Celebrating Tetley's 25th birthday


Date - 29th June 2023 Distance - 6 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL4
Start point - Verge parking near Binsey Cottage (NY 2353 3509)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Binsey 1466 447 NY 2251 3553



All was well. There was Ramblears tea in our mugs and cakes.

"The chocolate caramel shortbread is scrumptious, Little Eric", said Allen.

"Quite", agreed Southey.

"So I see", replied Little Eric, laughing. "You are both on your third slice."

Tetley and Shaun were enjoying the Chorley cakes that Grizzly had made. "You are absolutely ace at making them", said Tetley.

"You are welcome pals", he replied. "I see you are keeping up with Allen and Southey.

"Yes", agreed Shaun. "let's face it we are all cake stuffers. We take after Dad."

"Nothing wrong with that", replied Allen.

"Next week Dad is at Armathwaite Hall. Do you know if we are going?", asked Little Eric.

Shaun replied. "I have talked with Dad. It is your 25th birthday next Tuesday Tetley. We are definitely going therefore, and he hopes to take us walking on your birthday, subject to the weather of course."

"What is the plan?", asked Southey.

"Grizzly said, "we are going to climb Binsey that we have nicknamed 'Wheelie'. It is quite close to the hotel. Apart from you Southey we have all climbed it before."

Shaun went on, "before we have always climbed from the parking area, but for change we plan to do the ascent from the north side. By Binsey Cottage I have seen that the map shows a track through the woods that joins the road at High Ireby. From there we take the bridleway past High Houses, then through Whittas Park and to the summit."

"Excellent route pal, thanks for devising it", cheered Tetley. "My what an interesting life I have had. So many adventures with you all. The company of Uncle Bob and Uncle Eric too. Climbing all those fells and mountains and seeing such wonderful countryside. All thanks to Dad."

"We are indeed a very fortunate group", agreed Shaun. "I can hardly believe it , but you and I are nearing 1000 walks

"Here's to Dad and our holiday next week", said Southey raising his mug in salute.

On the Monday, we saw Dad checking the weather. "Tomorrow's your birthday Tetley, but the forecast is unsettled. Thursday is the best, so I plan to do the walk then."

"That's OK, Dad. It does not have to be the actual day", Tetley replied.

Before we start our account, we felt we should mention events that took place on Wednesday. Dad likes to have a trip to nearby Cockermouth. There is an excellent bookshop with a nice cafe, where he has a pot of tea and scone, before browsing the books. Although he did not buy any today, he has found some interesting ones about the local area in the past. Then there is Fagans. A lovely shop that sells all sorts of fancy goods including teddy bears. In particular Charlie Bears. Since Kieran was adopted in December 2010, quite a significant number of Charlie Bears have joined our Hug.

Back row - Wozley, Colin, Brodie, Nevada, Caramel & Washington
Front row - Horatio, Kiki, Kieran, Polly, Earl & Hakatan
Centre front - Minimos - Icicle, Pitter Patter & Moonbeam

As Dad came into the room, Fred said, "ahh a carrier bag. Looks like we have a new member of the Hug."

"Indeed", replied Dad. "Fagans had a large selection of Charlie Bears."

"Hmm", laughed Craig, "I know what Uncle Brian would have said. Not another b****y bear."

"There were two that I really liked, but trying to show some will power I settled on this chap, Knox", as he took him out of the bag.

"Aww! He's so cute", cried Polly, giving him a hug.

"Welcome to our Hug", said Gladly. "We know you will be very happy, and when we get home there will be lots of new pals for you to get to know."

"Thank you", Knox replied. "I can't wait to meet them all."

"What was the other bear called?", asked Fletcher.

"Kathleen. It was a really hard choice, and very reluctantly I put her back on the shelf."

"Well" said Ralph. "There's still tomorrow before we go home. You never know?"

Thursday dawned with good weather and we were eager to be off for the walk.



The Walk

As Dad drove along the the drive, Southey asked, "how do we get to the start?"

Turn left, and along to the Castle Inn. Take the road opposite and keep in the direction of Ireby. Then by Binsey Cottage go left and park in the verge to the right", replied Tetley.

Binsey was to the right, the clear path rising up the fell. Shaun said, "we have always climbed via that path, but today it will be our descent route."

Dad was soon ready and we hurried to get safely tucked in the rucksack. "Walk back to the junction, then we take the path through the woods by Binsey Cottage."

Dad was about to enter through the gate, when Grizzly called out, "look the sign says it is private."

"Oh dear" said Little Eric.

"I'm sorry Dad", said Shaun.

"No need to be sorry lad, you weren't to know."

A quick glance at the map, and Shaun said, "instead we will just walk along the road to Ruthwaite, and then go left along the lane."

Allen said, "it will probably actually be nicer as there will be open views to the right."

Hardly had we walked but a few yards, when Tetley pointed, "look at the fungi growing out of that stout wood post."

Instantly Dad had the camera out and lined up this shot.

Two gentlemen were working close by constructing a garage, and I showed it to them. One gentleman said, "will you e-mail it as I know someone who will be interested to see it."

"Of course, I'll do it when I get back to the hotel."

Looking back, Southey called out, "that's a fine view of the Skiddaw Fells. Worth a picture don't you think?"

So finally Dad put best foot forward and strode along the road.

"That bank of willow herb is very colourful", pointed Little Eric. "We would not have seen it had we taken the woodland path."

Five minutes later we passed this pretty house. "It's called Marshalls Cottage", said Shaun looking up from the map."

