Walk date – 2nd June 2023
Distance – 9.5 miles
Weather – sunny, very warm, slight breeze
The dry weather spell continues so we were off on our travels again today, although we didn’t have to travel very far from home for today’s walk. A drive of about forty minutes, traffic depending, is usually as long as it takes us to reach Glenridding. We started out early enough to be able to have a trouble free drive along the lakeside road although the various little parking spaces all the way along were beginning to fill and folks were already pulling assorted aquatic vehicles from car boots in preparation for their day on the water. No doubt there would be plenty more along later all hoping to find that last little parking and beach space in order to set themselves up for the day. The car park in Glenridding on the other hand had plenty of space so we parked up easily and once the gps was up and running we were soon on our way up the Greenside Road. Passing The Travellers Rest pub I noticed a small sign propped up by the roadside informing passers-by that they now serve breakfasts from about 8.30 am to 10.00 am, I’m not sure those are the exact times as I only glanced at the sign as we walked past it but I thought it worth mention.
Glenridding – Greenside Road – Greenside Mine – Stang End – Green Side – White Stones – Stybarrow Dodd – Hart Side – Glencoyne Head – Green Side – Stang End – Greenside Mine – Greenside Road – Glenridding
Birkhouse Moor from the Greenside Road. No walkers along the road just a couple of vehicles heading up to the holiday lets plus a very large bin lorry doing the weekly ‘blue bag’ collection. We passed it, then it passed us and headed on its way up to the Youth Hostel near the old mine buildings at the end of the road. Having collected their refuse bags back down the road it came with the crew giving us a wave as they returned to Glenridding. After that we were on our own again.
A look ahead towards Green Side and White Stones, the first section of today’s route. There was no breeze along here so at intervals along the road the trees provided some welcome shade.
We’re beyond the mine buildings now at the point where we turned off to the right to make the climb up to Stang End. The path snaking its way through the greenery in the centre below Catstycam leads over to Raise, the path across the beck goes up to Red Tarn and thence to Helvellyn via one of the ‘edges’ or over to Catstycam.
We continue up the dry, dusty track towards Stang End.
The view back down towards Glenridding from one of our many ‘get your breath back’ pauses. We’ve just seen three lads making their way back down to Glenridding via the Red Tarn path so perhaps they’ve been enjoying a wild camp there. Maybe they’ll have some breakfast at The Traveller’s Rest.
Flanked on the left by High Spying How and on the right by Lower Man here’s a view of Catstycam wearing its new summer coat.
Looking down to the buildings of the former Greenside mine. About three of the buildings have been turned into des res’s, two of them had ‘Sold’ boards placed in front of them. Here’s a link to one of them and its eye-watering price –
We noticed a couple of heat pumps at the back of the conversions, good luck with heating these homes with those things during a Cumbrian winter, its taken from last October until just recently to turn warm enough to go without a mid level fleece or a jacket!
With all the rough loose paths behind us we took a short break, i.e. J wrapped himself round a Mars Bar, here by the bridge over Glenridding Beck. A couple of walkers came by while we were here and we exchanged greetings as they passed by and headed over to Sheffield Pike. The young woman seemed very hesitant to begin with and her male companion looked as though he was having to encourage her from time to time.
They headed off up the path across there but as I took the shot they disappeared behind one of the dips in the path, its quite a short distance and not very steep so I hope they made it to the summit and I hope she gained a lot of confidence by having done so.
We set off on the same path after our break where plenty of cotton grass lined the path. Thankfully, it wasn’t as wet as it often is but there was still quite a bit of ‘give’ underfoot in places.
Looking back from the Sheffield Pike path to the bridge and the spoil heaps with Catstycam (L) and Raise (R).
Climb up the Green Side path now with a short diversion at this point to catch a view of Glencoyne and Ullswater and …..
….. a little further on, the view back towards Sheffield Pike where the path across the Glencoyne side of the fell can be seen quite clearly.
Still climbing Greenside with a look over towards Helvellyn, now putting in an appearance behind Catstycam.
Higher up and the palm leaf shapes of the spoil heaps begins to appear. Also much clearer to see now is the ‘chimney’ path, behind the spoil heaps, rising up to Raise. The route is OK until the remains of the old chimney are reached, beyond that point there is no established path over to the summit of Raise instead there’s just a slog over rough grassland.
The views begin to open up as we climb higher with Saint Sunday Crag and Fairfield now appearing over on the left behind Birkhouse Moor.
The view back from the very steep climb up Green Side, can’t see the hesitant walker and her companion from here though, there are too many humps and bumps in the landscape.
Once above Green Side there’s a less steep climb up to White Stones from where I took the above view of High Spying How, Catstycam, Helvellyn, Lower Man and Raise. There was a very welcome light easterly breeze up here, it was good to feel some air movement at last.
