Date & Time: Saturday 12th April 2008. 11.40 am start.
Location of Start : Muncaster Mill car park, Cumbria west coast, Uk. ( SD 095 977 )
Places visited : Muncaster Mill station, Muncaster Tarn, Muncaster Fell, Ross's Camp, Eskdale Green, return via single tickets on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
Walk details : 6 mls, 1150 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 10 mins incl lunch, excluding train ride.Highest point : Muncaster Fell 750 ft ( 231 m )
Walked with : Jo, John, Ann and the dogs, Megan, Jodie, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Hail before the start but then dry and clearing to a nice day.
The old millstone highlighting the start of the walk
( Note: F11 on your keyboard to see the photos full page if you wish, F11 to return afterwards )
With a very poor forecast for the central and eastern fells we decided to head west to Muncaster.
This delightful, elongated fell runs in towards Eskdale Valley from the coast. It is in fact one of Wainwright's Outlying Fells, and a delightful one it is too.
We had brief thoughts that should the weather clear then we could climb one of the higher fells further up the valley, but then we decided that Muncaster Fell would do very nicely thank you. It was at 11am that Ann and I were waiting at the station car park - first ones there for a change !
The route today takes us up the fell from the coastal end towards Eskdale Green village.
First we take the bridle way up through the woods above Muncaster Mill Station towards Muncaster Castle - a rather damp forest track.
The route briefly joined the main road near Muncaster Castle before turning uphill on the aptly named " Fell Lane"
As we walked up the lane we glimpsed Yoadcastle Fell and Stainton Pike, the low cloud still shrouding these lower fells.
At the top of the rise we found forestry operations in progress - always a messy business . . .
. . . but this time it was really messy.
It will take an age for this lot to settle back into some form of pleasant, walkable track.
Perfect reflections of a Forestry Harvester.
( Hold your cursor over the photo for the real story )
Muncaster Tarn, a wildlife haven with a large number of ducks and geese despite the disturbance all round.
The tarn is man-made like Tarn Hows, though not as big. It falls within the Muncaster Estate.
Beware . . . forestry operations . . . how do we cross that lot ?
We found a wooden stepping stone. Ann just has to jump the rest !
John's route then took us on through the forest.
There was no public footpath here, but to be fair to John, there was a clear way through when he last walked this way !
We rejoined the main path after crossing the new forest fence.
The lorries had not been using this part of the track now so the going was much easier. We turned here for the summit.
The thinning of the trees has allowed a view of the tarn as we climb up towards the summit of Muncaster Fell.
The Ravenglass Estuary is in the distance.
Harry and Bethan, both eager to be claim the high ground.
Harry was first but in fact Bethan won the distinction of being top in the photo.
The weather was clearing as predicted.
Snow covered hills at the head of Eskdale start to appear. Harter Fell is the pointed fell to the right.
Lunch at Ross's Camp. There was even a stone table.
The "ancient" cromlech stone cairn had been inscribed with the date 1883.
Apparently it was constructed by the Muncaster Estate, and used for picnics and shooting parties.
Continuing the forestry theme, we met this young lad (and his logging train ) at Ross's Camp. His parents were also walking the fell.
Dane was three years old, and his plan was to walk the downhill sections provided Dad would carry him up the uphill parts.
Just wait . . . next year you'll be too heavy and you'll have to walk the whole lot. That will please Dad !
Downhill for us now as we look through the old gateposts to the houses of Eskdale Green.
Damp walking and muddy in places as we walk around Silver Knott on the built up track.
Ann concentrates as she crosses the stone flagged bridge once we left the fell.
We're down in the valley now and need to cross the railway line.
The steam engine Northern Rock as it hauls the up train between Irton Road and Eskdale Green.
It may be small but it thinks BIG.
Having safely crossed the tracks we make our way over to the village where there just happens to be an excellent village shop selling ice creams.
I couldn't possibly have any more . . . Oh all right then, if you insist !
Hold your cursor over the picture to see how many times she refused another bite !
Gate House, Eskdale Outward Bound Centre. A fine old house set in delightful grounds.
This outdoor pursuits centre is famous for having taught many people the art of climbing and mountaineering.
The private lake is the backdrop to someone's wedding photos today.
After walking slowly through the village we find ourselves in perfect time to catch the next train on it's return to Muncaster Mill.
Dane and his parents made it to the station too.
Group photo by Ann.
John cuddles his rucksack as it contains his mobile phone. He'll need it to access the football scores soon. No further comment !
We're off !
Despite it's miniature 15 inch gauge, these trains can pull a full compliment of passenger carriages at very reasonable speeds.
Heading for Irton Road where the up train is waiting to pass.
The River Mite head the other train bound for Dalegarth Station at Boot in Eskdale.
Heading uphill with full steam entering another passing loop before Miteside Halt.
Nearing the end of our ride as we approach Muncaster Mill.
They've re laid the track here recently and the old line is stored to one side awaiting collection.
After returning to the car at Muncaster Mill, we make our way down to Ravenglass in search of light refreshment.
Jo steps out along the sea wall with it's well maintained handrails and beautiful daffodils.
Ravenglass main street taken from outside the Pennington Arms.
Afternoon teas served till 5 pm.
The main line railway bridge taken from the Millennium Garden (but showing next doors seaside patio)
The main street boasts a double row of a colourful seaside houses.
What started as a wet day has ended as a delightful sunny evening.
A fine walk, a great little train ride and a rewording visit to the coast too. Not a bad day out !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . An extra scone to finish off the last of the lovely Devon Clotted Cream
Previous walk - 5th to 9th April 2008 Local Pictures from this week
A previous time up here - 17th October 2006 Muncaster Fell and La'al Ratty with Ian and Cory
The Eskdale Railway started life as a wide gauge mineral line and Irton Road was the first proper station built for passengers.
It was converted to 15" narrow gauge by Bassett-Lowke, a model train enthusiast, in 1915.