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Hallthwaits, Baystone Bank, Swinside Fell, Sunkenkirk Stone Circle, Cumbria.
[10.8 km] Wed 17 May 2023

Lat/Long: 54.258259, -03.261108
OS Grid ref: SD 17857 85484
 
This area of Cumbria is not the easiest to drive to due to the narrow roads and heavy traffic. I was glad to reach Duddon Bridge and the wider length of the A595. On the minor road to Hallthwaites I parked in a layby between St Anneís church and the Thwaites Primary School. It's the first time Iíve walked in this area and set off by heading west across the A595 and onto a public footpath into the fields towards Baystone Bank. Towards Bank House the gates became rather rickety and one was off its hinges and lying on the ground. Over Baystone Bank I had nice views of the fells ahead followed by a steep descent on an unmarked path down to the secluded Baystone Bank Farm Campsite.
 

View of the fells from Baystone Bank.
I reached the private road that soon degraded to a track and left it through a gateway near the wonderfully named Whirlpippin. I was now heading north across a green field with the open fells ahead. At Force Knott the map shows a couple of paths diverging then coming together higher up. I opted for the left path which was fairly easy to follow but not much of a trail on the ground. Higher up it became more engineered and eventually joined the right path.
Guardian at Force Knott.

Lunchstop and view of the Duddon Estuary.
I was climbing above the steep sided Stoupdale Beck and continued up to Stoupdale Crags where I found a hollow to shelter from the wind and enjoy an early lunch in the shelter and warming sunshine. I had great views out across the Duddon Estuary. I climbed up a little further then turned right to follow a minor path towards the main path to Swinside Fell and Raven Crag.
When I came to the substantial wall I turned left to follow it down but the last time I was here I crossed the wall and descended steeply down Raven Crag. Today's descent was down a grassy slope which was much easier and sensible. I turned right at the farmtrack and followed it to Swinside Farm. The farm was occupied but nobody was about. Further down the track I came to the Sunkenkirk Stone Circle (or Swinside Stone Circle) in the field.
Swinside Farm.
I was glad to have the whole place to myself and wander slowly around the stones. It dates from the late Neolithic period to Early Bronze Ages (around 4,000 - 5,000 years ago). After taking some drone aerial photos I continued down the stony farmtack to Cragg Hall and the tarmac.

Sunkenkirk Stone Circle.

Gateway.

Sunkenkirk Stone Circle.

St Anneís Church.

St Anneís Church.
The walk back along the A595 wasnít as bad as Iíd expected and the traffic was relatively light. There was no footpath anywhere along it. Back at the St Anneís Church I was hoping to get inside for a look but it was locked.
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
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