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Martindale, Gowk Hill, Pikewassa, Steel Knotts, Cumbria.
[9.6 km]  Thu 23 Jan 2020

Lat/Long: 54.564649, -2.874359
OS Grid Ref: NY 43561 19176
I had a very foggy and dark drive north along the M6. By the time reached the Shap summit the weather seemed to be brightening a bit. Because the new Pooley Bridge isnít ready yet I had to drive via Eamont Bridge to get to the start of my walk. My plan was to start from St Martinís Church in Martindale but decided to change to St Peterís at the top of the Hause climb.

Heading into Martindale

The Nab in the distance

'The Bungalow' was formerly a shooting lodge built in 1910 by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale for the visiting German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) the eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria. He was the last German Emperor.
There is easier parking there and more room. I walked down the hill towards St Martinís Church. It was still gloomy and cloudy ahead but seemed to be clearing higher up. I followed the road towards Dale Head until I reached the gate and access track to the Bungalow. I walked this way last week and was intrigued by the building though didnít go close to it. The map doesnít show any public footpaths and Iím not sure what the access situation is. A sign says private no public access but a sign says it is available for weekly lets.
The Bungalow and cairn
A. Wainwright's book says he investigated the area unobtrusively. I decided on the same approach. I walked along the track to the bridge and gate at Rampsgill Beck. There were no more signs and the gate wasnít locked. I had a quick look at the lower building then walked up the steep track to the Bungalow. It has a very distinctive colour of green corrugated iron walls and a bright red roof.
Looking down on The Bungalow
I saw a few deer up on the fell side but have seen further down the valley in public access areas. A faint sheep track headed steeply up the side of Mell Beck so I followed it to the gate through the wall higher up. The gradient eased as I approached Gowk Hill from the south. The views were very good and helped by improving weather. The summit was fairly flat and only a single stone marked the summit.
Gowk Hill summit
This must be the smallest summit cairn. I followed a faint path to the north but it soon vanished. A steep grassy descent took me down to the main path towards Brownthwaite Crag. I followed the path north then down to the wall where there is no stile to cross over.
Solitary stone marks Gowk Hill summit

Brownthwaite Crag to Steel Knotts

To Steel Knotts

On Steel Knotts


St Peter's Church.


St Peter's Church.
I had to climb over to continue. Up ahead I could see walker approaching and we exchanged brief hellos as I headed up Pikewassa and on to Steel Knotts. There was a bit of sunshine as I wandered along the easy ridge then steeply down Steel End to the flat path below. I turned left to walk back towards St Peterís Church. On the way I notices some iron manhole lids which I assume is on the line of the water main that comes over from Boredale Hause.
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