Date - 22nd June 2022 Distance - 6.5 miles
Ascent -
950 ft
Map - OL7
Start point - Road junction near Grayrigg Hall (SD 5795 9769)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Tetley strolled in seeing Allen and Southey looking at the laptop. "What are you on with pals?"

"Reviewing the pictures Dad took on the last walk", replied Southey. "As always Dad has the potential story in mind when taking them, and so there will be plenty to choose from."

"That's great", replied Tetley. "I have your Lake District magazines, and my Dalesman has arrived too.

"Thanks", said Allen. "I always look forward to reading them."

"Me too", added Southey.

"It is good to be walking regularly with Uncle Eric again", said Tetley. "I recall there is a plan for another this coming Wednesday."

"Yes", agreed Allen. Then picking up the iPad navigated to the the Met Office app. "There is a good forecast. Cloudy at first then sunnier and it will be warm in the afternoon."

"So we need to come up with a suggestion for Dad to put to Uncle Eric", stated Southey.

"My brain works better with tea and cake", replied Allen.

Tetley let out a bellow of laughter. "Why am I not surprised, tea belly and cake stuffer.

"I am with Allen on that as well", chuckled Southey.

Well fortunately Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric came to their rescue, and seeing the flasks and cake tins Allen quickly grabbed the mugs and plates.

Southey volunteered, "I'll help pour the tea pal."

"Thanks", said Shaun.

Meanwhile Grizzly announced, "our offerings today are apple and blueberry slice from Little Eric, and chocolate coconut and cherry slice from me."

"Lovely", cried Allen, taking a piece of each.

We all helped ourselves and there was quiet for a little while.

"The cherry slice is one of my favourites", said Shaun. "Quite delicious."

Love the apple and blueberry slice", went on Allen, who by now was on his third piece and held his mug out for a refill.

"There you go", said Shaun.

Little Eric said, "I'm glad you like it. I have not done that combination before. But I like to experiment."

"It's scrumptious!", exclaimed Grizzly and Tetley in unison.

So with all our mugs recharged, Southey turned the conversation back to the forthcoming walk. "Where to suggest going with Uncle Eric next week."

"Let's look at the walk index for ideas", suggested Grizzly.

Tetley quickly opened the file, saying, "distances of 4 to 6 miles are the most appropriate so if we apply a filter it will make the job easier."

That done we scanned down the remaining list. Shaun pointed, "how about this one from Grayrigg. Walked last in 2004, when only Tetley and I were walking, so it will be new to the rest of you, and I am sure that neither Dad or Uncle Eric will remember much about it."

"Then it was combined with 253, but that would not be feasible now due to the overall distance of more than 11 miles", commented Tetley.

"Well we could in the future suggest doing that separately then", replied Southey. "But I think your suggestion is good, Shaun. I for one look forward to the adventure in a new area."

"Yes, I agree", added Little Eric.

So as usual it fell to Allen to go and put the idea to Dad, and having drained his mug, called out as he went out of the door, "can I have a refill please."

"That's his fourth", said Little Eric. "I do not know where he puts it. Must have hollow legs", he went on laughing.

Allen was soon back and taking the steaming mug said , "thanks Shaun." Than after taking a drink, he went on, "Dad is happy with the idea for the walk, and he will see put it to Uncle Eric when they speak on the phone."


The Walk

The plan was to meet Uncle Eric around 09:15, so we made sure to be up early and ready for leaving home by 08:15.

"Have a good time", called out Craig as we dashed out to the car. "Tell Dad to take care."

"We will", called back Tetley.

"How do we get to the start?", asked Southey.

Shaun replied, "to and through Kendal, there taking Appleby Road that after a few miles leads to Grayrigg."

As we joined Appleby Road, Dad commented, "I will be coming this way tomorrow, as I have an appointment with Dennis my osteopath. That building there, Pixel Mill is where is consulting room is."

Southey was looking at the walk instructions. "It suggests parking in the main road in front of the council houses."

"Hmm", agreed Allen, "but it is not really safe to do that now, so we will be meeting at the small parking area by the junction just past Grayrigg Hall. Where we started another walk with Uncle Eric."

"That was in October 2018", went on Tetley. "It was a damp misty day, and the walk was notable for Dad slipping and falling when crossing that stone step stile."

"Oh yes, I remember that", said Southey. "Fortunately he was unhurt apart from the odd bruise."

Uncle Eric had arrived just a few minutes before us. Our pals Barnaby and Lee who had come along to see him as usual went to say hello. Then Grizzly, called out on behalf of us all, "good morning Uncle Eric. Good to see you. We are looking forward to the walk."

