Early Summer Walks 2014 - Monday 5th May - Bassenthwaite Fells Circular

Reporter: Helen Richardson

Dave’s second walk was centred on the gentler Bassenthwaite fells of the North Western Lake District yet still managed to include four “Wainwright summits” in it’s 71⁄4 miles. Fortunately, the weather was also much gentler than the day before—pleasantly warm, with a mix of cloud and sunny intervals, windy at times on exposed summits, but no rain allowing us excellent views along the way.

Fourteen walkers and Dollie met around 10.30 for an 11.00 start from Scawgill Bridge Car Park, just off the B5292 Whinlatter Pass, and a few km west of the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, which has a good café and loos.

We set off northwards along a wide track through woodland, then veered in a NE direction skirting Lords Seat on the way to our first peak, Barf, at 468m, known for it’s whitewashed stone “The Bishop”. The going was easy except for a short muddy section, followed by some boggy trackless ground, and a short steep final ascent on a clearly defined path to Barf summit. There our efforts were rewarded with a coffee stop complete with fine views N & E over Bassenthwaite Lake. After retracing our steps a short distance over the boggy ground, we soon joined a wide rather muddy path to the summit of Lords Seat, and enjoying extensive views towards the Irish Sea, we walked on a broad grassy path along Broom Fell to it’s summit at 511m, marked by a tall cairn and a usefull stone shelter.

Reinvigorated by lunch, generously supplemented by Dave’s grand granola chunks and Steve’s tasty Eccles cakes, we headed for our final summit, Graystones at a slightly lower elevation of 450m, and marked, aptly enough, by a pile of stones. Our return path from here included a surprisingly steep descent and as some found this quite difficult we got rather strung out. We had been promised “an opportunity for a short detour to see spout force”, and our tardiness gave those of us lagging behind an incentive what looked on the map and GPS to be a short path into the forest to the viewpoint, which avoided further ascent. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out not to be as the forest path gave no waterfall view at all. Chastened we retraced our steps completed the descent climbed the short correct route to see Spout Force, then somewhat sheepishly, apologetic and late, we returned to the fold, our leader and waiting fellow walkers ...

To round off the day, Liz and Paul Prentice kindly provided cups of tea and wonderfully luscious chocolate cake and delicious ‘fruit & root’ (that’s carrot-based light fruit) cake from there camper van! What a lovely way to finish a day before heading home!

Thank you Dave and Vanessa, for this excellent walk, which was much enjoyed by all who came on it, and thanks to Dave, Steve, Liz and Paul for eats along the way, and delicious cake and tea at the end!