FAIR SNAPE FELL & PARLICK

 


Summary

Date - 8th May 2015 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
1380ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Startifants Lane (SD 6017 4421)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Fair Snape Fell 1710 520 SD 5972 4729
Parlick 1417 432 SD 5957 4502

 

Preface

Tetley came in to find Allen, Little Eric and Southey huddled over the laptop. "You're Cumbria magazine has arrived Southey."

"Ooh thanks pal. I'm am looking forward to reading it later", he replied.

"What are you looking at?", went on Tetley.

"The pictures of our recent walks in Lancashire", replied Allen.

"They were interesting and Dad has got enough photographs for the stories", added Little Eric.

"That's when he has time to sit down and type them for us", said Tetley. "He seems to have a lot of other things on his mind, and we have got back to walking a bit more regularly, adding to the pressure."

Allen opened his mouth to speak, but then Shaun and Grizzly arrived with the flasks and cakes.

"Ooh great!, exclaimed Southey going off to get the mugs and plates.

"There are just two kinds of scones today", said Grizzly. "Cherry and ginger or apple and cinnamon."

"Both sound great", replied Allen.

Soon we were all tucking in and we had steaming mugs of tea in paw. "They are delicious", said Southey. "Thanks for making them, pal."

"You're welcome, but you should thank Little Eric too, as he lent a paw."

Allen then said, "I was going to say, before Shaun and Grizzly arrived, that Dad's diary seems to be clear for Friday, and the weather looks to be fine, so maybe we can get a walk in."

"So any ideas?" went on Little Eric.

"I have", replied Shaun. "On our last walk in Bleasdale, we looked over to Fair Snape Fell and Parlick, which I know that Dad has been wanting to climb for a number of years, but it had to take a back seat due to our challenges in the Lake District."

"Sounds a great idea", agreed Southey.

Allen had grabbed the iPad and typing in brought up some links on Google. After trying a few he said, "there is a route here that looks promising. It cannot be printed, but if we get the map we can highlight it."

Tetley soon had OL41 in paw and opened it out. "OK here's Fair Snape Fell. Where do we start from.

"Some parking at the corner on Startifants Lane.", replied Allen.

"Here", pointed Grizzly.

Allen then outlined the route and soon it was duly highlighted. "Looks good", said Shaun. "A definite goer."

"Right all we need is Dad's agreement", said Allen, who draining his mug picked up the map and went off to see him.

"Better fill his mug again", said Tetley. "And put another scone on his plate."

"OK", replied Shaun.

Allen soon returned. "It's on. Dad is fine with the route, and has already worked out how to get to the start." Then he said, "thanks Shaun", as he accepted the refilled mug of tea."

"Great", cried Southey, "another new area for me."

"Roll on Friday", went on Little Eric.

 

The Walk

Since making the plan the weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon, so Dad said, "I want to start walking by 09:00 to avoid the rain. This means we must set off by 08:00."

So we got up very early and all lent a paw to pack the picnic, safely stowing it in Allen's rucksack.

True to his word Dad set off at 08:00. The route to the start was via Oakenclough and then on along Delph Lane, part of which we had walked on our exploration of Bleasdale, last time. At the junction it was left, and then after a while left again this being Startifants Lane. Where this turned sharp right, on the left was the verge parking beside the narrow cul-de-sac that led to Fell Foot.

Dad was soon ready, but meanwhile we looked about. "We go along the drive to Wolfen Hall", said Shaun.

"That is Parlick behind, our second summit. We have to come down there at the end", went on Tetley.

We quickly settled in the rucksack and shouldering this Dad strode off. Coming to a second cattle grid there was a sign reading, "Private no public right of way."

"Oh heck", said Southey, then looking again, he said, "there's a waymarked stile on the right. That's our route."

Then we proceeded ahead over the pasture avoiding the hall that could be seen left. Wolfen Hall is a Grade II listed building possibly dating from the 16th century, and having undergone alterations in 1867-8.

"What a lovely house", said Grizzly.

There was no need for Shaun to give us directions as all was clearly waymarked. Crossing a tarmac track to a stile by a gate on the left, it was then a short way right over a stile, to walk along by the fence on the left and over a footbridge, and on again to a stile by a gate. Here the path descended right into a small valley through which ran the Chipping Brook. A footbridge crossed this and then the path climbed by the fence on the left to a stile at the top of the slope.

Shaun now said, "we keep ahead by the fence left to a stile by the next gate."

This field was full of ewes and lambs. Dad had the camera in hand and snapped of this shot. "Oh no", said Allen in exasperation. "I was so hoping that we might get a sheep picture free story for once."

After the stile by the gate the way was half right over a muddy pasture, guided by white topped posts, to then cross a tiny footbridge and a stile in the fence. Walked on through the trees with the fence on the left to come to a stile and steps down to the access road for Saddle End Farm.

"It's left through the farmyard", said Shaun.

Two gates had to be negotiated, the second having the common spring loaded bolt. Dad pulled this back and unnoticed at first it just dropped out on the floor.

"Oh dear", said Grizzly.

Dad picked it up, but then found that it could not be refitted, try as he might. "Well what a to do", he said. "There's nothing for it but to just wedge the gate shut with the bolt and put the spring on top of the wall."

"I just hope that the farmer will not be angry", said Little Eric worriedly.

Waymarked again the route was by the wall on the left and through a kissing gate and then another gate, with woods over the wall on left, to yet another kissing gate and on along a grassy path.

