Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

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Date : Wednesday 5th October 2005

Location : Sour Milk Gill and Base Brown in Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk

Occasion : An evening walk after a busy day. Chance to get out on the fells again, walk the dogs and remember why we moved here in the first place.

Walk details : 2.9 miles, 1800 ft of ascent, 2hr 45 mins. Start point NY 235 121. time 4.50 pm.

Weather : A fine day, warm and dry, afternoon sun driving away the earlier gloom and low cloud.

Seathwaite Farm tea rooms at the start of the walk.

We had a great walk late yesterday - a very late start at 4.50 pm due to a really busy day. We had been busy shopping, building scenery for the forthcoming valley play, and then the sun had come out mid afternoon, so the lawnmower came out for one last time this season!

After that we delivered a washer /drier to friends in Buttermere village.

Then we travelled over to Seathwaite and got a car parking place not surprisingly at the top of the road near the farm. Most people were coming off the fells by this time and there were plenty of vacant spaces !


From the car we walked the short distance to the farm where the path across to Sour Milk Gill, and the beginning of the climb, starts through the gated archway.


The bridge crossing the infant River Derwent.

The ladder style near the bridge.
Sour Milk Gill Force.

We made a straight ascent up the steep side of Sour Milk Gill, which has an easy scramble near the top. Then on to the path into Gillercombe. On the way up we crossed this ladder stile. One of the dogs coped well, the other was a bit of a wuss ! No comment on which dog was which.

As we climbed the sun was still quite strong on the top of the fells opposite

the weather settled, and visibility was good.

Base Brown northern slopes.
The view down on our route so far.

Taking a line left off the main path, we ascended the gully leading to the perched boulder which can be seen in the left hand picture above. More difficult scrambling here as the rocks were green and greasy.

Half way up I paused and looked back on our route. In the distance were the high tops of Dale Head and High Spy, still enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

The Perched Boulder, or Hanging Stone, on Base Brown.

There was then a further pull up to Base Brown summit, to be rewarded on the way up with distant views of Great End and Bowfell. As we climbed we also re-entered the sunshine as it emerged over the top of the Brandreth Ridge opposite.

A pause to admire the view down Borrowdale

The evening sun highlights Ann and the summit rocks as we near the top of Base Brown.

Base Brown summit and a distant panorama of Crinkle Crags, Bowfell and the Scafell Range.


As we left the summit, our western panorama included Pillar and Scoat Fell over the Brandreth Ridge.


Ann silhouetted against the evening sky.

The departing sun took its warmth with it, so it was time to put on another layer of clothing.

No time to linger for long though, so we descended down the path into Gillercombe.

The light was fading fast.

Base Brown later the same day !

( taken from more or less the same place as the Base Brown northern slopes picture at the start )

It was a swift descent down the side of Sour Milk Gill,

making sure we watched where our feet were being placed and not the lights in the farmhouse below !

It was all but dark when we regained the bridge at 7.40 pm.

Good fun, and well needed exercise for ourselves and the dogs :-)

The Perched Boulder.
The Hanging Stone.

Dear Hileys, I very much enjoy reading your accounts of adventures on the fells and seeing your pictures.

I walked up Base Brown by the 'direct route' yesterday (06.09.17). Looking at your walk up Base Brown in October 2005,

you caption one picture as 'The Perched Boulder, or Hanging Stone, on Base Brown'.

I hope you won't mind me pointing out that the Perched boulder and the Hanging Stone are different rocks.

Thanks for all your work on the site.

Happy Walking !    Alan Thomas, Warrington, Cheshire

Hi Alan, it is  a pleasure to be corrected in this way, so that we can change the wording to make it as accurate as possible.

Good to see the site is still being used as a reference by you all these years later . . . . thanks, RmH.

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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