Western Dales and the Lake District - in a Camper Van. May 1988
Pennines and Lakes Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The previous year's trip had taken us, with a tent, to Wasdale Head. This year's trip was upmarket by comparison - I borrowed a camper van (have to say, I don't get on with tents).
We started the trip with a walk up Whernside - using the route described by Wainwright in his "Walks in Limestone Country" - and a good walk it was too. Starting from Ribblehead, we walked past the fine waterfall at Force Gill, then by Greensett Gill with its attractive limestone edges to Greensett Tarn, before the final slog up to the ridge of Whernside. The day was bright and clear - the views excellent in all directions. This was the first time I had been able to see the Settle - Carlisle railway, both north and south of Blea Moor tunnel, from the same viewpoint! We returned to the van via Winterscales, and the strange fields of limestone boulders. A northbound train rumbled across Ribblehead viaduct as we completed an excellent half-day's wander.
Day 1: The Screes
Day 2: To the Lakes - High Street
The route would be that described in "Fellwalking with Wainwright". Starting at Mardale Head, we would ascend via the fine rocky ridge of Rough Crag, then head south via Mardale Ill Bell and the top of Nan Bield Pass to Harter Fell. The path then descends via Gatescarth Beck to the car park. This was another great walk, although the weather was not quite so good for photography - my camera stayed in its case most of the day. We drove on after our walk to Pooley Bridge, where we stayed the night. The light was by now much improved - time for some more photos....
Today we would visit the eastern heights of the Lake District - taking in their highest point at 2718', High Street, so named because of the Roman road which once ran along its summit ridge.
Force Gill waterfall Force Gill waterfall Force Gill waterfall Greensett Gill Greensett Tarn - the sandy shore Whernside wall - the view north to Whernside Tarns Greensett Tarn and the view to Penyghent Ingleborough Ribblehead - the sweeping curve of the viaduct Barn and buttercups, Winterscales Boulders at Winterscales Limestone boulders and Ingleborough Ribblehead and wee dug The camper van - Cowgill, Dentdale At the start of the day - Dent village The start of the walk - Mardale Head and Haweswater Reservoir The Kentmere fells - Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke Nan Bield pass - the zigzags Small Water and Haweswater Call this a cairn? Harter Fell summit Gatesgarth - looking back to Rough Crag and Harter Fell Fishing from the jetty, Pooley Bridge Fisherman, Pooley Bridge Evening light, Ullswater Ullswater Through the leaves, Ullswater Ullswater anglers
Day 3: Blencathra - nearly!
mist, and the rocks were greasy from the recent rain, and there wouldn't be any sort of view from the summit.... We turned back! It didn't take long to get back to the camper, parked at Threlkeld, and we were soon on our way to (the northern) Troutbeck, where we would park up for the night. Pulling on the handbrake, we looked back at Blencathra - its summit now, of course, in clear sunshine.... Ever made the wrong decision?
The light was just a bit too good the previous evening - a dull, damp day dawned, with a low cloud base and steady rain We headed for Keswick, where a pleasurable stroll could be had along the lake shore, whilst killing time and hoping for a change in the weather... ...which came gradually after lunch - the rain stopped and the cloud lifted a little, though the tops were still well into the mist. We had decided upon another of Wainwright's recommendations - Blencathra from Threlkeld. The route follows a bee-line for the summit via the steep and rocky Hall's Fell - the distance is relatively small, but the climb substantial. Some time had passed by the time we reached the higher. narrower part of the ridge, Narrow Edge. The cloud remained, however - we were into the
Steaming through the rain, Derwentwater Mist over Blencathra Greasy rocks and a misty outlook, Blencathra
Day 4: Home again - Nine Standards Rigg
And that was it - just the journey across the Pennines to return the van. "I've never been up to Nine Standards Rigg - shall we go and have a look?". The Rigg, high above Kirkby Stephen, looks north to the Cross Fell range and the Eden Valley. No-one is quite sure why the cairns stand there - perhaps to deter raiders from the north?
Nine Standards Rigg Limestone scenery near Nine Standards Rigg Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff