Art and Quiet Places
Published 17 July 2016
Firstly thank you to those who confirmed last week that they do read this blog on a regular basis! Thanks also to those who have supported my Just Giving appeal for LDSAMRA. My target is getting closer with the addition of further kind donations this week.
This week’s highlights include two fells often passed but not frequently visited. Also, a first for me, I have a bit of art history.
08 July; Cleator Moor in search of L S Lowry
Our six year old grandson Alistair surprised his father by knowing all the words of a song about a well-known artist. When asked how he knew them he explained that he had learned about L S Lowry at school.
Lowry used to visit a friend in Cleator Moor which is about three miles from here and during his stays he sketched various buildings including Wath Brow Church, the Westminster Bank, the Market Square and Cowles Fish and Chip Shop. I cycled over to Cleator Moor and walked around the town searching for and photographing the sites. The church and the market square were simple to find although the latter has changed. I then spent an hour looking for the other two until a telegraph pole confirmed that a private house was the converted chip shop. Two local gentlemen confirmed my findings and pointed out that the nail bar behind me was the former bank.
11 July; Cockermouth to Workington and back
Monday morning dawned wet so we went food shopping in Whitehaven. The rain stopped at lunchtime so I loaded my bicycle in the car and drove to Cockermouth from where I cycled to Workington using National Route 71.
The first part was on a quiet road through the pretty villages of Papcastle and Great Broughton then alongside the huge derelict Broughton Moor Royal Naval Armament Depot. A first class path on an old railway line then took me into Workington to the public quay between the Steel Works and the commercial harbour.
12 July; Seathwaite Fell
In high summer thousands of walkers will pass within a few hundred yards of Seathwaite Fell but only a handful of peak baggers will step foot on it. If you have ever climbed Scafell Pike from Seathwaite (Borrowdale) then Seathwaite Fell was the fell that was either on your right as you climbed up Grains Gill or on your left as you wound your way up to Styhead Tarn and the Corridor. Others would have got closer on the path between Sty Head and Esk Hause on a hike between Wasdale and Langdale.
We climbed from Wasdale Head and took that path from Styhead to Esk Hause. This tends to be a bit of a crossroads and we had chats with walkers who were looking for routes to Scafell Pike and Great End. When we were novices it was helpful to find people with more experience who were only too willing to share their knowledge. It is now a pleasure to be able to do the same.
At Sprinkling Tarn we found some faint paths on the left leading to the top of the fell. Seathwaite Fell is composed of several rocky outcrops with small tarns in between and is very pretty. The highest points are close to Sprinkling tarn but half a mile north there is a clear but slightly lower outcrop with the summit cairn. From there we had excellent but slightly hazy views of Borrowdale.
Because of restricted time and energy most visitors will give priority to the surrounding higher fells but if you can spare a little of both I would highly recommend Seathwaite Fell. If you do, this is the view that is waiting to greet you. (Can’t promise the spectacular cloud formation).
The additional photos are of Sprinkling Tarn, a hanging rock and the familiar but hopefully rarely used Sty Head stretcher box.
After our walk we managed, without too much difficulty, to talk ourselves into having a meal at the pub (second time in a fortnight). I then got into a fair amount of trouble for posting a photo on social media of Julie consuming a huge plateful of lamb stew and dumplings, as apparently she wasn’t looking her best.
13 July; Hard Knott
Here is another fell that is also regularly passed by, as its lower slopes form the highpoint of the Hardknott Pass, a steep, narrow and twisty road running from Eskdale to the Duddon Valley.
I parked by Jubilee Bridge and followed the path up to Hardknott Roman Fort. From there I climbed around the northern side of the fell. There were no clear paths but lots of grassy slopes between the rocks and I eventually found myself on Border End with a good view looking down on the Fort and Eskdale. From that point there were faint paths across the other high points leading to the highest cairn.
I was anxious not to descend near the road so I followed the fell down to Upper Eskdale. There was no path but I passed Eskdale Needle and followed the beck down past a beautiful gully.
If you want to know more about driving along the Hardknott Pass there are several videos on YouTube, some accompanied by the screams of terrified passengers!
Thank you to those of you who have already joined my appeal for The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association. If you would like to do so, the link is:
and please be assured, no amount is too small and all donations are put to good use.