Walk date – 9th August 2023
Distance – 7.2 miles
Weather – dry, some sunny spells, mostly overcast, slight breeze
The MWIS forecast for today indicated that the best chance for any sun today would be around the fells in the north east of lakeland which more or less decided where we would walk today. In the end we opted for a ramble over the grassy slopes of Loadpot Hill and Wether Hill from the start point at Moorahill Farm just above the village of Bampton. Many of you will have driven through Bampton on the way to Haweswater and Mardale Head. We turned off the road, just before entering Bampton, and drove up the narrow lane from the telephone box to our start point at Moorahill farm where off road parking is available. The day started off bright enough but, as has been the pattern lately, the breaks in the cloud soon joined ranks again leaving us with the usual blanket of cloud overhead. We did get the occasional spell of sunshine around noon but it didn’t stay the course for the rest of the afternoon. On the plus side the cool northerly breeze had been replaced with a warmer and gentler southerly one. That disappeared as we began our return leg back to Moorahill and we walked back to the farm during a very warm afternoon.
Moorahill – Carhullan – The Pen – Hart Hill – Loadpot Hill – Wether Hill – High Kop – Low Kop – The Hause – Towtop Kirk – Moorahill
Here’s the view of some of the fells leading up to Low Kop on the western side of Haweswater from the off-road parking at Moorahill farm. More about the farm towards the end of this report.
We walked from the parking area at Moorahill along the track up to the rental properties at Carhullan. This is the larger of the two properties and our route takes us between the outbuilding on the left of the shot and another one which is out of shot. As can be seen the morning is bright and sunny.
We left the established track above Cawdale Edge and climbed straight up over the rough grassland for the main track across The Pen from where this shot was taken. There was no-one to be seen anywhere, not even at the holiday rentals or the farm and that’s how things remained until we were approaching Loadpot’s trig column.
Hart Hill from The Pen …..
…..plus a look back along The Pen. We were walking through snow the last time we walked across here in January 2021.
The view across Bampton Common in the direction of High Street as we start the steady climb up Hart Hill …..
….. and a look behind across to The Hause which will be our return route back to Moorahill.
High Raise in shadow on the centre skyline with the green slopes of Wether Hill just to the right of it.
A view of the northern fells from the trig column on Loadpot Hill. As we were approaching the trig point a cyclist also reached it via the path in the shot. He paused very briefly before making his way on towards Wether Hill so we didn’t have the usual exchange of greetings with him.
The light was low so distant views were rather greyed out but over on the right are the northern fells and over on the left are the Dodds and Clough Head.
A little brighter towards the west where Saint Sunday Crag, on the left, is looking rather dark and menacing. The Helvellyn group occupies most of the skyline behind it with White Side and Raise over on the extreme right.
Saint Sunday is now to the right and taking up the left skyline is Fairfield, Hart Crag and Dove Crag.
From Loadpot we made our way over to Wether Hill passing the former shooting lodge belonging to Lowther estate …..
….. the remnants of which have been fashioned into a sort of shelter …..
….. and just below the former lodge a few strides off the path is this old boundary stone. Any initials indicating land ownership have long since weathered away but I guess that the eastern face would have displayed the letter L (for Lowther) at one time.
The tarn on Wether Hill and the path we’ve just walked down from Loadpot.
High Spying How, part of Birkhouse Moor and the top of Catstycam become illuminated by one of those very brief sunny spells we had from time to time. Saint Sunday and Birks missed out again.
Another splash of sunlight lands and brightens up the skyline over on White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd and Great Dodd. Some of it even manages to light up the lower end of Place Fell across the middle foreground.
Now its the turn of the Fairfield group to get their few minutes of sun. The very steep nose of The Nab is on the left of the middle foreground while over to the right of it is Heck Crag above Bannerdale.
Another cyclist on an adjacent path to ours just passed by and gave us a cheerful ‘Hi’ and a wave as we climbed up Wether Hill, not sure if it was the same guy we saw on Loadpot though. A zoom in will show him on the path below making his way towards the tarn.
Finally we get our five minutes in the sun and everything became much less gloomy. Below us is Beda Fell, then Ullswater below Gowbarrow, and in the distance the northern fells once again. It was great to have the lights back on again.
Wether Hill’s cairn is nothing fancier than a pile of stones but it does act as a way marker for anyone making their way over to High Raise directly ahead on the centre of the skyline.
The view back to Loadpot from the Wether Hill cairn.
Looking ahead to High Raise, on the centre skyline, with the long shoulder of Kidsty Pike to its left and just a smidge of a shaded High Street right behind it.
Looking west where the lights have gone out again. Heck Crag is prominent across the middle foreground so the rest of the fells behind it will be easy to name. From Wether Hill we retraced our steps back down the northern slope for a short distance and eventually located the path on High Kop which would eventually lead us back to Moorahill.
After a short stop to have something to eat and drink here we are making our way down from High Kop during another brief but very welcome sunny spell. The breeze dropped out along here and the afternoon became very warm.
Haweswater comes into view …..
….. and once we we far enough down to see most of it I took a shot. The distant hills around Mallerstang remained greyed out.
The view back up to High Raise from the descent path.
At this junction we take the left hand path for Moorahill. The right hand one eventually leads down to Haweswater and on to Burnbanks.
The northern Pennines in the distance remained just a blue-grey smudge although the silhouettes of Cross Fell and its neighbours Little Dun Fell and Great Dun Fell are easy enough to identify.
Heading down towards the Hause now where there is now only one stand of trees instead of the two that used to be there.
Cawdale Beck meandering below us, Carhullan on the left and Moorahill on the right and our car still the only one parked in front of it.
A look back at the Hause to show the brown patch where the stand of trees used to be. The OS map still shows two patches of green but then OS maps often show things that aren’t in evidence on the ground, major paths being just one example. On our route map above you will see a little kink in the route we took across The Pen just to the right of the words Hart Hill. That was J going over to find the red path indicated on the OS map. It was bugging him that although we were actually walking on a path wide enough to accommodate a bin lorry the gps was showing that we weren’t on the red path indicated on the map. He went over and stood on the point where the path was supposed to be yet there was nothing to be seen but rough untrodden grass. Maybe one of these days they’ll get round to revising it.
The two holiday rentals at Carhullan. The one over on the right it known as Little Carhullan, the larger one is just Carhullan.
Moorahill farm and our car parked off road in front of it. When we were back at the car I saw a notice attached to one of the deer fence posts adjoining the farm wall so I went over to have a read. It was a planning application detailing what changes were being applied for. It appears that it is no longer a working farm as the application was in the names of a Mr and Mrs whose surname didn’t suggest a UK and/or a farming background. The details of the changes to be made included a sauna and things associated, linking outbuildings to the main house (no doubt via glass walls), and all the rest of it although I stopped reading after a couple of sentences. What I had read was enough to indicate what it will eventually look like should planning permission be granted. Let’s hope that it doesn’t and that the traditional character of the farm is preserved.
Meanwhile J had made his way down to the old slab bridge across Cawdale beck …..
….. while I was still looking upstream of the beck and over at Carhullan before joining him.
Once across the bridge there was only a short walk up the slope back to the farm and the car. Despite the dull skies from mid-day onwards it became very warm indeed, note that we’re down to t-shirt level, so it was quite a pleasant walk throughout, and we got back to the car dry and not soaking wet like we did on our last walk. Other than the cyclist, or perhaps two cyclists, we didn’t see another soul. Very unusual for August.