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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


Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Bampton Grange, Haweswater again

Tuesday 25th May 2021 -  Bampton Grange -Bampton Common - Haweswater

After my debacle (debuckle?) a couple of days ago I had a strong feeling of unfinished business. When I plotted the original route I was pretty certain it was going to be a classic quality walk. Although it was a fine walk in its own right my pride had been dented  by my unplanned wanderings and I wanted to do something to retain a better memory of what I had hoped this would be.

I saw that I could continue from Buckle Bridge down to Haweswater and return to Bampton Grange, and apart from a bit of cul-de-sac tarmac out of Bampton the rest of the walk would be on footpaths.

The chance of a late finish was obviated by an earlier walking start at 9:30 am.

Sparse rain started within a few yards and opposite Bampton Grange church I donned a waterproof.  I also needed gloves - crazy for mid-May. I have a  light pair of gloves with touch screen finger tips which work pretty well.

I was looking for some variation from my previous visit and noticed a little tarn marked Littlewater on the map but the track from the road displayed a Private, no public right of way, farm only notice. I pressed on. Ahead as I crossed the sheep pastures and climbed the almost welcoming soundly constructed stiles with their massive flat slate through stones for steps, an enticing little hill with a pointed rocky summit was constantly in view. As I left cultivation and entered the access land I diverted to take in the little summit (spot height 342m.) That proved to give me a bonus with a view to the aforementioned Littlewater - pity, it did look an attractive venue nestling in its surroundings.

My previous route took me down to my nemesis bridge, but here I turned south-east and descended to the shores of Haweswater. This path drops about 300ft. in a third of a mile providing exciting glimpses of waterfalls and rushing water deep in the wooded ravine below: see video which shows the terrain I have descended to the bridge and then the start of the rushing beck before it drops more steeply. - see video :

The return along the shore of Haweswater to Burnbanks was on a good track and provided nostalgia from my Coast to Coast trek in the other direction back in 1990. I seem to remember the path being more basic and closer to the shoreline, but perhaps that was further up the water in the other direction?

Burnbanks provided a welcome bench cut from a tree trunk for my snacks and flask of coffee. Burnbank is now a pretty kind of model village with architect designed bungalows arising from the housing that was provided for the workers, now demolished, during the 1930s when the massive six year Haweswater construction programme was underway. The water flows for about seventy-five miles by gravity alone to supply Manchester with its drinking water.

A sneaky little path runs from there through bluebell woods to Naddle bridge. Classic country walking follows on paths taking me back to Bampton Grange after an enjoyable walk with a mix including  an iconic Lakeland village, sheep cropped turf, Lakeland fells, waterfalls, and attractive country walking. A classic little nine-miler in my opinion, and something thankfully resurrected from my previous mini-epic.


Bampton Grange church - here , only fifty yards from the car I donned my waterproof - no removed until after "The Bridge."

Littlewater. the track to it from the Bampton road was private, but from spot height 342m I got this view

Haweswater and the standing stones (again)

Turning left at the bridge - the beck on its way to Haweswater

Looking up towards Mardale Head...

... and the other way towards the dam

A look at one of the waterfalls - much is hidden by the trees

The first house on entering Burnbanks

My lunch spot. The path to Naddle Bridge goes off the road at right hand edge

This was a zoom from about thirty yards down into the river - this impressive bunch was on an isolated clump of grass with water flowing past on all sides - it was intense in colour and shouting out to be seen

Today's route in pink showing slight diversion from my previous routes and then the return by the lake

This photo included retrospectively for Gimmer - see comments below


  1. We were both on the 'Buckle Bridge to Haweswater' path on the same morning - how funny it would have been if I'd got a later start and bumped into you! Mick was also mistimed to have encountered you crossing the road as he drove back out from Mardale Head.

  2. Gyle - That is so strange. I remember we had another near miss on Ben Lui. Great minds...

  3. On a purely practical point I couldn't get that video to play with a click - said it was private. Maybe me not functioning.

  4. BC - My fault. Forgot to make it public. It should work now.

  5. Yes I got it now. Very evocative.


  6. Henri IV would have approved of this essay - the pause by the church must have brought benediction

    But - what the whole world is wondering is whether you retrieved said buckle !

  7. Gimmer - Mick and Gayle who have commented above have entered for the Lakeland 50, in July this year. It is a 50 mile endurance run/walk across the Lakes, being half of its associated Lakeland 100 sponsored by Montane

    M and G have been training and reconnoitring the route which happens to pass over Buckle Bridge and as they say above, by coincidence they were there only within a couple of hours of my visit. I think Gayle passed the bridge again a couple of days later and without really trying spotted the errant buckle below the boards and took the photo which I have NOW included in this post above. They have since visited me here on their return journey home and Gayle confirmed that although the photo seems to indicate retrieval would not be difficult that was not the case, so it will be left to puzzle some budding archaeologist in a few hundred years time, being plastic it will unfortunately survive, and I in my declining years will have some kind of mixed feelings in remembering it from time to time.

  8. This now deserves to be declared an Emergency - requiring an airborne team, complete with joiner and spare timbers in the back - cannot have pollution unto eternity on and in such an unspoilt (well, until that 'event') track and beck.
    But 'The Name' will endure - soon, it will become a piece of ancient Cumbrian lore - it will have meant the bridge where determination was required to progress - that, or where the local king, seeking always to go a little further, found way his barred, not by snow (disappointingly) but by a pictish brigand's shield, fell into the angry flood and was swept away.
    I trust the OS has been alerted.

  9. Gimmer - We can't possibly proceed as you suggest without having an Enquiry first (see my next post.)