Great Calva

Walk Date – 16th August 2015

Distance – 5.5 miles

Weather – overcast, strong cold wind, showery



Setting off along the Cumbria Way in sunshine, its looking a bit darker towards Skiddaw though.

The heather is in bloom and the River Caldew is busy splashing along its course.

The further along we go the darker the skies become and the Skiddaw range is looking murkier.

Nearing the old barn and sheepfold and the first spot of rain lands on the camera lens, its not looking quite so pleasant now.

A close up of the old barn.

Zooming out to show the barn and its sheepfold.

We looked out for the ‘lone pine’ that AW mentioned and here it is, just alongside the path. Waterproof jackets were donned at this point but weren’t needed for too long.

Another ruined sheepfold and in the background with the large patch of bracken on it is Mungrisedale Common.

On the left skyline is Lonscale Fell, Skiddaw Little Man in the centre, and Skiddaw on the far right.

On maximum zoom to get a close up of Skiddaw House. If you zoom in on the centre of the previous photo you can just about make this out. Built around 1829 by the Earl of Egremont as a ‘keeper’s house’, a base for grouse shooting and for gamekeepers who managed the extensive lands owned by the Earl. Its had numerous owners since and these days it is a self catering hostel and camp site, run on Youth Hostel Association principles.

Over on the right is Great Calva, the only fell we will climb today.

A circular sheepfold alongside Wiley Gill.

There’s the sheepfold again, together with a bridge, a fence, a gate and a stile, there’s a lot of stuff around at Wiley Gill.

Taking a short break alongside Wiley Gill before we start up Great Calva.

Yes, up there. As you can see its a bit on the steep side, no major difficulties though and it was surprisingly dry today.

Taking a breather and a look back at High Pike over on the left skyline, and on the right the dark mass of Foule Crag which leads over to Blencathra.

There’s Blencathra and the cloud swirling around it, there won’t be much of a view from up there at the moment. The river we were walking alongside earlier is now way down below us.

On the summit of Great Calva, no views as we were enveloped in cloud, just a hint of Knott over on the left. Now to find a place to shelter from the cold wind, it was blowing a hooley up here.

More cloud building up on Blencathra.

Somewhere under that lot is the Skiddaw range of fells.

Only the western end of the Skiddaw range is visible at the moment.

Cloud everywhere and very windy, fairly sheltered behind the cairn though.

“Why don’t you zip on the bottom bits of your trousers?”

“I’ve left them in the car.”

It was very cold and very windy up here. My zip on trouser bottoms were in my rucksack so on they went, now its time to get my gloves on. You wouldn’t think it was August would you?

The cloud comes over us and rolls on toward the summit of Knott, the wind roaring as is funnelled the cloud through the valley.

Time to move back down, here we’re looking through the gloom at Lonscale Fell in the centre, as we go off path through the heather.

A spot of rain on the lens and the cloud is just about gone from Skiddaw.

Down to the valley path after a great tramp through the dry, springy heather. Nice and soft on the feet too. A misty Lonscale Fell in the background.

We’re back on the Cumbria Way path again with a view of High Pike as we make good progress along the path.

Back at Wiley Gill and the circular sheepfold again.

Taking a break here, Great Calva on the left, and bits of blue sky here and there.

Walking down the valley with a view of Carrock Fell all the way, the cloud is higher now but there’s no blue sky to be seen.

Back at the parking area, and before driving home we wander down to the ‘splash pool’ in the river. Its a very popular picnic and bathing spot, but you do need a better day than today. A young man to my left was just out of the water, his skin the colour of beetroot, must be cold in there then.

Just to the right of the pool the river tumbles into it over this slide of rocks.

There were plenty of people here today even in such grey and gloomy weather. The red skinned lad is now huddled into a track suit with the hood over his head, shivering, and sitting with his mates. None of them had been in the water.

Looking down at the river, sliding and splashing into the pool.

Further upstream, the Caldew squeezing its way downstream through the boulders.

Much calmer a little further upstream, its a lovely spot, its such a shame that the weather hasn’t been good enough for people to enjoy the place. It hasn’t been much of a summer so far, generally cloudy, cool and windy.