Allen reaches 5000 miles walked


Date - 7th November 2020 Distance - 9.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Staveley in Cartmel village hall (SD 37927 85989)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



All was well, as we had mugs of steaming tea in paw, and Grizzly and Little Eric had brought cakes.

"So what have we got today?", asked Southey, who like Allen is a real cake stuffer.

"We are having a scone day", replied Little Eric. "I have made sultana and Grizzly has done cherry and ginger."

"All served with butter jam and cream", added Grizzly.

"Super", cheered Tetley as he helped himself as did Shaun and Grizzly.

Allen made no move as he was staring intently at the iPad, prompting Grizzly to say, "are you not well pal?"

"I'm fine, but as you know the next walk will take me past 5000 miles, so I am looking at the weather prospects for the weekend. Saturday looks to be dry, but rain on Sunday."

"Saturday it will have to be then", replied Tetley, "providing of course Dad feels like walking."

"I'm sure he will", said Shaun, "getting out during the lockdown will be good for his soul."

"So any ideas where to walk?", said Little Eric.

"I found another of the walks that Dad did before any of us were adopted", replied Tetley. "It starts from Lowgill and goes in a circle via the Stone of Fourstones. The thing is though, the distance might not get Allen past 5000 miles, so it maybe as well to leave that for another day."

Shaun piped up, "I have been looking for similar walks too. I found one from Staveley in Cartmel that goes past Simpson Ground Reservoir and then to Cartmel Fell. Dad did it in 2000. I am the only one to have done it, as that was when Dad started taking me on walks. That will definitely get you past 5000 miles, Allen."

"Sounds a good one to suggest", and draining his mug, he went off to ask Dad. "I'll make up for lost time with the scones when I get back", he called out with a laugh.

"That's for sure", laughed Southey. "And, we had better refill his mug."

"Quite", agreed Shaun. "Allen is the master tea belly and cake stuffer, just like Dad!"

Soon back the smile on his face told us that the walk was on.

"Great" cheered Little Eric. "Here's to Saturday."



The Walk

We made sure to be ready for the off and dashed out to the car, calling goodbyes to our pals.

"Take care", called out Gladly. "Make sure Dad goes steadily and does not rush too much, as the ground will still be quite muddy and slippy in places."

"We will", called back Shaun.

The route was up the M6 to junction 36 and then on the newly resurfaced section of the A590. "They have made a good job", said Grizzly. "A nice smooth ride."

Then continuing on the A590 almost to Newby Bridge, but just before taking the narrow road right to Staveley.

"The instructions mention a layby on the left for parking", said Southey.

With all the leaves strewn on the road, Dad missed it. Then a little further Dad spotted the village hall with a large car park. "I'll park here. There will be no events taking place due to Covid. It will get us nearer to the outward path too."

Dad was quickly ready and with us settled in the rucksack, Shaun instructed "we turn left past the village hall."

Dad strode out, but progress was halted by Little Eric calling out, "there's the wall postbox. Then peering closer he went on, "it is well over 100 years old too, being another dating from the reign of Queen Victoria. A must picture for our story, please Dad."

Shaun advised, "we take the track right just before the telephone box."

Very soon Allen called out, "there's the telephone box, and here's the track signed to Simpson Ground."

Beyond houses it became unsurfaced and climbed. Presently Grizzly called out, "aww, just look at that lovely pony."

Coming to a facing gate, Southey, looking at the map, said, "it's not through there. We should continue left along the track, then as we near the end of the clearing, there will be a gate into it."

From the gate a clear winding path climbed steeply to a gate.

"The author says to pause here and admire the view", commented Tetley.

"Wow", said Southey. "What can I see pals."

Allen obliged, "the lake is of course Windermere. As for the mountains, they are a bit hazy today. The highest on the left of the group is Helvellyn, while to the right is the Fairfield Horseshoe."

"That is part of my outstanding Wainwrights", commented Little Eric. "Not, I emphasise, that I expect you to take me up there Dad."

"Well lad, we will just have to see. I am not up to the mountains at present. If we do get on them again, I might not be able to do the whole round in one go now."

Through the gate a further steep path, narrow and stony through woodland, brought us to the forest road.

"Left", called out Shaun.

Followed this for quite a distance passing a junction with another road, where Dad had a brief chat with a cyclist who lives locally. He was able to tell us the path we wanted was just a little further on.

