Date - 5th January 2022 Distance - 3.25 miles
Ascent - Not recorded
Map - OL7
Start point - Loop of old road at Ashes Lane (SD 4883 9616


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen, Southey and Tetley were reading their magazines, when Shaun Grizzly and Little Eric came in.

Seeing the flasks, Southey said, "super, tea!"

"Great", cheered Allen, "I'm gasping for a cuppa", as with Tetley he got the mugs and plates.

"It's Ramblears Cumbria tea of course", said Shaun, as he filled the mugs, which Tetley then passed round.

"It really is very nice with a lovely flavour", said Tetley after taking a mouthful.

"Aye, it was a good day when Dad spotted it in the window of the shop in Cockermouth", went on Grizzly.

Little Eric opened the cake tins, saying, "Grizzly has done mincemeat slice. I have had a go at making the Chorley cakes that Grizzly is so good at. I would welcome your thoughts on how I have done."

So we all dug in, and all was quiet for a while, then Shaun said, "you have done well, Little Eric. The Chorley cakes are delicious."

"They truly are pal", went on Grizzly. "Allen and Southey are on their third already! Confirmation enough."

Tetley had been having the mincemeat slice. "This is delicious too, Grizzly. We are so fortunate that you and Little Eric like baking."

"As I have said before, I find it very therapeutic", replied Little Eric. Then changing the subject, "Dad has said we are to go walking on Wednesday. So we will have to come up with a suggestion."

"Right", said Tetley. "Let's have a look at the walk index spreadsheet for inspiration. I know we have done most of them but there are bound to be ones that did years ago that we can repeat."

Grizzly opened it up, and he scrolled down slowly. "How about that one, that takes in Ratherheath and Cunswick Fell", suggested Shaun.

The binder was carefully lifted down and the sheet extracted. "The last time we did it was in October 2012", said Shaun

"Good idea pal", agreed Allen. "Nice countryside and a summit too, one we have climbed a number of times."

"I like the idea, as when you last did it I had not been adopted", went on Southey.

"Are we agreed?", asked Allen.

"Yes pal", replied Tetley.

"Right I'll see what Dad thinks."

He was then about to say something else, when Shaun interrupted saying, "I know, please fill my mug up for when I get back."

Allen soon returned. "Dad likes the idea, and also if we get started quite early he will be able to go to the River Bela Cafe for lunch."

"Good, that means we will get to go in too", cheered Little Eric.


The Walk

As Dad drove us, Southey asked, "where exactly is the start point"

Shaun replied, "we go to the end of the Kendal link road from the M6, then keep on towards Windermere. There is a short section of dual carriageway and just as it ends, we go left on a loop of the old road."

Arriving, Tetley said, "we should park in that little pull in just past the turn to Ashes Lane."

The day was to be sunny but with a cold breeze. Good winter walking weather.

We quickly got snuggled in the rucksack while Dad got his boots and coat on. Ready we set off, Shaun advised, "walk ahead and we want the path signed left."

The track stretched before us, crossing a small beck.

"Lots of evidence of damage caused by storm Arwen", commented Allen. "The owners have had to put a lot work in to clear the track and make safe."

Coming to the gate onto Ashes Lane, Shaun instructed, "cross and through the gate opposite."

We followed the path through more woodland, where a lady was walking her dog.

"Look at that shelter built round the tree trunk" pointed Grizzly.

"Oh yes", replied Little Eric. "Looks quite cosy."

The path brought us by pretty Ratherheath Tarn, with it's surrounding trees.

"It is private for an angling association, but this tall fence with a sloping top is new", commented Allen. "The gates are locked too."

"It is a bit dark just now to get a decent shot", said Dad. "We have to come back this way, so I will try then."

What none of us knew however, was how soon that would be.

Crossing a boundary, this waymarked post of bear sized height...

...directed us to the stone step stile where we followed the path left that meandered to a further step stile on to Ratherheath Lane.

Consulting the map, Shaun stated, "turn left for just over a quarter mile, and then right along the access to Moss Side."

Quite quickly we came to an access. "Is this it?", asked Southey.

"No pal", replied Shaun. "It's further on and there will be a signpost too."

