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Aiken Beck Valley and (almost) Spout Force

Date & start time: Tuesday 8th February 2011, 3.40 pm start.

Location of Start : The Darling How track, Whinlatter, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 182 258 )

Places visited : Darling How Farm and the Aiken Plantation

Walk details : 2.65 mls, 450 ft of ascent, 1 hrs 15 mins.

Highest point : Up in the plantation at 1050 ft - 325 m.

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

Weather : A nice afternoon but hazy cloud in front of the low sun.


 Aiken Beck Valley at EveryTrail

Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


A simple forest track took us up into the more remote areas of the Aiken Plantation behind Whinlatter Fell.

Parking just before the gate on the Darling How track, we set off in search of peace and quiet.

We only passed one person all the time we were out.

The end of the road . . . the start of the walk.

The remote Darling How Farm.

It would be interesting to hear the history of these buildings and the sequence in which each part was built.

Was this the original farmhouse ?

The low house in front has really old features too and seems to be built with weather protection in mind.

Together with the barns they make a rectangular set of buildings enclosing the hidden farm yard.

To our left we get a view down to the beck . . .
. . . ahead the summit of Lord's Seat comes into view.

Easy walking but very pleasant nevertheless.

There's plenty of water still flowing off the fells after the recent rain.

That's quite an undercut on the meander and all the debris has been washed away downstream.

Amongst the many cut tree stumps were several with rather colourful fungi.

A close study possibly suggests two flying Moles meeting for a kiss ?

What do you see ?

We double back on a higher track, stepping carefully over one or two fallen trees.

Looking back we can see Lord's Seat again as a result of climbing up out of the valley.

A wider panorama includes the adjacent summit of Broom Fell.

The track was heading deeper into the trees . . .
. . . so we turned and retraced our route back down.

The fell wall . . . between farm field and forest.

- - - o o o - - -

On the way back I diverted onto a side track to try and get a view of the nearby Spout Force.

Widow's Hause plantation high on the fell

but I'm making for the beck at the bottom of the valley.

There's the Aiken Beck but where's the waterfall ?

I'm way out on my calculations and make my way downstream . . .
. . . till I get to a ravine that hides the falls.

The viewing platform on the opposite bank.

It seems the only place to get a view of the falls is from the other side where there is a good path and a viewing platform.

[ Move your cursor over the photo to highlight it.]

I found the direct footpath leading to the site of the falls and used it to return to the car.

Next time a better guess at where the falls were

would have saved some tricky walking but still wouldn't have given me that illusive view that I was hoping for !

- - - o o o - - -


Hi Roger and Ann

I was looking at your most recently added walk around the Aiken Beck valley and saw the photos of the colourful fungi that you took. I just wondered, are you aware of ? I took a lot of photos of fungi last autumn, a bumper crop in this area, but was having trouble identifying a lot of them.

I heard about this website on Saving Species on Radio 4 the other day and posted up a few photos and immediately had a response on all of them. Members don’t only identify fungi, but flora, fauna and insects too. I just thought that, if you’re anything like me and want to know the name of everything I see, you may find this interesting.

With very best regards and thank you for helping with my ‘fix’ of the Lake District in between visits.

Rowena Padel


- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a map in my pocket showing the correct location of the falls first time.

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Previous walk - 7th February 2011 Damp Mosedale and Cogra Moss

A previous time up here - 15th November 2010 Spout Force walk

Next event - 9th February 2011 The 2011 Tethera Play - planning