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Kirkstone Pass, John Bell's Banner, Caudale Quarry, Middle Dodd, Red Screes, Cumbria.
[10.7 km]  Wed 12 Jul 2017

OS Grid ref: NY 40116 08102
Lat/Long: 54.464742, -02.925377

It was a glorious sunny morning as I drove north on the M6 leaving at junction 36 then on to Kirkstone Pass summit.
Across from the Kirkstone Pass Inn is a large car park and I was the only car. There is no parking fee but a donation box is available.
I set off heading east up a well-made stone path. To my right were some wind turbines and nearby a sign warning of CCTV in case anyone tried to damage them.

Wind turbins above Kirkstone
They weren't the usual large ones normally seen. I continued steeply up and in places it was mildly technical. As I reached St Raven's Edge the views opened up and I could see south towards Windermere. Along the trail where many bags of large stones that have been helicopterd in. These will be used to improve the path. I continued upwards at an easy gradient following the wall on my left.
Bags of stones for the path

Atkinson's Monument with Kirkstone Pass Inn & Windermere in the distance

William Atkinson died 2nd April 1987 aged 83 years
I reached the John Bell’s Banner area which isn't a banner or any kind of marker. I left the main track and turned left to walk across the fell to the Atkinson's monument stone cairn which I visited last week. Then the weather was bad and misty with no views. Today the weather is good and clear and I could see back towards the Kirkstone Pass Inn. and took a photo showing the monument and Inn in the distance. The reason for this is that the two memorial stones have the names of Mark and William Atkinson who were landlords at the Inn.
Caudale Head cairn
I headed across Caudale Moor two Caudale Head where I had an excellent view down into the steep sided valley. Then I descended easily down Rough Edge to a point above the disused Caudale Slate Quarry ware I descended the grassy slope into the old quarry workings. I was last here 10 years ago and commented on an old shaft which was protected by some old gratings. It was exactly as I saw it the last time and I threw a few stones down to hear them bouncing off the shaft side far below.
View back to Kirkstone Pass
& Red Screes on the right

Top of the shaft

Old bogey rail

Caudale Slate Quarry & Brother's Water in the distance
The views down to Brothers Water and Ullswater in the distance were extremely good. The sun was out so I decided to stop for an early lunch and eat my sandwiches in the beautiful surroundings.
It is obvious that no wheeled carts would have been able to negotiate the access track. As I approached the A592 below I met a couple who were walking up. At the main road it was extremely busy with traffic and fortunately there was a path behind the wall that I could follow south. I crossed the road then left it through a gate to follow an indistinct path towards Kirkstone Beck. Fortunately there was a wooden Footbridge to get me over the Back and I set off up the steep ridge towards Middle Dodd. There is no path shown on the Ordnance Survey map but this is a fairly obvious ascent route to Middle Dodd. The Wainwright Book “The Eastern Fells” shows this as a route. I followed the line of a wall and higher up a trail appeared. It is obvious that people use this as an ascent/descent route. It continues Steve and steady without any particular problems to the minor summit of Middle Dodd. There is a cairn here and excellent views all around.
Wainwright was also impressed with the views and says in his Eastern Fells book “Considering that Middle Dodd is hemmed in on all sides by higher fells, the view is remarkably good, and unexpectedly extensive in the south-west.”
In the distance it is possible to see the trig post on the summit of Red Screes. I continue south up the stoney ridge and reached the summit trig post at 776 m. Slightly to the North I found a flat area where I had camped about 10 years ago.
Red Screes summit cairn

Red Screes Tarn
There were a few other walkers around enjoying the sunny day. Just to the west of the cairn is a Red Screes Tarn which looked picturesque but closer inspection reveals dark and murky water. I was in no rush so wandered around taking photos before starting the steep descent back to Kirkstone Pass. It is a while since I've been on the track but it is a good descent, well-made and stoned in places.
Kirkstone Pass summit seen on the descent
Some sections need extra care due to the steep gradient. On the final approach I met a young lady who was walking up. She asked about the state of the path and if it was easy to follow. I told her it was and we chatted for a while and she asked me about walks in the area as she was on holiday and camping in the Rydal area. She’d come from Northampton earlier in the week on the train and today was heading across two Dove Crag and then descend back to Rydal. I completed the final part of the descent to the car park and was very happy to put a £2 donation into the box by the car park. It was such a nice afternoon I decided to drive north by Ullswater and then pick up the motorway at Penrith.
Donation for parking