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" Low Fell with Anne, Pal and Mila"

Date & start time:   Monday 15th August 2016, 12.45 pm start.

Location of Start :  The red letter box, Thackthwaite, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 148 235 )

Places visited :       Fellbarrow, Watching Crag, Low Fell, the viewpoint, Foulsyke & home.

Walk details :           5.1 mls, 1450 feet of ascent, 3 hours 30 mins including lunch.

Highest point :       Low Fell   1,387ft - 423m

Walked with :         Anne, Pal, Mila, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                Beautifully sunny.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.

 

After a busy family week, life continues on a-pace with more than one set of friends calling and suggesting that they would like to walk locally. 

Today Anne (Henderson) and family are over and our choice of walk is decided by offering them two new Wainwright tops to climb.

- - - o o o - - -

During the earlier part of the day, before they arrived, I had chance to do a little gardening . . . and even harvesting.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a sweet crop.
There's the chance of more than one bowl of fruit too.
   
Planting more seeds, hopefully for a late crop of chard and spinach.
Outside the runner beans are starting to mature.

- - - o o o - -

Once our visitors had arrived and a plan for the day was decided,

it was a quick  pack of sandwiches and we're off to take advantage of the lovely summer weather.

Anne, Pal and Mila are up on holiday in the Lakes from Cambridgeshire and we first met in George Fishers several years back.

As the house name suggests, we're starting our walk in Thackthwaite.

The monkey puzzle tree by the red letter box.
Fellwalking weathervane or is that a fox ?
Several types of mushrooms in the fields.

Sadly the village lost its red phone box a few years ago . . . it was unused and removed without ceremony on the back of a BT Lorry.

On past another set of mushrooms . . . and the view opens out to include the distant sadle-back summit of Hopegill Head.

(not to be confused with Blencathra's saddle-back shape)

At the top of the fields there's been a lot of farming activity . . .

They been trying to cut back the bracken with the tractor and grass cutter . . . hard work on the steep slopes.

Above the gate now and we have a distant but reasonably clear view of Scafell Pike and many of the central fells.

We are at the gate half way round the curved path that climbs the short Meregill Valley.

It is here that we need to turn and head for our first summit of the day.

Ann decides to take Harry on the direct route to Low Fell while we branch off,

crossing the beck and follow a faint path up past a line of old larch trees.

Looking back down the valley and across to Lorton, Whinlatter and distant Skiddaw.

The problem with faint paths at this time of year is the ubiquitous bracken.

Still, as the height is gained the bracken is left behind.

Here we stop to look back at our route and try and spot Ann and Harry . . . they've made it to the top of the first zig-zag.

My larger original of the photo shows a white dot and a red dot on the first bend which would be Harry and Ann.

The grassy top of Fellbarrow achieved . . . Dylan is there first of course.

* Photo by Anne

Closely followed by Mila and myself.

With the first summit bagged it was time to contour around past Smithy Fell and Sourfoot Fell . . . this is the view back of course.

Across the base of Sourfoot in order to regain the original route at the head of the zig-zag path.

- - - o o o - - -

In the meantime Ann and Harry had reached the outcrop known as Watching Crag.

She enjoyed a very short wait but there's always a lovely view to enjoy on a day like today.

Having met and talked to neighbours on the climb up there was not much delay this time.

We sent Dylan on ahead to " Find Harry " . . . he was a little confused by all the large number of sheep tracks

but managed it with a definitive sniff of the paths and little prompting from myself to find Ann on the crag.

We also stop to enjoy the view that Ann had enjoyed for the last few minutes.

It was decided that it was "sandwich o'clock" . . . time for lunch complete with homemade Henderson flapjacks !

* Photo by Anne

It looks like I'm just eating the last of those flapjacks . . . or talking too much !

From Watching Crag we can look back at the lovely heather on the side of Low Fell

. . . but also at the farmer's work where he had been cutting bracken below.

The last fence and stile before the summit of Low Fell.
Just a gentle climb to the top . . . I don't think !

That last pull up is short and sweet and in no time at all we reach the summit of Low Fell.

In the background is Fellbarrow and away to the north in the haze is the Scottish coast across the Solway.

The summit of Low Fell is in the middle of the ridge, so the path continues on, undulating its way to the southern cairn and viewpoint.

* Photo by Anne

Group photo at the southern cairn . . . the dogs seem to have missed out on an appearance this time.

From here the noteable view is of Loweswater and the pheasant-shaped wood on the other side.

The classic view is from the southern viewpoint just a little further down.

- - - o o o - - -

 

The crag at this point is almost designed for use

as there is space for people to sit comfortably

and take in the panorama ahead of them.

 

 

 

Harry has found a seat too

amongst the heather and bilberry plants

and is enjoying a well earned rest

. . . as is allowed for a dog of his age.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Through the distant blue of this sunny day we can see the cars driving round Hause Point at Rannerdale Knotts, heading no doubt for a busy Buttermere.

Great Gable is the apparent highest fell here, but we've lost the view of Scafell Pike

in favour of Broad Crag and Ill Crag seen through the gap between Haystacks and High Crag.

The wildlife pond at Godferhead is maturing nicely . . .
. . . and the sheep below are processing across for some reason.

[ When we get down there later they all process back in the reverse direction . . . I hope the effort was worthwhile.]

Oak Cottage with only one car . . . the other one is parked at the start of the walk of course.

The only way now is down . . . by finding another rather indistinct path off the end of the fell.

It starts with promise as we drop down past some nice heather and rocky outcrops.

Mila follows Dylan up onto one of the viewpoint rocks on the way down.

* Photo by Anne

By the time Mum comes along she's sat down.

The last stretch down to the stile at the base of the slope is the indistinct bit of this descent,

the path being poorly defined and partially overgrown with short bracken at this time of year.

No walk down the end of the fell is complete without visiting the landmark of the old pine tree.

Gareth's photo last week, mine this week.
Ann relaxes around the other side of the tree.

From here it is a straightforward walk down the fell and back across the fields to the teapot.

- - - o o o - - -

After Anne and family made their way back to their holiday accommodation at Dacre (near Penrith)

the day closed with a rather nice sunset . . . highlighting that southern viewpoint as the apparent high point of the fell.

I hope they had a similarly spectacular sunset from their "home for the week".

- - - o o o - - -

 

 

 

Bill Sutton from Canada,

the Loweswatercam viewer who sent me a photo of his

painting depicting the Moot Hall recently,

has been busy with his pastels and paper again.

 

" Some Folks Will Recognise this Tree For Sure !

A Lake District character silhouette - Pinus Sylvestris.

It reminds of those in the Ancient Caledonian Forest."

William Sutton.

Thanks Bill . . . a real skill that's beyond me . . . RmH

 

 

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, my Canon 1100D Digital SLR or Anne's Cannon G9.

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

This site best viewed with . . . summer days that go on and on.

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Previous walk - 6 - 11th August 2016 - A Week with Gareth & Rhian

A previous time up here - 19th June 2014 - Fellbarrow & Low Fell with Joan

Next walk - 17th August 2016 - High Nook with Richard & Hilary