Graystones, Broom Fell and Lord’s Seat

Walk date – 27th August 2021

Distance – 6.3 miles

Weather – dry, sunny and warm, occasional cloud, light north easterly breeze

A moderate length walk today which we decided on yesterday given that the forecast was for a dry day with a slight north easterly breeze. Things didn’t look promising first thing this morning as a layer of heavy cloud hung over us and looked as if it might do so all day. However the forecast had mentioned that there would be more likelihood of sunshine over to the west so with fingers crossed off we went. By the time we reached Keswick the cloud layer was behind us and Keswick and beyond was bathed in sunshine and lit up like a Christmas tree in comparison to the Eden Valley. The north easterly wasn’t strong enough to be a nuisance but just enough to keep the temperature at a comfortable level for walking. A moderate length walk with a few bits of steep climbing here and there just to keep the interest going and using a short cut path up to Widow Hause by way of a change.


Darling How parking area – Aiken Beck – Darling How Plantation – Widow Hause – Graystones – Widow Hause – Broom Fell – Lord’s Seat – Aiken Beck – Aiken Plantation – Darling How parking area

Looking towards Swinside from the parking area opposite the Darling How farm buildings on a beautiful sunny morning. A couple of cars were already parked but there were still plenty of spaces available, both here and lower down the track at the road junction.

From the parking area we only have a short walk to this first junction on the left where we leave the main track and drop down towards Aiken Beck. Both sides of the track were festooned with notices about ongoing forestry work and threatening all manner of ills, including imminent death, to anyone daring to walk beyond them.  Being heartily sick of both state and corporate nannying we walked straight past them. We are perfectly capable of assessing whatever situation we might meet and prefer to take personal responsibility for our own safety.

See that piece of A shaped red machinery up on the hill side? Are we in mortal danger yet? We decided not so we carried on down the track.

The hillsides of the Darling How plantation were looking decidedly bare as we rounded one of the bends in the track and the results of all the logging were piled high on either side of the track. More notices forbidding us to walk on the log stacks, as if we were likely to! By the time most folks reach adulthood they understand that round things stacked one on top of another are inherently unstable. Still, the notices let the logging company off the hook should anyone be daft enough to climb up on them, hurt themselves, and then try to blame others for their own stupidity.

Looking back through log alley.

The tree stripping machine was well out of sight below the track and some distance away from it and the trees which had already been felled were situated in a heap below it. All that was taking place was the machine picking up a felled tree, stripping the trunk and cutting it into even lengths after which the logs were placed onto the nearby stack. The downward sloping angle of the resulting log stack looked to be more hazardous to the machine operator than to anyone walking on the track. We walked past all of it in complete safety. Once we were beyond all the action I turned round to get a shot of the machine at work but it was so far down the slope that very little of the actual stripping was visible, although the camera did manage to capture a little flurry of sawdust as the next length was sawn.

We left man and machine to their tree stripping activity and continued on up the forest track. After the next bend in the track we turned off it, to the right, and followed an old overgrown footpath up to this point where it joined up with another forest road and where we turned right and made the short steep climb up to Widow Hause, via the double grooved path directly ahead of us.

At the top of the climb we turned left and followed a rough track heading towards the stile below Graystones. The main path between Graystones and Broom Fell is over the wall which is out of shot to the right. A zoom in will reveal a diagonal path across the slopes of Graystones and that’s the one we will be following after crossing the stile.

On the track from the stile now with a look back across Wythop Moss towards Ling Fell and Sale Fell.

From the diagonal path the view across Widow Hause towards Broom Fell.

Broom Fell and Lord’s Seat across the Aiken Beck valley. Skiddaw is just beginning to appear over on the left skyline.

Muted colours on Whinlatter Fell as bits of cloud drift over.

Graystones summit cairn and a view south eastwards towards the fells around Loweswater and beyond.

We didn’t stay very long on Graystones and here we are making our way back down to the stile to begin the crossing over Widow Hause and onwards to Broom Fell. We can see no-one at all along the route.

An enjoyable little tramp across Widow Hause accompanied by some very attractive views over to our right …..

On the skyline are Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crag and Hopegill Head. Whinlatter Fell, just across the valley, is taking up most of the view.

A look back towards Graystones from the initial steep climb from the Hause. Between the Hause and the tree plantation is the route we took when we left the forest road. A zoom in shows part of the forest road, just between the trees on the left, where there is a whitish object although neither of can recall exactly what it was as we didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. To the right of that object is the path we followed up to the Hause which eventually meets up with a level one. We turned right onto the level path and then climbed up to the Hause following the double grooved track I mentioned earlier. That track can’t be seen in this shot as its hidden by the crest of the hill along the Hause.

Another tramp across the grassy path to Broom Fell where all the usual soggy sections were still relatively dry, it was very pleasant to walk across here and not get clagged up boots. Broom Fell’s summit cairn and shelter can be seen quite clearly now. It doesn’t look like it from here but parts of the ascent path are on the steep side.

