For newcomers

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


Saturday, 27 October 2018

Rusland Church and Bethecar Moor

Friday 26th October 2018
If it hadn't been for my walking friend Bowland Climber I may not have been typing this.

Halfway round our walk we entered a large area of unfenced pasture. Two hundred yards ahead were some cows, but they were guarded by an enormous bull. BC stopped in his tracks. I was all for walking on - the beast looked docile to me. BC explained that he comes from farming stock and has had experience of folk being killed by these animals. "You carry on" he said, "I'll go round." Of course I agreed and we took a massive detour including a bit of height loss thus eliminating the sight line between us and Mr. Bull. As it turned out this worked as a short cut on our route.

BC had phoned me and suggested I concoct a walk in my area. BC has walked everywhere and it was a challenge for me to find some uncharted territory for him. I settled on a start at Rusland Church which has the added interest of Arthur Ransome's grave. We had a look in at the church as well - a party of three or four walkers arrived and I mentioned the grave to them which they were unaware of and grateful for my direction. I am glad that there is no great promotion of the grave - it just seems right that it should be there understated and peaceful.

From Rusland we walked to Force Mills, another of my secret attractions where a lively Lake District stream bifurcates and cascades and tumbles down a steep hillside, and today it was  pretty energetic with the recent rains.

Further on we came across the most complex gate fastening I have seen to date. Four foot metal  push/pull bars extended on each side of the gate fixed to separate posts at their extremities, and operating intricate mechanism fastened to the gate. I wonder who created this - it must have needed engineering drawings and a lot of specialised, galvanised metal fabrication, and at what cost? What is wrong with a simple hook and eye?

Our route took us across Bethecar Moor which was new to me. Looking at the map this could have been a quagmire nightmare, and I was apprehensive about leading us into such a mess. Bethecar turned out to be all delight on a good path with a huge expanse of wild country in all directions with many attractive rocky outcrops, and as BC observed several possibilities for small scale rock climbing.

This was a brilliant autumn day in good company and the best of Lakeland scenery.

Click first photo to view all as slideshow

BC photographs Ransome's grave

Force Mill Beck below the hillside where it descends in two streams to join as one just above here

Zoom to Humphrey Head

Crossing Bethecar Moor

The location is between Windermere Lake and Coniston Lake


  1. Terrific Conrad. That’s quite a walk. Brings back recent memories. We remember that large over engineered gate latch and realised it was more than likely made for mountain bikers. Lovely day out.

  2. That looks fantastic - wish I'd been there.
    PS. You did 7.4 miles and 1000ft of ascent.

  3. i thought it was for wheelchairs - perhaps today's mountain bikers tomorrow

    That is always a nice complex small valley system - with the nice pub at Satterthwaite - where we ended that 'dia completo' three or four years ago !

  4. Alan R - I realise now that we were following a lot of your recent walk. I enjoy these perimeter of the Lakes areas so much, and for now they seem to be still quiet and peaceful


    BC - Was that my shadow then? I'm a bit surprised at the amount of ascent, but Memory Map gives even more at 1249ft


    gimmer - Yes I thought I remembered that day well but I've just had a look back at the post which fills in a few details I had forgotten about - if you want to do the same go to:

    There are two days described in the post ours is the earlier one.


    Alan R and Gimmer - You both responded to my comment about the gate machinery but declined to register approval or disapproval.

  5. That doesn't look a very fierce bull peering over the gate. I apologise for my cowardness.
    There is no mention on UK Climbing Database of those little slabs we saw, wish I'd been a little more enthusiastic and deviated to look closer. Next time, I've already worked out a route visiting the falls marked on the map on Hob Gill below that little lake in the forest.
    We were very close to our route up to Top o'Selside which started up Bethecar Moor from High Nibthwaite; that was the day when we extended the walk to Carron Fell almost an extension too far.

    1. BC - I look forward to your route presuming I may be included.

  6. Of course you are - there is no show without Punch.

  7. A guy goes to the trouble of devising a gate fixing on which a whole blog-para can be based. This provokes a querulous note in you. Later the querulousness reappears when you complain that two of your commenters have failed to approve/disapprove of the structure - as if you'd set them some kind of exam.

