Date - 21st November 2018 Distance - 8.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL6
Start point - Layby near Brigg House (SD 2871 9460)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was Monday, and all was well with the world.

Shaun, Little Eric and Grizzly had brought the tea and cakes, so we were all content with steaming mugs in paw and cakes on our plate.

"I love the fruit slice", said Tetley. "So tasty and delicious."

"Thanks pal", replied Little Eric. "As well as peach and apricot, I have added chopped cherries for even more flavour."

"It's scrumptious", replied Southey, taking another piece. "Could you refill my mug, pal?"

"Sure", replied Shaun.

Laughing, Allen said, "that's your third mug and third piece of cake. You are getting more of a tea belly and cake stuffer than me."

"Ha", replied Southey. "I see that you are keeping up. Two pieces of chocolate flapjack and a piece of fruit slice."

This caused laughter amongst us all, Shaun commenting, "you two are like peas in a pod and exactly like Dad for tea and cake. Oh and Grizzly, the flapjack is delicious too. We never take it for granted all the baking you and Little Eric do. It is very much appreciated."

"That's OK, we love doing it", replied Little Eric.

Dad and Uncle Brian were of course at Elaine's at Feizor for lunch. "Do you know which of our pals have gone with them today?", asked Southey.

"Caramel and Washington", replied Allen. "They are sure to get fussed."

Tetley had the iPad in paw. "There are days down for a walk with Uncle Eric tomorrow or Wednesday."

"Is either going to be a decent day?", asked Allen.

After a few taps, he replied, "Wednesday is the best."

Looking over his shoulder, Southey queried, "why are you looking at Coniston?"

"Because it is the 25th anniversary of Dad and Uncle Eric first walking together and that walk was between Coniston and Torver. So they have decided to walk in the same area for the anniversary."

"I see", replied Southey. "It will be a new area for me, so roll on Wednesday."

"Dad said he can hardly believe how much time has passed by", added Shaun.


The Walk

Got up early as we had quite a long drive. With Dad having got his gear loaded, we dashed out to the car, calling goodbye to Uncle Brian.

"You behave yourselves lads and have a nice day", he replied.

The start was at layby in Torver. In fact there were two close together, but out of sight of each other. Dad and Uncle Eric had come for different directions. So they were each in different laybys. Knowing Uncle Eric is always there first we were a little worried. Finally Dad walked round the corner then all was well.

A little later than planned then set off about 09:45.

Shaun instructed, "we walk towards Torver, and at Brigg House go left through the kissing gate..."

"...and then walk ahead by the house."

Uncle Eric waits patiently for Dad to finish the photography and catch-up. As Dad takes the pictures on our adventures, he is in his minds eye writing the story.

Soon we came to a path. "This was once part of the railway line", Uncle Eric told us. "It branched off the round the coast line at Foxfield and ran through Broughton in Furness and Torver to Coniston. Long closed now."

Tetley mused, "in these days of high tourism, and concerns about the environment, it would have been a very useful transport link."

"Quite", agreed Uncle Eric.

"We cross the trackbed and continue to a road", advised Shaun.

Here it was right to the A5084, beside which stands this seat.

The dedication plaque reads -


"Over 100 years ago. It has certainly stood the test of time", commented Little Eric.

The instructions now indicated we should go through the gate on the left after about 100 yards.

It was marked Private. "Oh dear", said Grizzly, rather exasperatedly.

Fortunately local gentleman was passing, so we enlisted the assistance. He said, "you will probably be OK."

Once through he kindly put the stone holding the gate closed, in place again for us.

Climbed the steep slope, bending left to go through a wooden gate. "It's right by the wall and then through that gate and on", advised Shaun.

Soon Kelly Hall Tarn appeared to the left. The Wikipedia entry, informed us that the name is said to be derived from a building nearby that has disappeared. Presumerbly Kelly Hall.

The path took us left above its right side. Here we inadvertently extended the walk. The correct route was right keeping to high ground but there was no clear path. What was clear was the path drifting left that dropped ever down towards the shore of Coniston Water.

At the shore we joined the long distance path the Cumbria Way, going right. Passed a number of walkers along here, the only ones we saw all day. Low level views like this of Coniston Water were to be had.

Eventually the path swung away from the lake, Allen looking across saying, "that's rain, and it looks to becoming our way."

