From Hart Side to Aira Force there are six “Birketts”, four which we hadn’t done on a previous loop from near Dockray, and two near Aira Force. The views are excellent, but underfoot a bit tedious, so for interest we added Sheffield Pike via its East ridge, a gem. A Spring day of sunhats and gloves. From Aira Force upper car park (NT) go down to the A592 via the footpath 400 yards down the road. A new gravel path parallel to the main road takes you to the Glencoyne Farm drive. Up here and past Seldom Seen, then at the wall gate go up (south) by the wall steeply to a cairned col, taking the right fork here to join the main path up Sheffield Pike(1) near Heron Crag. This is Wainwrights preferred route up the Pike, and I see why. Carry on to Nick Head and up to Glencoyne Head and Hart Side (2) on easy paths, then head for the cairn of Birkett Fell (3), then down the wall south east to pass through it and ascend Brown Hills(4), then Swineside Knott(5) and the little decent summit of Common Fell(6). Best from here to gain the path by the wall south, leading to near the summit of Round How(7), and then Bracken How(8). A gate through the wall leads to a steep drop to the quarry car park, and then road or a descent by the falls finishes this 8.6 mile walk with 2680 feet ascent. The Royal Hotel at Dockray is not far up the road, with a pleasant garden.
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