    I'd say it allowed a tractor driver to open the gate without stepping down but who am I to pronounce on rural matters? But I can - and maybe will - write a sonnet that hymns mechanical complexity. It ought to sell well in Germany.

  8. RR - Ah, critical as always when I am just trying to promote some discussion. I see many versions of these galvanised metal mechanical constructions, usually with a handle sticking up vertically from the gate to be pulled upwards for opening and they are understandably for horse-riders. The trouble with all these things is that they quickly become misaligned and then don't work properly making gate opening doubly difficult. The traditional farm gate is usually a design fault from the outset because they are too wide to support their enormous weight just from the gate post at one end. The design usually incorporates a diagonal strut which helps, and there are other additional support systems I have seen, but most gates eventually droop down at their free end causing as I said misalignment of mechanisms. That is often overcome by use of a length of the ubiquitous orange hairy string I have often ranted about - that is typically tied in a whole series of unnecessary knots when one would suffice making it almost impossible to untangle because of the hairiness of the string.

    I doubt if a tractor driver could reach down far enough for these handles - more likely the wheelchair suggestion.

    If you don't write the sonnet in German I look forward to reading.

  9. It never occurred to me to comment on the design - functionality or beauty : I think I must have assumed it worked but maybe a subconscious (un-?) bolt held me back, thinking - what a way to waste money - why not just have a bejewelled flunky to do the necessary - or an electronically activated arm (not working at present - sorry for the inconvenience) that swings dangerously when activated by the facial recognition software that bars entry to all except 'the beautiful people'.
    With the instructions - sung in old German by Brunhilde, perhaps - revealed only when the sensor detects such presence - a paradigm of clarity, instead of the usual unintelligible squarks conventionally encountered with cheaper installations, of course.

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  11. ps - although I don't really need to re-read your post, as that (Fri-) day remains etched in the memory with the same early winter brilliance we have today - unlike the somber low clouds and mist of the actual day - i will, as other eyes and words always add that 3rd, 4th and 'n'th dimensions to one's own remembrances.

  12. gimmer


    Now the discussion is getting somewhere. Would we have to give the flunky a tip? Do you think we need to start carrying a tool kit, and a German dictionary? I already carry barbed wire cutters.

    I'm not sure how squarks fit into your comment considering the dictionary definition I researched:

    "The supersymmetric counterpart of a quark, with spin 0 instead of 1/2."

  13. good one - much more interesting than the intended 'squawks'
    - never heard of them before
    - particularly with that curious 'quantum' definition of supersymmetric counterpart of 1/2 being 0 - you are tiptoeing into relativity theory or wave mechanics here, I suspect
    - which is where I must leave the stage to others more familiar with that than me - I tried, once, but could not see the point in worrying or breaking my brain about something we have all got along with perfectly well without for several millennia and which was of limited daily practical use for 99.999% of humanity - despite its being the underpinning of the cosmos for somewhat longer
    - but it is of course the obvious explanation for the contraption you espied - it is all clear now - a cunning disguise for a squark detector (escapee from a time machine ?) which counts the number and direction of spins going through the gate - easy - all it requires is a superconducting magnetometer hidden in the gate post - spin doctors are immediately identified by their auras (or is is aureae - cannot be aurae - bad Latin) of falsehood - with 'nil' (no such thing as no spin - a zero spin results from one positive and one negative spin) spins instantly detected and the gate shut tight against such unconformities.
    - well done - an FRS tomorrow (I know a man on the future FRS'es selection committee) to be followed by a Nobel prize, I have no doubt.

  14. ps - bejewelled flunkies don't accept tips - the punishment was loss of certain precious parts, once described by a victim of some mandarin as ' the worst fate, worse than death by a thousand cuts'. Reasoning being that if they will accept tips, these might be followed by bribes - and then, who knows, treachery . . .

  15. gimmer - ...and I thought walking was so simple.

  16. Mark - If you go to look for Arthur R's grave it is located on the lower ground to the south of the church, I think near a wicket gate.