Date & Time: Saturday 24th May 2008. 10.15 am start.

Location of Start : Adj to the cattle Grid, the top Swinside Road, Lorton, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 169 242 )

Places visited : Swinside, Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head, Whiteside, Dodd and back to the car.

Walk details : 5.3 mls, 2300 ft of ascent , 6 hrs including lunch and lots of stops to enjoy the views.

Highest point : Hopegill Head 2525 ft (770m )

Walked with : Les & Kevin (Kemp), Lorraine (Banks) Ann and the dogs, Megan, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Sunny and dry but hazy, clearing slightly later. Cool in the strong wind on the tops.

Les, Lorraine, Kev and myself at the start


Lorraine, Les and Kev, who we met through the OFC, are staying on holiday in Keswick

and have motored over Whinlatter to join us on a walk up Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head and Whiteside. A full day with evening celebrations too.

Les and Kev, Ann and Lorraine at the start of the walk. Megan, the Cairn Terrier is hiding between our two retrievers.

Rather than walk the Hopegill valley to our right, we will continue up the road till the tree and then take an inclined path up onto Swinside.

Concentration on their faces as they start the main climb,

all the faces that is except Les's, who is looking at the view down the valley.

Perhaps she was looking at the view of the Whinlatter fells, Greystones and Broom Fell in the distance.

Nearly there now as we reach the top of the Swinside ridge.

Below is Lorton Village and Wordsworth's Lorton Yew, between the large white house and the long grey barn in the centre of the picture.

Ahead of us the full panorama of our walk unfolds.

On the left, the triangular peak of Ladyside Pike, then Hopegill Head, the ridge to Whiteside

and then we plan to double back and down the heather covered spur to Dodd.

Happy Harry and Bethan with Ladyside and Hopegill Head behind.

Happy Loraine too as she climbs up Ladyside, past the remnants of the wall.

On the ridge the wind is increasing but it's warm and not causing us problems.

Long distance views of Hobcarton End though Skiddaw in the distance is rather hazy.

The switchback ride that is the summit of Ladyside Pike.

The gentlemen contemplate the route ahead.

The right hand side of the ridge was sheltered but the going was rough so we crossed over the wall and followed the main path on the left.

The towering slabs of Hopegill looked magnificent in the sunshine. Fortunately they were not as vertical as the telephoto view suggests.

Our route climbs just below the skyline, following a slightly darker crack that leads up to the flatter area below the summit.

It's a scramble, but an easy one, as Ann and Les feel the warm rock beneath their fingers.

Lorraine too is happy as she realises

that the climb isn't as vertical as anticipated.


The trek poles have been temporarily stored

in favour of a hands on approach.


The fault line and crack form a neat stairway

which climbs steadily towards the top.

Yeah . . . sorted !

What a great place to be !

The last section and the dogs are ahead as usual.

Bethan has already talked to the couple standing on the summit as Harry holds back to make sure we're ok.

Megan is already on the top as well and welcomes us to the summit.

Sunny Grisedale Pike is the fell in the background. What you can't see is the strong wind.

Turning right (west) at the top we walk along the ridge looking for a sheltered spot for lunch.

By dropping down slightly from the ridge the wind dies away.

A slight hollow gives us slightly more level ground to stop the sandwich box sliding down the fell side.

During lunch we commented that there weren't too many people about

till we saw this large group approaching from the direction of Sand Hill.

Later, with few people in sight again, we set off along the ridge towards Whiteside summit at the far end.

To our right, the feature that gives it's name to the fell, Hope Gill Valley.

Enjoying the sunshine, the location and the company, Les and Lorraine make their way along the flat topped ridge.

Nearly there now, we pause to look back at our route.

Below us are the crags of Gasgale Gill Valley on the southern and whiter side of Whiteside Fell.

The artist at work, arranging the three dogs.
But it was Mrs Artist that captured the best image !

Loweswater from the summit of Whiteside.

Leslie pointed out the virtual "Loweswater Pheasant" on the hillside opposite.

We dropped down to the lower viewpoint on Whiteside to see down into the valley

then doubled back just below the ridge, to take the spur down to Dodd.

The weather seems clearer now.

Not only Hopegill Head close at hand but Skiddaw (in the previous shot) has lost much of it's haze.

Contouring round we cross above the broken ground to find the spur down to the next (minor) summit of Dodd.

A diminutive summit and a rather diminutive cairn, but it still marks the top of this minor outlier.

Time for a quick rest in the heather . . . anyone seen the dog ?

The more substantial cairn is the one that overlooking the Lorton Valley.

Back to the easy route behind us, or over the edge? - We opt for the direct descent.

Part way down, the slope is still steep but the heather has given way to easier billberry and grass.

At the base of Dodd is a "T" shaped sheep shelter.

Ahead is the curved wall that leads back to the car.

Hope Gill . . . A river crossing completes the last of the navigation decisions of this great day out.

Harry and Bethan, however, decide to halt their river crossing mid-stream

To be fair it has been a hot day with little water on the ridge.

Certainly a day when the collapsible dog bowl and a swig of our water was most appreciated.

- - - o o o - - -

In the evening . . . Steve joined us for a meal at the Kirkstile Inn

We ate posh this time as we were in the restaurant rather than the bar.

Happy Birthdat to Stephen . . . . blow !

As it happened it was Steve's birthday too so the candle box was raided once again.

How old was he ? . . . Hold your cursor over the picture and count the years yourself !

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a new box of candles next time we go shopping.

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Previous walk - 22th May 2008 Loweswater Farmers Day Out

A previous time up here - 20th December 2006 Clear Winter Wonderland above the gloom