The Ullock Pike/Carl Side ridge with Skiddaw behind from the summit of Broom Fell.

Looking ahead to Lord’s Seat from the stile on Broom Fell.

We had a short break at the summit and I wandered around taking shots of the views. J appears to be intent on something on the ground, although I’ve no idea what it was. We talked about another time we came up here from Graystones so I thought I’d include a photo from that walk …..

….. it was in June 2009 and after leaving Graystones we were pelted with hail all the way across. We arrived at the summit, water dripping from our waterproofs. whereupon the hailstorm suddenly disappeared, the sun returned and the rest of the walk was done in blistering heat! (Photo taken twelve years ago using a roll of film (remember that?) in a standard camera.)

J noticed this unusual object tucked into the cairn so I placed it in the sunlight so I could take a shot of it and then put it back where it had been originally. Its obviously a military cap badge so I looked it up when I got home. Its a Royal Marines cap badge. The rounded pebble has been painted with the colours of the Royal Marines, the badge glued on and then the whole thing seems to have been given a coating of clear varnish. On the reverse in white paint was written ‘Terry C 2021’. Someone has taken quite a bit of time to create this and then place it up here in the cairn and certainly for a particular reason, so it is obviously of significance, either for that person or someone else. I found it quite poignant.

The stone is back in its original position and I hope that is where it will stay. It means something to somebody, that’s why its here, so if you come across it please don’t remove it, just put it back exactly where you found it.

Here’s a couple of the shots I took while we were on Broom Fell. Above is a view across the valley to Whinlatter Fell with the Grisedale Pike/Hopegill Head skyline behind it. In the valley is the forest road (the lower one) we will use for the return leg of today’s walk. Below is …..

….. the view straight down to the valley bottom where the lower of the two forest roads will lead us back to Darling Farm. A zoom in will make the farm buildings a bit more obvious.

Off we go again for another grassy tramp over to Lord’s Seat. Clough Head and Great Dodd have popped up on the centre skyline.

The view back to Broom Fell as we begin to climb up to Lord’s Seat summit.

Barf is just below us with the Skiddaw group beyond it. We saw three people on Lord’s Seat summit, two young women and a chap out for a walk with his dog, although the two women departed as we arrived and the solo chap hadn’t quite got there yet. We had a bit of chat with him, turned out he lived near Ullswater so not that far from us. He was also carrying a gps so a man chat about these took place. I went and took a shot of …..

….. Bass Lake and Binsey instead.

The iron post which was here the last time we were here (19th July 2020) has gone. All that’s left is a stump of metal sticking out of the ground, out of shot, and which is just waiting to trip somebody up. Now, if you’re going to remove a metal post why not cut it level with the ground instead of leaving a couple of inches sticking up and forming a trip hazard?

The view south east from the summit of Lord’s Seat and below us the path we are about to take to begin the return leg.

The view back to Graystones from Lord’s Seat and …..

….. Clough Head, the Dodds and the Helvellyn group beyond the Vale of Keswick.

From the path over to Ullister Hill a view of Skiddaw and the Ullock Pike ridge. Immediately behind me is the path down through the forest which will take us back to the forest road and the walk back to Darling How.

Descending through the forest …..

….. with a view of Grisedale Pike for much of the way. Towards the bottom of the path we met three more walkers who were on their way to Lord’s Seat. They stopped for a quick chat and to check that they were heading in the right direction before we parted company.

We’ve just crossed Aiken Beck and are back on the forest road again with this very sunny view of Broom Fell across the valley.

Nearing the end of the walk back and we have a view of the log stacks along forest road we started out on earlier. One of those log transporters is now up there and some of the track side logs are being hauled up onto it. The tree stripping machine is still busy by the sound of things although we can’t see much of it from here. The driver of the log transporter is going to be busy for the foreseeable future. AW would be pleased to see the back of all these pine trees, I get the impression he didn’t much care for them.

Back at the junction where we turned off when we started out earlier. The parking area is just beyond the slight rise in the track so we’re almost back where we started. We did put some food in our packs but haven’t got round to having a lunch break today, its not really a long enough walk for that but we always take something just in case. As it was almost one o’clock we decided we might as well just sit in the car, have a comfortable picnic and watch the world go by for a little while. Not that much of the world went by, one chap sauntered past looking unsure about where he wanted to go and a second chap, who’d been busy working judging by the surveying equipment he was carrying, came down the same track we’d just returned on and packed it all away in his car. By then we’d eaten our lunch so we went off home. So, to sum up, hardly anyone on the fells but the Whinlatter Forest Centre was overflowing with cars and people, to each his own, as the saying goes. Finally, I came across this little gem which I thought some folk might enjoy –

Anyone with mathematical interests or can remember it from their schooldays will no doubt know the name of the orange symbol. Just consider where it has been placed in the image and you’ll get the explanation of The Green Dream.