Sure enough he was right and for about 20 minutes there was heavy rain and hail. We stood by a wall under the shelter of the trees until it had passed over.

"That sheep is begging to have its picture taken", said Southey.

"Trust you", replied Allen. "It's alright Dad I really don't mind. I would have been surprised to avoid sheep pictures today."

Dad and Uncle Eric set off again the path taking us to the A5084 once again.

Shaun called out, "it's left and across Sunny Bank Bridge." This spans the Torver Beck.

"Now right through that gate", pointed Shaun.

None of us know Latin, but after an Internet search, the translation is, 'Esteemed Owner and Keeper of Hougun Manor'. What we can also tell readers is that the Manor of Hougun is the historic name for an area of Cumbria and is referred to in the Domesday Book. The entry refers to the time (circa 1060) when it was held by Tostig Godwinson (c. 1026 - 25th September 1066), Earl of Northumbria.

Southey called out, "I think that waterfall on the Torver Beck will make a nice picture for the story."

The clear path climbed steadily on and on by the wall on the left, eventually coming to a narrow road by the entrance to Stable Harvey Farm, where Dad and Uncle Eric chatted a little with the farmer. He had been rounding up stray sheep.

"That's Beacon Fell in front", pointed Tetley. "One of the Wainwright Outlying Fells."

All of us, apart from Southey have climbed it. Looking up the records we saw the last time was 2009. "My", said Grizzly, "how time flies." If you look very closely it is just possible to make out the meandering path to the summit.

"Right", said Shaun. "It is a little way along the road, and then leave it to go ahead on a grassy path, part of the Cumbria Way."

Striding this, his next instruction was, "at a rocky outcrop and just before a stream, we should go right on a path through bracken, to start the crossing of Torver Low Common."

Arriving at this point, we all looked about, Tetley putting into words all our thoughts, "what path!!"

The advice was to keep to the edge of the common. This we did, making our trackless way on over the rough terrain with long grassy mounds, making it hard to progress. There were some paths, perhaps?, but many just petered out.

The only landmark amongst this wild desolate and lonely area was a large lone conifer tree.

"According to the instructions, the path runs about 100 yards to the right of the tree", called out Shaun.

The only way to achieve this was to cross very rough ground and then gain a small hill where the progress was easier.

"Look", pointed Allen. "the high fells are covered in snow. Must be worth trying to get a picture"

"What are we looking at?", asked Southey who of us all has least explored the Lakeland Fells.

Grizzly obliged. "The highest in the centre is Wetherlam (762m 2502ft) and to the right Birk Fell whose summit is called Birk Fell Man (525m 1722ft). The ridge running left passes above Levers Water, and the slopes on the far left are those of Coniston Old Man."

"Thank you pal."

Now we just kept going roughly west on the makings of a path, which eventually materialised into a clear path, to arrive at the side of the Mere Beck Valley.

"A very very lonely place", commented Tetley.

The shot above is looking back showing the thin descent path, at the left of the picture. The beck was narrow and easily strode, to then follow the rising path between two birch trees, seen in the shot below.

"Phew, I'm glad that section is done", said Little Eric with relief in his voice.

"Not a place to be in mist for sure", said Allen.

So through the birch trees the the path led us down to Greaves Ground Farm, waymarks guiding us through the farm to a narrow road, where the direction was right to follow this for a mile or so, up and down, to the A593.

During this section we had passed some of our favourite sheep, Herdwicks. Allen called out, "I like having their pictures in the story."

"We cross the main road and then follow the narrow road left into Torver", called out Shaun.

Once through the village we arrived at the main road again. "We cross and then join the railway path", advised Shaun.

Before starting along the path, we stopped to view the site of Torver station. The former buildings are now a private residence. The platform can however still be seen.

The old trackbed led us to the footpath left past Brigg House and so to the start.

There had been nowhere suitable to take our picture, but we always have to appear in the story. So Dad took these of us tucked in the rucksack. Two different angles to ensure that Grizzly and Little Eric are in view.

"Thanks Dad and Uncle Eric" said Southey. "That was a good walk and we all agree a nice way for you both to celebrate 25 years walking together."

"Yes", agreed Uncle Eric, "if rather tough crossing the common."

Dad added, "it should have been made plain in the instructions the lack of a path on that section, and perhaps warned as a result, not to attempt it in mist."


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