I.e. avoiding any crowds parking there. Start at Little Cragg car park and go down the road, turning right to go over the top of Baines Crag for your first view of Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Fells. At the road go down then left over the first ladder stile and cross the infant Condor by stone or concrete bridge. Climb the track through gorse and after the gate turn right. The track leads to Ottergear Bridge, but a short deviation just before, left through a gate, shows you the quiet Ottergear quarry. Over the waterworks bridge, seriously repaired in the “noughties”, take the first thin path left, which, opposite the lone tree, turns up Birk Bank. At three mature trees close together below the bank steepening, you will find a more definite path leading directly up the hill. Take the right branch after 100m or so, which alternately countours and gently ascends. If you lose the path and head for the waterworks inspection tower, just go left aiming for the fences on the bank top by some crags. The path passes some small quarries then turns to gently descend to the Windy Clough ladder stile. Over the stile beyond that is the Clougha path, probably the right branch after the first little rise is the least boggy. This passes through a gate and becomes rocky and boggy unless frosty, which is, of course, the best time to do this. Continue leftish at the summit and undulate and climb to Grit Fell, do not go over the stile near the top, keep left of the fence, it’s a much better path. Descend past the “christmas tree” mentioned and multiply potographed in previous blogs, and still decorated today, to the Estate track. Turn left, deviating to pay homage as usual to the three chambers, or vulvae, perhaps being reborn there? Back on the track, after five minutes take the shooters path right, just before a short crag, and descend gently. When Sweet Beck tinkles by the wall on the right, a path hard by it descends steeply between it and the even more infant Condor to a ladder stile. The path/track then leads by Skelbow Barn and down and up back to the Cragg. This is only 7 miles and 1500ft of ascent, with great views of the Lakes and Three Peaks on a clear day.
Leave a Reply