Date & Time: Tuesday 15th July 2008. 1.30 pm start.

Location of Start : The A591 lay by at Bracken Rigg, Thirlmere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 300 207 )

Places visited : Shoulthwaite Farm, alongside Goat Crag, Bleaberry Fell, High Seat, Shoulthwaite Gill back down the valley to the farm underneath Castle Crag and Iron Crag.

Walk details : 5 mls, 1600 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 50 mins including a late lunch.

Highest point : High Seat 1,995ft (608m)

Walked with : Jo and John, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan and Polly.

Weather : Low cloud and a fine drizzle as we started, but clearing. Breezy on the tops.

The signpost at the exit from the forest section above the farm


We parked off the road at the very convenient abandoned loop of the old A591 now designated a lay by.

Our target was to climb Bleaberry Fell, up there behind Goat Crag, the prominent rock crags seen as you drive south from Keswick.

The delightful and beautifully quiet caravan site adjacent to Shoulthwaite Farm

which displays its proud credentials on a discrete notice by the barn door.

The farm also has an fully functioning weather system

for it's patrons, and for walkers to check

before venturing out onto the fells.


Today the string was damp but stationary.

A short climb up through the woods then a forest track takes us out towards the fell side.

There's a gate and a full width wooden bridge which cross the Gill where the 1:25 map just shows the weir.

Climbing up following the wall starts to warm us up

and as it has stopped drizzling our waterproof coat and trousers are returned to our packs.

Goat Crag . . . no sign of the old goat ?

Wainwright also indecates a 'shoulder route' which climbs this this rough ground across the face of the crags.

Today we chose to climb the direct route, alongside a small tributary stream, to the right of the main crag.

A view back of High Rigg and Clough Head.
A re-cycled decorative wrought iron gate keeps the sheep in.

Ann concentrates on the final steep climb up through the heather and billberry.

Soon the view north is there to enjoy.

Ann and Jo look down on the flat top of Walla Crag, with Bass Lake and the Skiddaw fells to the right.

By following across the top of Goat Crag and keeping to the higher ground we should arrive directly at the summit shelter of Bleaberry Fell.

As we do the view north and west opens out before us.

Click here or on the photo for a wider, annotated panorama.

Our wide panorama south and west is revealed as we reach the top. Bleaberry Fell, being centrally placed, certainly commands fine views

(l to r) High Raise, Pike o' Stickle and the Coniston Fells, Crinkles, Bowfell, Esk Pike, the Scafells, Lingmell, Gable and Brandreth. Kings How below.

The shelter was nicely designed to sit in and be protected from the prevailing south westerlies.

but today it's a more northerly breeze which encourages us to shelter on it's south facing outer side. Lunch was about 3.30pm !

Chance afterwards to look around.

Bleaberry's northern cairn looks out on Scotland, Bass Lake and Keswick below.

The top of Dodd Crag and Blencathra.

We had climbed up from the valley, to the heather patch on the lower left of the picture, in order to gain the ridge.

At the northern summit cairn of Bleaberry, the views extend to Helvellyn and its southern ridge.

Steel Fell to the right has good sunshine.

Our next summit was High Seat, the trig point between the three hounds.

Sunshine on us, but Clough Head and the Dodds are in shadow.

Wainwright also mentions a Litt's Memorial, two stones on the side of the fell somewhere here.

Not carrying the book we can't pin point them so John and I meander slightly, looking at every double stone we can find. No luck though !

The top of Shoulthwaite Gill . . .
. . . it gains momentum as it starts its descent.

Rich peaty waters change Bethan's legs to a delightful red colour.

A thin path now traverses the hillside and follows the valley down.

The path stays high until we get close to the screes below Iron Crag.

Here it drops down to a sheepfold at the side of the Gill and continues down at a lower level.

Nearly out now, the sunshine lighting up the side of Blencathra's Blease Fell slightly.

After that initial shower, the day has been dry. I wonder what the weather forecasting string will tell us on our return ?

We'll soon know.

There's just the bridge to cross and the forest track to walk and we're back.

- - - 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.

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Previous walk - 11th July 2008 A Double Take in Poor Weather

A previous time up here - 6th June 2003 Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell