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Loweswater, Thackthwaite, Low Fell, Darling Fell, Mosser Road, Cumbria.
[12.6 km]  Wed 09 Oct 2019

Lat/Long: 54.577887, -03.327355
OS Grid ref: NY 14300 21108

The mornings are much darker now and it was very dark and raining when I set off north up the M6 motorway. I left at Penrith and headed west along the A66 then past Keswick and over Whinlatter pass to Loweswater.
I parked my car on the small triangular area of Ground near the telephone box then crossed the road to head through a field to the north. My plan is to follow the route of a walk I did in May 2012.

Countryside for sale
I soon reached the narrow lane and continued walking in a roughly northerly direction. It was interesting to see quite a few ‘for sale’ signs of nearby land. After a mile I heard footsteps behind and a young lad of about 10 was running by. He wasn't in training gear just his normal clothes. I reached the buildings at Thackthwaite and left the road to turn up through the farmyard with farm building on the left and Thackthwaite House on the right.
Running down the lane

Thankthwaite weathervane today

Thakthwaite weathervane May 2012
 The first part of the track is overgrown and rough and on the right is the extended garden of Thackthwaite House. Higher up at the end is an old weather vane which I saw the last time I was here. I don't think it was in the same place though.
The path then followed up through the fields to a gate opening at the base of the fell. The trail splits here but it is not obvious, to the right is the main track but last time I followed a minor path shown going up the fell diagonally to the left. I followed that route but now it had vanished.
On the climb

Old quarry

Crummock Wate and Mellbreak
It soon partly appeared in the grass and when I came to a sharp right turn it was easy to follow diagonally up the fell side to an old quarry. At the quarry I climbed above but couldn't find the continuing route so I followed the contour until I came to the green track which I saw earlier lower down. That was easy to follow as it wound round the northern end of the fell and took me up via a couple of zig zags. The weather wasn’t too good and there were occasionally squalls of rain and strong winds. As I approached Watching Crag the wind increased quite a lot. The path was easy going and I soon climbed up the north ridge of Low Fell and made a very windy traverse along to the summit to the south. One advantage of the mixed weather was some very moody views of the mountain ranges to the south. I looked down on Crummock Water with Mellbreak to the right at the south summit.

Crummock Water and Mellbreak from Low Fell in dramatic b&w
I headed up the tra
I turned sharply west to make the steep descent down to Crabtree Beck where I had the option of an easy descent down but decided to continue with my original plan and climbed steeply up the fellside too Darling Fell. It was still windy on the summit. I had been following defined paths but now there were none as I continued my route to the north towards Beckhead Moss.
I descended to an old track and decided to turn left and follow it in a westerly direction into an area I have never visited before.

From Darling Fell
The going was quite easy with some interesting small hills. Crossing over one hill I saw a woman below walking the other way heading upwards. She appeared to be on her own but as I descended I saw a male walker higher up the fell so assumed they were together but walking at a distance apart. There were some sharp and painful gorse bushes lower down along with rushes lower down and wet patches. I managed to get through OK to reach the old road which is now a rough track that runs from Mossergate down towards Loweswater. I turned left to follow it down and noticed it had some sections of patchy tarmac but lower down some very deep erosion ruts which would mean it is only possible to navigate by Land Rover. I saw two groups of middle-aged walkers coming up as I descended. I reached the road along the side of Loweswater and started to follow it back to the car. I stopped to have a look at the Pinfold enclosure which I did the last time I was here.

Sign for the Mosser track

Pinfold enclosure
Beware the Pinder.
If your livestock were found somewhere they shouldn't be, this enclosure was bad news.
This is the Pinfold, from the Old Norses pin (to seize) and fold (enclosure). Animals that escaped, grazed common land when their owners had no commonrs' rights, or got out of control on their way to market, were put on the pinfold by the Pinder, a local constable. To get them back, you paid a fine.

In southern England, enclosures were called "pounds" from the Anglo-Saxon pund. We still use the term in the word "impounded". Loweswater records contain reports on the pinfold from as early as 1655.

Beware the Pinder

Crabtree Beck Farm today

The farm in Sep 2017

A short way further on was Crabtree Beck Farm which I stopped to photograph. When I was here in Sep 2017 it was being refurbished and it is now finished. It was then an easy walk back along the narrow lane.

Crabtree Beck weathervane
I passed the old school house which is now the village hall and had a look at the Millennium Monument which is a small model relief map of Crummock Water and surrounding fells with descriptive names. It was short walk back to the car.
Village Hall

Loweswater School Erected 1839 by John Marshall Esq Lord of the Manor. Upon land the gift of John Hudson Esq

2000 Millennium model
The path goes through the farm garden and I stopped to chat to the farmer and his wife who were sorting sheep. They said there is a date stone inside of 1629. I asked about the dam and although they knew about it they said nobody knew what it was for. I followed the farm access road to the road then the path back to my car.

Guide map of the area.
Unfortunately north is to the bottom

From the Millennium guide
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