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"  Late Afternoon in the Hope Gill Valley "

Date & start time:    Friday 24th March 2017, 3pm start.

Location of Start :   Roadside above Hope Farm, Swinside, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :         Hope Gill Valley up to the sheepfold and back.

Walk details :            2.1 miles, 525 ft of ascent, a leisurely 1hours 50 mins

Highest point :          The sheepfold at the head of the valley.

Walked with :             Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                    Sunshine and blue skies becoming slightly overcast.

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After a busy morning at home we venture out for a walk in a valley which has been very much in the shade all winter. 

Now the sun is higher in the sky the Hopegill Valley is enjoying more sunshine and is warm and welcoming once again.

In the garden this morning and the high fells are crying out for me to use the telephoto lens

to capture Haystacks, Green Gable and Great Gable with their late covering of winter snow.

Chance to make a start outside in this new garden year . . .
. . . and importantly get busy in the greenhouse too.

I've planted some early potatoes and onion sets outside and some spinach seedlings under the protective fleece tunnel.

There's no guarantee that we haven't seen the last frost but the forecast for the next week is for milder conditions.

Mmmm . . . first planting of lettuce, parsley, leeks, spring greens, garlic, two early tomatoes plants and some tomato seeds in the lower pots.

[By the way . . . anything large has been bought as ready grown seedlings at the garden centre . . . except the garlic bulbs on the left.]

- - - o o o - - -

A parking spot all to ourselves at the roadside layby . . . on the Swinside Road above Lorton Valley.

Hope Farm in the trees below and looking across to Broadmoor Hill on the left, an outlier of Fellbarrow.

The path starts along the outside of the fell wall on what is a very damp path in places due to a number of fellside springs.

The late March snow still remains on the fells above 1500 feet high.

Ann and I take the lower path to start our walk up the main part of the valley alongside the stream.

The sunshine has started to melt the snow . . .
. . . so the beck is fairly full today.

A slight upward diversion to place the birch tree in the foreground of this photo of the Hopegill Ridge.

Despite the water temperature, the dogs still want to enjoy a paddle in the beck.

Getting out with those steep sides was more difficult than getting in however, especially as Harry's leg muscles aren't getting any younger.

We walk on up the valley . . . with the imposing table-mountain shape of Hopegill Head before us.

He's enjoying the warm of the sun . . . " yeh, yeh, yeh "

[reference to the Beatle's song . . . hope you like it !]

Adrian . . . has been making molehills out of mountains . . . even at this altitude !

The old sheepfold is a great place to stop . . .

. . . and enjoy views from the head of the valley.

We're looking north to the Solway and the hazy Scottish hills . . . and that lone birch tree on the valley side again.

We can't stay all day . . . so time to be heading back . . . this way Dylan.

No bathing in the river for the dogs this time.

Dylan is playing with a stick which is an old heather twig rather than anything bigger up here.

Following the Hope Beck back down the valley . . .
. . . did I say the bottom path was a little damp ?

The local farmer has placed a small barrier to protect the frogs spawn which has been laid in the watery pathway.

The barrier has been there for several years so the frogs must survive and return to spawn again in their diminutive "home pond".

- - - o o o - - -

On the way back we call in at the local Lorton Shop to pick up a few things and browse their rather nice craft selection.

There are one or two birthday celebrations coming up so new ideas for presents are always welcome.

- - - o o o - - -

Finally . . . a "spot the difference" competition for you.

Ante meridiem.
Post - meridiem.

Our new neighbour has his building plans passed and is starting some serious gardening.

It won't be a quiet time while the digger is at work but the immediate bonus for us is an improved view of the lake !

He's shown us the plans which look really nice and he and the builder have kept us in touch with what will happen, which is much appreciated.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . some sunshine, a selection of seed packets and a large bag of compost.

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

Previous walk - 23rd March 2017 - Cinderdale to Home with Jo

A previous time up here - 27th May 2014 - Hopegill's Dodd with Ian

Next walk - 25th March 2017 - Stickle Pike and Great Stickle