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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Friday, 6 April 2018

From Barbon village

Thursday 5th April 2018 - Thursday walk with Pete

What a glorious spring day. I walked without gloves for the first time for many a month with Paramo jacket stowed away in my rucksack.

At our furthest point near Low Fellside I noticed the unmistakable signs of a disused railway and research has now revealed that there was a branch line running from Ingleton joining the main east coast route at Lowgill near Tebay. It must have been an attractive scenic route.

From Wikipedia:

The Lancaster and Carlisle Railway built the Ingleton Branch Line from the existing Ingleton Station to Low Gill.[2] By the time the branch was completed in 1861, the L&CR was operated by the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR).
After formal closure the line was still on occasions used for weekend excursions and to transport pupils to and from local boarding schools. Goods traffic continued until 1 October 1964. The line was maintained as a possible relief route until April 1967 when the tracks were lifted.[3]
Sheep and their lambs were abundant and more than usually voiciferous on both sides of our quiet country lane. On our return journey a couple of lambs had escaped onto the road and despite our best efforts we couldn't get them to go back, but a couple of hundred yards further on we told the farm lady who was tending sheep in the next field. Some of her sheep were almost black in colour the like of which I had not seen before - she told us they were Zwartbles.

 From Wikipedia:

The Zwartbles is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the Friesland region of the north Netherlands. There it was primarily used for the production of sheep milk as well as lamb and mutton. They were often kept alongside dairy cattle herds.

Low res. photo from Wiki

Barbon Low Fell

Waiting for spring

Middleton Fell

The old railway near Low Fellside


  1. It was a glorious spring day here too. My measure was that I went for my first run of the year in a short-sleeved t-shirt AND my first without a jacket too. I'm definitely ready for more days like that.

  2. I'm always amazed at your Thursday walk, you keep coming up with something new and interesting which I know is not that easy given your restrictions on that day.
    Top marks for your 'waiting for Spring' photo.

  3. Gayle - are you at home at the moment? Can't keep track of you.


    Bowlandclimber - There have been the odd Thursday walks that I haven't posted on, mainly because there was nothing much to say.

  4. We are at home at the moment. Not supposed to be - we should be out on a little backpacking trip, but Mick did a mischief to his ribs last weekend so is currently trying not to move/laugh/breathe etc, and is hoping that they heal quickly. I'm taking advantage of the time at home to plan some Marilyns for our upcoming trip to Scotland.

  5. I was out on Ingleborough and it was great to have some sunshine, although it was still perishing up there - the wind was very cold. I think the viaduct which I saw on my walk around Firbank Fell last summer must have been on this branch line Conrad and now I'm thinking I should have been more curious about where the line went from and to. There seem to be several viaducts and bridges worth seeking out along the route.

  6. Good to see you out & about, Conrad.

    It appears that you started and finished at a pub. Shrewd move, Sir!

  7. That was a line with an interesting commercial and ownership history as it was a vital connection to the main London - Glasgow line of the network of lines traversing the dales serving the industrial traffic between the north east with north Lancashire (of which Furness of course !) and west Cumberland - I remember the lines in the upper Eden valley vividly - the very scary (to a child) run over the much lamented Belah viaduct - a spindly looking thing hardly wider than the carriages, that terrified us when it swayed in the wind: the run on to Barnard Castle and Darlington over Stainmore, where we were all 'excited' as unknowing children about one train that was stranded for a month in snow drifts: a terrible shame they all had to go, as these days they might make good business with tripper traffic - the short restored and relaid sections are popular enough, but go nowhere: when their commercial traffic disappeared, the cost of upkeep in the harsh terrain was unsustainable.
    The viaduct connection is still there, a fine structure joining the west coast mainline just as it swings north to enter the Lune gorge below Tebay: Network Rail is obliged to maintain it, despite their desire to demolish it. Hard to believe that such a major construction was 'only' for a little branch line.

  8. It was a glorious day, and glad to see spring is finally springing. Love those weird sheep.

  9. Gayle - Hope Mick is recovering - I'm interested to hear you have backpacking plans?????


    Bowlandclimber - I was quite pleased with the tree photo. I cropped it very slightly to get it as centre as possible which is against the rules of composition, but rules can sometimes be broken to advantage.


