Date - 30th October 2019 Distance - 7.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Layby at Laverock Bridge (SD 5362 9521)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Monday once again and Dad was at Elaine's as usual.

"What an enjoyable walk we had yesterday to the Kellets", said Little Eric.

"Always great to explore new ground. I am forever grateful that you allowed me to join the walking club", said Southey.

"We are glad to have you as a member", replied Tetley. "Even if you wind Allen up about sheep pictures", he went on with a laugh.

"I can put up with it", said Allen. "You are a great pal and I love you."

Just then Shaun and Grizzly arrived with the tea and cake.

"I'll get the plates and mugs", called out Southey. He then helped Shaun fill the mugs and pass them around.

"Thanks", said Allen, "I'm....

"Gasping for a cuppa", interrupted Tetley, with a laugh. "You are a tea belly just like Dad."

"And a cake stuffer", added Southey.

"No more than you", shot back Allen.

There were apple and cinnamon scones courtesy of Grizzly, and peach and apricot slice from Little Eric.

We all dug in, and there were murmurs of appreciation.

Shaun then turned our thoughts back to walks. "I know we were only out yesterday, but I wonder if Dad feels he can fit another in during the week."

Looking at the iPad, Allen said, "Wednesday is free, and the weather looks to be dry.

Tetley cautioned, "Dad has been very busy lately, and we mustn't push him too much."

"Well we can come up with an idea, whether we go or not", mused Grizzly. "Let's try and find one that Dad did before any of us were adopted, so that there will be a new story."

So we all studied the index of walks. After a while Little Eric pointed, "how about this number 107, taking in Whinfell and Black Moss Tarns."

"Looks interesting", agreed Allen. "Will you help me lift the binder down , pal?"

"Sure", replied Southey.

Reading the details, we all agreed this was a great candidate, and one none of us had done before.

"OK", said Allen, "I'll broach the subject with Dad when he gets home."

There was a pensive wait for us, but later Allen had a big smile on his face after asking Dad.

"It's on", then called out Little Eric.

"Great", cheered Southey. "We truly do have the best Dad in the whole world."



The Walk

Dad was up early, so we made sure to be ready, and got settled in the car once we heard him slam the hatch shut on the car.

We drove to Kendal, then took the A685 Appleby Road. "There's where I go to see Dennis for my osteopath appointments", pointed Dad.

"I wondered where it was", replied Allen. "He has done wonders for you, getting rid of the back and shoulder pains and keeping you supple."

"He has. It is worth every penny."

"We need to look out for the turning on the left to Mealbank", advised Shaun.

Shortly Grizzly called out "here it is."

The narrow lane meandered, Shaun issuing instructions, "we have to cross Laverock Bridge that spans the River Mint." It is a Grade 11 listed structure, probably built in 17th or 18th century.

Just beyond on the right was the layby where Dad parked, after turning round so that he was facing the right direction at the end.

Soon ready and us settled in the rucksack he was striding out just minutes after 10:00, along the narrow lane and through the houses of Mealbank. Plainly it was bin day.

As the view opened up to the left, Allen called out, "there are our beloved Lakeland Fells."

Although a rather distant skyline we include Dad's photographs nevertheless. This below has the Crinkle Crags in the centre then right of the dip at Three Tarns are the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Esk Pike and Great End where the ridge drops away.

And this of the Coniston Fells, with the Old Man towards the left and right of centre, Swirl How and Wetherlam.

Striding on, Shaun once again was our guide. "After a mile from the start we should look out for a signpost to a footpath left."

Keeping our eyes peeled, Little Eric called out, "there."

"Well spotted pal", said Shaun. "Our route is now through that gap stile in the wall on the right."

Looking across Grizzly said, "nice autumn colours."

Descending half left Dad joined a cart track that led to Patton Hall Farm.

Into and then left through the farmyard to exit via a gate, and then across pasture to a another gate and on by the wall on the right towards a copse.

By the copse a stone step stile took us into the adjacent pasture. "Phew", breathed Dad, "that was quite a mega stile." This shot is from the far side.

We had passed sheep in the pasture, Southey saying, "I am not going to wind you up pal, and perhaps there will be no such pictures in this story."

"Aww, thanks pal", replied Allen.

Walked on with the copse to the left to cross a wood step stile. "Not one to cross if wearing shorts", laughed Little Eric, noting the nettles.

"Good job it's a cold day then", replied Dad.

Shortly beyond a ladderstile we were at the small residential community of Old Field End. This has been developed since the walk was originally written and so altering the route.

Dad strode up the access road, but soon Shaun called out and pointed, "this is wrong as we need to be in the field on the right, to get to that waymarked gate."

Dad back tracked and Tetley said, "there's the gate into the field."

This led to two more gates for the onwards route, but not before Dad had taken this of the lovely placid horse.

Now as per the walk instructions it was ahead on a wide grassy shelf to Field End, approached by a short walled track. Then coming to the reinforced track it was right to walk through the group of houses. At the far side of the farmhouse went left and climbed the slope into open pasture.

"That's Whinfell Beacon, dominating the view ahead", pointed Tetley. Apart from our pal Southey we had all walked the whole ridge.

