Our 400th Walk Story


Date - 16th July 2020 Distance - 6.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL4
Start point - Blindcrake by village green (NY 1479 3467


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Clints Crags 804 245 NY 1591 3527



It was Wednesday, and after the exertions of yesterday walking round Crummock Water, we were having a restful day with our other hug pals who had come on holiday. We thought it only fair that we include pictures of them. Just to note they were not actually taken on this holiday.

Fletcher (r), who was adopted here, always comes with his girlfriend Polly, and we have to thank them for inviting us.

Fred and Gladly our Chief Hug Bears, always come too, and are pictured some years ago with pals Ralph and Craig sitting either side, in the grounds.

And to make up the holiday hug, Richard, Peter Rabbit, Pitter Patter raccoon, and Ping panda.

Dad had gone for a ride out to Cockermouth just a few miles west along the A66.

Polly said, "I was adopted there, at Fagans. A number of our hug have come from the shop."

"That's right", said Fred. "I recall the first was Kieran in 2010."

"Then I was next in 2012", went on Polly.

"For a few years after the adoptions were from Toy Chest in Keswick", stated Craig.

"But latterly Dad returned to Fagans", replied Fletcher. "There was Caramel in 2017 for his birthday."

"That was the year after Aunt Wendy had died. She always made Dad a bear for his birthday, and we have so may wonderful Hug members from her over the years. He was particularly sad that day, so Uncle Brian agreed that he could adopt a new Hug pal, in her memory", said Gladly.

"Then last September, he adopted Hakatan, his name meaning 'Little One' in Hebrew", said Richard. "He as such a beautiful face and an all knowing expression."

Allen, his eyes filling up sniffed "that was on Dad's first visit here, after our dear Uncle Brian's death. Hakatan seems to know what you are saying and feeling, and I consider he is a fitting remembrance of Uncle Brian."

"I agree pal", said Tetley, putting a paw round his shoulder. "Everyone of us misses of dear Uncle Brian and especially you Fred, as he was your Dad."

"Yes pal, but I am so fortunate to have my brother Gladly, and Uncle Gerry to take care of me. He is my second Dad."

Trying to lighten the mood a bit, Ping then said, "I wonder if a new Hug pal will be coming home today?"

It was not too long afterwards that we heard the key in the lock and Dad enter the room. He had no bag in his hand, Ralph exclaiming, "you didn't buy a bear! My goodness that is a surprise."

"I'm gobsmacked", cried Fred and Gladly together.

"No", said Dad. "there were a few for adoption, but none actually spoke to me or bonded. It is for the best really, as I do have quite enough members of the Hug, and where would I have put him or her."

"You are right", agreed Craig. "And after all don't forget you have Nevada on pre-order from Corfe Bears. He is due to arrive around Christmas time."

Changing the subject Dad then said, "the weather looks reasonable for tomorrow so I have decided go walking. It will also, when written be your 400th walk story."

"Good heavens", said Grizzly. "How our website has grown from those early days in 2009, when it first went live."

"Ooh great", cheered Southey. "Have you got a plan?"

"Well I thought about a modest summit, one of the Wainwright Outlying Fells, and you will bag it Southey. I'll let you lads chose."

"Right" said Shaun, getting the iPad and opening the OS App. He then scrolled north of Armathwaite, and we looked at the possible summits we could climb.

We muttered amongst ourselves, then Little Eric spoke for us all. "How about Clints Crags from Blindcrake."

"OK", agreed Dad.

Tetley said, "it would be nice to extend the walk beyond the route in Wainwright's book. And we could do it the opposite way."

"That's a good idea", agreed Allen.

Shaun was looking closely at the map. "OK then, let's walk to the hamlet of Sunderland. Then follow the road until we get to this junction and go left, then take this track off left by Threapland Moss. It will bring us back to the outwards path. Then it will be over the summit and down to Blindcrake."

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Little Eric. "We will just have to hope that there are no restrictions of walking that return track."

"I am happy lads", said Dad. "Here's to tomorrow."


The Walk

There had been little or no sun during this holiday and today was no exception, but apart from a very brief shower as we walked through Blindcrake at the end of the walk, the day was dry.

An early breakfast as Dad was eager to be off. An easy journey via the A66 and then on the A595 to turn off right and drive through Redmain and soon reach Blindcrake.

"We'll park here", said Dad, seeing a space on the left by the village green, seen here after we had walked down the side. Dad's is the red car.

Coming to the t-junction, Shaun pointed, "there's the signpost for our route."

"1.5 miles" commented Allen. "Should take us an hour at the most."

So through this gate and along the section of fenced track and out into open pasture.

"We should head to the right of the trees in the distance", informed Shaun.

"Perhaps as best to keep by the wall initially, until we get past the large herd of cows", said Little Eric.

"Aye lad", replied Dad, "a wise piece of advice."

This done the ground rose gently and drifting right we picked up a clear wide grassy path that led us through an open gate in the wall.

