Lat/Long: 54.557572, -02.876566
OS Grid ref: NY 43409 18390
My drive to the start of
the walk was a little longer than normal as the new bridge at
Pooley Bridge is still not completed. I left the M6 motorway and
headed east to Eamont Bridge then to Pooley Bridge via the B5320.
Iíve never liked driving along the narrow lane to Martindale as
it is difficult negotiating oncoming vehicles but today I was
lucky and didnít meet any.
Released from the mud.
It was still dark as I drove up and over the very steep Hause so
itís a good job there was no other traffic. I reached St
Martinís Church where I planned to park on the grass adjacent to
the road. This is where I usually park but today I got out to
walk across the grass before driving on it. It seemed OK so I
reversed on as usual. I then tried to drive forward a bit to
check that Iíd be able to get out. The front wheels lost
traction and I couldnít go forward. I tries to reverse and the
same happened. As I tried to rock the car with short attempts to
go forward I just got bogged further down. Pushing stones under
the wheels helped me get a bit forward but I couldnít get any
further. I thought my snow chains would help but the wheels were
too far down in the mud to get them on. I was well and truly
stuck. A farmer was passing in his 4*4 and he stopped. I asked
for a tow and got my towrope out but couldnít find the towing
eye to screw into the front of my car. He went back to his farm
to collect his phone, which heíd forgotten, then returned.
Iíd found the towing eye and screwed it in. He fixed the towrope
to his vehicle and pulled my out. Phew! As he was preparing to
drive away I tried to give him a £10 note for his help. He
refused it and suggest I put it in the adjacent St Martinís
Church donation box. I did it straight away. Before setting off
on my walk I returned as many of the flat slabs of stone Iíd
used to where Iíd found them. Iíd lost a lot of time and decided
to modify my route to save time on the walk.
Instead of heading up Beda fell as planned I continued along the
road south to its termination at Dale Head farm. It was
drizzling at the start but that had stopped but it was still
cloudy. The path by-passes the farm and at first the farm looked
empty as I couldnít see any vehicles. Following the path up
towards Bedafell Knott I looked back to see a woman and two
barking dogs in the garden at the rear of the farm buildings.
Dale Head Farm
The Bungalow in the distance.
The path continued steadily up the fell side and shortly before
the top I stopped by a ruin of some sort. It was too substantial
to be just a sheepfold and must have been a building as the base
stones were very large. The old 1890s map shows it as a
rectangular outline, so roofless. At the ridge I was out of the
shelter of the mountain and had a strong wind to head in to. I
started my descent towards Boredale Hause and when I reached
Breeze Beck stopped to eat my sandwiches as it was the only
place Iíd find shelter from the cold wind.
Ruin below Boredale Hause.
I continued my decent then across the hause to start the
climb up towards Place Fell. Higher up the climb I joined the
main path that took me round how. The path levelled off here and
up ahead was the distinctive profile of the rocky outline of
Place Fell and the trig post perched on top.
Towards Brock Crags.
It is a short rocky scramble to reach the post and was a bit
tricky in the strong wind. It was too cold to hang around so I
started my descent straight away. My original plan was to
descent to the north and by Scalehow Force waterfall. The route
there was quite wet in places so I decided to descend via Sleet
Fell instead. The weather had improved a bit and that way Iíd
stay higher longer with better views. The direction was NE with
an impressive view of High Dodd ahead. I descended to Low Moss
and an impressive sheepfold that looked as though it had
recently been re-built.
Tarns below Place Fell.
Place Fell trig post.
From Sleet Fell.
Deer on the descent of Cat Crag.
I followed the main path to the east of High Dodd to Sleet Fell.
My GPS showed a path descending via Cat Crag and I followed the
route as best as I could. At the top there seemed to be a very
faint path but I soon realised there wasnít one. The descent was
very steep and I just found the safest way down as I could.
Below was a part ruined farm and barn with a white house
nearby. When I got there I had to climb a couple of gates to
gain access to the field. The white house looked empty and
didnít have just a grassy track for access. The 1890s map calls
it the Vicarage.
The gate took me to the surfaced
road where I turned left to follow it to the bridge over
Boredale Beck. I turned right to follow Sandwick Beck then up a
rough lane to the property called Highgate.
Ruin by the old Vicarage.
The path goes through the gravel yard then up to the lane.
I left it to follow the grassy track south to ĎThe Lodgeí and
this is the only access to the property. When I got there it was
empty with a car parked nearby that looked like it had been
there for some time. The lane deteriorated as I continued to the
road at the farm buildings. I reached my car then returned to St
Martinís Church to take some photos.
St Martin's Church.
Before driving home I detoured to Pooley Bridge to
have a look at the substantial works going on to rebuild the
bridge that was washed away by storm Desmond in 2015.
Pooley Bridge and new foundations.
Artist's impression of the new Pooley Bridge.