Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Easedale, Castle How and Silver How

Last time I ventured up Easedale and Castle How I came as close as I ever have to understanding the dangers of even relatively low lying fells. Having set off up Easedale in the most picturesque snowy conditions I endured a complete white out, winds so strong they ripped my waterproofs apart and hit the potentially fatal point where I contemplated lying down in a sheltered spot to 'rest my eyes'. Fortunately I didn't, and eventually glimpsed stickle tarn through the blizzard, before descending to Langsale for a most welcome pint. The point of this introduction is to make it clear that even the gentlest of mountain walks present dangers. 

With that in mind, on a gorgeous sunny winters day, I needed to find a walk giving amazing views, no scrambles to speak of, and which would keep me pretty much below the snowline. 

Our route took us up an icy Easedale, beside the spectacular falls, to the tarn. We stopped for a quick play with the ball before heading up steeply to Castle Crag. This time the weather was perfect, with Crincle Crags and Bowfell glistening in the snow. 

We then enjoyed an excellent walk along the wide ridge to Silver show, with stunning views over a fogbound Windermere. 

The path down to Grasmere was a delight, with great views over Rydal before finally returning to the car. 

I have to say this was as far away from the horrendous walk of 25 years ago as it could be. A perfect day. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014


It's a long time since we visited the Lakes so a day off yesterday was a good opportunity to reacquaint ourselves.  Having never been up Skiddaw in reasonable weather, and so never having seen the view from the summit, we took a chance that the day would improve and decided to take the easy way up, from Ormathwaite car park.

The path must be one of the easiest to follow of any high peak in England. Great underfoot and in the main bordered by crag free slopes, it is only time I have felt comfortable on the fells letting the dog off lead for much of the route. There are sheep around in places though, so take care. 

The day was pretty much rain free but the wind was incredibly strong so we made the most of the chance to give his ears a blow dry.

All in all, a relatively short but good walk but of course it is one of the highest summits in England, so go prepared. Even yesterday there were a few walkers with young kids that decided (wisely) to turn back just before the summit,defeated by the wind.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A walk up Ingleborough

I can't remember if I've ever been up to the top of Ingleborough before. I think I have, over 30 years ago walking the Pennine Way, but can't be sure. I do remember walking up to Gaping Ghyll once, and it must have been Spring Bank Holiday weekend as we watched a few people being winched in to the chasm. 

So, today it was that we decided to climb up from Clapham and return via Long Scar.  We parked up at the Dales car park in Clapham (£4.50 for the day) and after crossing the river found the entrance to the nature trail that leads up to Ingleborough Show Caves.  Having bought our ticket for the trail (65p) we wandered up the path high above Clapham Beck.  It was nice enough, but don't expect many views of stunning falls, most of the time the beck was well hidden by trees at this time of year. 

Once we reached the Caves the path continued through a limestone gorge before giving way to open fellside and the path to Gaping Ghyll.  For us it was on lead all the way, giving the number if potholes with sheer drops around, but not everyone seemed bothered.

Gaping Ghyll itself was a huge disappointment, with queues of people waiting to descend and 50 or so tents pitched around.  You couldn't really see much. Upwards it was then to the top of Ingleborough, climbing on well made paths and steps laid with rock slaps. 

The views from the top were pretty stunning so we stopped for a while for lunch before descending along the side of Simon a Fell to Long Scar.  There was a fell race on so it was busy!  Eventually we reached the Pennine Bridleway which followed a good track, albeit a never ending one, down to Clapham. Again, it was on lead all the way largely to avoid the numerous mountain bikers.

All in all a good walk. Not good for off lead walking in my view but that's where the flexi lead comes in handy!

Friday, January 03, 2014

A Circuit of Stocks Reservoir

In the days before we had a dog I used to visit Stocks Reservoir to fish. These days my fishing trips are rare, I'd rather be out with my four legged friend and I've never thought that dogs and fishing are a good mix. 

Yesterday was only my second visit Stocks in the last 7 years. As with our walk round Gisburn Forest (a long long time ago) we parked at the School Lane Car Park (£3.00 a day charge) to start our route. 

There are plenty of downloadable PDF guides showing the route and in the main it was well signposted. My only blip was near to New House Farm where I can only think my enthusiasm for a photo opportunity with a tree meant I failed to spot the path leading to what is apparently a new footbridge over the Hodder.  Our slightly extended route was a pleasure though, providing some easy walking before we hit what seemed to be endless muddy tracks around the reservoir itself. The mud made it tough going, even the dog appeared relieved when we hit the odd dry patch. It was thoroughly rewarding though, with great views, and one to return to in summer for me. 

Much of the route is through farmland and sheep were grazing for about 2/3 of the way. There were opportunities for off lead walking though and happily, given the state of the dog, there were no stiles to lift over. 

For a download of the route (minus our extension) visit