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Date & Time: Wednesday 17th September 2008. 1.40 pm start.

Location of Start : The Boot Inn, Eskdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 176 011 )

Places visited : Boot, Little Barrow, Great Barrow, Little Pie, Eel Tarn, Stony Tarn, Whinscales (for late lunch), Lambford Bridge, Eller How and back on the Coffin Road to Boot.

Walk details : 5.5 mls, 1400 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 40 mins.

Highest point : Whinscales Crags on Eskdale Fell 1300 ft

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Dry and warm, but overcast and hazy so poor long distance visibility.

The fingerpost in Boot Village, sending us on today's slightly different route


A longer walk today around the fells behind the delightful Eskdale village of Boot.

Two tarns on the map and a prominent bridge, seen but not crossed before, were on our itinerary as we took a rugged walk around the Eskdale Fells.

Boot Inn car parking - in exchange for a charitable donation to Mtn Rescue
We started our walk directly from the pub !

Boot Cottage, a classic old two story cottage just opposite the pub and on the start of the bridle way towards Eel Tarn.

The Stanley Ghyll Waterfall alongside the start of the walk. The existence of these falls allowed the 15th Century Boot Watermill a head of water

with which to drive its waterwheels. This is thought to be the oldest working watermill in the Uk.

If you look carefully there are two waterwheels, both being driven by the water travelling down the wooden water shoot in the photo.

Walking this side of the valley was new to us so a signpost to Eel Crag was useful confirmation of our route.

Scafell and Slight Side from the path out of Boot.

A landmark Monkey Puzzle Tree stands in the corner of the field . . . a definite non-native species . . . I wonder who planted it ?

Rich grass within the boundaries of Hows Farm will provide good grazing for this cow and her calf.

Behind is the rather attractive minor fell of Little Barrow. We change our non-specific plans and decide it would make a great first summit for today's walk.

Opposite Gill Bank Farm we follow a gap in the wall to climb up to Little Barrow.

Little Barrow summit and the village of Boot in the valley below.

There was a nice view back down into the valley but distant views were spoilt by the haze.

Bethan and Harry rest at the cairn.

Green Crag is the distant fell on the skyline.

As we made our way across to the adjacent Great Barrow, my attention was caught by these sheep and the outline of Harter Fell behind them.

Ann found this Herdwick with a rather unusual straight set of horns.

This time the background fell is Whin Rigg, part of the Wasdale fells. On the other side of this, and Illgill Head next to it, are the Wasdale Screes.

Hidden behind the sheep were these Granite Peat Houses on Eskdale Moor. These buildings were designed to store peat fuel (cut turf),

and to allow it to dry, prior to being taken down to the valley where it was used as fuel for cooking and heating.

From the top of Great Barrow I stop to ponder the route ahead. We plan to visit Eel Tarn, which can be seen in the photo, and Stony Tarn which can't.

Perhaps our objective may be the top of Eskdale Fell which can be seen in front of Scafell to the left. It looks a reasonable distance but the terrain looks undulating and it's already afternoon so we must watch the time.

Where are the dogs by the way ? . . . Could that be them down in the water ? . . . They're predictable to say the least !

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama from the top of Great Barrow.

Soon we were down at the water's edge at Eel Tarn.

The recent rains meant the lake was full and the ground around it was very boggy.

Another dramatic view in close up, this time of Eel Tarn and Green Crag . . . the hazy conditions do occasionally produce some nice effects.

Leaving Eel Tarn we climb across the fells towards our next objective,

leaving Great Barrow as a silhouette behind us.

A perched boulder on the way to Stony Tarn.

Soon after passing the boulder, our second objective comes into view.

Stony Tarn is a delightful small tarn surrounded by stony fells, hence the name presumably.

A stone wall of an old sheep fold overlooking the tarn.

After leave the first tarn, we now leave the second, continuing our way up towards the higher fells.

Mid afternoon and we've forgotten to have lunch

so we stop at the minor top of Whinscales where there's a nice view of Scafell and White Side.

As we sat over a leisurely sandwich, the sunshine spread past us up to the summit of Scafell.

From our lunch stop we look down on another sheepfold on the side of Eskdale Fell.

We decide to cut down from the fell top and head down past the sheepfold.

Dark skies above the central fells extend round the side of the Eskdale Crags as we make our way towards Lambford Bridge.

The bridge is on the footpath between the Woolpack Inn (in Eskdale) and distant Wasdale

but the minor nature of the route does not explain why the bridge is so well maintained . . . still it's there . . . so we'll use it to cross the river !

Ann uses the bridge, but Harry doesn't bother.

A wet and muddy path encourages us to take to open ground again . . .
. . . till we meet the Coffin Road bridle way that leads back to Boot.

Eller How, the first of the Peat Houses we had seen from the other side of the valley.

It's downhill all the way now as we make our way towards the village.

To the left there's a rather insignificant looking Rowan tree . . .

. . . but that tree holds some fine berries.

. . . whilst looking at the tree I notice the top of distant Whinscales Crags, the highest point of our walk today.

Gill Bank Farm and that Monkey Puzzle tree again

with Little and Great Barrow, our first two summits of the day behind.

Almost back . . . the other side of the gate is the village.

This side of the gate is the old station and terminus of the mineral line that was the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway's reason for being.

Through the gate, the Boot Watermill again.
The mill grounds and waterfall complete our round trip.

- - - o o o - - -

All that remained was to put a contribution in the mountain rescue pot for use of the pub car park

and to find time for a glass of refreshment before we head for home.

- - - 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 drinks glass that hold liquid, and boots that don't !

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Previous walk - 11th September 2008 With Jo to High Nook Tarn

A previous time up here - 11th April 2005 Wasdale Screes, Burnmoor and the Boot Inn