Date - 7th June 2015 Distance - 8 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL41 Start point - Birk Bank car park (SD 5264 6042)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Clougha Pike 1355 413 SD 5441 5947
Grit Fell 1535 468 SD 5582 5877



Shaun, Little Eric and Grizzly, arrived with the flasks and cakes.

"Ooh great", cried Allen, looking up from his copy of the Cumbria Magazine that he was reading.

Tetley put his copy of the Dalesman down and went with Southey to get the mugs and plates. "What's the cake", called out Southey.

"Little Eric has made flapjack and there are fruit scones with butter and jam from me", replied Grizzly.

"Scrumptious", cheered Allen, as he helped Shaun pour the tea and pass the steaming mugs round.

After a minute or so, Tetley said, "the cake and scones are delicious pals. Thanks as always for making them."

"You're welcome", replied Little Eric. "As I have said before I really enjoy doing this and find it so relaxing and therapeutic too."

Allen had picked up the iPad, and after a few taps with his paw said, "Dad is at the Lifeboat shop on Saturday, but the weather looks to be OK for Sunday, so maybe we will get to do some more of the Bowland Fells?"

Tetley replied, "I was thinking about suggesting doing Clougha Pike that we can see from the dormer room upstairs. Dad has done it before way back in 2002, which was just before Shaun and I began to go on the walks, so it will be a bag for us all. It would also mean that Dad will only have to drive a matter of a few miles to the start."

Shaun had trotted off and returned with a thin book in paw, entitled 'Country Walks around Lancaster'. "There is a walk to Clougha in here, which we could use."

The map was got out too and we traced the route, Grizzly, saying, "Grit Fell is not too far away and it would be nice if we could do that as well, as it is one of the catch-ups we have to make on you and Tetley."

"Good idea", agreed Tetley. "We can strike off to Grit Fell, then go on to pick up this track, which I guess will be surfaced and probably for the grouse parties. It goes round all the way and leads back to the start, but if we want to keep to the spirit of the book we could cut off left here on this dotted path to pick up the route at the stile below Windy Clough."

"Sounds like a plan", said Little Eric, "and it will be good to get one of the catch-ups done."

Allen drained his mug and with map and book in paw went off to see what Dad thought to our suggestion. Minutes later has he returned, his smiling face telling us the walk was on.

"Yippee", cheered Southey, "roll on Sunday."


The Walk

The start point was Birk Bank car park on Rigg Lane in Quernmore. It was already busy when we arrived around 09:45 and completely full when we got back at the end of the walk. This was through the gate at the end of the track on the right.

Dad soon got ready, Shaun instructing, "we turn left and walk back along Rigg Lane."

Before doing so we paused to look at across towards Quernmore Park, a pastoral scene. "England's green and pleasant land", quoted Grizzly.

Reaching the junction, Shaun said, "we continue left to pass the first bungalow, and then go through the gate on the left at the footpath sign."

As we walked up the field Southey called out, "that hawthorn makes a pretty picture in full blossom."

At the top a waymarked gate gave access into the farmyard.

The track led through another gate onto a walled green lane that climbed to a junction with a metalled lane. "We go left here", said Shaun.

Soon a fork was reached, Little Eric asking "which way now?"

"We keep left over the cattle grid", replied Shaun.

Through woodland the lane took us past houses and bungalows and then swung right to Rowton Brook Farm. Passing through the buildings Shaun then said, "we follow the track through that gate and then turn right over the beck and keep on as it then swings left."

Now with Rowton Brook to the left Dad marched on towards Clougha. Sheep were grazing and this lamb posed for Dad.

"Oh no.....", said Allen, "and I thought we might get away with a sheep picture free story today."

Looking left, beyond the fence, Tetley said, "what a lovely show of bluebells, they will make a pretty picture."

To get this picture Dad had had to deviate from the track, and immediately he regained this, he could not resist snapping this ewe with her lambs.

"Another picture for the story?", said Southey mischievously, to wind Allen up.

"Hmph!", was all he got from Allen in reply.

This was now the view ahead, the summit of Clougha being clearly seen above the tree. "It is through the left hand of the two gates", advised Shaun.

After two more gates a further one was reached. "It seems we go left here according to the waymark", said Southey.

"No", replied Shaun, "we should just keep ahead on the track."

Dad did walk a few paces left and said, "you are quite right lad, this is not the route."

Striding on, the grassy track swung left over some boggy areas, and then across Rowton Brook towards the rocky rise of Clougha Pike.

The clear path ascending left to right can be seen that leads to the summit trig point and shelter.

Here we met a gentleman from Preston, and Dad chatted with him for quite a while about walking here in Bowland and on the Lakeland Fells.

He asked, "have you done the Wainwrights."

Dad replied, "yes."

"I have got about 60 to do", he replied. "What was your favourite?"

"That is very hard to pin down", Dad replied. "But the areas I most liked were Borrowdale, Newlands, Coledale & Langdale."

We then scrambled out for our picture, Dad saying that most of us had done the Wainwrights too.

