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" High Spy via Nitting Haws "

Date & start time: 2nd July 2011, 10.25 am start.

Location of Start : The Hollows Farm Road, Grange, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 252 174 )

Places visited : Cockley Haws, Nitting Haws, Minum Crag, High Spy, Rigg Head Quarries, Alledale Ramble alongside Castle Crag, and back past Hollins Farm campsites.

Walk details : 5.75 mls, 2250 ft of ascent, 5 hrs 50 mins including lunch and tea.

Highest point : High Spy, 2143 ft - 653 m.

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

Weather : Summer sunshine and blue skies with excellent visibility.

John Grayson and John Davenport are friends and fellow Loweswatercam viewers from Chelmsford, who are up on holiday in the lakes this week.

" High Spy via Nitting Haws " at EveryTrail


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


Today's route duplicates a walk that Ann, John and Jo did back in 2008 but I missed out on at that time.

I thought I hadn't done it at all, but looking back through the paper archives

Ann remembered we did it with the children in 1988 . . . time to get re-acquainted.

Driving round from Loweswater, we took the road under Catbells and entered Grange Village on the minor road from Manesty.

Our planned route for today can be imagined by looking above the white house.

Climb up through the bracken to Nitting Haws, the second bump from the left, the one under the little fluffy white cloud. From there we climbed up onto the ridge and over to High Spy, over the quarries and down the back back of the crags, back into the Borrowdale valley.

The ladies, basking in their reflection . . .
. . . and two out of the three 'Johns' that made up the party.

Technically this little bump is known as Swanesty How

but we skirt round it, alongside the trees and head for the bright green area behind . . . there's more sunshine there after all !

Looking up Borrowdale at the impressive Castle Crag . . . a delight to see from any direction.

It's a warm day so Harry takes advantage of a small pool to cool down.

The other dogs were not far behind.

A passing shadow makes the foreground rather dark, but highlights the sky as we start our climb.

A short while later we are considerably higher

and our view of Borrowdale, Grange Village and Derwent Water is expanding all the time.

John, John, John, Jo and Ann on Cockley How.

High White Rake is up to the right, Low White Rake down behind the first John, but we'll take the more graded path across the fell side.

It climbs left under the steep crags and trees, heading for Nitting Haws behind.

A good track but not one shown clearly on the map . . . the 1:25k shows just part of it but not the whole path.

John P. reckons it's the old drovers way down from years back.

Lovely views down into the valley and the village of Grange below.

Nitting Haws . . . a nice name but no idea where it comes from.

John conquers all.
Polly looks on in admiration.

The Hollows Farm campsite far below.

( We'll pass alongside the river on our walk back to the car at the end of the walk.)

Wainwright mentions it as a lovely amphitheatre.

It certainly is a delightful curved hollow, a high open valley on the side of the fell.

In the sunshine today the views are wonderful . . . a great place for lunch . . . but it's a bit too early and there's more climbing to do.

Still there's no reason why we shouldn't stop and take a photo or two.

Click here or on the picture above for a magic Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

Jo and John set off up towards the ridge.

The temperature is up so Bethan takes the opportunity of a cooling stop in the bracken.

We take our time too . . . stopping to discuss the hot topics of the day.

This John reckons the bracken is not deep enough from him to shelter from the sun so he doesn't try.

Clear air leads to clear views.

Almost up at the ridge . . .

where we get our first view of the North Western fells on the other side.

Distant Helvellyn across the ridges of Grange Fell and High Tove.

Minum Crag is just off the main highway and will make a great place for our lunch stop.

Jo waves from her lunch spot.

I reckon she's got special sandwiches and doesn't want to share !

The main path along from Maiden Moor to High Spy is just a short distance away.

After lunch we make for the main track and the large cairn at the top of the fell.

Just before the cairn there's a fine viewpoint, set down slightly from the main path.

It looks down rather dramatically upon the upper Newlands Valley.

Standing back slightly, John G's picture at the viewpoint.

(Thanks for sending it John . . . RmH)

An old lead mine spoil heap and a sheepfold next to the river 1200 feet below.

Ann enjoys the view across to Grasmoor and the North Western fells.

" High Spy with my little eye, something beginning with D.H."

The six of us at the High Spy summit cairn.

The Central Fells are ahead now as we leave the summit.

There is a little high cloud just touching the tops of Great End and Scafell Pike, but Great Gable is clear.

At the top of the Rigghead Quarries

we wait while one of the sheep calls for her lamb who had become separated from their small group.

Across the fence and into the quarry area.

There's a steep and stoney descent now as we walk back down into Borrowdale.

I find an interesting quarry cave and pop in for a look . . . Bethan waits on the outside.

The specs on the photo are water droplets falling like a thin curtain across the entrance.

A forty foot cavern with light coming in from the left . . .
. . . from a second entrance at the base of the cave.
Bethan looks down on the rest of the workings.
A tunnel entrance from a lower level.

A rescue helicopter flies up the valley.

On a fine day like today, hopefully he's on a practice not a call-out.

There are several different mining levels down the fell side, each having their own spoil heap.

The renovated Rigghead Bothy ahead.

John P believed it was re-built about 20 years ago but looks hardly used at present.

I'm not aware of the owners of the hut but it is securely shuttered to keep intruders out.

Jo stops for a photo from the hut.
An old winding wheel still set precariously on its plinth.

Our route ahead is clear . . . Down to the track below and left past Castle Crag to the Grange tearooms,

rather than straight down and right to Rosthwaite and the Flock Inn tearooms !

The smaller wooded fell is High Doat

which looks down on Seatoller and the upper Borrowdale Valley.

Castle Crag ahead . . . always a fine sight . . . especially in sunshine like this.

We pass on climbing it today . . .

. . . and follow the main track down towards the river.

Summer is here and the crowds are out . . . I managed to avoid getting most of them in the picture !

Future fish stocks for the Borrowdale Valley  !

Taking advantage of the shallows for warmth, and presumably protection from larger predators,

there was an amazing shoal of young fish, probably trout.

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to pretend you've got polaroid glasses on ]

Avoiding photographing the many tents, cars and people in the two campsites here

I opt for this one of the Hollows Farm fields as we near the end of the walk.

[ We stayed in this field with the caravan (in the last century !) before the larger fields became the main site.]

We stop for one last look back at Nitting Haws across the fields.

A fine walk and an interesting and varied route . . . well worth trying for yourselves if you can.

A good walk is always improved with a good cup of tea at the end.

Many thanks to the two Johns for the refreshments, and more importantly, their company on the walk today.

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On such a nice day there's only one way to travel home . . . via Buttermere !

[ Thinks . . . would this make a great shot for the July page of the 2012 Loweswatercam Calendar ? ]

- - - 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 . . . sorry missed the photo of the scones this time. You'll have to make your own.

Go to Top . . . © RmH.2011 . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 28th June 2011 Hopegill Valley and Dodd

A previous time up here - 11th October 2008 High Spy via Nitting Haws

Click here for John Paterson's views of the walk

Next walk - 9th July 2011 Low Ling Crag on Crummock Water