OS Grid ref: NY 30204 20484
Lat/Long: 54.574730, -3.081205
I drove via the M6 to Keswick then south on the A591 to park on
a short length of the old abandoned road near Rough How Bridge.
At the northern end was a faded sign saying parking limited to
2hrs near an abandoned car. I parked on the grass by the south
end then started walking east along the busy pathless main road.
I tuned off to head south onto the minor road to Thirlmere and
noticed plenty of parking space on the verge where others had
parked. I continued south then turned sharp right up the
forestry track up Smaithwaite Banks.
Raven Crag in the distance.
The track was easy to follow and I took a path shortcut up
through the trees to rejoin the track higher up. I crossed over
to follow the continuing path with the imposing cliff of Raven
Crag above. I reached a fence then up a well made path with
sinding steps up to the main viewing platform on Raven Crag. The
expanse of Thirmere opened up to the south and north was
Looking down to the Thirlmere Dam.
Thirlmere from the viewing platform.
As I was returning down the steps I met a man walking up then
further down three young ladies coming up. One seemed exhausted
and was taking a rest. None were dressed for the mountains. I
followed the forestry track north for a while and looked for a
way through the dense trees to try and get up Sippling Crag on
Benn Man. Over a gate I followed a track but came to an
impassable deer fence so had to return. Further along the track
was was a faint route up through the grass. It was going in the
right direction so I followed it. Higher up it became more
distinct and eventually took me to my objective of the summit. I
was above the trees and had good all round views. There was an
easy descent path to the north which took me to a forestry track
which I followed down to Shoulthwaite Farm and the caravan park.
I stopped to chat to one man by his caravan as he had a
satellite dish mounted on a tripod and I wondered if it was
battery powered. It wasn't as he had the site’s mains power in
his caravan. I returned to the busy A591 and headed north
towards Dale Bottom Farm. Although busy there was a path for
part of the way.
“In memory of David Gerald Pennycook
who loved these fells
Died 13 June 1964 aged 10 years.”
Dale Bottom Farm is a large camping and caravan site. Last week
at Yew Tree Farm I spoke to the far about the stone memorial
above the the Church Youth Centre. The wording on the stone says
“In memory of David Gerald Pennycook who loved these fells Died
13 June 1964 aged 10 years.” He didn’t know anything about it
but said the old farmer at Dale Bottom, may know. I saw a farmer
in a field with his tractor so asked him where I could find Mr
Kitching. He was his son. He said his father was away sorting
some sheep but said the retired vicar of St John’s in the Vale
Church may know and he lives in a house which we could see
across the valley. I walked there and spoke to him and he said the young lad lived in Cockermouth and died
at the age of 10 from leukemia. He loved these fells so his
parents set up the memorial stone and brought his ashes here. I
thanked him and headed up the fell towards William’s Beck
following the same overgrown path I used last week.
beck I continued up to search out an old camp location but had
recorded the wrong coordinates. There are several paths across
High Rigg that aren't marked on any path. I headed south on a
route that was easy to follow. It took me up to Moss Crag whe I
joined the main path across the top of the fell. Down at the
wall I turned right to head west down by the wall to a gate.
Through the gate I tried to follow a patha cross to Rough How
Bridge and my car. Part way in the path vanished completely and
there definitely wasn't anything on the ground to follow. With
difficulty I reached the lower path and then had an easy walk
back to my car.