Date - 19th November 2017 Distance - 7.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL41 Start point - Hellifield car park (SD 8551 5644)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Hard Knott Hill 725 221 SD 8765 5508



"These fruit scones are scrumptious", said Tetley, spreading some more raspberry jam on the remaining half.

"Thanks pal", replied Little Eric. "Grizzly and I love baking, but I have to say he is still the expert."

"Oh I don't know, you seem to have a real flair for it", replied Grizzly.

Southey was helping himself to another piece of chocolate caramel shortbread. "Mmm Grizzly, this is to die for"

"I know you will want another mug of tea, Allen", said Shaun reaching for his mug to do the honours.

"He's a real tea belly", laughed Southey.

"And you're a cake stuffer", said Allen, "that's your third slice, at least.

So taking a drink from his mug, Allen then picked up the iPad. A few taps later, he remarked, "the weather looks good for Sunday. Calm but cold. Dad's diary is clear so maybe we can get out for a walk."

"So, where to go", mused Little Eric.

"Well I know that there will be more chance if Dad can go to Elaine's afterwards.", stated Tetley.

"Somewhere off the A65 then", said Shaun. He quickly got the map and we pored over it. "How about starting from Hellifield. I think we will find new ground there."

Paths on the map soon gave us a clear outwards route, and then on in a wide loop and so back via Swinden. "That looks to be rather a long way", mused Allen.

"I agree", said Tetley. "Dad might not want to do all of it."

"There are options to shorten", pointed Shaun.

"Let's highlight it all, anyway", said Grizzly.

Draining his mug, Allen then picked up the map and headed off to see what Dad thought. "I'll bet he will want another mug of tea", laughed Southey."

"Pass me his mug then, please", replied Shaun.

Returning Allen thanked Shaun, then went on. "Dad likes the idea of exploring this area and will give it a go. But like you said Tetley, he may want to shorten it, just depending on time."

Tetley let out a bellow of laughter. "That's so he can ensure that we get to Elaine's in good time for a snack."

"Whatever, here's to Sunday", cheered Little Eric.


The Walk

We awoke to find a cold frosty morning but thankfully there was little or no wind.

"You'll need to we wrapped up today, Dad", said Little Eric, making sure his hat was firmly on his head.

Dad had only just taken delivery of his new car, and this was to be our first ride, so we were eager to dash out and get settled.

Dad pulled out of the drive and took the familiar route he and Uncle Brian take every Monday when then go to Elaine's. Keeping on along the A65 we passed through Long Preston.

"There have been some nice walks from here", remarked Southey.

A few minutes later we entered Hellifield. "Where are we parking?", asked Southey.

"I checked on Parkopedia. There is a free car park just a little way up the road on the left at the centre of the town", replied Allen.

Sure enough he was right and Dad found a space.

Dad quickly got ready, then with us safely tucked in his rucksack strode off.

"Back to and across the main road and down the road a little to the right", instructed Shaun.

Where this turned sharp right, Shaun called out, "we keep straight on through Hellifield Green."

In a field highland cattle were grazing. "Aww, look at that young calf. Take a picture please", implored Grizzly.

Despite Dad waiting in the hope of getting two faces, the other was obviously far too hungry.

The way led on along the access to this impressive house, Hellifield Peel.

The original Pele tower dates from 1305 and was built by Sir John Harcourt one of the last Templar Knights. Then for most of its history it was owned by the Hammerton family, during which time it was Georgianised. During the war it was requisitioned as a prisoner of war camp, then bought by furniture maker Harry Lund in the 1940s. He took the wood he wanted then staged a dilapidation sale. The castle lay in ruins for over 50 years. That was until architect Francis Shaw decided to fulfil his boyhood dream and live in a castle. With his wife Karen, they rescued the moss covered ruin and carried out a bold restoration to make it this beautiful home.

At drive entrance, Shaun said, "it's along the muddy path to the left of the fence."

This led to a gate into open pasture. A local gentleman was coming up behind so Dad held the gate open for him. However he was only walking to the gate today. Of course Dad had a nice chat with him, and he asked, "where are you walking."

Dad showed him the map and he commented, "you'll need that as there are few waymarks."

Now uphill with Tenley Plantation to the left, to a gate and then on, with fence on right, to the next gate. Onwards to climb a stone step stile in the wall and continue over the shoulder of the hill to a gate on to a fenced track at High Ground Farm.

Shaun and Tetley looked closely at the map. Tetley said, "this map is quite old now. The route has been altered, and is no longer through the buildings."

So with our help Dad orientated to the present route, taking the right of two gates and down the track to another gate.

