~A Walk from Sykeside~
18th March 2011
A good weather forecast persuaded me to pack the tent and head for Lakeland. I arrived at Sykeside campsite in good time to put up the tent and then take to the fells on a walk that I planned would take under four hours and bring me back down before darkness prevailed.
The Kirkstone Pass
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The owners are keeping tents off the main site at the moment. As a location for camping, this is first rate. But once the days get warmer and longer, so the crowds arrive and prices increase. For your information, walker's parking is offered at £2.50 per day; this may be useful in the middle of summer and Cow Bridge is full. I'm not sure where all the cars will go, maybe in the field close to Hartsop Hall.
Spirit Level Fields
Place Fell in bright sunshine. The best walks in Lakeland are the ones done from the front door of your hotel / B&B / tent.
High Hartsop Dodd
My walk took me along the shore of Brotherswater. Hartsop Dodd is higher than High Hartsop Dodd. The latter being named after its geographical position, not altitude.
Three steep ascents: l-r Hartsop Dodd, Caudale Moor & Middle Dodd; High Hartsop Dodd is just visible on the right.
It's a steep climb up to the long ridge which is Hartsop above How. The Brotherswater Inn is in view.
The spine of Arnison Crag shows up well.
The Kirkstone Pass
The face of Middle Dodd casts a shadow onto the screes of Caudale Moor. Daytrippers make their exit up the pass.
Place Fell from Hartsop above How
If Hartsop above How didn't have a noticeable bump, it would just be a route up to Hart Crag and may not have enjoyed the separate fell status bestowed upon it.
Hartsop Above How Summit
Taken from the next bump towards Hart Crag, the top of Black Crag.
Priest's Hole, Dove Crag
Overnight accommodation of the highest order. Not a place I've been to, but Google it for an inside view from other websites.
Sykeside Campsite and the Brotherswater Inn
Enjoying the last five minutes of sunshine. My route is heading straight for the top of Hart Crag.
Horseshoe view of Rydal Beck and Windermere.
Hart Crag Summit
Me on top of Hart Crag
That's me dressed in ascent gear. As soon as the shutter had shut, I put on the overtrousers, coat and gloves - it was freezing!
Dove Crag from Hart Crag
The descent route goes down between the two fells and my alloted time would not allow for a wander over to the next top.
Place Fell and other Far Eastern Fells remain in the sunshine for a little longer.
Stangs is the name of the bumpy bits on the right. Wainwright suggests that the big rocks in the foreground have been "artificially detached" and the ruin also suggests quarrying operations. Little evidence of serious operations, no big spoil heap and no well-worn miners track.
Split Boulder in Dovedale
My plan to get back to the tent before it was dark is working out. I passed three well equipped walkers heading for Priest's Hole. I chose not to tell them that there were already at least two others up there, I heard voices. Of course, they might have all part of the same group.
Walkers: Just Me
Time taken: 3hrs 30mins over a distance of about 6.5 miles.
Route: Sykeside campsite to Hartsop Hall and along to Cow Bridge, steep ascent on to Hartsop above How, ridge walk all the way to Hart Crag, down the really well repaired path to Dovedale, I kept above the valley passing the old mine and returned to Hartsop Hall and the campsite.
Weather and conditions: Bright and Sunny.
Greetings Count: A man and a dog (hello Don!), two others, one lady and the three intrepid wild campers on the way down.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Burgers at the tent and a pint in the pub, I only went in the pub to get warm.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2011 ©