After Boris had decided we could all travel any distance, within reason, for exercise and with unlimited time whilst out, we thought
"we'll take advantage of this and go somewhere there's not going to be a lot of people"
As with anybody who likes to be out in the hills, it's been along time without any mountain action, the lure of the hills was increasing, this change in the rules couldn't have come at a better time
The Lakes were out, we felt the local communities would not welcome a sudden influx of touroids so, the next best thing as far as we were concerned, were the Howgills, somewhere we knew would be quiet and somewhere we could still socially distance ourselves without any problem
I'd had a little route planned for some time, just how we'd be after so long away from the hills we weren't sure ( 8 weeks flippin' 'eck) our hill fitness has suffered a wee bit so we were not going to rush about.
This is how our little foray into the Howgills panned out
Tops visited on this walk :-
We parked just above Carlingill Bridge on the Fairmile Road at around SD625995 and got ready for the off.
There were good views across the motorway to Grayrigg Pike
and our first objective, Knowles.
Our route started from the roadside opposite our parking spot, it's a good path/quadbike track heading up the shoulder of Knowles and as we soon found out was a nice steady plod gaining height quickly without too much effort the weather was ok, it was overcast but we could see for miles, there were breaks in the clouds so every now and then we were warmed by the sun
The views were good.
It was a nice steady climb to the top of Fell Head, there are two cairns up here, the first one isn't the top but the views are good
I think the cairn on the next lump, is the highest point. We could just make out our next objective, Bush Howe, but from here it sort of blends in with the landscape.
After a quick break we set off for Bush Howe.
It's a nice little ridge walk to the start of the drop down to Windscarth Wyke, Bush Howe certainly looked more obvious from the top of Breaks Head, it looked a fair old climb.
On the way down there were nice views down to Long Rigg Beck
the climb up Bush Howe looked less intimidating
we met our first and only other walker of the day on our way up, he was on a mission so it was a quick hello and
how are you? then we carried on.
Looking back to Fell Head
Views from Bush Howe
Once on the top we could see the easy continuation to The Calf, but that was for another day, Simons Seat was next so we re-traced our steps down to Windscarth Wyke and then took a rising traverse to Wind Scarth and then followed the ridge down to the saddle between Wethercalf Moss and Simons Seat.
All this is pleasant easy walking, the view up to Simons Seat looked a steep pull, it was, but the climb was deceptive from a distance, we soon arrived at the top and looking back we were surprised how far we'd travelled in a relatively short amount of time, we were really enjoying our day out
Simons Seat views
From Simons Seat we re-traced our steps again and the started to follow the 550m contour around the top of
Great Blea Gill and then headed towards Docker Knott.
On the top of Docker Knott we could see where we'd been, it was nice to have such good views, we'd not been in the Howgills for quite some time, we were treading unfamiliar ground and enjoying every moment to say the least, it was nice to be in the wide open again.
From Docker Knott we followed the ridge down to NY649002 and then down to Blakethwaite Bottom to have lunch before the climb up to Uldale Head.
Whilst having lunch I decided to have a look at the map, having a quick scan I realised we could have visited Middleton and Hand Lake on our way round, a bit disappointed with this I started to hatch a plan for our next visit, any excuse for another day in the Howgills
Once fed and watered we set off on our final climb of the day.
Again, from a distance, it looked quite a climb up Uldale Head, it was, but it was nowhere near as bad as it looked, we were soon up to the point where it started to level off, the huffing and puffing was over and the walk to the summit was nice and steady with views to make you want to come back for more.
On the summit I started to look at what we could include on our next trip after Middleton and Hand Lake, Rispa Pike,
Hare Shaw and Blease Fell looked feasible it was just a case of finding the best way up from Carlingill Bridge without the walk up Carlin Gill, I've read it could be a bit tricky near the top.
Fell Head, we'd been there today
From the top we headed due west for about a half km and then started downhill towards Carlingill Bridge, this is steep but there's no difficulty, we kept Carlingill Beck in our sights and just headed for it, we could see a path on the other side of it and just headed in that general direction.
Descent view, Linghaw
Crossing the beck was easy, there were plenty of stepping stones, if it was in spate I can imagine it would be a bit awkward it's quite wide.
From the beck it's an easy yomp back to the car which rounded off a really enjoyable day.
After today I think we've found a new playground, an alternative to the Lakes or the Dales, the beauty of the Howgills is there are no gates or stiles to touch so the risk of leaving traces of virus on surfaces is greatly reduced, only our boots left evidence of our visit. There's a lot to do so the Howgills may take care of the next few visits to the local hills, I'm starting to get quite exited lets hope things get back to some kind of normality soon .
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