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Date & start time: Saturday 11th July 2009. 12.15 pm start.
Location of Start : Friars Well Cattle Grid, Cold Fell Road, near Egremont, Cumbria. ( NY 055 101 )
Places visited : Cold Fell, Side End, Thornholme Farm bridges, River Calder, Monks Bridge and back to Friar's Well.
Walk details : 3.5 mls, 850 ft, 3 hrs including lunch and a swim.
Highest point : Cold Fell 952 ft ( 293 m )
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunny and blue skies gradually clouding over towards the end.
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David Hall's Site was the inspiration for one . . . as we chose a short walk on a busy day and end up searching for a bridge.
It's surprising what you find tucked around the back of these little moorland hills.
The Cold Fell Road links Lamplugh and Calder Bridge on the west coast and bypasses the towns and villages by climbing over the outlying fells.
Cold Fell itself is just one of the 'bumps' along the way but it does feature in the Outlying Fells book, not that that was the reason we were climbing it today.
The panorama photo above is looking back (north) along the mountain road as we start the short climb to the top.
The white splodge on the right hand side are the small marquees and a car park for a Hound Trailing event being held locally today.
More of that later.
The forecast was for a fine day, clouding over to rain by the end, but so far the weather was excellent.
Here Harry looks through the gap on the fell wall to the distant summits of Caw, Haycock, Seatallan and the headwaters of Worm Gill.
To the west, signs of the old industry of the area . . . iron mining.
The ironstone found locally spawned Cumbria's industrial revolution and the steelworks and shipbuilding of Barrow (now famous for building submarines).
The area was served by many local branch line and mineral railways, which were the inspiration to Rev. W. V. Awdry for his Thomas the Tank Engine books.
The old and the new . . .
Just a little further round, the Sellafield Nuclear Processing Plant, now marketing itself as part of the Cumbria Energy coast, not that this plant produces much power. It is however, one possible site on which to build one of the planned nuclear power stations needed for this power hungry country of ours.
If that prevents thousands of wind farms being built in this beautiful county, some good will come of it in our opinion.
I digress from fell walking . . .
Oh yes where were we . . . Harry bags the summit . . ." I touched the top first . . . Yeah !"
We pause for a more traditional, celebratory summit picture.
After that hefty climb of at least 250 feet to the top, we walk along it's grassy summit, heading south.
This is Seatallan again with the distant fells of Great End to the left and Scafell and Slightside to the right .
The rounded outline of Lank Rigg with a large Herdwick lamb and her mum posing in the foreground.
Down the southern side of the fell to make the walk into a round trip.
Ahead is the Cumbrian west coast with the Ravenglass estuary in the centre and Black Combe further south.
A wider panorama showing all of the south western fells including Yoadcastle, Stainton Pike, Whitfell and Buck Barrow.
Sitting and enjoying the sunshine, a rather fine Charolais Bull.
Rather than walk directly through Strudda Bank Farm we diverted through a fell gate and walked along Side End,
hoping to find a stile or gate to cross the fence onto the public footpath on the other side.
Unfortunately none was available so we headed directly down to the river once we reached the woods.
Not many people seem to come this way !
I was coping but Ann behind had rather more in the way of navigational problems !
Still . . . she made it through and we were soon down by the river.
By the look of the vegetation, the public footpath down through the woods appeared to be even more blocked than our route down off the fell.
Here the River Calder is joined by Worm Gill and forms a classic junction pool.
There are two bridges here, one over each river, seemingly underused if our path was anything to go by.
The past flood water levels were impressive though, if the grass covered fence laying alongside the path is anything to go by.
In the absence of a good riverside path we decided to follow the bridle way
seen just starting to climb across the bracken covered slope to the right.
This took us up onto the lower slopes of Boat How but doubles back and follows the Calder north on a slightly elevated spur.
Ann is looking down for one last view of Worm Gill and Haycock in the distance.
A good path gradually fades but the way ahead is obvious.
Walking above the river, we spot a pool and possibly a nice place to enjoy lunch.
Yes . . . Harry's enjoying a cooling dip . . .
" Come on in . . . the water's fine !"
Ok then . . .
A pre-lunch dip in the pool was extremely refreshing but Ann declined this time.
This was a great place to relax and have lunch . . . apart from the flies which were a slight problem today.
It wouldn't be so bad but there were a few stinging nettles in with the thick fern cover, so we headed back down, closer to the river.
A final navigational hazard for Ann.
These must be some of the tallest rush grass we have seen for many a year.
Back onto clear ground again as we reach the bridge at Friars Gill.
Hidden in the trees no more than a hundred yards up stream is a superb old pack horse bridge . . . shown on the map as Monks Bridge.
This is one of the highlights that we had hoped to find when we first planned the walk.
Well worth a visit on a nice day . . . whatever the story.
Back now to the car, just up the track and we're there.
As I said earlier . . . It's surprising what you find tucked around the back of these little moorland hills.
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I also promised earlier a little more detail on the Trail Hound event we saw.
The participants and spectators had parked on the fell side next to the Cold Fell Road.
This is fox hunting without the fox. . . . cross country dog racing,following a scent trail
One of Cumbria's oldest and popular sports.
Ready for the off . . . participants line up their dogs for the next race as we make our way home.
More details from the Hound Trailing Association web site should you wish.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with with Ann's 75 or my G7 Cannon Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . an objective in mind when planning a walk.
Previous walk - Sunday 5th July 2009 Low Fell with David McNaughton
A previous time up here - 6th Nov 2007 Cold, Flat and Dented
Next walk - Wed 15th July 2009 Blawith Fell with Connie