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Kirkland Fell, Cross Fell, Greg's Hut, Cumbria.
[ 15.8 km] Tue 18 Sep 2012

NY 6506 3258
Kirkland is about 10miles east of Penrith. It’s too small to call a village but does have a nice church. At the end of the road is a small car park opposite Kirkland Hall. I walked back along the road and turned left along the farm access track to Ranbeck Farm. There is an interesting adjacent feature called ‘Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony’ which is one of the ludicrous descriptions that seems to emerge from history. The map also describes it as an ancient cultivation terraces which is much more accurate.


Old Cultivation Terraces

I followed the rough access track to Wythwaite which was a farm many years ago but all the outbuildings are in a state of collapse but the main house is still occupied and up for sale. As I passed by a middle aged man emerged but didn’t see me.


Wythwaite

A rough track heads east and is also the path. It heads towards Grumply Hill and was very wet in places requiring wide detours. As I reached the valley of Littledale the track became drier and as I approached Wildboar Scar it was quite good and impressive as it headed diagonally up the scar. The steep climb soon eases and climbs steadily to Crowdundle Head.


From the climb of Wildboar Scar

A cairn near the trail turned out to be an old shepherd’s shelter as the centre is hollow with a small access from the SE. Higher up the path became indistinct and very wet. At the top I joined the Pennine Way and turned left to head up to Cross Fell. The path here has been stabilised with stone slabs which made a refreshing change from the soggy stuff I’d been walking through.


Shelter cairn

Great Dun Fell from the climb of Cross Fell.
At the summit is the NATS (National Air Traffic Services Limited) radar station which links
to the Air Traffic Control system for Northern England and Southern Scotland.

The higher part of the path to the edge of the Cross Fell plateau is indistinct in places but once on the top its easy going. I was fortunate as I could see the Trig Post but in bad weather it needs a compass or GPS to find. Instead of following the main path to the NW towards the spring of Crossfell Well I headed NE across open ground to the north side of the fell and descended at Stonyband Hill.


Cross Fell summit trig post and shelter

I wanted to visit Greg’s Hut and thought this would be a good way to do it. The hut is at an altitude of 690m (2,240ft) and maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association. It was restored in 1972 and the name of the hut commemorates John Gregory (1928 - 1968) who died in a climbing accident in the Alps.


Approaching Greg's Hut from Cross Fell

Greg's Hut interior with the picture of
John Gregory above the table.

John Gregory (1928 - 1968)

Window view

The hut and area around were originally for lead mining purposes.


Looking back at Greg's Hut

I left the hut and headed along the very wet path to the west. As I started the descent of Ironwell Band I had good view of the distant Cumbrian fells which were in sunshine. Unfortunately I hadn’t seen any sun on the walk but as I reached the lower part of the path things brightened up a bit and I had impressive views back up the fell. Back at the car there was only one more car parked which I found a surprise as I’d seen a few people towards the end of my walk.


Wet track on the moor

Looking back on the sunny fells near the end of the walk