Then, with the woodland to our left, we walked on for some distance through Isel Park.

Grizzly called out, pointing right. "That large house in the valley is Isel Hall. It has a long history dating back to the 12th century, and has been in the ownership of many people up to the present day. The most striking feature is the Pele tower. There are no actual records to record the date of its construction, but one featureĀ a Carnarvon arched doorway in the basement of the tower dates it to the early fifteenth century. The later wing protruding in a westerly direction dates from the 16th century. It comprised a banqueting hall, looking towards the south, together with a new entrance hall with bedrooms over. The banqueting hall, occupied the space of the present dining room, study, and passage, and measured 12.2 metres by 7.3 metres. Four very wide and richly moulded beams span the ceiling, while laid across these are smaller moulded ribs to support the above floors. The beautiful Tudor panelling surrounding this block of rooms is one of the most interesting features of the hall. What I have told you pals is just a tiny part of the information on the Wikipedia page. Readers should click the link above to see this."

"Thank you pal, as always for the history lesson. You always add interest to our days out", said Allen.

After cresting a rise the path then dropped gently towards a gate. "Oh heck", said Southey. "More cows and they have young. And as usual they are on the path."

He needn't have worried as they moved off as we approached.

After the gate we noticed on the far side a waymark that looking at the gate pointed right. For a few second Shaun scratched his head, then said, "ahh, I see where we are. According to the map we are off the path coming in this direction. We should actually be lower down."

"I didn't see another path", said Tetley.

Shaun replied, "it does not matter. On the return route we will come to this gate again, and then we should go right as per the waymark for Clints Crags. In the meantime, what we need to do is go through that waymarked gate over there on the right and walk the track to the next gate. It is along there that the track from Threapland Moss comes in."

Dad did as instructed, and despite looking none of us could see the joining track. "Never mind", said Little Eric, that's for later."

However what we did see were sheep, Grizzly pointing, "that ewe and lambs are begging to be photographed."

"Darn", cried Allen, as Dad hauled the camera out. "Huh, there goes my sheep picture free story."

At the gate, Shaun instructed, "it is across this next pasture."

This brought us to the next gate through which we entered another field, where Shaun said, "it's on ahead, but gradually drop down right onto that surfaced track."

There, Dad strode out, the track soon leading us into the hamlet of Sunderland, where we looked in vain for the Stadium of Light!!

Southey asked, "does anyone know the origin of the name Sunderland?"

Grizzly replied, "I looked it up in Dad's book of Lake District place names. Sunderland is, 'the separate, remote or private tract of land', from the Old English sundorland, referring to the situation on a tongue of land between two streams, or some feature of its early ownership or use."

"Thank you pal", said Southey.

Allen glanced at the GPS. "Huh, the signpost at Blindcrake indicated the distance was 1.5 miles. In truth it is nearly 2.5 miles." Then laughing he went on, "the miles must be a different length up here in Cumbria!"

"Turn left", instructed Shaun.

Almost immediately, Little Eric called out, look, there's the postbox. You know how I like to include them in the story."

Passing the houses, this one caught our eye, with the long extension back from the road.

"Look", pointed Southey, "that's quite an extensive cactus garden."

Leaving the hamlet behind Dad followed the road. "Just look at the meadowsweet on the verge", called out Tetley. "Beautiful and it has a lovely fragrance."

Quite soon we reached a road junction. "It's left towards Threapland", instructed Shaun.

The road ran arrow straight and descended. "That large plantation of trees on the left, is Threapland Moss. The return route is the track left immediately before", advised Shaun.

"I have my paws crossed that it is not marked private", said Little Eric, worriedly.

As can be seen there were no such signs and Dad strode out purposefully, alongside the densely wooded plantation of Threapland Moss. Level at first it then climbed and bent very slightly left then a little right over Sunderland Heads.

The wood ended, and we were in open countryside on either side and gaining height. "Oh look", called out Allen. "That's a good view to Bassenthwaite Lake, even if rather misty in the conditions today. On a clear day it would be fabulous with Skiddaw, Ullock Pike and Dodd to the left."

The track was walled on either side. At one point, Tetley said, "I wonder why there is that kink in what is otherwise a straight section of wall."

We peered over. There was no apparent reason we could see. "Well, just another of life's mysteries", mused Little Eric.

A few minutes later, Grizzly pointed, "that's a pretty wildflower. I wonder what it's called?"

"Oh not again pal", said Southey. "I am sure we have no idea. We'll have to ask Bracken and Moss for their expertise yet again."

This we did on the day that Dad was typing the story. They looked at each other, Bracken saying, "this one's easy."

"Quite", agreed Moss. "It is called Ladies Mantle."

"Thank you pals", said Grizzly. "We are in awe of your knowledge."

After a while the track became overgrown and then boggy beyond a gate.