"Look at that bare tree", called out Allen. "With the lower turned up branches it reminds me a bit of those huge cactuses in America."

"It will thus be forever known as the cactus tree then", laughed Tetley.

The road curved right and soon Southey pointed, "that's the waymarked path we want towards Simpson Ground."

There were some extremely wet areas to cross, Little Eric saying with feeling, "thank goodness for the duck boarding."

Rough and muddy the path led on with Simpson Ground Reservoir away to the right. "I think it would be best not to try any of the side paths to the shore, due to the rains", commented Grizzly.

"I agree", Dad replied.

Spotting a small pond Allen said, "there are some nice reflections."

Eventually a good footpath led left running beside the dam. "I'm going to follow that for a little way, and try and get a shot of the reservoir", stated Dad.

Grizzly told us, "the reservoir provides a fresh water supply for Grange-over-Sands and the Haweswater aqueduct to Barrow. The reservoir measures 455 m × 194 m (1,493 ft × 636 ft), and has a capacity of 44 million gallons. It was opened on 4 May 1957 by Lancashire County Council. Since the reorganisation of the counties in the early 1970s it is now of course in Cumbria."

Returning to the main path we walked on coming to a junction. It seemed the main route was the left fork, but we had made the wrong decision, as after about a mile, Shaun checked the GPS against the map. "Dad, we are too far north, and there seems to be not clear way of getting back on track if we continue. I'm sorry I should have checked sooner."

"Not to worry lad, we'll just walk back to the junction."

Dad really strode out and it was not long before we were on the narrower but correct path that soon led to the wall and waymarked post mentioned in the instructions.

"We go left along by the wall", called out Southey.

A stile took us to open ground and we followed the path as it bent right past this prominent Scots Pine.

Looking left Tetley said, "that's Gummer's How, which we climbed recently. I can see the trig point on the summit."

Past the tree the path descended to the access road to Sow How.

Opposite was a rocky outcrop, Allen saying, "a perfect place to sit for our picture."

Settled again in the rucksack Shaun pointed, "we should follow the access through that gate, and then down past the buildings of Foxfield."

Here Little Eric said, "you're limping Dad. What's the matter?"

"I've got a stone in my boot."

Taking his left boot off, and turning it upside down, Tetley said, "nothing dropped out."

"Ahh", replied Dad. "It's in my sock."

Taking this off, Dad finally located it and pulled it out of the wool. "That's better", said Dad, with his sock and boot on again.

Southey advised, "keep on to the end of the wood, then go left along the signed track, to then at a waymarked post turn right."

This led to a gate, where we met two ladies. Dad said, "hello."

Responding with an "hello", one lady then said, "there are cows on the path."

"Oh sods law", replied Dad.

"We seem to be fated with this", laughed Allen. "It's a good job we are not with Uncle Eric."

With no way to avoid them to either side Dad just marched on and they either just sat and ignored us or moved out of the way.

The path led on and on crossing Spannel Beck and descending through woodland. Coming out into the open again, it led to a gate onto Height Lane.

"Turn left", said Shaun.

"Lovely autumn colours", pointed Grizzly.

Tetley said, "we have decided not to take in the loop to Cartmel Fell Church, as we have been there a few times before and anyway it will be closed under the lockdown."

"That's right lad", replied Dad. "I remember long ago doing one of my teddy talks in the church hall."

"So", stated Shaun, "what we do then is walk to the crossroads, and turn right."

This took us past The Ashes, and then on towards Little Thorphinsty.

"Just before the buildings, go right on a signed track", said Southey.

The leaf strewn path climbed to a gate, where the waymark pointed us left across the field. Here there was a very considerate bear sized waymarker, as illustrated by Southey.

Clearly waymarked the route led via gates and stiles through Low Loft Wood to the road at Thorphinsty Hall.

Here the lady was putting out cheese for the birds. She said, "the blue tits, coal tits and blackbirds love it. One comes and sit on my hand."

"Wonderful", said Dad.

Then talking about walks she asked, "have you done the Wainwrights."

"Yes, and also the Birketts that are 540 summits over 1000ft.

She then saw us and Dad explained, "Shaun, Tetley Grizzly and Allen have done all those summits too, and today Allen has just passed 5000 miles."

"That's quite an achievement." She then said, "my husband is talking about doing the Wainwrights again, but I am not so keen, as some are pretty tough."