    Beatingthebounds - Hi Mark, You create plenty of wildlife photos for which you have a particular skill - I have to look out for other things to hang a blog post on - I call them blogger's gifts.


    Alan sloman - If you look carefully, I'm ashamed to say that the car was parked right outside the church. Even our customary visit to Café Ambio had to be aborted because Pete had a call from his wife to say their expensive new BMW had broken down and he had to get back to sort things.


    gimmer - Thanks for that heartfelt nugget of nostalgia. I wonder if one can walk across that viaduct? I've walked past it many times.


    Ruth L - The lady said that the Zwartbles are a particularly benign, friendly and well behaved breed - would that you could find your cows like that!

  10. Maybe your next (nearly) horizontal 'Project' (other than bath and bed, of course) should be to trace these closed lines: many are now only your 'traces' in the grass but others remain, tracks and railbed removed, often overgrown, and, of course, sometimes official foot, cycle and bridleways.
    I like to think of them quietly awaiting the end of oil.
    Lots of the smaller bridges were demolished for road improvements or 'safety' but the abutments often remain as semi-convenient access points: I'm sure no one will either mind or care about solitary silent strollers - some are 'owned' and/or have reverted to the ancien (we need a word with a similar meaning) landowners - former doesn't quite do, extant is wrong, previous doesn't convey the meaning - rare to find one has to use a french word to express the sense one means . . . but almost always 'absent': worth a mass.

  11. The backpacking plan wasn't exciting. It was just a pre-TGO Challenge warm up for Mick's benefit, for which I had come up with a 65-mile route (cunningly!) taking in 4 of my unbagged English Marilyns. Given Mick's injury it now looks highly unlikely that there will be any backpacking action before the Challenge. Hopefully he'll soon be fit enough to do unladen walks.

  12. Gimmer - sounds like a good idea but one I have pursued before. The going is often diabolical with overgrown brambles, mud baths, and boundary fences without means of surmounting. There are much better things to do. Sorry to disappoint.


    Gayle - pity. .What is your tally for English Ms to date? Or is that secret?

  13. kendal grufties9 April 2018 at 21:13

    Hi, Conrad, great pics and sounds like a great day out. We were over that way ourselves today, had dentist appt in Sedbergh so took folding bikes with us and headed off to Dent. Carried the bikes up Flinter Gill (charming walk, lots of interest) then headed across to Barbondale, flew down the valley to Barbon and took the same road north as you walked last week. We carried on up around Holme Fell and back into Sedbergh. Had a great day with superb views, Leo tried a bit of fossil hunting in honour of Adam Sedgwick but had no luck. Btw I've got an appt with Mr Patel and crew next month so need to make the most of these lovely spring days!

  14. kendal grufties - Good to hear from you again. That sounds a super round - I presume Flinter Gill is the bridleway leading south west directly out of Dent which is named as such further south after it crosses the bridleway/track which I presume you took to get to Barbondale Road. I haven't been up there despite having been to Dent countless times - looks worth exploring.

    On 11th July 2006 I drove to Fellside - SD 636 889 below Middleton Fell and left my bike there, then drove back to park at Barbon village, and I walked back over Calf Top to pick up the bike and cycle back to Barbon. That was quite a satisfying day.

    Good luck with Mr. Patel - you may want to remind him of me (the guy who gave him a list of 3,000miles of walking on the previous knee replacement). I have a follow up appointment with him on 25th April.

  15. kendal grufties10 April 2018 at 14:31

    Love that Calf Top route you describe, I like mixing and matching modes of transport - occasionally we'll carry push scooters with us and use them for any long tarmac sections on a walk, who says they're only for kids? I call it my mobility scooter, and watching other people's reactions to us scooting past is very interesting ☺
    (Some get it and give us great big grins).
    Anyway, I can't recommend Flintergill highly enough - keeping stream on your left as you climb you'll come to Dancing Flags then Wishing Tree and further delights await further up, culminating in a very handy bench for a rest at the top.
    Good luck with your knee checkup!

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