At its distant point in the picture above, it swung left downhill. Then it became sunken and looked very boggy and to all intents disappeared . Seeing the wall to the right had gone, Dad said, "better to walk in the field."

This then shortly brought us to our outward route. Little Eric commented, "there is little wonder we did not notice the path earlier."

Turned right to return through the first and then too the second waymarked gate, when suddenly Dad tumbled flat on his face.

"Are you alright", cried Allen, who like the rest of us was trying not to laugh.

"Yes lad. The camera bag broke my fall."

"Whatever happened?, asked Southey worriedly.

"I stood on a fallen branch the end rearing up and caught my other foot, where gravity took over. I am not hurt only my pride", laughed Dad.

"Thank goodness", said Shaun.

So coming to the gate we had come through earlier after the cows...

...we did as Shaun had said earlier and followed the waymark direction right by and then left round the wall. Climbed gently to a gate and then on to a gateless gap, where we should have then gone above the wall on the right, although we did not see how.

"I remember there is a ruin near here", said Allen.

"There", pointed Little Eric.

"These are the ruins of Thackray Cottage" Grizzly told us. "In the chapter on Clints Crags in his Outlying Fells, Wainwright says the building was roofless and festooned with ivy. That was in 1974."

We walked on below the wall, Shaun saying, "we should climb up the slope and then go through that gap, by those cows."

Now on Clints Crags, it was just a matter of backtracking a short way to gain the flat area of the summit. "I recall last time we just sat at the point we considered to be the top, wherever that really is", remarked Tetley.

Allen then pointed, "there's a small boulder over there. How about we use that for our picture today."

"Good idea", agreed Southey. "Dad can I ask a favour too. Will you get the flag out."

"Of course lad. Now get settled."

As we set off again, Little Eric said, "it is certainly a walk with lots of cows and over there is the bull too."

Dad reversed the ascent passing through the wall gap, and headed towards a gate, but Shaun called out, "this is the wrong way. We should keep right of the wall and head down from there."

"Of course lad", replied Dad. "I'm not thinking straight today. I'll go to that wall corner and climb over."

This done we headed towards Blindcrake, finding a track that wound round a rise. "We have to find a gate in the long wall that encircles Clints Park."

Looking about Southey said, "I don't see one."

"That's because we are still too low down in relation to the summit", responded Tetley. "We need to go right along the wall."

A minute or so later, Grizzly called out, "there's the gate."

This led on to a narrow path through a grassy area between trees and walls...

...that continued beyond a gate to soon reach the road at Blindcrake, and turn left.

"Grizzly", asked Southey, "do you know the origin of the name Blindcrake?"

He replied, "again from Dad's book, it means 'The top of the rocky hill'. This is from the Cumbric *blain that corresponds to the Welsh blaen meaning 'top point'. Plus Cumbric *creig that corresponds to the Welsh craig meaning 'rock, cliff'. The author then goes on to point out that the village is set well above the lower Derwent valley."

"Thank you." Then after a moments thought, Southey said, "that means are pal Craig's name means rock. So very appropriate too as he is always there for us if we are feeling down."

As walked through the village we had the only rain on the walk, but it only lasted two minutes.

Passing a farm, Allen pointed, "I like that sign. Take a picture for the story Dad."

Further on it was Little Eric's turn to call out. "Look, Blindcrake postbox. Please can we have a picture?"

In the adjacent display case for notices etc., there is a map of the village giving all the house names.

There is a seat too, and Tetley said, "we should have our picture taken to round off the story."

"Your wish is my command", replied Dad. Seeing the seat was wet after the shower, he went on, "I'll spread the map case out for you to sit on."

"Thank you", said Allen.

We were almost at the car, but Dad decided to do a circuit of the green. We were glad as otherwise we would not have see the old water trough. Wanting to know a bit more, Grizzly did some research later. "I have found some minutes from a Parish Council meeting of 21st March 2011, in which it referred to as the cattle trough."

"What super time I have had", said Southey. "Walking through lovely countryside, bagging a summit, and learning lots on interesting things about the area. Thank you Dad, on behalf of us all."

Turning round, Dad drove back via the hamlet of Redmain, once again. Little Eric eagle eyed, called out, "there's the postbox and it's and old one from the reign of Queen Victoria."

"I know", replied Dad, parking and getting the camera.

Then to test Grizzly again, Southey asked, "what is the origin of the name Redmain."

"Indeed there is an entry in Dad's place names book. It means 'stone ford'. From the Cumbric *rid (Welsh rhyd) that means ford, and *main (Welsh maen) that means 'rock, stone'.

Then, with no further stops we returned to Armathwaite Hall, where Dad went and had a late lunch in the Brasserie, and we came along too of course. Marela was on today. Dad was the only customer, so he had a long chat with here about walks and they also spent time putting the world to rights. She is such good fun and just great to talk to.

"A grand day out, once again", said Tetley, as we settled in the room to tell our other pals all about our day.


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