"I understand. Having done all the summits it is hard get motivated to do them again."

So walking on up the road, Shaun instructed, "shortly we take the gate on the left into Crag Wood."

Now it was on and on along the clearly waymarked path, to at a junction go right, the ongoing path constantly rising to emerge onto Height Road again. "Phew", said Dad, "that was harder than I expected."

"Turn left", called out Southey, "and then take the path right at the signpost."

This rather dishearteningly indicated how far we still had to go, and looking over the wall Little Eric said, "oh dear there is a very steep ascent to come."

Dad climbed the very tall stone step stile, this taken afterwards...

...and then followed the narrow trod steeply uphill to come by a waymarked electricity pole.

Here we paused as Allen said, "wow what super views of the Winster valley. I know the visibility is not totally clear but I think the pictures will be worth including in the story.

Pointing to the wall behind us Southey advised, "we should climb that tall stone step stile, and then follow the waymarked route over pastures."

Thinking the climbing was over Dad was actually faced with a continual ascent across the pastures.

"Never mind", said Allen, "I am sure it will level off soon."

After a gate in a few yards at the narrow end of the field it was then over this ladderstile and across the succeeding pasture to the next ladderstile. This can just about be made out in the distance, between the uprights.

There, as Allen had assured, the ascent now finally levelled off, and continuing ahead we came to the access road to Simpson Ground Farm.

"Keep straight on", called out Shaun.

"Look", called out Allen, "more cows."

They just ignored us thankfully, as we followed a tractor track to a gate in to Chapel House Plantation once again. The narrow path led to a forest road, the junction marked by this nice cairn. "Worth a picture Dad", suggested Tetley.

"Turn left", called out Southey. "The instructions then say to go left at a waymark to avoid a large loop in the forest road."

"Thanks", replied Dad. "However after our experience earlier, I am minded to keep on the forest road. It will add some extra distance, as well."

Dad strode out and after quite a while we arrived at a junction with another road.

Allen called out, "this is the one we walked earlier, as there is the cactus tree!"

"Great", said Dad. "I have decided not to complete the last part of the walk, but rather return along the forest road and then take the path right down to the clearing. This will at the end avoid a longish section on the road."

"That's fine", agreed Little Eric.

Entering the clearing, Grizzly called out, "what beautiful autumn colours."

As we walked down, we met a gentleman with his daughter who were tending to the beautiful and placid ponies and Dad unsurprisingly got talking.

The gentleman said, "they are proper fell ponies and they are used in our trekking business." Then he said, "where have you been walking today and how often do you get out."

Dad told them briefly our route, and said, "I try to get out about twice a week."

"That's good, keep it up."

We walked on down to the gate, followed now by the gentleman and his daughter on their quad bike. The gate was too narrow for them and they went left to the large gate on the far side. We had nearly reached that point by the time they were through and the daughter waved and called out a cheery "goodbye."

Then it was just down the track and left on the road to the start.

Will you take a picture of the church?" asked Grizzly.

"Sure lad."

Here first is the lychgate...

...that gives access to St Mary's Church.

Grizzly had the information to paw, and told us, "there has been a church on the site since 1618, and was repaired in 1678. The south aisle and tower date possibly from 1793. It was restored in 1897 by architects Paley and Austin. This work included reroofing and reseating and replacing the stone arcade with one in timber. As can be seen it is stone built with a slate roof. In plan there is a nave and chancel in one range, south aisle and tower with vestry. The tower has a west door with two light window above. The paired bell openings are round headed and the battlemented parapet has crocketed pinnacles at the corners."

"Thank you pal for that", said Tetley. "We are all the wiser for your words."

Noting the time, Allen said, "it reminds me of the final lines from the poem, 'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester' by Rupert Brooke. -
'Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?'"

"And most appropriate for you bears", laughed Shaun.

So settled in the car Dad drove us home. "I feel a bit tired, as it was further than I expected. I used to think nothing of this a few years ago."

"Well Dad, it's like Uncle Brian would say, 'you're not a young as you were'", replied Tetley.

"Nevertheless it has been a super walk, and I am overjoyed to have passed 5000 miles", cheered Allen. "What a lucky bear I am to have had all those wonderful adventures." Then after another thought he called out, "and no sheep pictures today either."

"Yes we all have a big thank you to say to Dad for taking us out over the years", agreed Grizzly.


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