Western Dales and the Lake District - in a Camper Van. May 1988
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
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
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
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.
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
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
...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
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?