I've managed a few walks with this long established local walking
As time goes on people's capabilities differ and often walks
are catagorised A and B, based on how strenuous people want
Today however the December Walk was open to all as it was a
"Christmas Event" to round the year off.
I join in as one of twenty walkers on the day.
We meet at Foulsyke house at the invitation
of Joan, to do a round walk in the valley taking in the lower
slopes of Low Fell.
Our leader today is Peter. He's the one
with his hand in the air pointing out which direction we plan
We head out on the track that skirts the eastern
slopes of Low Fell.
It will take us through Whinny Riding Woods
(below the Lonesome Pine) and out along the fell wall, heading
The wildlife scrapes/ponds that were dug last
year are all of a sudden beginning to green up.
They aim to introduce more bio-diversity to
the land and encourage insect life for reptiles and birds to
Riding Woods has been around for a long time . . .
. . . but this week
it is looking very different.
The woodland here is yet another victim of the
larch disease (Phytophthora Ramorum) which is spreading across
To clear it, the excavators have invaded the
woodland and turned old tracks into new roadways,
turning quiet woodland pathways into stark muddy
through the woods, how the scene has changed.
At the far end, the
old track continues on towards Pottergill Farm.
This was an old farm of which little is left
The public footpath leads us towards it, then
climbs above the retaining wall on some old steps.
It was an extensive dwelling with a central
house and barns either side.
This end was an area best described as a small
farmyard, though it is hardly much more than an enclosed gated
Surprisingly the path takes an abrupt turn.
On some very old maps there used to be a path
continuing on, meeting the road once again at Latterhead, but
that route has been lost over time.
For us today we must climb a short but steep
ascent, up to the top side of the fell wall, in order top continue
As we climb of course, the views become more
From the stile we can look back at Crummock
Water and the Buttermere Fells.
There's rain up in theme there hills, but it
stays well clear of us as we walk north along the fence line.
Ahead is the Lorton Valley and on the far side,
the start of the Whinlatter Pass behind the village of Lorton
The owners of the fields has added a small seat
in the field at the top of the rise,
presumably to allow them to stop for a moment
and also enjoy the extensive views on offer.
Ahead is a small but very wind blown stand of
larch. No way is this a commercial plantation nowadays.
It will however make a very convenient place
to stop for refreshments, nearly half way through the walk.
[ Instructions for the walk were to bring a
coffee or small drink for this stop, but no need for lunch as
the walk was not an over-long one.]
Sufficiently refreshed we progress on, half
of the party staying low by the wall,
the other half traversing up the fellside to
pick up an old path which led to the quarry a hundred feet above.
This was most likely the source of some of the
early building stone for the village of Thackthwaite down in
the valley below.
It appears too big to just to provide walling
stone for the field boundaries.
The zig zag path brings us down to the fell
gate where an old track leads directly down towards the village,
and here we meet up with the rest of the walking
group once again.
The track has been lost to nature over the intervening
centuries and is now an overgrown ditch full of trees.
The footpath off the fell diverts sideways here
to allow us to walk down the field's edge and avoid the obstructions.
Lower down, where the fields give way to woodland,
the path is reunited with the old track.
It has been kept open by the passage of walkers
(and farm animals ?) as the stream has chosen a different course
off to the right.
The track emerges onto the valley road at the
old farm, now known as Thackthwaite House.
Looking across to Brook Farm on the other side
the road, as it passes through Thackthwaite Village.
Opposite is a lovely mature monkey puzzle tree
one of the gardens.
Our route now turns right, to head back to Loweswater.
The houses at Redhow taking its name (or giving
its name) to the adjacent wooded summit in the fields away to
An old cauldron acts as a water trough, or somewhere
to wash your boots presumably !
Looking back after passing through the narrows
The old barns were converted several years back
and now have families living in them, adding nicely to the valley
Cold Keld implies the site of a cold water spring,
but the building ahead now goes by the more
attractive name of Rosewell House.
Scale Hill Cottages across the valley, with
Scale Hill (Brackenthwaite How) and Grasmoor behind.
We stay on the narrow road , which is also part
of the Coast to Coast cycle way, Sustrans route 71 and the Lakeland
cycle loop it seems.
An old farm byre seem to be receiving major
Planning permission to improve it years back
was turned down, so something has changed !
Nearly at the end of today's walk as we look
across at the ponds on Godferhead's farm land.
Had the visibility been better we could have
seen Great Gable at the head of the valley.
As it is, we'll just have to do with Whiteless
Pike, Rannerdale Knotts, Robinson, Fleetwith Haystacks and the
High Stile Ridge.
The end of the walk as we return to Foulsyke
We gather in the garden for a Christmas Group
Photo, taken remotely and kindly provided by John MacFarlane
(5th from left).
For those that are counting, there are twenty
one here now as Loes joined us towards the end of the walk.
Hands up who fancies a spot of lunch ?
- - - o o o - - -
Joan and her helpers have worked hard
to provide a hearty lunch of soup
accompanied by various classic Christmas delights
which we enjoyed within the warmth of the house.
As the lunch progressed
the low winter sun came out from behind the clouds
and lit up the summit of Grasmoor opposite,
much to the delight of everyone indoors.
All too soon it was time to head home.
I must put up a few more
of my own Christmas decorations.
as Christmas is fast approaching.
- - - o o o - - -