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Some fells east of Lamplugh.

Some fells east of Lamplugh.


Postby trailmasher » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:56 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Blake Fell, Burnbank Fell

Date walked: 19/10/2015

Time taken: 3.31

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 616m

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Loweswater Birketts - 1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


After saving this route to my GPS I inadvertently deleted it so the route shown in the report is as true as I can get it although the stats are correct.

It was a dull and cloudy day with afternoon rain forecast as we set off from home for the small village of Lamplugh which is on the western edge of the Lake District and will be the start of our next walk into the mostly smaller hills of the area. We have seven hills in our sights today including Blake Fell and Burnbank Fell both of which I've done before and are Wainwright's. The other five are Birkett's which I have passed before but never put a boot on.

We travelled down the A66 past Keswick, alongside the long stretch of water which is Bassenthwaite whilst heading for Cockermouth from where we turned left down the A5086 and drove until we saw the Lamplugh signpost on our left that took us down a narrow B road to finally reach our starting point. The village is rather small and spread out with the largest building being the church which is situated between the village and Lamplugh Hall that is fronted by a free standing section of an old stone gateway which is adorned by a coat of arms bearing the name and date of John Lamplugh 1595 more of which can be found at the link below.

http://www.whitehavenandwesternlakeland.co.uk/loweswater/lamplugh.htm

Our walk starts at the car park (NY089209) by 'The Green' which is opposite the church where there are spaces for quite a number of vehicles. Having got ready we set off walking back down the road we had just driven up for just a few metres to reach a gate and fingerpost which points us along a good wide track and to a couple of gates and a stile. Going through the gates there is an old, large storage container on the right with a path leading past it which we ignored as this is the return route. Although there is a fingerpost pointing the way to go by the fence on the left hand side of the gates there is an old sign stuck in the ground indicating that there is no access any further along this track, but we ignored it as this is the way to go.
5 - Owsen Fell and the No Access sign.JPG
Owsen Fell and the fingerpost.

The grassy track takes us around the foot of Owsen Fell which we will climb later and through the gate which originally gave access to a plantation of pine trees which is now no longer there. The track continues in the same direction with Wisenholme Beck on our right to pass through another gate with a view of a large tree plantation on the opposite side of the beck to us.

We followed the old wire fence that is on our left and still on the good grassy track to arrive at a fourth gate where we should have turned north to climb the steep side of Owsen Fell. However, the hillside is decorated with knee high gorse sitting above a very large area of deep bracken which we don't feel like tackling just now. So we continued along the track for a good few metres more until we saw a small break through the prickly obstacle belt. All we had to do now was climb over the high fence - or maybe the fence was alright but the ground was sloping away from it - and work our way up through any small breaks through the bracken and gorse that we could find.
13 - Knock Murton centre with the green High Hows to the right.JPG
Knock Murton centre with the green High Hows to the right.

The climb up proved to be a tad tedious as the going through the rough clumps of grass up the steep slope was not easy until the ground began to level out as we neared the top. At last we could see the fairly large sized pile of stones that marked the summit cairn and which were encircled by a very low and tumbledown wall which has the remains of a metal fence sticking out of it in places.
16 - Elizabeth at Owsen Fell summit cairn.JPG
Elizabeth at Owsen Fell summit cairn.

From where we are just now we can see most of what we are going to walk with Burnbank Fell - our next top - to the east of us as is Carling Knott and Loweswater End (Carling Knott - Birkett No. 344), Blake Fell to the south and Sharp Knotts also to the south poking its head above the pine tree plantation.
17 - Clockwise is Burnbank Fell-Carling Knott-Blake Fell-Sharp Knott from Owsen Fell summit cairn.JPG
Clockwise is Burnbank Fell-Carling Knott-Blake Fell-Sharp Knott from Owsen Fell summit.

Leaving the cairn behind we walked down the easy slope along a narrow grassy path…
20 - From Owsen Fell to Burnbank Fell.JPG
From Owsen Fell to Burnbank Fell.

accompanied by that same low wall that was on the last hill and that would take us directly to the summit of Burnbank Fell in the east with its tiny cairn of stones that sits more or less in the corner angle of where two fences meet. Not much of a cairn for such a big hill!
22 - Burnbank summit with Carling Knott behind.JPG
Burnbank summit with Carling Knott behind.