We had spotted on the map Hard Knot Hill, and were hoping to climb to the summit. The right of way continued towards this across the next two fields, and then ended at a cross wall.

Looking left and right, Allen commented, "seems odd that there is just this spur of path, but I do not see any way over the wall."

"Looks like there is no right of way", replied Dad.

Now Dad normally does not trespass, but the alternative would have meant a long detour and having to walk beside the busy A65. So looking back to the farm there was no one about, so he said, "we'll risk it."

Above the wall there was the additional barrier of a net fence, but Dad was undaunted. At the left wall corner, he first took the rucksack and camera off and put them over the fence. Then inserting himself under the fence climbed the wall.

"Phew, that was a bit tricky", said Southey.

Climbed keeping by the fence to the left, before turning right to the summit.

"Yippee", cheered Grizzly. "Time for our picture."

Quickly we settled in the rucksack, and descended to a fence. Again there was need to orientate, Allen helping Shaun.

"Haugh Field is our destination", said Shaun.

"The path is shown on the map but we're not far enough across from the hill", said Allen. "I think we should go through this open gate and cross the field."

"I agree."

They were quite right too, as on the far side of the field was a surfaced track. Turning right soon brought us to Haugh Field.

The farmer was manoeuvering his tractor and trailer. Seeing Dad he stopped to enquire about our route. He then kindly pointed this out.

Left by a building and then through the gate right across a small field to another gate. Now diagonally up the hill and through a gate and on up to the skyline. From the farm we had seen this gate, the farmer telling us to go through it.

"Hmm", mused Tetley, "now we have a dilemma, as there are two gates."

"The map does not correlate either", commented Shaun.

In the end Dad opted for the right hand one. Heading down to climb two fences, Shaun said, "I'm sure we are off route."

"Me too" agreed Dad, as finally he had to climb over the wall to gain the minor road. Now checking the GPS, we confirmed this. Dad went on, "it is fate, as I did not feel up to the whole route that you had mapped out. This has shortened it nicely, particularly with the very boggy ground making for hard going."

"OK", said Shaun, "to get back on route, we go right to pass the buildings of Swinden Moor Head then very soon take the signed footpath right."

Crossed the field to a waymarked stile, then on and on across more very wet ground.

"Look", called out Southey. "Herdwicks. Even you Allen can't object to having a picture of them in the story."

"No pal, they are our favourite sheep."

There was no clear path here, and we got a bit too far right, so Dad was forced to plod through some boggy cattle pens. Then left up to a gate and right to pass under the railway.

Beyond, crossed slightly right to a gate onto a track that descended to a ford...

...the stream on to the right having passed under the railway.

Onwards the track led through Swinden to a gate and along the track, passing these horses.

Today seemed a day of getting off route, Shaun saying, "really we should have kept left on the green path."

"Never mind, if we had I would not have got the shot of the horses. There's a gate here on the left I can climb."

"There's Hard Knot Hill", pointed Grizzly. "We come quite a long way from there."

Correctly on the route climbed the stile...

...to finally drop down left to a stile onto A682.

"It's across the road through that fence gap to drop down through the wood", instructed Shaun.

At the end climbed the stile into the field and skirted the river to a kissing gate. "Ignore this, Dad", called out Shaun, "our route is half right up over the hill."

Shaun also gathered the sheep following us towards the stile to the road.

"It's over that stone stile", pointed Shaun.

This led through a waymarked gate, and on to pass under the railway.

The fields were full of highland cattle. "I remember this part", said Tetley. "There were lots of cattle then and they were under the bridge. I bet they will be this time."

Sure enough he was right. Dad tried not to frighten them but despite his best efforts they were very skittish. Finally they dashed out leaving our route clear. Beyond it was diagonally left to step stile onto road at Hellifield Green, passing this pair of calfs, who were just begging to be photographed.

Now it was just the matter of retracing the outwards route to the car.

"We have enjoyed the day", cheered Southey on our behalf.

"I'm glad", said Dad. "It was far enough bearing in mind how wet it is underfoot.

"So Elaine's now?", said Tetley.

"Sure thing lad."

Here Dad had a ham cheese and tomato ciabatta that Sharon's daughter Molly made. Then blackcurrant crumble and custard. Tea too of course. He chatted a little with Molly and Sharon and also to Elaine and Jonathan.

The journey home was a bit of a nightmare as the A683 to Caton was closed at junction with road from Wray, due to an accident. So the cars were taking the route via Loyne Bridge, which is single track. There was an impasse and the only way to get through was for the traffic on Dad's side to first back off up the narrow lane. It was dark now and rather tricky, and he had to be ever so careful, especially being in the new car.

By the way the new car is super, and having heated front seats, over the winter we were as warm as toast.


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