Shaun's 19th Birthday walk


Date - 23rd February 2016 Distance - 9.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL19
Start point - Tebay West Services on M6 (NY 60145 0618)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Monday, and we were having a quiet day. Dad and Uncle Brian were at Elaine's at Feizor as usual, with some of our pals.

Allen looked up from his book to see Shaun arrive with the flasks, followed by Grizzly and Little Eric with the cake tin. "Ooh great, tea.", said Allen. "I was...

"...gasping for a cuppa", interjected Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter. "You and Southey are real tea-bellies, just like Dad."

Southey meanwhile was helping Shaun fill the mugs, "here you are Tetley."

"Thanks pal."

Grizzly had opened the tin, saying, "there are fruit scones with butter and raspberry jam, and Little Eric has made chocolate rice crispie slice."

Soon we were tucking in and Allen said, "the scones are scrumptious, pal"

"And the rice crispie slice is absolutely delicious, Little Eric", added Shaun.

Changing the subject, Tetley said, "before Dad went out, he told me that we are walking tomorrow, and could we come up with a suggestion."

"Yes I heard that", replied Shaun. "You have a good memory Tetley, so I think you will remember the walk we did from Tebay Services on the M6."

"Oh yes, it's lovely. If I recall we first did it in 2002, then repeated it in March 2004."

"However do you remember!", exclaimed Southey in wonder.

"Don't know", replied Tetley. "They just seem to stick in my mind."

"So", said Grizzly, "that means it will be new to the rest of us. So I am all for it."

Little Eric meanwhile had booted the laptop, and was looking at the records. "You are spot on Tetley, what a memory you have.

"Thanks, but I cannot remember what number it is on the index."

"196", replied Little Eric.

With Southey's help Shaun lifted the binder down, and the sheet was soon found. "There seems to be some e-mail correspondence too", remarked Southey.

"Ah yes", said Tetley. "On one occasion we were challenged by the farmer who said we could not walk down his drive despite it being a right of way. So Dad had some correspondence with the Ordnance Survey."

"Let's hope we don't have a problem this time", said Little Eric worriedly.

"We have to see if Dad is happy with our suggestion, first. He and Uncle Brian are home now, so I will go and ask", said Allen.

He was back very soon and the smile on his face told it all.

"Yippee", cried Little Eric. "Roll on tomorrow."


The Walk

We woke to a glorious sunny but cold day with cloudless skies for the most part.

"Great to be alive", enthused Southey, as he helped get the picnic made and stowed safely in Allen's rucksack.

Dad called out, "I'm nearly ready."

OK", Tetley called back. "We'll get settled in the car." Dashing out we called out goodbyes to Gladly and Uncle Brian, who were busy with the Telegraph crossword.

The drive was straight forward, north on the M6 with superb views of the Howgill Fells as we passed through the Lune Gorge.

"So many happy days climbing those", mused Tetley. "Perhaps we might revisit a few some time."

"That would be lovely", agreed Grizzly. "We saw very few other walkers, so it was nice to enjoy the solitude."

Allen said, "it's your birthday tomorrow Shaun. So this walk can be a celebration."

"I will be 19", he replied. "Just under a year after Dad adopted me, he took me on my first walk to climb Black Crag in the Lake District. A long long time ago now."

"I am so happy that he did", replied Little Eric, "because from that has developed the group today and we have had wonderful adventures, seeing and achieving so much."

Soon now Dad was entering the service area, parking as before towards the rear exit. He quickly got ready and with us safely settled in the rucksack strode out past the hotel.

"At the road we turn right and cross both of the the M6 carriageways", advised Shaun.

This is the northbound with close by the west coast railway line.

Tetley was reading the instructions. "At a bend we will come to a signed gate, with another just before, which we should use."

"That seems a bit odd?", questioned Little Eric.

This was explained, because as can be seen the gate cannot be opened being securely tied up with twine.

Taking the signpost direction Dad crossed the rough pasture that was wet and boggy like most of the fields today, due to the storms. "It seems strange but now as we get to the start of spring, we are finally getting colder wintry weather", commented Allen.

"You're right pal. The seasons seem to have slipped", agreed Tetley.

The route was clear keeping right of Sproat Ghyll Farm in the distance.

Having crossed the first wall, it was through two small wooden gates to cross the access road to the farm and take the gated track beyond.

As we crossed the pastures, Shaun remarked, "on one of the days, a military jet came out of nowhere and screamed overhead."

"I remember it well lad", said Dad. "The plane was flying ever so low, and the noise was terrific and the fact that there was no warning made it a bit terrifying."

"I hope that does not happen today", said Southey, anxiously scanning the skies.

It didn't and soon Dad was striding the track beyond the road. Looking up from the map, Shaun commented, "this was likely once part of a Roman road."

Beyond another gate, this unusually shaped tree stood by the wall. "Nice shot against the blue sky, for the story?", suggested Grizzly.

The wall was now followed as it swung right to a gate, where beyond a small detour was needed to avoid this pool across the path to the next gate.

Then more fields and gates to finally reach a road. "Aww", called out Southey. "What a lovely little pony. Must be picture time Dad?"

"Ooh yes", agreed Allen, "as it is not of sheep."

At the road, Shaun said, "We go right for a few yards then left along the access to Bousfield."

"This is where we were challenged by the farmer", said Tetley.

Today there was no problem, and onwards Dad climbed the gap stile right over the wall to walk ahead, and then drift slightly left to a gap stile on to Park Lane, and turning right.

"Look at the smiley face on the barn roof", laughed Grizzly.

