After a good meal in the Brotherswater Inn on Sunday evening I settled down with a good book before bed. I woke to a beautiful, sunny, if frosty, morning. Down to a hearty breakfast with a great view over the fells.
After checking out I drove the short distance to the car park at the end of Hartsop village. There were already a few vehicles parked up but the overnight stay meant I was able to get a decent start (and a car parking space) without setting off from home at an early hour and enduring the traffic on the M61 and M6 where the rush hour starts around 6 o’clock! The plan was to head up Hayeswater Gill and climb up towards High Street and take in the Knott, Rampsgill Head, Kidsty Pike and High Raise.
But I could see thick cloud gathering over in the west.
On the way up the gill I passed this curious shepherd’s building with a moss covered roof.
I reached the bridge that crosses the beck just before Hayeswater and stopped to take a photograph back down the valley
I crossed the bridge and took the path up the side of the hill. It was rather boggy in places.
Looking down to Hayeswater as I climbed
and another shot of the fells to the west
The path climbed until it reached the track from Angle Tarn which is part of the Coast to Coast route. Consequently it had been “engineered” and much drier underfoot. Turning along this path I continued to climb heading up towards the Knott. I bypassed the summit (but would climb it on the way down), carrying on to the ridge known as the Straights of Riggendale.
Reaching the top of the ridge I forked off left heading towards my first summit of the day Kidsey Pike.
The end of Haweswater, the most easterly of the Lakes, also came into view.
The lake is actually a reservoir, constructed by the Manchester Corporation back in the 1920’s and 30’s. This was highly controversial at the time as the remote Mardale was considered one of England’s most beautiful valleys. Originally there were two smaller lakes – High and Low Water – which were engulfed along with the village of Mardale Green by the rising waters after the dam was constructed at the end of the valley. This summer the long dry spell led to the waters falling and remains of buildings in the drowned village including the Dun Bull Inn, the Public School, Riggindale Farm became visible, attracting curious visitors.
This was the view to the east from the summit
and over towards High Street
To the south west I could see Raise, my next objective
The cloud I’d seen earlier during my walk over to the west had finally blown over and the sky was now overcast and grey.
It was a relatively easy walk over good ground to the summit of Raise,
where I stopped for a while to grab a bite to eat, taking in the views over towards Martindale and Ullswater.
I set off to head along the ridge towards Rampsgill Head and on to High Street. Doing so I would be treading in the footsteps of the Romans who’d built a road, High Street, over the fells between their forts at Penrith and Ambleside, which is how the fell known as High Street got it’s name.
The summit of Raise is covered with loose rocks and as I was starting off towards Rampsgill Head I lost my footing. I couldn’t regain my balance and fell over, somehow cracking my mouth on a rock. As I regained my feet I realised that as well as a few minor cuts and scrapes on my hands and shin, a cut just below my mouth was bleeding quite heavily. I managed to staunch the bleeding with a tissue but decided my little accident wasn’t serious enough to warrant abandoning my trek (it was a long way back to Hartsop in any case) so I carried on, continuing to soak up the blood from the cut below my mouth with a series of tissues until it eventually eased. Anyone who saw me must have thought I’d been in a scrap! I guess I was lucky as a fall up on the fells can be much more serious.
Despite my little incident, I was still able to enjoy the views down Martindale from Rampsgill Head
Traversing the ridge towards High Street and looking down Riggendale towards Haweswater
and view over Rough Crag towards Harter Fell and Branstree
Looking back down to Hayeswater from the route of the Roman road.
High Street is a long, broad ridge without a clear summit, but OI made my way to the trig point at the highest point of the fell
Heading back, I decided to more or less retrace my route down to Hartsop, but followed the wall along the top of of High Street rather than taking the route of the Roman road. Walking along the ridge over the Straits of Riggendale I diverted slightly for the modest climb to the summit of the Knott. This was the view back over to High Street.
It was downhill all the way now back down to Hayeswater Gill and the car park in Hartsop