There, and with Dad striding the track, Southey said, "the instructions state that we go left across the undulating pasture just before the house."

Well, as it often the case with walks that were published many years ago, things change. There is now a footpath sign that directs walkers along rough track that leads to buildings, the footpath swinging right round a small hill.

"That pond is very pretty, and will be a nice picture", said Allen.

Soon we reached a gate in a wall. Beyond Shaun advised, "keep left and walk on ahead to the house called Bank End."

"OK, now we go through the gate right below the house and across to the gate onto the access track and turn right."

As we strolled along the access the view opened up behind. "Let's pause to take it in", called out Tetley.

"So what can we see?", asked Southey.

Grizzly obliged. "On the far left the mountain topped with snow is Red Screes, up which we have had a few adventures. Before us the Kentmere Horseshoe. Immediately right of Red Screes the rounded fell is Sallows then Yoke, Ill Bell Thornthwaite Crag and right to Mardale Ill Bell with High Street behind. To the right the snow covered fell is the first of the other side of the horseshoe, Harter Fell."

"Stunning", breathed Little Eric. A highlight of the walk so far."

"Walking on Shaun said, "continue to the edge of the woodland, then take step stile and gate left into a field."

Dad strode on by the boundary to the stone step stile in the right corner, where Shaun said, "now across the field through the gateless gap."

"That view to the Whinfell Ridge above Borrowdale is worth a picture", said Allen. "The tree clad fell on the left is Ashstead Fell, then going right, Mabbin Crag, Castle Fell, Whinfell Beacon, the towers of the repeater station and finally Grayrigg Forest."

"Happy days in the past climbing those, with Uncle Eric", said Grizzly wistfully.

"How far have we come?", asked Tetley.

Dad reached for the GPS, only to call out, "it's not there. Fallen off somewhere."

"Oh no" cried Little Eric. "What a disaster."

"Dad, we are so sorry", called out Southey.

"Never mind, it is no ones fault."

"We must go back and see if we can spot it", said Allen. "We will keep our eyes peeled."

Eventually we got back to Ratherheath Tarn, Dad saying, "I'll walk down to get another shot and to see if it dropped there."

We and Dad had expected to find the GPS, but in the event no, so it was lost.

So feeling rather downhearted, on arrival at the car, the walk was abandoned, and Dad drove to River Bela Cafe to see Martyn and Sarah, wishing them a Happy New Year.

We sat on the table while Dad chatted about Christmas. They had had a nice time including having Christmas dinner at the cafe. How sensible. It had been quite a long break and so they were glad to be back at work. They commiserated over the loss of the GPS.

To eat Dad had the Cumberland sausage egg and chips, then delicious rhubarb crumble and custard and tea. On leaving he booked for Friday after Dad's session with Dennis his Osteopath.

So home with us all feeling a bit down in the paw. While we had a late lunch, Dad searched the Internet for his GPS, finding he had bought it in 2009 for a cost of £235.

"That much", cried Southey in horror.

There was worse to come at first, Dad saying, "Things, as you would expect with technology, have moved on. The GPSMAP 60 I had is no longer available. The current version is the 66i.The best price I can find is £495 in the Ordnance Survey sale.

"Phew!", exclaimed Tetley. "Maybe we can do without."

"No we need it to get the proper details of distance, time, ascent etc.", replied Dad. "I am going to order it and I have also found a replacement case on Amazon at £12."

By now Little Eric was almost in tears, and Allen put a comforting paw on his shoulder. However his mood brightened, when Dad said, "I have Personal Possessions cover on my home insurance which will cover the cost, although I will have to pay something as there will be an excess.

So the next day he rang his insurer Axa, and after about 30 mins on the phone, the claim was accepted and Dad recovered the cost less £100 for the excess.

"Well, not quite such a disaster after all", said Southey with relief.

"No lad. I will have to take extra care carrying such and expensive piece of kit."

The new device is much more complicated so, with the help of the online user manual, Dad spent quite a while, familiarizing himself. He told us, "this device now uses the Iridium satellites so I have set up the monthly subscription. However I would have to do this eventually as I recall reading that the US are going to switch off the GPS system, I used on the old device, in the not too distant future."


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