Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Date : Saturday Apr. 14th 2003

Place : Black Combe, near Millom, South West Cumbria.

Event : A walk with Ann, Ian, Cory and Megan, and the dogs.

Distance and time : 4 Miles, 1818 feet of ascent, about four hours (including lunch).

Weather : The summer 's heat wave in April continues, albeit hazy. Hot, but few long distant views.


The walk starts above the farm of Kirkbank, above Whicham in the southern Lakes

Wainwright never had problems parking like this, but then he didn't include Black Coombe in his 214 Peaks.

Presumably the access by transport was difficult too, or the fells too far from his favourite area.

Despite that, Black Coombe tops out at a respectable 1950 feet.


On the fellside soon after the start, a mine working with a flooded entrance proved an initial diversion.

Back to the path to join Dad . . .

only to find the dogs cooling off in the hot weather.

The hill is climbed almost in two halves. A less steep shoulder halfway giving a slight respite, if one is needed.

Old abandoned mine workings at this level are perhaps the reason the track up here was so good.

It continues ahead of us into the distance, skirting the summit by less than 100yds.

A dog to walk with, and perhaps to pull you up the last part, is a great incentive,

and saves hundreds of words of encouragement from Dad.

A broad summit, with a large but low shelter, marks the top of Black Coombe.

Climbing the Trig Point often gets the best views . . .

but today the distant fells are obscured by a heavy haze.

No view of the Scafells today, let alone Scotland, Ireland or Wales.


Three examples of summit words spanning nearly 150 years of visitors to this southern outlier.


The summit's flat top hides the fact that the mountain's name comes as ever from its local characteristics.

To the east are some of the finest crags for miles, reminiscent of Bannerdale Crags, near Blencarthra,

or the northern side of some of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales.

A real surprise.


After visiting the large cairn to the south of the main summit, we regained our upward path,

and followed it back down to the cars at our starting point at Whicham.


Ian, Cory and Megan returned to Seascale, but not before a cream tea

at the cafe on the square in Broughton in Furness.

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