When we got back Grizzly looked it up and told us, "it is a grade II listed building."

Then minutes later these set back from the road. "Nook House", remarked Tetley.

Then soon we arrived at Ruthwaite. "Look a wall post box", called out Little Eric. "Dating from the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II."

"Along the narrow leafy lane left", instructed Shaun.

At the corner Dad stopped to take this atmospheric shot of the sun shining through the trees.

Southey pointed. "that arch over the narrow stream is interesting. There is a date too. 1835."

"I'll see if I can find anything, later", said Grizzly. There was indeed a lot of tapping of paws. "Sorry pals I can find no reference to the arch, but it is part of the estate of Ireby Grange. There was a large house, but it was destroyed by fire in 1957 and demolished.

"What an impressive house, it was", stated Allen.

"Thank you pal as always for your research", went on Tetley. "The stream with the arch is neglected, but I wonder if it was once a source of water for local people. If so it would have become redundant once mains water was installed to houses."

Ambling on we came to a wide gateway. Glancing at the map, Southey said, "this is the other end of the track through the woodland. And, presumably as it is part of the Ireby Grange Estate, is the reason it is private."

Shortly we came to the hamlet of High Ireby. "Look", pointed Little Eric, "there's the wall post box. It dates from the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II."

"I know lad", replied Dad getting the camera out. "Please take a picture for your collection."

Shaun called out, "we go left at the first junction just ahead."

Looking north Grizzly said, "there is quite a fine view across the Solway Firth to the mountains, the highest being Criffel."

An inquisitive lamb trotted over, Southey saying, "it just wants to have its picture taken."

"Hmph", grunted Allen. "Well alright, I have had a few stories without sheep pictures."

Reaching the end of the road, Shaun instructed, "it's left along the bridleway."

Dad strode along the stony track. "Look at the meadowsweet. Beautiful and such a lovely fragrance." said Tetley.

The just a minute or so later, it was Little Eric calling out, "that swathe of Willow Herb is worth a picture. Beautiful."

After a gate in to pasture, Shaun advised, "keep ahead over the hill by the wall."

Here the track re-emerged, leading to a gate, beyond which we followed a faint track to come near the building of High Houses.

"An environmentally friendly place" mused Grizzly, "with its wind turbine, and I can see solar panels on the roof."

"Doing their bit to combat global warming", went on Allen.

"Follow the direction of the signpost", advised Shaun.

"Roman Fort?" commented Southey.

"Caremote Roman Fort to be precise", replied Tetley. "It is not on our route, as we will leave this path to ascend Binsey. The fort is actually at the far end on the opposite side of the road."

The grassy track took us past a small wood and then Belsay Fields Plantation, with pasture to the right, where this and other cattle were grazing.

At the point where the the track did a loop, Shaun called out, "we should go left to cross Whittas Park."

Our attention was drawn to this chimney to the right..

"There is a flue" commented Allen. "This leads from the scant remains."

"I'll see what I can find, later", said Grizzly. More tapping on the iPad. "Well pals, what we did not see is that there is a hearth set in the wall, but the flue from the chimney does not directly connect. It is speculated that they maybe the remains of a house, or possibly works associated with a nearby quarry."

There was no clear track, so Dad just kept on in the general direction. We encountered this ewe and lamb.

"Oh nooooo" cried Allen, as Dad snapped this shot.

Pointing ahead, Southey said, "are you sure we are going to Binsey, as we seem to be even further away than ever."

"Tetley replied. "I can definitely say we are now heading for the summit, and we can see clearly the path up the fell."

There was not path where we stood, but it turned out that we had drifted too far left. Then suddenly there was the wide clear path, which led unerringly to the gate for the final ascent.

Dad strode on, and made good progress, this being interrupted by Tetley calling out, "look Herdwicks."

"Oh well", sighed Allen. "They are our most favourite sheep, so there will have to be a picture of the ewe with its lamb behind."

The path climbed on, then a narrow path branched left for the short final climb to the summit.

"Yippee", cheered Southey. "I have bagged another Wainwright. It's too breezy to sit on the trig point, so it must be the cairn for our picture."

Up to now we had seen no other walkers, but met three here at the summit and another four near the bottom of the descent.

Looking about, Shaun said, "the views are super, like that to the Skiddaw group dappled in sun and shadow."

"And to the Uldale Fells", pointed Grizzly. "Happy days exploring them, including Knott that was my last Wainwright in June 2009. Can't believe it is so long ago now."

"What is that lake?", asked Southey.

"Over Water", replied Tetley. "We parked nearby for the start to climb some of the Uldale Fells."

Later Grizzly told us, "the lake is owned by the National Trust and the shore privately owned by a number of different land owners, so there is no public access. It was a small natural body of water that was dammed in 1904 to increase its size. It served as a reservoir supplying drinking water to the town of Wigton until October 2022. It is also notable as being a feeding place for the ospreys that breed beside Bassenthwaite Lake." (Source Wikipedia)

So having taken in the scenery all around, we settled in Dad's rucksack for the easy descent to the start.

"It's been a super day", said Southey. "Thank you Dad."

"A grand walk and enjoyable celebration of my birthday on Tuesday", added Tetley.

Little Eric said, "have you thought anything more about the Charlie Bear you reluctantly left in the shop yesterday?"

"I have", Dad replied. "We are going to Cockermouth now so that I can adopt Kathleen. That was the name of my mum's best friend. It is why I must buy her."

"When we saw her, Allen said, "aww she is beautiful. I can see why she has to join the Hug."


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