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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


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Wainwright's Way - Patterdale to Grasmere

Monday 28th October 2019
Wainwright's Way - Patterdale to Grasmere - 6+ miles

At six am I was taken by surprise when I went to retrieve my boots from the car - all was frozen.

At seven am I had a clear run to our researched parking spot north of Grasmere on the A591. BC was ten minutes or so later and was caught up in the Windermere morning rush to work gridlock - what a difference a few minutes makes at that rush-to-work-time in the morning

BC arrived and we had the usual hairy drive up and over The Struggle to start at Patterdale.

I have mixed emotions about Patterdale:

1970 - June - I had my honeymoon in The Patterdale Hotel 

2010 - July - I was walking "Furthest East to Furthest West" (Lowestoft to St. Bees Head.) Descending Nam Bield Pass I fell and cut a vein in my shin and managed to bandage up and hobble down to Hartsop and to Patterdale where I booked in at Patterdale  Hotel for my second time. The walk had to be abandoned and was re-christened The Broads to the Lakes - pity. For a blow by blow account of that momentous twelve hour day:

2011 - September - Patterdale was the finishing point on a walk that proved to be a hill too far and having me walking out with excruciating cramps in my thigh - see blog post:

Here is a copy of our honeymoon bill from The Patterdale Hotel - 21st. June 1970

It is difficult to read so:

2 persons, 5 nights DB and B - £2.19.6 per night each      £29.15.0

Packed lunches 8  x £1 for two people.                             £4.9.0
Drinks.                                                                                £0.13.2
Total.                                                                                  £34.4.0


We had some amusement passing Patterdale church with a notice advertising free Wi-Fi.:

Parson "Here endeth the first lesson on how to access www.jesus's"

Nick Burton whose Wainwright's Way we were following gives the options of going over the tops via St. Sunday Crag or walking up Grisedale, we chose the latter. Unfortunately the valley remained in frosty shadow until we were much higher up. We had our first sighting of snow on the rim of Nethermost Pike.

Our conversation is always wide ranging. At one point we were musing about coffin routes which were established in olden times when coffins were carried over into the next valley to access a church for burial. BC was telling me that one can see large stones on some of these routes where coffins were laid whilst the toilers took a rest and I imagined the ensuing conversation halfway over The Old Corpse Road from Swindale to Mardale in 1650:

Toiler One    "Let's put it down on this rock - I'm knackered"

Toiler Two   "Blow this for a lark. Let's cremate the so-and-so here"

We spent some time viewing Eagle Crag with BC reminiscing about his several climbing visits there.

As we we arrived at Ruthwaite Lodge  we were in sunshine at last and there were several parties about; we pressed on.

A deep cleft took our attention on one of several crags up on our right and we wondered if it had been recorded as a climb. See the photo below. I should have marked its exact location - the photo shows chockstones and an even deeper penetration into the crag than was obvious from our viewpoint - all enticing and interesting.

After a stiff climb Grisedale Tarn comes into view as a welcome sudden surprise. Here we watched a family party across the way ascending Dollywagon bringing back painful memories of the walk in 2011 referred to above:

"...descending from Seat Sandal I was tired, and both knees were moderately painful. The constructed stone stairway up Dollywagon Pike was sapping in warm sunshine..." but it got worse after that.

Going over the col between Fairfield and Seat Sandal there was  biting cold wind, but further down we lunched on the edge of the path in warm and windless sunshine with frequent parties passing up and down.

The long descent on tricky constructed path alternating with rocky natural path needed care and we took plenty of time.

Cars were everywhere on our drive back to Patterdale, lay-bys full and queuing into Ambleside. We had several interesting meetings with cars coming the other way going back over the Struggle. Another good day pinched from the weather forecast.
The Patterdale hotel in early frosty morning light

Our first sighting of snow this autumn/winter

Grasmere church behind, and their invitation to  Wi-Fi below

Dollywagon and Nethermost Pike. The ridge on the right is the lead up to Striding Edge

I took this because of the wall which carries on right over the skyline - better seen if "click to enlarge"

Eagle Crag

Dollywagon Pike (I think)

Ruthwaite Lodge. Locked up and of uncertain ownership

The mysterious cleft - I can imagine someone having an epic experience there.
There must be some record about it?

BC crosses the outflow of Grisedale Tarn

Family party on the ascent of Dollywagon - it's a long hard haul up there

Looking back at Grisedale Tarn. Northern Pennines in the far distance

Looking back at our descent from Grisedale Hause

Our finish was at the A591 road.
The red flag was put on my Memory Map some time ago to mark a camp made by Martin (Phreerunner) who comments frequently here and is a good friend

Friday, 25 October 2019

Wainwright's Way - Troutbeck to Patterdale

Wednesday 23rd October 2019
Wainwright's Way - Troutbeck (Limefit Park) to Patterdale

We are now having to rise earlier - it is an hour's drive for me to Patterdale and around two hours for BC.

As I drove up the Troutbeck valley towards Kirkstone pass it was still dark and then thick fog developed. I had an irritating car behind me all the way. At times I could hardly see the road markings or the continuation of this twisty road - that was a desperate drive.

Parking in the Lake District is becoming evermore fraught but I was able to sneak into a small lay-by opposite the White Lion pub and wait for BC as dawn broke. Despite the fog I had set off early and had time to regroup with a mini flask of coffee I had brought in addition to the sandwich and coffee in my rucksack.