23 - Blake Fell and Sharp Knott from Burnbank Fell.JPG
Blake Fell and Sharp Knott from Burnbank Fell.

From here we can see some of the fells that surround Crummock Water and the fells - Darling Fell, Loftbarrow, Fellbarrow, etc - that we walked a few weeks ago are over to the northeast across and behind Loweswater. We can also see our next objective - Carling Knott and Loweswater End - across to the east and at 544 metres and 519 metres respectively in height, both are slightly higher than we are now on Burnbank Fell at 475 metres.

As we left the top we followed the wire fence south all the way down to the head of Holme Beck…
24 - The path to Blake Fell and Carling Knott.JPG
The path to Blake Fell and Carling Knott.

to climb over a wooden gate to continue alongside the fence for a short distance from where we should have picked up a path that would have taken us easily northeast through the heather and bilberry but I missed it, initially only coming across it after having tramped through the deep local flora that hid the usual and unsuspected wet holes. Having regained my fell cred we soon found our way to the ridge and the summit of Carling Knott at 544 metres and which is Birkett No. 87.

The top is distinguished by its very large shelter cairn sat on the grassy top which also has quite an audience of rocks poking through it to break the monotony of the smoothness of the top.
29 - Elizabeth at Carling Knott shelter cairn.JPG
Elizabeth at Carling Knott shelter cairn.

Now from here we can see Grasmoor, Hen Comb, Mellbreak, Great Borne, and other distant fells which by now are beginning to adopt a head of mist/low cloud. We walked a little further northeast and losing height slightly to reach the summit of Loweswater End with its small cairn of stones and is both a Birkett and the subsidiary top of its big brother, Carling Knott.
34 - Loweswater End summit cairn.JPG
Loweswater End summit cairn.

From here we can see over Lorton Vale, Loweswater is below us and the Loweswater Fells behind that…
36 - Loweswater overlooked by Darling Fell.JPG
Loweswater overlooked by Darling Fell.

whilst further still to the east can be seen the northern end of Crummock Water, Grasmoor, Whiteside, and just in sight through the mist is Hopegill Head. Turning round we can see Owsen Fell, Burnbank Fell that we have recently left and behind us and to the southwest is Blake Fell and Sharp Knott which are both overlooking the as not yet in sight Cogra Moss and Knock Murton which are both hidden behind Blake Fell.
39 - The path back to Carling Knott from Loweswater End.JPG
The path back to Carling Knott from Loweswater End.

E has left me to my camera and strolled back onto the higher summit of Carling Knott where she is talking to a man, woman, and young boy of around 11 or 12 years of age. When I arrived at this little group the young lad told me that he was working his way through the Wainwright's, had already done the 'big four' and that this one we are at now would be his 82nd Wainwright. Once again as they have a couple of times over the past week or so the alarm bells begin to ring as I ask his father where they have come from and heading to. "Well, now that we have just arrived at Burnbank Fell we are going to go back to our accommodation over at Lorton" says he. "But you're not on Burnbank" says I as I point over to the north. "That's the one you want over there, this is Carling Knott."
40 - Mellbreak-Hen Comb-Gavel Fell from Carling Knott.JPG
Mellbreak-Hen Comb-Gavel Fell from Carling Knott.

Well he was quite adamant that they were on Burnbank and even showed me his OS map pointing out Mellbreak, Hen Comb, etc, until I pointed out that Loweswater was just over the back of us but he still insisted that they were in the right place. It was at this point that I showed him my GPS indicating exactly where we were, and him still trying to save face pulled out his trusty smart phone which was loaded with some mapping app and upon looking at it then saw that they were indeed in the wrong place. I put him right and showed him where the path was that I had initially missed and off they went. We saw them later making their way up the fell side to Burnbank summit. I just wondered how many Wainwright's the lad has actually done with father traipsing around the fells using a mobile phone for directions.

