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Dockray, Ulcat Row, Little Mell Fell, Swinburn's Park, Gowbarrow Fell, Cumbria.
[13.7 km]  Wed 16 May 2018

Lat/Long: 54.585673, -02.940814
OS Grid ref:
NY 39296 21571
I returned to Dockray in Cumbria to redo a walk I did on Fri 21 Apr 2006. The main reason was to revisit a dilapidated farmhouse near Lowthwaite to see what the intervening years had done. As in 2006 the weather was very overcast with poor visibility and no views of the high mountains. I used the same small parking area by the bridge and then headed along the road to turn right down the track which is also the public footpath.

Dockray

16 May 2018

21 Apr 2006

16 May 2018

21 Apr 2006
The earlier overcast and slightly drizzly weather started to clear a bit as I walked along the green track towards Ulcat Row. Shortly before arriving at the road I passed a white painted Cottage and photographed it as I did in 2006. It looked exactly the same. When I reached the road I came to a stone house called Undercrag with a date stone of 1761 over the door. A short way further on I came to another stone building but this is the old chapel. It has now been converted to a private house. After Ulcat Row I passed a few properties along the lane and all were in immaculate condition and very probably second homes for the rich.
Dalton Hill
After Old Park Farm I reached the road and turn left then after a short way right to head for Lowthwaite. It was here that I left the road to head up a track and inspect an old farm I'd seen in 2006 it is called Dalton Hill and was in almost the same condition as the last time I saw it, except for a few safety barriers.
Across Matterdale

Little Mell Fell
There was a residential caravan there making it look like someone was doing it up. The caravan has not been used for some time and was itself looking rather decrepit. Through a gate I continued along the track to the next gate where I left to turn sharp left and steeply up the hillside. There was no path to follow but it was a straightforward and steady ascent to take me to the minor path heading up Little Mell Fell. On the final climb I saw two walkers approaching, each with a very long stout wooden pole. Once in talking distance I said they looked like Jesus and a disciple with their poles.
Memorial seat
At the summit the trig post is stone and not the conventional concrete. I started my descent to the east along a faint path which soon faded to nothing. I headed generally to the left to descend diagonally across the very steep fell side until I came to a farm track then down to a lane to Mellfell House and the caravan park. Along the lane were some interesting windows above a new dry stone wall.
You can just see a window in the grass

Grassy chalets
They were encased in topsoil and grass so I walked around to look at them from the front. They were in the caravan park area and were chalets with turf roofs. I descended the road for a while until I came to the path heading towards Hagg Wood. They have done some upgrade work on the path in the not too distant past and it was very easy to follow. Through some trees below Little Meldrum the path headed steeply upwards into Swinburne's Park which was fairly dense trees. I emerged below Gowbarrow Fell and took the path heading up the valley and onto the summit of the fell.
Upgraded path
The earlier overcast and drizzly weather had gone and the sky had improved considerably with much less cloud and more blue sky. It had also warmed up so I took another layer off for the final climb to the trig post on Gowbarrow Fell.
Swinburn's Park
As with Little Mell Fell it was built of stone. I started my descent by following a faint path but as it steepened the path headed in the wrong direction for me so I turned right to cross open fell side which was rough in places. It didn't take long to reach the main path and back down to Riddings Beck where I joined my outward route. Up the track I came to Dockray and my car.
Gowbarrow summit trig post

Ullswater