J making his way over to one of the cairns on White Stones. Great Gable is just visible over on the left.
One of a couple of cairns on White Stones, either one could be marking the summit but the area at the top of the climb is very sprawling so the actual summit could be anywhere across here. Doesn’t matter all that much to us anyway as we’re not sticklers for a definite summit marker. Up ahead is our next objective, Stybarrow Dodd.
J strides out once again, I’m taking things at a slower pace. Just before we reached the summit of Stybarrow a young female runner came up behind us, she too had to slow down to a walk and mentioned when passing us how some parts of the path certainly took it out of the legs. We certainly agreed with those sentiments.
The cairn on the summit of Stybarrow Dodd with the green top of Great Dodd right behind it on the right. Over on the left skyline is the Skiddaw group and in the centre is Blencathra. Below are a few more views from the summit …..
….. the path over to Watson’s Dodd running across the centre of the shot and the Skiddaw group right behind it. A little bit of Bass Lake has appeared over on the left.
The Lord’s Seat group of fells on the skyline above Bass Lake.
Bleaberry Fell across the middle foreground and immediately behind it are Barrow and Outerside. No doubt viewers will be able to work out the names of the other fells around those two.
Thirlmere below us and the big lump of rock poking out of the trees on the right goes by the name of Raven Crag. High Seat occupies the middle foreground, I’ll leave viewers to name the fells behind High Seat.
The big lump slightly left of centre is Great Gable so again it will not be too hard to work out what the others are.
We spent a few minutes checking out the views from Stybarrow Dodd and then we headed over to Hart Side. Other than the female runner who came by us on Stybarrow we’ve not met another person so far. Not complaining though the peace and quiet was wonderful. On the path in the distance, just before the path begins to rise, you might be able to identify a darker patch, a dried out peat hag or something very similar, and when we reached it we had a scout around for something resembling a path which would take us over Glencoyne Head. When we reached the hag we spotted something that might be useful and made a mental note to turn off onto it. We didn’t want to return to Glenridding by following the same route back over White Stones so we hoped this would go where we thought it would. Meanwhile we carried on over to Hart Side …..
….. where I took a look back at Stybarrow Dodd plus the old prospecting trench. We had been seeing the large group on Hart Side from a good distance and we had expected to meet them somewhere along the path when they started descending. When we reached Hart Side it was obvious that the group were not intending to leave any time soon. Most of them were sitting on the grass with their belongings spread around, two were standing up holding a large map and studying it intently, none of the others seemed remotely interested in it, or their surroundings, and were quite content to leave them to it. They were all still there when we left. Before we did I took a few shots of the surrounding views …..
….. Great Dodd across the Deepdale valley …..
….. Blencathra and some of the northern fells behind Randerside …..
….. and the two Mell Fells across the middle foreground with the very hazy North Pennines in the distance.
We dropped down from Hart Side and made our way back to the peat hag area keeping a lookout for the spot we had noted earlier. We found it and duly turned off fully expecting it to fizzle out to nothing but it didn’t. It turned out to be a well trodden path above Glencoyne Head which isn’t indicated on our OS map so it was a pleasant surprise to find it. It was a very enjoyable walk back over to Green Side where it eventually joined the original path we had used on our outward leg.
A few shots of the different aspects of Ullswater, Glencoyne and Sheffield Pike as we walked across …..
Back on the main path and descending Green Side now, the descent being no easier than the ascent because of the steepness. Below us we could see a young man making his way up, he had to stop every so often to get his breath back too. He was making his way over to Birkett Fell so we mentioned the path we had just used from Harter Fell in case he decided to use it. Hope so, because it would cut out much unnecessary climbing if he was only going over to Birkett Fell.
Descending back down to the bridge across the beck at this point so an ideal vantage point for this view towards Sticks Pass and the col between Raise and Stybarrow Dodd.
Heading back towards the bridge where we plan to take a short break and give the legs chance to recover from the steep descent of Green Side. No breeze down here so its very, very warm now.
The view down to Glenridding Beck as we make our way back down to Stang End …..
….. and follow the very rough and very loose path back down to the valley where …..
….. the very firm surface of the Greenside Road awaited us. This was bliss after the roughness of the Stang End paths and those around the mine area. Back at the now full car park we both swigged down plenty of liquid before flopping gratefully on the car seats. The journey back home was just as trouble free as our initial journey because, as its only early afternoon and there was lots more sunshine to be had, nobody seemed to have any intention of going home just yet. Every square foot of all the available Ullswater beach areas was packed with families making the most of the fine weather and the last day of the half term holiday. A lovely day for all of us, whether it was spent on an Ullswater beach or taking a walk over the surrounding fells, when the sun decides to shine on it there’s simply no other place we’d prefer to be.