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Thornthwaite, Lord's Seat, Broom Fell, Wythop Wood, Cumbria.
[ 12.6 km] Thu 13 Dec 2012

NY 2205 2652
I drove via Keswick to the Powter How free car park adjacent to the Swan Hotel in Thornthwaite. It was pleasant surprise to see a free car park in Cumbria. It was still dark when I arrived so I delayed by start for a while. I set off along the track towards Beckstones Gill then followed the path sign to the stone called ‘The Clerk’.

The Clerk

It was too dark when I arrived so had to take a photo using flash. Further up Paddock Crag was another named stone called ‘The Bishop’ but I decided to leave that for another time as it was still too dark and not on my route. I continued up the path expecting it to cross Beckstones Gill at some point. It took me much higher than the gill and looking down I couldn’t see any sign of a path by the gill. I found myself climbing directly up a steep scree slope and wondered why the path had taken me to such a precarious position.

Sunrise from Barf

Sunrise from Barf

I decided to press on and up a narrow gully. The ground levelled off a bit and I was able to find an interesting route up to much easier ground. As I climbed the sunrise was quite spectacular. The low cloud was illuminated in red from below. Then the sun appeared briefly before vanishing into the cloud. I reached a low cairn on Barf and stopped to have a quick look down on to Blackstone Point on the west shore of Bassenthwaite Lake and also across to snowy Skiddaw.

Skiddaw from Barf

I followed the winding path to Lord’s Seat and the highest part of my walk at 552m. I was annoyed by the rubbish previous visitors had left. A paper bag and various food wrappings were strewn around. My next stop was Broom Fell and the tall cairn. It was quite cold and windy so I didn’t stop but descended quickly to the north to try and get out of the wind. Continuing down the hill I came to a gate in the stone wall by a wood. I passed it to the left through a very wet field then crossed the fence into a drier field and down to another wooded area on a mound that is also Darling How Quarry.

Broom Fell cairn

Broom Fell from Wythop

 It’s an interesting area and would make a great film set for wooded outdoor sequences. From my vantage point I could see a way ahead across a couple of fields to the road. I managed it with only having to climb one fence. On the road I rurned right to head east towards Wythop Wood. I wasn’t on tarmac long as the path left the road through a gate and headed along a track which is also a cycleway. A gate took me into the wood but as I wanted to investigate the Ladies Table area I took a minor path to the right. I hadn’t gone far before a mass of old fallen and tangled trees almost blocked the way completely.

View from Wythop

I. M. O. (In memory of)
1948 - 1959

Wilfred Walton memorial

I continued heading for the Ladies Table area but didn’t get far before the way was blocked again. I had Wainwright’s walking guide with me and he didn’t recommend bothering with the summit. I took his advice, retraced my steps and continued along the track to Beck Withop. I wanted to check out a memorial stone seat that is mentioned in Wainwrtight’s book but not shown on the map. I only found it because someone had put a small cairn by the short track leading to the seat. The forestry track continued winding through the woods and eventually down towards the main A66 road. Fortunately I was able to join the old minor road without having to reach the ‘A’ road. I continued south back to the car park and my car.

Wilfred Walton memorial seat

Memorial seat from Wainwright