after some cake and warming tea, we were suitably refreshed and ready for the rest of the walk.

Just as we set off again we saw some walkers coming along the path, the only other people today. Strolled on to then go right into the hamlet of Oddendale passing this nice house.

At the end of the hamlet we passed though a gate on to a grassy way that descended gently passing through gates to High Dalebanks. Now metalled the track led on towards Low Dalebanks, passing on the way this hollowed out trunk and roots of a once substantial tree.

Eventually we reached the road in Crosby Ravensworth, having had Dalebanks Beck for company on our right, that was spanned at one point by this small arched bridge leading into a field.

"Can we go and have a look at St Lawrence's Church?", asked Grizzly.

"Sure lad", replied Dad.

The oldest part of the church is to be found at the crossing, and dates from about 1190–1200. The south doorway and arcades are from the 13th century. It is thought that there was originally a tower at the crossing, but this was dismantled towards the end of the 15th century and replaced by the west tower. The church was remodelled twice during the 19th century. First in 1811–12 and the second over a period extending from 1848 to 1887. New furnishings were introduced in 1850. In 1854 the chancel arch was installed and vestry was added. An additional stage was added to the tower in 1866–68, and in 1868 the clerestory was built. The former south transept was rebuilt in 1870–71, followed by the north transept in 1872–73. Finally the chancel was rebuilt, this being completed in 1886, a picture of which is below.

"Thank you for that", said Grizzly.

"You are welcome, as I know that you like looking round churches, and so many are locked these days", replied Dad.

"Thank you for a super walk too", said Southey. "It has been most interesting especially seeing the ancient remains."

"So I guess it is refreshment time, Dad?", said Tetley.

"Aye lad and I am going to the Orton Scar Cafe that we passed on the way to the start this morning."

He had a pot of tea and a very substantial cheese and chutney baguette with salad. "That was nice" he told us afterwards. "And it has set me up for the drive home."


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