Walk date – 23rd October 2023
Distance – 4.4 miles
Weather – no wind, dry, hazy sunshine at start, dull and cloudy thereafter
The forecasts have been all over the place lately so we hadn’t really planned for a walk today and the weather first thing this morning seemed to be in two minds as to what sort of a day it would develop into. Anyway sometime mid morning we noticed a hazy sunshine had developed so we threw some odds and ends into a pack and drove over towards Glenridding. We had overlooked the fact that it was half term week so all the usual parking spots from Pooley Bridge onwards were packed. Glenridding was just the same and as the mid morning was heading towards late morning by this time we drove on through to Patterdale where we hoped we might just be able to squeeze into the cricket ground parking area. That too was almost full but, with much relief, we noticed an empty space at the end of the line and quickly nipped into it. By now it was half past eleven so a short walk over to Silver Point would do nicely. By the time we reached Silver Point the hazy sunshine was beginning to give way to a build up of heavy grey cloud so some of the shots from that point on suffered as a result.
Patterdale cricket ground – George Starkey hut – Side Farm – Silver Point – former quarry track beside Silver Crag – Side Farm – George Starkey hut – Patterdale cricket ground
Place Fell from the cricket ground parking area. A line of parked cars behind me and a somewhat misty sky overhead. The hazy sunshine is enough to highlight Place Fell’s features though.
We made our way from the cricket ground over to the path beside the George Starkey hut, as it is known, although its a substantial building and thus can’t really be classed as a hut. If you want to know more about it here’s a link – https://george-starkey-hut.com/about
The path from the hut leads over to Side Farm which has its own camp site and shop/cafe. The bridge crosses Goldrill Beck which in turn flows into Ullswater.
Zooming in on Side Farm and the former quarry area just above it. Our return path will be the one which can be seen going through the quarry area and which continues on up to Boredale Hause.
Having reached Side Farm we walked up through the farmyard to reach this lower, and full of puddles, path. The higher path through the former quarrying areas is just out of shot, up the banking on the right. Walkers wishing to use the upper path will need to first pass through a metal gate across the path and then, immediately after passing through the gate, locate the narrow track leading up to it.
A very pleasant and undulating walk eventually takes you over to Silver Point and from there you can go even further, over to Sandwick and on to Howtown and Pooley Bridge. By the time most walkers reached Howtown or Pooley they would probably be more than happy to buy a ‘steamer’ ticket to rest their weary legs and feet and enjoy the relaxing boat ride back to Glenridding.
Birks Fell across the fields of Patterdale, all the fell tops seemed to be clear today.
Raise on the distant skyline, sandwiched between Birkhouse Moor (L) and Glenridding Dodd (R)
No need to use the stepping stones over on the left today, the beck on the right wasn’t in full flow and was shallow enough to simply splash through,
A pause to take in the view from the top of this particular undulation before dropping down the path and making our way over to the next one.
We eventually left the main path and made our way over to Silver Point where …..
….. we found a suitable perch and passed fifteen minutes or so just observing the comings and goings of various boats below us on Ullswater. The one in the shot is the small launch which ferries passengers between Glenridding and Aira Force.
There goes the Aira Force launch on its way back to Glenridding with Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike looking on.
Birks Fell and Saint Sunday Crag now looking a little gloomier under the build up of cloud.
A look back at the craggy Silver Point after we followed one of the paths through the dead bracken to briefly rejoin the main path once again. Shortly after taking this shot the little sailboat began moving off quite quickly. Its speed suggesting that it was being powered by an engine and, as there wasn’t the slightest hint of a breeze, not by the wind filling the sail.
We left the main path once again to begin the climb over the rough stony path up to the little col between Silver Crag and the bulk of Place Fell.
The view back across Ullswater from the crest of the path. Lots of ripples created by the numerous small boats making their way over the water. In the distance we have a view of Great Mell Fell which seems to be enjoying a sunny spell, and on the left and right respectively are Watermillock Common and Gowbarrow Fell which definitely aren’t.
