Sorry for the absence of a few months, due to the bad knees and a long recovery from a Knee Replacement.
This is an exceptionally quiet walk, suitable for a bank holiday: I saw no-one, not even on the road on an Easter weekend, on the shorter of the two walks. They involve a slightly naughty start, and a very naughty finish for the shorter version, along with some agility and wall climbing ability.
From a single parking spot by Salterwath Bridge over the River Lune (if non here go back north to just past the next farm, ample space), and walk south on the road. After the second wood on the left, which looks like a heart from the Motorway or the A685, go left through a gate and up a path by the wood for a short while then diagonally right on a good track. This is not open access, hence my “naughty start”, but no damage is done at the start or at the top, a fence easily strode over. The heart shaped wood is rumoured to have been planted by a farmer in memory of a love, requited or not, but local sources poo poo this, saying the planting was merely each side of a stream. There is no stream at the bottom, but the map indicates there is one higher up, so this may be true. Past the fence and on open access now, keep on by the wall for 200m or so then go left up a branch, which is obviously a made track going round the side of Blease Fell and up by Grains Gill. There are good views of the Lune Valley and Carlin Gill to acompany you. At the “col”, best to turn left on a quad track at a T junction, then right on a quad track, boggy in places but better than in the “rough”, taking you to the cairned top of Hare Shaw, an excellent view point for the northern Lune Valley, the Orton and Great Asby Scars, and beyond, Cross Fell and the two Dun Fells. Retrace your steps and carry on to Blease Fell, the track curves round the “summit”, not cairned. Good views here of the Great Coum cliffs across the Lune, and right up Borrowdale, and the fells each side, so dream of the Borrowdale skyline walk, past or future, a much more satisfying and longer walk. Continue on the track north, some plastic webbing helping with the bogs, except where it’s disintegrated, to the low summit 411m on the map, no marks on the ground, where a decision is to be made. For a short 4 miles, head SE across the broad shoulder, down to a fence, follow it left then down towards the Cleugh Gill where an old sunken track takes you down to the wood above your car. Before the wood it crosses the Gill and a bit precariously traverses a short bit, then down to a wall by the wood. Agility as mentioned is needed to cross the wall by the old gate, but there are some old stile stones in the wall. Follow the wall in the field to the next wall, where another agile crossing of a wall into the wood shows a good path by the wall leading down to the car through bluebells. In May. A sign insinuates you have been very naughty.
The alternative six mile version carries on past “411” to Pawson Knott, then towards Roger Howe, and heads west when you are due east of where the A685 crosses the Lune. Look for a nascent stream with a path just north of it which leads down then N by the boundary wall to the A685 by a quarry. Follow the main road S and turn left just before it crosses the Lune, onto a farm road. Just before the farm the signed path turns right to go behind it and takes you pleasantly back to base. I have not walked from “411” to the A685.
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