"Good to see you too lads."

Dad got his boots on meanwhile we got settled in the rucksack. Looking about Tetley said, "that's a beautiful copper beech tree. Good picture to start the story."

"And that is a pretty scene looking along the beck", pointed Little Eric.

So setting off, Shaun said, "walk back to Grayrigg Hall and take the signed path left through the small gate."

Dad had hardly walked a few yards, when Grizzly called out, "that's another beautiful tree."

"Ok I get the hint", replied Dad getting the camera out once again.

He then swung round to snap this of Grayrigg Hall. Grizzly said, "it dates from the late 18th century, replacing a previous building that by 1777 was in a ruinous state. According to Joseph Nicolson and Richard Burn in the History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 1777, it 'was a strong old building, in quadrangular form, adapted for defence and convenience', which suggests it was based on a pele tower. The current hall carries a grade II listed status."

"Thank you pal, for adding interest to our adventure", said Tetley.

The grass in the field was quite long, as was the case in others today. The path led straight and then curved right below a hill.

Away to the left was the ridge above Borrowdale in Westmorland the prominent summit in view being Whinfell Beacon (1549ft 472m).

"We had some good days walking the length of that ridge and returning through the valley, Uncle Eric", said Shaun.

"Yes we did", he replied. "They were part of the overall Howgill challenge."

Rounding the hill the path climbed gently to a gate onto the road. There is a stile but it was completely blocked on the road side by a large wild blue geranium plant.

"We cross the road, go a few yards left then take that signed path", pointed Shaun.

After the steps it was narrow and fenced a sign indicating it ran through gardens. "Maybe so", commented Allen, "but the path would have existed long before the houses were built."

"I like that garden seat and the cat ornaments", said Southey. "I guess the house owners are cat lovers."

Through two gates the path then led on to Sunny Bank Farm. Here, keeping right through the farmyard, we joined a track that led through a short section of woodland and out into fields.

"What a lovely and typically English pastoral view", pointed Tetley. "We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country."

Looking up from the map, Allen said, "that must be Lambrigg Fell in the distance."

Striding the track we passed close to this fine house called Hyning. Grizzly told us, "it is a former 17th century farmhouse with its substantial Victorian extension, that has been renovated to provide luxurious self catering accommodation sleeping up to 12 people."

Uncle Eric had walked on heading for the gate in the wall.

There we paused to consider the route. "Follow the path uphill to the edge of that wood to the right and then keep ahead to come to a stile onto a sunken narrow road", advised Shaun.

There Grizzly said, "this stile is a good place to have our picture taken. Is that alright, Uncle Eric."

"Yes lads. It will give me a little rest."

There was a minor panic as Little Eric's stick dropped into the grass. "Oh heck", he said.

Dad felt around and after a minute said triumphantly, "here it is."

"Thank goodness," said Little Eric. "It is irreplaceable."

The way was now through the opposite gate that Uncle Eric and Dad had to climb over. Here there were horses, that for a while were inquisitive, but then soon lost interest.

The path climbed to the brow, Allen calling out, "ahh the Howgills. Many a walk with you Uncle Eric exploring them. Little frequented, a place to get away from the crowds."

"Yes lad", agreed Uncle Eric. "It was particularly lonely on those fells and valleys on the northern side."

Strolling on led us down to Sim Gill Farm, which like a number of buildings today, was no longer a farm but had been converted to residential use.

The way led us via a gate and down a narrow path by the building to another gate, where here Shaun said, "now it's immediately right through this gate."

The path led down beside a beck that was nearly dry, to then swing away right a bit to a gate at bottom.

Beyond we then got a bit confused, due to Dad not reading the instructions properly. He strode on ahead, but as Shaun pointed out when we got to the waymarked gateway, "actually we should have gone into and through that boggy area to the left."

The instructions now indicated going straight ahead, but this was obviously not correct. After a minute Shaun had solved it. "If we had come through the boggy area, then it is plain that the route is over that stile in the fence to the right."

"What would we do without you pal", said Tetley.

Beyond we crossed the pasture towards its left side and through a gate onto a farm track. "It's over the railway bridge", pointed Southey.

To get there we climbed the temporary cord fence and dropped down to the ladderstile. From the top of the bridge, Southey then said. "the route is then over that footbridge."

As we descended, this Avanti West Coast Pendolino came hurtling by. "Uncle Brian would have loved to see that", said Allen gleefully. "He liked taking train journeys."

Over the footbridge, Allen was a bit less gleeful, seeing the many sheep.

"Oh dear", said Tetley. "I think your hopes of a sheep picture free story are gone pal."

