Lanefoot Farm Again I – or – More Sitting Around than Walking

We returned to Lanefoot Farm for another May Bank Holiday weekend with the group which A always refers to as ‘Our Camping Friends’. Which makes them sound like they may have been staging the plays of Noel Coward in the style of John Inman where as in fact, when we arrived many of them were trying to erect tents in something of a morass after a day of heavy rain. Fortunately, Saturday morning brought fair weather and TBH suggested that she would take charge of the ankle-biters and leave me free to join an adults only walk in the North-Western Fells. This walk progressed at a very steady rate, mostly…well… entirely, to suit my needs, and also incorporated many stops to soak up the views and the sunshine.

We stopped part way up Kinn, the beginning of the east ridge of Grisedale Pike which inexplicably is a Birkett, then again near it’s ‘top’. Where this ridge joined another at Sleet How we stopped again for an unofficial lunch…

…which had panoramic views of Skiddaw and Keswick and which despite being on the ridge in what should have been an exposed spot, turned out to be relatively sheltered and comfortable. Sheltered and comfortable enough in fact for us to sit there for around an hour.

From there a steady pull leads to the summit of Grisedale Pike itself our second Birkett and highest point of the day.

Time for another rest obviously.

Our onward route took us over Hobcarton Head, unnamed on my OS map, and another dubious Birkett. Somehow we resisted the temptation to stop and perch a while and traced the rim of Hobcarton Crag to Hopegill Head…

…which is the rather impressively pointy peak on the right. I’ve been this way many times before, but not for some time and I’d forgotten what a gem Hopegill Head is. I hadn’t consulted my Birkett’s book in advance, but suspected that the bump on the left, Sand Hill, would be included. It is. Which makes it a shame that I didn’t trek the 50 extra yards to include it. Still – it’s good to have an excuse to go back.

Grisedale Pike and Hobcarton Head from Hopegill Head

Looking West from Hopegill Head to Whiteside and Gascale Crags.

Something that I’m pretty sure I haven’t done before is drop off Hopegill Head to the North over Ladyside Pike. the first part of the descent turned out to be unusually rocky for a Lakeland Fell…

And with our late start and all of our dawdling we now seemed to have the previously busy hills to ourselves.

Ladyside Pike brought the Birkett’s tally for the day to five.

Hobcarton Head and Hopegill Head from Ladyside Pike.

Time to sit down…

…and debate the merits of various descent routes, eat a late, but official, lunch and enjoy the views across the Solway Firth to the hazy hills of Dumfriesshire.

Most of us chose to follow a firebreak into Swinside Plantation, thus missing, I now realise, another easy tick on Swinside. The firebreak was steep and unpleasant, although enlivened with birdsong and these small fingers on some dead branches…

…which were tipped with bright scarlet pads…

From the bottom of the firebreak it was a long walk back to the campsite through Whinlatter forest. Even in the darkest shady parts of the plantation the ground was carpeted with tiny Wood Sorrel…

I managed to tempt most of the group to try the sharp tangy leaves. They suggested a citrus flavour, or apple-like, both of which I can understand, but the closest flavour, for me at least, is grape.

Lanefoot Farm Again I – or – More Sitting Around than Walking

4 thoughts on “Lanefoot Farm Again I – or – More Sitting Around than Walking

  1. beatingthebounds says:

    Diane – I hope that the sun shines for you in September.

    John – I’d like to claim that I don’t get breathless when I’m doing the walks myself, but nothing could be further from the truth.

    Rob – you’re right, but I tend not to climb hills these days if a view isn’t on offer.

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