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Martindale, Bannerdale, Boredale Hause, Place Fell, Sleet Fell, Cumbria.
[12.07 km]  Wed 08 Jan 2020

 
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.
Wet lane.
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.

Sheepfold.

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.
 
 
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