"Keep by the wall on the right, and cross to the other side at a gate and then go on in the same direction", called out Shaun.

Below some magnificent beeches, a kissing gate gave access to a track on the Dales Way. This is taken from the track.

"That's an impressive mansion", pointed Grizzly.

This is Shaw End a grade 2 listed building. Designed by Francis Webster the house was originally built in 1796 by the Shepherd family, wealthy mill owners, and stayed with the family into the 20th century. The current owners bought Shaw End following a disastrous fire in the early 1980s. After many years of work the house was restored into holiday let apartments.

"We go left", said Shaun.

In 200 yards the Dales Way leaves the track. Here we met four gentlemen walking in the opposite direction. The only walkers we saw today.

Ignoring the Dales Way, Dad kept on the track bearing round to the go left and then right under this tunnel that carries the access to Shaw End...

...and then followed the delightful track...

...to the road at Patton Bridge.

"Look called out", Little Eric, "a wall post box." Getting closer he went on, "it dates from Queen Victoria. I know you have lots of such pictures, but another won't do any harm."

Shaun now told us, "it's right over the bridge, and soon, when there is a choice of three lanes we should take the middle one."

The narrow road was hedged and for such a country lane quite a few vehicles passed by. When a tractor and trailer passed Dad really had to squeeze into the hedge to avoid the wheels. At a gate on the right Allen whispered, "look at that lamb sitting contentedly. I know I did not want any sheep pictures, but you have to take that."

At a fork, Shaun said, "go left and look for a stile on the left in the hawthorn hedge."

As Dad walked down from the stile Whinfell Tarn was now in full view to the left.

"There are two paths on the map", said Southey.

"It's the one furthest from the tarn, as the instructions state that the one near the tarn is not a right of way according to the farmer at Hyning."

Beyond a stile in the hedge, crossed the rough pasture a bit to the right and through a gate to join a reinforced track. "We go left", said Shaun.

Dad strode out passing Hyning Farm and on to return to the junction of three roads once again. Crossed the bridge and climbed the road. "Soon after a right hand bend we join the Dales Way to the right", advised Shaun.

Initially passed in front of the large house Biglands, and then followed the gated/stiled and well waymarked path.

After a stile in a wall, Black Moss Tarn came into view.

"This is prettier than Whinfell Tarn", said Grizzly.

"Yes", agreed Tetley. Noting the swan he then said, "Uncle Brian would have renamed it Tuonela."

"Why", asked Little Eric.

"After the piece of music 'Swan of Tuonela' by Sibelius, who was Uncle Brian's favourite composer."

We looked on silently, thinking about our dear Uncle Brian and how much we and especially Dad, miss him.

The path was right by the wall to a kissing gate in the cross wall. It was very tight and Dad could not get through without taking the rucksack off.

Allen piped up, "how about taking our picture sitting on the wall."

"Sure lads."

We did not need a second asking and quickly scrambled out of the rucksack, to pose.

This boulder was near the wall. "That's pink Shap granite", said Allen.

Even without his rucksack it was still a bit of a squeeze for Dad getting through the kissing gate. Beside the tarn a little way, then up over the hill to the right and down to New House...

...and through the garden and out to follow a narrow path between ruined walls, passing Goodham Scales away to the right. Now joined a narrow road, passing by a small pool on the right, and where it swung left, Shaun said, "we keep ahead through that gate."

Still on the Dales Way, the road led us past Garnett Folds and on to Tarn Bank.

At the house followed the signposted route left...

...through a gate and across the pasture to a gap stile by a tiny stream.

"We should go ahead keeping to the left of the grassy mound", said Shaun. Soon he advised, "now drop down to the gate on the left."

The path then led into the community of Skelsmergh Hall. Walked through the buildings swinging left, to then follow the signed track left. This climbed and soon swung right to open pasture.

"We need to go right round the hill and look for a water trough", instructed Shaun.

"There it is", called out Little Eric.

"OK then we go past it and cross that gap stile into the grounds of Dodding Green."

Passed through the gate ahead and crossed the tiny bridge over the narrow beck. This is the reverse view.

There were ducks here.

After the tiny bridge kept straight on to another gate into pasture, to walk half right to a gate onto the road at Laverock Bridge.

"What a super walk", called out Southey, "I have thoroughly enjoyed it."

Sentiments we all agreed with.

"Time for refreshments", said Southey.

"Yes lad, I am going to Elaine's".

"Where else", replied Tetley.

While Dad drove there, we had our picnic. Lovely sandwiches and cake washed down with warming mugs of tea.

They were surprised and pleased to see him, Sue asking, "what day is it?"

Dad got his usual table and we sat in Uncle Brian's chair. He had as tuna ciabatta with chips and then blackcurrant crumble and custard. Lots of tea too of course.

Elaine who has not been well at all for the last two weeks and is still not working, came down and Dad had a long chat. First just with her and then with Marian too. She is still very weak, but on the mend and she will just have to be patient and get her strength back.

Finally Dad was about the last to leave as the staff began sweeping up around him. It was after 17:00 when we got home. The other lads told us we were DSO's (Dirty Stop Outs).


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