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" High Nook - Holme Force "
Date & start time: 3rd October 2019. 2 pm start.
Location of Start : Maggie's Bridge car park, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 135 210).
Places visited : High Nook Farm & Tarn, Holme Woods & Holme Force, Watergate.
Walk details : 3.8 miles, 675 feet of ascent, 2 hours 30 mins.
Highest point : The Coffin Road above Holme Woods, 1020ft asl.
Walked with : Gill and Trevor, Ann and our dogs, Finlay, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Overcast, threatening a shower but we ended up dry throughout.
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Thursday was as grey as Wednesday was blue but no matter, the overcast skies are holding onto their precipitation
in honour of the visit of Trevor, Gill and Finlay of Borrowdale to Loweswater.
Grey skies above but bright conversation and a meal to round off the day.
Ann with Trevor and Gill who are over from Grange in Borrowdale.
The third retriever on the right is of course Finlay who's about four months older than our Dylan.
- - - o o o - - -
Parking at the start of the walk at Maggie's Bridge car park.
The track to the left leads to High Nook Farm, the one straight on will be our return route from Holme Woods.
Just to be different we used the second, older entrance to the High Nook track.
The bridge here was damaged by a heavy crane last year and so it is currently only accessible to walkers.
Heading towards the farm . . . can you tell ?
Along the way we met the local National Trust warden who had just felled a number of ash trees.
We had a great discussion about ash die back disease, problems with larch and even the oaks which can suffer fungal infection.
Some trees seem to have immunity but nationally it will be an on-going problem, possibly associated with climate change ?
High Nook Farm . . . where the footpath leads directly through the farmyard.
Out onto the open fell and the junction between the White Oak Valley track (left) and the Coffin Route (right).
White Oak gives easy access to the upper workings of the old lead mines in the White Oak Valley
but more difficult access to Gavel and the Ennerdale Valley via Floutern Pass beyond.
High Nook Tarn nestles under Black Crag and surprisingly away from the two streams that flow through the valley.
The dogs enjoyed the water . . .
. . . and seemed oblivious to wetting people when they shook afterwards.
The tarn is as a result of a small earth dam which turned the bog into a much more delightful pool.
It's not very deep as the embankment is only a few feet high.
Dougal is excited and leaps over the outflow stream and is caught mid-flight in his enthusiasm.
Even down here the scars of that flash flood are still in evidence,
the fresh exposed soil on the outer bank of the bend has not grown over as yet.
Gill and myself on the Coffin Track as we start up the opposite slope.
Trevor and Ann stop to survey the distant fells.
High Nook Tarn is well hidden in the head of the valley and is often missed by visitors.
From higher up the small tarn is easier to see.
In the background is the rather whale-back climb to Hen Comb.
Looking around we see the other local fells . . .
Low Fell, Whiteside, Hopegill Head, Sand Hill, Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike and Mellbreak's heather-covered northern end,
all surrounding the fields and houses of the hamlet of Loweswater.
Continuing the climb around the corner and we're now walking above Holme Wood.
This is a backward look at Crummock Water as the walk progressed.
Through a gate at the highest point of the walk
and our attention is drawn to the Solway and the faint Scottish hills in the misty distance.
Rather than continue on to the Chair and Fangs Brow, we'll drop down into Holme Woods through the forest gate.
Down through the plantation, the variation of trees giving delightful colour variations through the season, which will subtly
highlight the shape of the Loweswater Pheasant arrangement, best seen from across the valley on the slopes of Darling or Low Fell.
With all the rain the waterfall was running well today, but the paths were very muddy.
We didn't venture up to see the top spout . . . getting into position to take this shot was slippery enough !
Down on the level forest floor, closer to Loweswater Lake.
The ladies have already crossed the footbridge that avoids you getting your feet wet crossing Holme Beck.
Loweswater Bothy . . . first seen through the bracken.
The track leaves the forest near Watergate Farm.
A brief stop allows a photo of Darling and Low Fell across the water.
A quickly taken snapshot as the local sheep follow our three dogs through the gate.
Maybe they wanted to chat . . . or more likely they confused the retrievers for slightly more colourful flock members.
" High Nook Tarn is in the valley up there."
Our walk had climbed into the upper valley and then behind the woodland, the shape of which represents the head of the flying pheasant.
Mellbreak in the background as we pass the new hedge that been recently created along the line of an ancient field divide.
We're just a short bridge crossing from the end of the walk.
Can we fit in tea and Welsh cakes again before we have to think about supper for four . . . I think we probably can !
- - - 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 . . . three well behaved hounds and lovely tracks to walk them on.
Previous walk - 2nd October - Rannerdale for Harry's 60th
A previous time up here - 20th September 2008 White Oak Beck Walk
Next walk - 5th October - Gowbarrow via Bernard Pike