"It certainly brings a smile to ones face", agreed Tetley.

Shaun advised, "it's left at the next signpost."

Having climbed the step stile, the route followed the wall on the left, taking us slightly right to a narrow pasture and gate. Then we continued to another gate and so along this grassy path that led us down to the village of Orton.

Pretty muddy along this, especially the last section. "Let's hope we get a good period of dry weather so the ground can dry out", said Southey.

"Amen to that lad", agreed Dad.

As we strolled through the village Grizzly asked, "can we visit the church?

"Of course", replied Dad.

The earliest fabric in All Saints Church, dates from the later part of the 12th century. The tower was built in the early 16th century and has three stages and a castellated parapet. In 2006–07 the tower was rendered in lime, so giving it a white appearance. The porch is dated 1607. In 1877–78 the chancel and north aisle were rebuilt by the Lancaster architects Paley & Austin.

Here is the inside looking along the nave.

"Just look at that old chest", commented Little Eric.

Behind is the octagonal stone font. It is dated 1662 and inscribed with the initials "DW" and "MO".

There is a ring of eight bells. The oldest of these was cast by Abraham Rudhall I in 1711, the others being cast in 1917 by John Taylor & Co. Of greater interest were three other bells, which Grizzly had espied in the opposite corner. "Let's go and have a look", he urged.

The one to the left was cast in 1530 by John Woolley. The other two were cast in 1637, by an unknown founder, possibly William Oldfield of York and Doncaster. They are each inscribed, left to right as follows


We now made our way out Grizzly saying, "thanks for that Dad, it was a really fascinating visit."

"Quite", agreed Allen.

So now we walked through the village to take the road to Tebay, where Dad stopped to take this picture looking back.

Continuing we passed the 17th century Jacobean mansion of Orton Hall that offers luxury self catering accommodation.

"Shortly we take the path left", said Shaun.

Seeing the signpost Southey said, "here it is."

This dropped into a dip then climbed to the corner of the wood. Faced now with a huge field, Shaun said, "we cross going a little right."

Here sheep abounded and they had gathered to greet Shaun and wish him a happy birthday for tomorrow!

We know that Allen is not keen on sheep pictures, but even he could not complain about this.

Over the brow we could see at the far side a gate that led to a track and opposite a footbridge over Chapel Beck. "That's our route" said Tetley.

For a short way the path was left by the beck but soon climbed to a gate into a field that was crossed diagonally to a stile and then on to another. Ahead was this fine view of the northern Howgill Fells. "My, we have had many a great day exploring those ridges and valleys", reminisced Allen.

"Where do we go now?" queried Little Eric.

"Down by the left side of that plantation and then across a narrow pasture to a stile on to a gated road, "replied Shaun.

At the road he said, "we climb the stile opposite."

Followed with the wall on the right to drift left to a gateway, and on to descend to the right of a barn and half left down to the road opposite Raisgill Hall.

"We have used that parking space a few times on our exploration of the northern Howgill Fells", remarked Grizzly.

"That's right lad", Dad replied.

A few yards right a signed path climbed to a gate on the skyline. "It's right here", instructed Shaun.

Keeping by the wall this was followed as it went round left to gates, where it was right and immediately left as directed by the waymarks. Now with the wall on the left we passed a tiny plantation, then through a walled way to exit left. Shortly we went right through a gap and progressed over very boggy ground to the buildings of Coatflatt Hall.

After a gate the path wound right past the buildings, and then left to cross Chapel Beck once again.

Striding the access road, to where it left the stream, Shaun pointed, "we go left through that gate to keep along by Chapel Beck."

After a stile another field was crossed to a stile on to the road at Tebay Bridge. A short way right a signpost sent us left along a track and through the buildings of Bybeck, to pass under the M6 and reach a Y-junction.

"We go left", called out Shaun.

This was a good surfaced track with a bank to the right. "Those sheep are keeping a wary eye on us", commented Southey.

This was really to wind Allen up who complained, "oh no, we've had one sheep picture already."

Away to the left we could see the ancient Motte & Bailey of Rose Castle.

Allen was looking at the instructions and said, "the track leads to the river, but just before we should climb the stile right, to walk beside the river."

Over the field this took us under Birkbeck Viaduct...

...and so on by the river, Dad snapping this shot of a passing train...

...until a wall blocked the way. Here we walked right to follow the waymarks, climb a stile and pass through Low Scales Farm, to walk its access track.

"What a lovely pastoral scene", remarked Little Eric.

This brought us to the road by Scotsman's Bridge, that carries it over the railway. We turned right to the entrance to the services where there was a seat.

"Let's stop here for our picnic", implored Allen, rubbing his tummy.

In fact we were all hungry, and tucked into the sandwiches and cake, washed down with warming mugs of tea.

"That's better", said Tetley as he helped to repack Allen's rucksack. "And now all that remains is for you to take our picture Dad, as we have to appear at least once in every story."

Settling in the car, Grizzly, said, "are you going for a snack in the cafe?"

"Yes lad", Dad replied.

"Well could you get some Oaties for us to take as a present for Uncle Brian."

"Of course."

So Dad had a pot of tea, scone with butter and jam and nice piece of chocolate coconut and cherry slice. Lovely.

Behind him sat a gentleman who answering his phone was talking about television. Seeing him when he left, Dad knew his face was very familiar but he could not think of his name.

Mentioning it to Uncle Brian, he was able to solve the mystery. It was Rory Bremner.

Uncle Brian thanked us for the Oaties and the Murray mints, that we had brought as well.

A super day!


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