"Hmm, seems so", Allen replied. "Never mind."

And indeed Tetley's fears were born out, as first Dad snapped this black lamb...

...and then this ewe with its lamb.

The path led to Holme Park Farm where a rickety stile took us on to the track in front of the buildings.

Dad was in shorts as usual, and had to be careful to avoid the nettles when crossing the stile.

Grizzly said, "it is sods law, Dad. They seem to grow round stiles and gates to catch walkers in shorts."

"Aye lad, you're right."

Here we joined the Dales Way long distance path, going right following the clearly waymarked and stiled route across fields. Here Uncle Eric poses while climbing one of the stiles.

Eventually keeping left, we entered an enclosed track and then through a gate came to Moresdale Hall. Here an Irish couple, who were staying here on a cycling holiday, were talking to the owner who was on his sit on mower. Dad and Uncle Eric got into conversation. They saw us so Dad explained and they noted our website. The gentleman was Billy Breen, and he told us about a video on You Tube of him singing the Tom Paxton song, 'The Last Thing On My Mind', at the Westport Folk & Blue Grass Festival in County Mayo, Ireland. Dad looked it up when we got home. It was excellent and he has a fine voice. Dad added a comment, and also gave a 'like' as he had asked.

Saying our goodbyes, we walked down the grass to join the drive...

and past the house...

to then cross the access road, where Shaun pointed, "it's up those steps."

Following the path as it exited the trees it brought us to the narrow road at Hardrigg.

Southey was looking at the instructions, "it say to leave the Dales Way and follow the road left to the t-junction, to turn right."

Shortly after there was a signed path through a gate on the left. "That's the route", said Southey.

The path was immediately right through the long grass, and at the end over this ladderstile and up to the road.

Pausing there, Little Eric said, "you know it would have been easier just to have stuck to the road. I'm glad to be in the rucksack, otherwise being so little I might have got lost in the grass."

Now Shaun instructed, "cross the railway bridge then over the stile on the left."

The path ran parallel with the railway line, buttercups making a colourful sight amongst the grass.

After crossing a number of stiles the path skirted round the edge of the field to a gate into Bracken Hall Farm. The Coniston Fells form the backdrop.

At the farm, Shaun told us, "opposite the farmhouse it is right through that gateway and then straight on past that waymarked tree, and then drift left to the hedge and through the gate in it."

As we did this, Allen said with a sigh, "there's another lovely typically English pastoral view.

Beyond the gate we headed to Green Head across another field with long grass, dropping down to gate and then up onto the farm track.

"Go right past the buildings", called out Southey.

"Look at the squirrel ornament", pointed Grizzly. "Take a picture Dad, please."

Then Shaun said, "it's over this stile to the left."

Beyond we had to wind our way through a forest of coiled pipes, and then go right across the large field. Contrary to the printed instructions the gates are no long waymarked and as a result we got confused again with the route. Initially going through gate at bottom and down the steep slope to far boundary trying to find the footbridge over the stream.

Dad said, "I am finding it harder to read the map without glasses and this is contributing to the confusion."

Obviously in the wrong place we returned up the slope and through the gate. Now Dad and Shaun once again studied the map, Shaun saying, "oh Dad the route is actually through the gate we passed on the right."

We took this, and crossing the next field to a gate went on down to find the footbridge. Beyond the path wound up to a track that we followed right to Blackett Bottom.

"I remember this part of the route very clearly", said Dad. "We leave the track and go right across the grass to another track and go left past the house and follow the access all the way up to Grayrigg.

Just before reaching the main road, Allen said, "those flowers are very pretty."

Curious to know what it was, we asked out Hug flora and fauna experts Bracken and Moss.

Bracken said, "it's a member of the Cranesbill Family, specifically Herb Robert."

Moss added, "the scientific name is Geranium robertianum."

At the road Little Eric pointed right, "there's the post box. Please take a picture Dad."

Walking back Dad stopped to take this building. Grizzly told us, "it dates back to the 1850s and was once the Punch Bowl Inn. It is now a beautifully restored five-bedroomed house with a two-bedroomed annexe."

Strolling on and catching up with Uncle Eric, our route was left along the road past the church at St John the Evangelist, to the cars.

"There is not a great deal of information, but I can tell you that it dates from 1837 and is by the Kendal architect George Webster. The west tower dates from 1869."

"I hope you have enjoyed the walk, Uncle Eric", said Shaun, "despite us getting a bit lost at times."

"I have enjoyed it very much", he replied.

"We have had a good time and in good company as always", went on Allen. "Here's to the next time."


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