Next on is Blake Fell the highest of our seven hills for today so we had to retrace our steps along the ridge back to the fence and then veered off to the south for the relatively easy climb up the good grass track which is of the nature of all the paths that we have been on so far today.
42 - Blake Fell.JPG
Blake Fell.

Before too long we are at the summit shelter cairn which we gratefully climbed into as the wind up here is quite strong and cold and made this our first break of the day whilst having food and drink.
From the summit we have good views of Cogra Moss and Knock Murton the bane of our last walk in this area plus all the fells that we have just walked including the ones still to do, Sharp Knott and High Hows. It would have been nice to take some decent photos from here but with the mist and hazy conditions it's proving difficult to get anything clear and worthwhile just now. At least it's not raining yet.
43 - Cogra Moss with Knock Murton to the left looking from Blake Fell summit.JPG
Cogra Moss with Knock Murton to the left looking from Blake Fell top.

44 - Sharp Knott with Owsen Fell behind from Blake Fell top.JPG
Sharp Knott with Owsen Fell behind from Blake Fell top.

Food and drink consumed and legs rested we now set off down another good grassy path leading us roughly north down to the level area between the two fells…
45 - Owsen Fell-Burnbank Fell-Sharp Knott.JPG
Owsen Fell-Burnbank Fell-Sharp Knott.

before it starts up the easy slopes of Sharp Knott to find a cairn of flat pieces of slate sat upon the round and grassy top. Walking around on the top we noticed quite a few areas that appear to be where slate has been quarried and on the west side and just down from the top there are the remains of a slate constructed building. A good view point but well exposed.
48 - Sharp Knott summit cairn of slate.JPG
Sharp Knott's slate summit cairn.

49 - Remains of old building on Sharp Knott.JPG
Remains of old building on Sharp Knott.

We left the top going north by way of a gently sloping path which soon became quite steep and slippery as we dropped down to the head of Wisenholme Beck which we had followed on our journey to Owsen Fell from Lamplugh. As we dropped lower into the gully we entered the pine forest which encircles the whole of Sharp Knott's lower slopes following a good dry forestry road which curved around in an anti-clockwise direction. We are now sheltered from the cool wind but its dead in here. There is no sign of life whatsoever. No bird song, in fact no birds, no animals rustling about, nothing. Even the ground underneath the trees is dead, poisoned by the millions of pine needles covering the ground whilst the trees themselves allow very little light through. That's the problem with these cultivated, set in grid lines pine forests, there is no natural order of growing that would allow other plant growth beneath and around them. All for the sake of tax breaks for the rich. And now the timber is more or less worthless as it grows too fast and is too soft for any type of decent construction material. About 3 to 4 years ago I read an article that said that due to new ideas and the low price of the timber that 10 million acres were to be cut down in 10 years the wood being fit for nowt only burning as bio-fuel and is being used quite a lot in Scotland to heat up schools, village halls, and in some cases whole villages. Trees endemic to this country were to be planted on the old plantation sites.

We finally came to a fork in the road where we took the right hand one…
54 - The junction of the forestry road where we turned right.JPG
The junction of the forestry road where we turned right.

that went downhill to reach the open edge of the timber line where it got a bit confusing as the road disappeared when it shouldn't have according to the map so we finished up fighting our way through the lower branches of the pine trees to reach a stile over a fence which wasn't there when we finally arrived at said place. I think where it should have been there was a quite a high ramshackle short section of fence which had a wire fence topped with barbed wire behind it and as this abutted up to a wall it was probably blocked off by the Forestry Commission, or farmer. Not to be beaten we set off on another struggle through more pine trees as we forced our way uphill to try and find a break in the wall and wire fence so as to gain access to the last fell of the day which is the grassy hump of High Hows.

After a few metres of fighting branches that hit you back I decided enough was enough and that we were going to scale the wall and fence hoping that I wouldn't be emasculated in the attempt. I found as decent a place as there was over the wall which is very near to the fence, covered in moss and is in a very bad state.
57 - The only way to High Hows is over this.JPG
The only way to High Hows is over this.