Tetley called out, "there is the farmer with his dog coming down on his quad bike."

"Right" said Dad, "I am going to own up about the gate."

As he started to tell him, the farmer had already guessed, saying, "do not worry, I have been meaning to fix that properly."

They then had quite a chat about farming in general, and about how hard it is, the farmer saying about the costs like for instance nearly £1000 for the tags for the sheep. They don't get much time off and have to be out in all weathers, like this last Wednesday when there was torrential rain all day. "That was truly a miserable day", he said.

Dad then noted and commented on two Herdwicks and a lamb amongst all the other sheep. He said, "I got them for the wife. We had an old ewe for a while but this now gone so these are a replacement."

From the colour Dad said, "they are just about a year old, yet one has a lamb."

"Yes that was a bit of a surprise, as they do not usually lamb this young, but nevertheless it is being looked after OK."

So saying goodbye we walked on up to a kissing gate in the wall and then just followed the grassy cart track ever on up Saddle Fell. "It would seem to be best to keep left at any junctions", advised Shaun.

As the gradient eased, the path came near to a fence and so to a kissing gate in it.

"Through here, I presume?", said Allen.

"Yes pal", replied Shaun.

From the description we had read, we expected this to be a hard trudge over boggy trackless moor, but to our surprise there was what looked like a fairly recently made soil and stone path over the heather moor.

This finally brought us to a kissing gate in the fence. "The summit of Fair Snape Fell, is over to the right", said Shaun.

At first a grassy path and then stone slabs over the bog took us to another kissing gate in the fence.

Through this access was gained to the substantial pile of stones surrounding a wooden post marking the summit, where we wasted now time settling to pose for our picture.

Settled again in Dad's rucksack, Shaun said, "we should return to the kissing gate at the made track."

This done we could see that we now had to make for the distant shelter and trig point on the west side of the fell. A path led ahead Dad carefully picking his way over the boggy ground to reach a stile in a wire fence.

Here we paused while Dad rang Uncle Brian to see that he was OK, but also to check up on the result of the General Election. Uncle Brian imparted great news that the Conservatives had won an overall majority, and that they had held on to our local constituency with a substantially increased majority.

"Yippee!!", called out Dad. The smile never left his face for the rest of the day and in fact all the next week!

After the stile the path suddenly became very boggy, but Dad spotted that if we crossed a little right we would gain a good path, that led unerringly to the cairn shelter and trig point on Fair Snape Fell.

"I know this is not the summit, but will you take our picture sitting on the trig point too?", asked Little Eric.

"Sure lad."

As we looked about, Southey commented, "I think that cloud looks a bit like a sheep. There is the ear on the left and one eye."

Not entirely convinced, we include the picture, so that dear readers, you can form your own opinion.

"I'm hungry", said Allen, rubbing his tummy.

"No change there then", laughed Tetley.

"Well it is time for lunch, so let's sit in the shelter", agreed Dad.

As we finished a couple arrived who were doing the exact same walk as us, and indeed they had got the idea from the very same web page as us. They set off again before us taking the clear path towards the ridge and wall between Fair Snape Fell and Parlick.

Through a kissing gate the path led on to come by the wall to walk what is described as the best mile in Lancashire, to Parlick.

There are extensive views east to the Bowland Fells and Yorkshire, and west to the Fylde and coast and we could make out Blackpool Tower. Sadly it was rather hazy today but this view we thought was nice to Hazelhurst Fell, below which we had walked last time at the far left end.

Dad talked to the couple at times when the stopped and we caught up and on the last section to the summit of Parlick we walked together.

This fell is a popular place for gliders based nearby using the rising air currents to gain height. Indeed they were operating today and this was one shot Dad got.

A fairly steep pull up the last section brought us to the summit of Parlick with its untidy pile of stones that we sat on for our usual picture.

A clear path left at right angles to the fence was our descent route. Fairly steep in places but Dad made light of it, fairly skipping down, seemingly on air with the election result!

Finally the path led to a gate by the house called Fell Foot, from where it was just a short walk to the car. These Forget Me Nots made a nice splash of colour on the verge to round our account off.

"Thanks for a good day, Dad", said Allen. "It is good to finally get these summits bagged."

Just now a matter of driving home, arriving before the rain set in.


Talking about the walk afterwards, Shaun commented, "the summits are in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a while ago Dad printed off a list of fells in this area and the South Pennines."

"I know", replied Allen, "but some are a long way away, so Dad was not too enthusiastic about setting up another challenge."

Meanwhile Tetley had been and got the print out, and looking more closely said, "in actuality it can be divided into two sections. The Bowland Fells and the South Pennines. What if we just did the former, as these are quite close to home." Then running his paw over the map he counted and said, "there are 21 summits in the Forest of Bowland, including Arnside Knott that we did in January."

"Well it sounds a good idea to me", agreed Southey, "especially as it would be a challenge that I could complete in its entirety."

"It's Dad we have to convince", said Grizzly.

"OK", said Allen. "How about Shaun, Tetley and I go and talk to Dad and see what he thinks."

Well, we can report that Dad thought it was a great idea and that we would explore a new area close at hand. He told us, "until the Countryside Rights of Way Act, most of the Bowland Area had been off limits to walkers, but now it was opened up."

So the Forest of Bowland Fells challenge was born. Dad said, "Parlick is not on the list nor Clougha Pike and Grit Fell, so that makes the total 24. I will draw up a spreadsheet and also add a new page to the website for us to keep track."

Oh happy days!!

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