We were able to park with permission again at Limefit Park chalet holiday complex and we were off to a good start at 8:45. It seemed a long three miles trudging up the Troutbeck valley in dismal but dry weather with The Tongue prominent ahead and cloud on the higher tops. Eventually we were looking back at the northern slopes of the Tongue and starting on the incredibly steep and long ascent towards Thornthwaite Beacon. I reckon that is as steep a recognised path I can remember ascending anywhere. We were soon into cloud with visibility down to around a hundred yards. We decided to omit the excursion to Thornthwaite Beacon and take the direct path to High Street summit. Out came the compass when the path disappeared - there must be a well established path between Thornthwaite and High Street but we couldn't find it until we arrived at the wall end that leads up to High Street. I said something to BC about our "navigation" and he characteristically laughed and said "more like wandering."

We could see other people drifting along like ghosts in the distance and then there were people about at the summit and the cloud was trying hard to lift giving us sporadic tantalising views of distant fells and valleys, and bit by bit the weather cleared as we followed the path on the western sides of the long ridge descending to Patterdale.

It seems a long time since I was up high in proper hills and the half forgotten exhilaration almost took me by surprise  I gained a strange impression of how big the Lake District seemed. This had been an eleven mile proper mountain walk and beforehand I wondered how I would fare but I felt sprightly and regenerated as we arrived back at my parked car - a brilliant day.

Worth clicking on first photo to see rest as slideshow

Our route headed to the right of the Tongue to the distant cloud covered tops

It was wet underfoot but feet remained dry all day

Start of the steep ascent just ahead

From a short way up the ascent looking back down the Troutbeck valley - our start was well beyond the central cleft

Zoom to ghosts

Following the wall down from High Street - cloud beginning to clear


Impressive Bannerdale

Angle Tarn



Ignore blue route on right

Wainwright's Way - Whalley to Longridge Fell

Tuesday 22nd October 2019 - Wainwright's Way
Whalley to  back of Longridge Fell -  SD 660 394

Here I am playing catch up again. Bowland Climber "discovered" this excellent long distance footpath and started while I was away walking the Angles Way. After this stretch I will still need to fill in the logistically difficult section from Dunsop Bridge to Wray.

I was able to drive to BC's and we then went in convoy to leave my car at my finishing point and then onwards to be dropped off at my start in Whalley. This was only an eight miler so I took my time and went for a bacon butty, and coffee in a paper cup. That belies the affluent mini-Harrogate style of Whalley, a target venue for fashion conscious shoppers. I know I could have found a more genteel coffee shop but I was not feeling fussy.

On the previous section I had viewed the splendid forty nine arch railway viaduct from on high above the town. Today I walked under the middle archway as I exited Whalley and saw close up the intricate fancy brickwork on a monumental scale. That was immediately followed by a contrasting iron girder footbridge over the River Calder on its way to joining the Ribble.

After a couple of mundane fields the scenery got better and more undulating with mainly good stiles and footbridges. The River Ribble was crossed by a new footbridge (April 2019) replacing its predecessor washed away by floods during Storm Frank in December 2015. The new bridge is comprehensively engineered and dominant in its landscape and may need time to mature more amenably with its surroundings. Whatever, it is a great bonus to walkers who would otherwise have a seven mile detour.

Paths and road took me into the attractive village of Hurst Green and Millie's Café. Cheesy scrambled egg on toast provided my third breakfast (I did have toast and tea before leaving home early in the morning.) The sandwich I had prepared was left untouched in its polythene box and was consumed next day on my resumption of the route further north with BC.

Stonyhurst college environs lead to the long driveway to the huge impressive house, now a well known boarding school. Conan Doyle and Charles Laughton were both pupils amongst many other notables.

At Stonyhurst Park Golf Club  I photographed a commemorative plaque that was difficult to read. I have transcribed below with its eccentric use of capitals and unanswered questions. There is obviously a connection with Stonyhurst College who have a similarly puzzling motto: Quant Je Puis (As Much as I Can.) There are explanations that elaborate on this making a bit more sense, but I wonder why some of these so called mottos are so abbreviated. At Bradford Grammar School the motto was Hoc Age which as far as I understand translates as the puzzling "do this'."


Stonyhurst College 1890 - 1892


On behalf of his grandson


President of the Untited States of America 1989 - 1993 and
Honorary Life Member of Stonyhurst Park Golf Club
This commemorative stone was unveiled on
 The 19th of June 2004  by

Arthur Wilkinson
S.P.G.C Silver Jubilee - 1979-2004

The reference: S.P.G.C I am fairly certain refers to Sundbridge Park Golf Club, Bromley. If you want to Internet search you will open up the interesting world of of this prestigious golf club and its membership etiquette.

I trudged across the golf course in mortal danger to exit by an obscure little path down the side pf a green to woods and footbridge followed by a steep climb out.

Passing into wilder country I saw the white rump of a deer disappearing into woods then came across the doomy looking Greengore, a Grade II listed 15th century building  originally the Hunting Lodge for the nearby Stonyhurst Estate. Henry VII is reputed to have dined here when hunting deer in the adjoining park, I can't imagine that having been much fun, especially when returning for the evening to this dark and gloomy residence. By the way, the deer I saw earlier was not being chased by some Tudor gent on a horse.

I was soon back at my car after yet another section of this varied and interesting well plotted route.

Breakfast number 2 in Whalley

A few of the 49 arches of Whalley's viaduct

I wonder if anybody could replicate this brickwork today...

...perhaps this is the answer to my question above.

Todays section seems to be one of endless bridges of one kind and another

Spot yet another bridge (bottom right) in this now more undulating terrain

Autumn on the way as I descend to cross the River Ribble

First sight of the new Dinckley Bridge

Dominant in the landscape

Hurst Green war memorial. It is only a tiny village

Breakfast number three - Hurst Green

Majestic trees - Stonyhurst graveyard

A modest statement in the grounds of Stonyhurst

Stonyhurst college

The plaque - legible transcript above with exact replication of capitals et al.

Crossing the golf course. My route went down to the left of the prominent wood

Greengore - HenryV11's homecoming after a jolly day chasing deer