Passing below part of Silver Crag as we carried on along what is now the old quarry path but we didn’t bother making the short climb through the juniper bushes today.
The view ahead as we reach the end of Silver Crag. The knobbly top of Arnison Crag is nearest the camera, then comes Birks and just a little bit of Saint Sunday Crag. Behind Arnison Crag is Hartsop above How, behind that is Red Screes opposite which is Caudale Moor.
Arnison Crag, Birks and Saint Sunday Crag taking centre stage as we walk back along the old quarry path.
A greyed out Helvellyn range behind the great bulk of Birkhouse Moor. Despite the cloud build up the tops are remaining clear.
Looking towards the Glenridding landing stages with the diminuitive Glenridding Dodd in the centre almost dwarfed by its higher neighbours.
Zooming in on Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike and …..
….. on Birkhouse Moor and Glenridding village.
Looking back at Silver Crag from the descending path. It was quite busy along here at times, plenty of people were out taking advantage of the calm weather both on this path and our outward one.
Raise, on the centre skyline, above a very busy Ullswater, ripples and waves could be seen everywhere today.
Towards the bottom of the shot is the path we used on our outward leg. The views are obviously better from this path but the build up of cloud put paid to our hopes of seeing everything in sparkling technicolour so we had to make do with subdued colour. A bit of sunlight would have made the autumnal colours really shine.
Nevertheless, there were a couple of trees below us that were doing their best to shine.
Looking ahead along the path towards the fells around the Kirkstone Pass. The ones in the centre of the shot being Hartsop Dodd behind which is Caudale Moor.
The Helvellyn range looking very gloomy underneath all that heavy cloud. The valley below them is Grisedale which we might have been walking along today in rather gloomy conditions, at least over here we have had some sunshine for part of our walk.
A view of the road to Side Farm below signals that we will soon leave the quarry path and make our way back down to the lower path and the farm.
Before we do here’s a zoom in on Hartsop Dodd and Caudale Moor (L) and Red Screes and Hartsop above How (R) with the currently closed Kirkstone Pass road between them. The road should be open again by the end of October I believe unless, of course, work has been delayed by the gales and high winds we’ve been subjected to recently.
One of the caves created during the quarrying work. We would have gone further inside but there was already someone down there taking a look so we didn’t bother. There was hardly enough room for one never mind two more. The most I have been able to discover about these quarries is that they were mined for the slate used in the construction of local buildings. Who owned them, when they were worked and ultimately closed down therefore remains a mystery to us.
We reach the point at which we have to leave the quarry path and make our way back down to the lower path and Side Farm. The path is steep and, in places, a little loose but its not a long one. If you are climbing up there is a decent sized patch of green grass where you can pause and view the surrounding views while you get your breath back.
Before we started descending here’s a look over towards another of the quarry areas and the path going through it and leading onwards up to Boredale Hause. From there you can take your pick from the paths leading to Place Fell, Beda Fell or the one in the shot, Angletarn Pikes.
From the same viewpoint is this shot of Side Farm and, in the bottom right hand corner, the metal gate mentioned at the beginning of this report. Its obvious that the path up is not a long one but it is quite steep and that makes it feel much longer than it really is,
A few minutes later we are back on the stony track and passing through the gate to Side Farm. From there we walk back across the farm access road which brings us back to the George Starkey hut again.
On the way back to the cricket ground I popped into the churchyard for this shot of St Patrick’s Church and from there we walked the short distance back to the car. As can be seen the hazy sunshine has been replaced with heavy cloud but we didn’t get rained on and the afternoon remained wind free and relatively warm. So another short walk to take advantage of a longish, though not long enough, sunny spell. No matter, for a couple of hours we had an enjoyable walk with a few chats to other walkers along the way and the heavy cloud only reached us in the Eden Valley about an hour after we arrived back home. Its contents were poured down on us last night.