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Swindale, Glebe Howe, Seat Robert, Sleddale Hall, Cumbria.
[15.0 km]  Wed 19 Feb 2020

Lat/Long: 54.521184, -02.740808
OS Grid Ref: NY 52146 14241
Itís been a few weeks since my last walk in Cumbria and I certainly noticed the difference in daylight as I drove north along the M6. The windsock at Tebay was visible in daylight and not a gloomy apparition as on my last drive. I reached the small parking area in Swindale where I was the only person there. The forecast was for cloud during the morning and rain coming in later.

 Swindale flooding.
I set off south along the lane by Swindale Beck. I hadnít been going long before I came to a flood across the road. It was quite deep so had to traverse the adjacent fence above water level. I reached the Water intake weir then further on the footbridge over Swindale Beck. The far side was waterlogged after the recent heavy rain.
Access to the footbridge.

 Swindale beck and the stepping stones.
I soon reached the stepping stones which were above the water level but not a way Iíd like to take. I headed up the wet hillside towards Gouther Crag. Higher up the indistinct track became a sunken track. It was easy going and I continued steadily upwards to the waterfall at Haskew Beck. Because of lots of recent rain I was concerned about how wet the fells would be. The official path goes through some very wet ground as I found out on my last visit in summer 2 years ago. I decided to keep to the right and follow higher ground.
The stepping stones.

 Kidsty Pike in the distance.
My diversion turned out to be a good choice. There were some shallow snowfields but generally I was able to avoid the worst of the wet ground. Eventually I reached Seat Robert and the large cairn with adjacent stone shelter. It was windy and a temperature of -2degC so I checked the shelter. It was ineffective. Slightly to the south was the Ordnance Survey trig point. Itís not shown on the maps and isnít a traditional column. A concrete ring marks a copper pin set in the rock.
Seat Robert cairn & OS trig point.
My diversion turned out to be a good choice. There were some shallow snowfields but generally I was able to avoid the worst of the wet ground. Eventually I reached Seat Robert and the large cairn with adjacent stone shelter. It was windy and a temperature of -2degC so I checked the shelter. It was ineffective. Slightly to the south was the Ordnance Survey trig point. Itís not shown on the maps and isnít a traditional column. A concrete ring marks a copper pin set in the rock.
The OS copper dome pin trig point
and concrete ring marker.

 Approaching Sleddale Hall with Wet Sleddale Reservoir behind.

 Sleddale Hall.
I took a photo and left to the SE. I managed to find a bit of shelter by a snowdrift and used it to eat my sandwich. The second objective was to cross the route across a stone wall and on to descend to the track from the old quarries to then to Sleddale Hall. I stopped to look at the hall and it was just the same as the last time I visited 2 years ago with no evidence of more building work having been done. It was the location of some filming for the 1987 film ĎWithnail and Ií.

Sleddale Hall kitchen door.

Kitchen door in 'Withnail and I'
I followed the track down to Sleddale Grange then left through the farm gate to follow the very muddy track to the next gate. The path down to the road was extremely wet and I was glad to reach tarmac on the Water Company road which is private to vehicles. I continued NW and when I reached the junction to Tailbert decided to carry straight on. My original plan was to continue to Tailbert then descend the fell side to the bridge and back via Swindale Foot.

A great sign on the road while walking back.
That part is a walk better done on a fine day so I continued on the tarmac to the road bridge over Swindale Beck then left up the wet hillside to join the Swindale Road. It was a short walk back to my car.
 
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