I don't believe much in carrying a rucksack full of bricks over twenty miles to train for epic walks. Some years ago I spent time training in the gym - the only benefit was that I met my old friend Pete there after we had not seen each other for over thirty years; he then accompanied me on thirty or so Munros, and we have been walking together ever-since. I decided that the best training for walking is walking, so for the last couple of years I have tried to walk on a modest, but regular basis, especially through the winters. So today's walk was a matter of continuing that concept to maintain a level of fitness, and avoid lack of stamina when I have longer days which I anticipate on resumption next Wednesday of my earlier backpacking trip. Such walks, I hasten to add, are not just for worshipping the god of fitness, but for pure enjoyment. Brother RR will not be amused by my atavistic use of Yorkshire dialect in the title to this post.
There is a large area north of the A685 Tebay to Kirkby Stephen road including Crosby Garrett Fell and Great Asby Scar (a superb limestone plateau) that I have only occasionally visited. There are many footpaths and tracks and minor minor roads, and a mixture of moorland and fell providing superb peaceful walking.
I was off from the car at 9:00am tackling a couple of kilometres of road first and even that was enhanced by the now blooming heather which I reckon is my favourite flora. It was then onto mainly green tracks with enticing views into the northern end of the Howgills, and then a re-visit to Nettle Hill last visited 11th February 2010 with Pete during my trig point campaign. This time I was able to spot the house recently bought by a friend nestling under the northern Pennines exactly 9.91 miles away in a straight line.
Return up the valley of Potts Beck was typical of the limestone scenery that I love. I dawdled, stopped for munchies and coffee, and as I was climbing out of the valley I sat on large stone for perhaps ten minutes. I decided to listen intently - there was not a sound except for the odd insect buzzing past me, then I heard a melodious, distant clinking and tracked it down to the scree covered opposite valley side - a group of sheep were disturbing the scree as they tried to munch the lower leaves of some trees.
I was all too soon back to the car.
|Just before turning off left onto grassy green tracks - looking into the northern end of the Howgills|
|Zoom to northern Pennines ten miles away|
|Typical old dales lanes with twisty dry-stone walls - walking at its best|
|Potts Beck- gurgling, tumbling and sometimes serene clear brown peat water|
|Looking back down Potts Beck|
|Zoom to these guys clinking the limestone - a pleasant and melodious sound|