Getting over the wall safely was a mission in itself as a slip would have resulted in more than a bit of skin being removed from oneself. Anyway I discarded the bag whilst I clambered over the wall and stood pondering my next move. The fence is high with a double strand of barbed wire along the top so I thought that the best course of action was to do the old Sir Walter Raleigh stunt and place my jacket over the barbed wire - I got points for that - doubled over for extra protection against damage to the old nards if a slip occurred during the fancy footwork over the fence.

Wobbling around on the fence like a tightrope walker I got over safely, retrieved the bag off E, helped her over the fence, and retrieved my thankfully undamaged coat. From the fence it was just a short walk up the pathless grassy bank to arrive at the summit of this rather small hill at only 313 metres in height, but nevertheless, it’s a hill and with a rather unusual summit cairn consisting of a wide log end which is fixed firmly into the ground. From the summit we can see a lot of what we have just walked with added views overlooking the landscape around Lamplugh.
59 - High Hows summit cairn with Blake Fell and Sharp Knott behind.JPG
High Hows summit cairn with Blake Fell and Sharp Knott behind.

Instead of descending across the fields towards Dockray Nook and through Howgill Wood and arriving at the storage container from the south due to the many gated walls and not wanting to upset any of the farmers we left here by descending the easy slopes northwest,
60 - Looking into Wisenholme Beck with Owsen Fell left and Burnbank Fell centre.JPG
Looking into Wisenholme Beck with Owsen Fell left and Burnbank Fell centre.

62 - A view of High Hows from below Owsen Fell.JPG
A view of High Hows from below Owsen Fell.

climbing over an old wired up gate in a wall, crossing Wisenholme Beck by a farmer's access bridge and returning not by the way mentioned at the beginning of the report but by simply following the track that took us to the bottom of Owsen Fell then back to the old storage container, the church and our car.

This has been a good but simple walk in the western fells that sit between Cogra Moss and Loweswater taking in the two Wainwright's of Blake Fell and Burnbank Fell - which I have done before - as well as five previously unclimbed Birkett's. The weather has been kind to us as the forecasted rain didn't appear as ordered. It has been cloudy all day and there has been a cold wind at times but the walking kept us warm enough. The hazy atmosphere was a bit of a nuisance as it affected the picture quality but we have to take what we are given sometimes. The paths have been excellent being clear, dry, and of good quality throughout so that was an added bonus and is something that we don't get too often in the hills. The Cheviots come to mind here.

Once having removed all unnecessary items of clothing, etc, we then decided to have a drive to Keswick where we had a meal of fish and chips in the Keswickian Chippy. After interrogating the waiter he told us that it had been raining for quite some time in Keswick so it appears that we were lucky to avoid it.
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trailmasher
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Re: Some fells east of Lamplugh.

Postby ChrisW » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:05 pm

Another entertaining read TM, risking the 'nards' on the barbed wire :lol: the cairn on Burnbank summit must be the poorest attempt I've seen of one...maybe there should be a competition for the "Worst summit cairn". Finally....those damn fish n chips making an appearance again...what I wouldn't give for some proper fish and chips right now :roll:

Great stuff as always and I enjoyed the photos even with the haze :clap:
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ChrisW
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Re: Some fells east of Lamplugh.

Postby trailmasher » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:19 pm

ChrisW wrote:Another entertaining read TM, risking the 'nards' on the barbed wire :lol: the cairn on Burnbank summit must be the poorest attempt I've seen of one...maybe there should be a competition for the "Worst summit cairn". Finally....those damn fish n chips making an appearance again...what I wouldn't give for some proper fish and chips right now :roll:

Great stuff as always and I enjoyed the photos even with the haze :clap:


A man's got to take care of his tackle Chris :roll: and I couldn't believe my eyes :shock: when I saw the tree stump cairn. The fish and chips scenario of late is a consequence of one of my 'short cuts' and was of a conciliatory nature :( but give 'em an inch mate...
Re the fish and chips, I felt the same when I was living in Australia. Nobody makes 'em like us :D I can't seem to get away from hazy days lately so have to take what I can get :) Thanks for your comments Chris they're always welcome :clap:
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