He was amused by this and said, "I'll take your picture with them if you like."

"Thanks", replied Dad, "That would be nice."

Dad then took his picture sitting on the trig point with us. He asked about his route down, which had been our ascent route, so Dad outlined if for him. More walkers arrived, a lady on her own, a couple and a mother and daughter.

"OK", said Dad, "time to get going again."

We all waved a cheery goodbye to the gentleman and Dad set off, after first taking this shot of Lancaster, Morecambe and the Bay.

The Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park can be seen in the foreground, while on the coast just right of centre, the white building is the Midland Hotel. The large number of buildings with light coloured roofs is the White Lund Industrial Estate.

While Dad was taking this, we all waved and called out "hello", to Uncle Brian!

Up to now we had been following precisely the walk as described in the guide. Now we started the extension by walking east on a clear and rather rocky path with some boggy sections. Over a stile in a fence the path ascended to a stile in the next fence. This was further than it seemed, but with Dad's determined pace was quite soon accomplished.

"We should keep on parallel to the fence, to that ladderstile in the corner", said Shaun.

Once there the substantial cairn that is considered the summit of the otherwise flat expanse of Grit Fell could be seen.

Reaching it we wasted no time in scrambling out and settling for our picture.

"Yippee", cried Southey, "that is one of the catch-ups done."

Settled again in Dad's rucksack, we followed the path as it meandered through the heather.

A hill rose up ahead, and Little Eric asked, "which summit is that?"

"Ward's Stone", replied Tetley. "Shaun and I climbed it in 2003, with Uncle Eric."

"So that is another of the catch-ups", said Southey. "Can't we do it today as well?"

"No, pal. It will take us way off our route and miles away from where the car is parked", replied Shaun. "The plan is to climb it together with Wolfhole Crag."

"OK, I understand", said Southey.

It was not long before we came to the surfaced track maintained for the grouse shoots, turning left to walk it for about 2 miles or so.

There were views to Ingleborough but too hazy for a decent picture. "There's the wind farm on Caton Moor", remarked Grizzly.

"So the rise to the right under shadow must be Whit Fell, one of the outstanding summits", went on Allen.

"I think it might be a good idea to make that the subject of our next walk", said Dad. "We can follow the route of the the walk we have done a few times from Bull Beck by the River Lune to Claughton and so up to the wind farm. Then making the deviation to the summit and back to then complete the circuit."

"Can't wait", cheered Little Eric.

Across this section the terrain was pretty featureless, but relieved at one point by this rocky outcrop.

Winding ever on the track meandered descending in a series of bends.

Distantly right in the above shot we soon neared the three substantial cairns. "They remind me of the Three Men of Gragareth", remarked Grizzly.

Dad had walked off the track to get the photo and walking on cut the corner passing these further cairns.

"Father and daughter?", called out Tetley.

"Mother and son?", said Allen.

"Big sister, little brother", suggested Grizzly.

"Or the other way round", came back Southey.

"Or the smaller one could just be unfinished", responded Little Eric, finally ending our naming suggestions!

"So if we are to get back on to the published walk, we need to find the narrow trod going left over the heather", said Shaun, ever practical.

Scrutinising the map, Tetley, said, "it goes off about on the point where the track crosses the easting square 54."

Checking the GPS, and keeping our eyes peeled as we neared this point, Grizzly suddenly called out, "I think it's here."

"Yes you are right, lad", agreed Dad.

The narrow path meandered and at times was a bit hard to follow, but generally Dad just kept in the same direction and finally the wall came into view ahead and the ladderstile we had to cross.

Here we met a couple who were coming in the opposite direction and Dad chatted with them for a few minutes.

We meanwhile had been looking towards Windy Clough.

"That would have been part of our descent route from Clougha Pike, if we had followed the published walk to the letter", remarked Shaun. "And there is a another ravine further up towards the summit, called Little Windy Clough, to cross."

"It would not have troubled Dad, bearing in mind all the steep climbs and descents in Lakeland we have done", replied Tetley.

"The diversion via Grit Fell has made the route longer, but overall the track has made for easier walking", added Grizzly.

Over the stile the narrow path descended and crossed to this square tower above the Thirlmere Aqueduct.

"Even in the short time that I have been on walks, there have been quite a lot of structures, hatch covers etc, that we have seen relating to the Haweswater and Thirlmere Aqueducts", remarked Southey.

"Yes pal", agreed Allen, "and there have been lots more in the past."

"The instructions say we should walk north a few steps, to descend a narrow rocky path", said Shaun.

Dad looked about and said, "this must be it."

This negotiated it reached a t-junction and a slightly better path. "It's left now", called out Shaun.

This eventually widened to a grassy track leading to a junction by a rocky outcrop. "We go left", advised Shaun.

This wide clear grassy track led us unerringly to Birk Bank car park, passing at one point a lamb browsing away at this gorse tree.

"Thanks Dad as ever for taking us on yet another super walk", said Southey.

"And that's another step closer on the Bowland Fells challenge too", went on Little Eric.

"You're welcome lads", replied Dad.


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