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Bowscale Tarn, Bowscale Fell, Blackhazel Beck to River Caldew, Cumbria..
[10.2 km]  Wed 18 Mar 2020

Lat/Long: 54.684152, -03.039614
OS Grid Ref: NY 33073 32619
I was a bit late with the start of my walk as I called at Asda to see if any tinned food had come in overnight. Just after 6am the shelves were still mostly empty. I contued along the M6, off at Penrith and on to the lane west of Mosedale to park in the same spot as last week. This time it was nowhere near as windy. There was already a large van parked there. It was fine but overcast as I set off down the road to the turn off for the buildings called Roundhouse.

The Roundhouse.

As I walked down the muddy track and came driving up. I passed the houses then over the wooden footbridge crossing the River Caldew. The steady climb up towards Bowscale Tarn and Fell was in front of me. I could see the trail most of the way up but I had to be careful in places as the very wet grass was quite slippery. I took it steady by the side of Tarn Sike and eventually I reached its source at the outlet of Bowscale Tarn.

The footbridge over River Caldew.

 Bowscale Tarn.

The tarn is in an impressive bowl of surrounding steep hillsides. I turned right to walk up the steep path to the ridge edge above the tarn. Shortly below the summit I stopped to make the most of the shelter from the cold wind and have an early lunch. On the ridge I had the cold wind on my side and continued up the featureless path to the low stone shelter on Bowscale Fell.

Bowscale Tarn.
Over the summit I had a great view of Blencathra ahead. I descended to the south to the path junction at the saddle. My objective is a minor path to the right that descends Blackhazel Beck. The OS 50K map shows it a defined path descending to the River Caldew but there is no bridge shown on the map. After further research I realised there was no bridge and never had been one.
Looking to Blencathra..
I was prepared for a wade across the river. I hadn’t been going long before all signs of the path vanished. I followed rough ground down to a sheepfold and a nice view of the valley below. Checking though my binoculars I could confirm no foot-bridge.
Sheepfold above Blackhazel Beck.
Below was a faint path on the hillside which I followed to a ruined stone building which looked to have been quite substantial at one time. It is shown as having a roof on the 1864map. There had been a door on the NE side but no sign of any window openings. I crossed the rushy and wet flat area towards the river. The map shows the path ending at the river bank but no bridge. The river was wide and fast there and no chance of crossing without wading.
Old stone building.
It was too fast for safety so I walked upstream and found a crossing point that was manageable. My ‘river crossing’ socks and karrimat inserts worked a treat. Boots, socks & trousers off. Camera in rucksack with trousers then in to wade across. I was in over my knees and just below waist level. With walking pole for support it wasn’t too bad. At the far side I didn’t put my boots back on until reaching the path. My feet were very cold and even with my socks back on and in my boots it took a while for them to feel normal.
Where I waded across the River Caldew.

 Distant view of Skiddaw House
It was an enjoyable wander down the track back to the bridge and road and then car. A few more cars were there on my return.
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