A splendid walk in the excellent company of my old friend CJ. My increasingly obsessive peak-bagging has brought me to a corner of Lakeland which is quite unfamiliar to me. We parked near the old church in Martindale…
…and after a little navigational hiccup, by climbing Beda Head which is the first prominent bump on the long rising ridge of Beda Fell. That ridge eventually brought us to more familiar territory on Angle Tarn Pikes, where we even enjoyed a little sunshine.
Brother’s Water from Angle Tarn Pikes.
From Angle Tarn Pikes we scorned the path and traipsed over Cat Crag to the slightly underwhelming ‘summit’ of Brock Crags. The steepest climb of the day followed taking us on to Rest Dodd, from where a broad and boggy ridge – with genuine Black Peak style peat hags – led us to the Nab.
CJ is also a bagger and had the relevant Wainwright guidebook with him. Apparently the Nab used to be inaccessible – Wainwright issues stern guidance that the land is private and that trespassers are not welcome before going on to give five pages of details which make it quite clear that he must have trespassed. There is no such restriction today, although we didn’t see any other walkers there and judging by the faint path it isn’t a particularly popular route.
We doubled back to find an old stalkers path – the reason that visitors were barred is that the area was a deer park – there are still signs warning that the area is used for deer conservation. As we descended towards Yewgrove Gill we spotted a group of deer and watched them cross below a waterfall in the gill.
As we contoured around the hill and then walked down the valley we saw many more groups of deer – I’ve never seen red deer in anything like these numbers in the Lakes before. Many of the groups had this year’s fawns with them…
Bannerdale and the neighbouring Rampsgill, which meet below the Nab to become Martindale, are both very quiet and must be ideal for the deer. I will definitely come this way again.
CJ and I had both been struck by the strange building in the valley here, not built in the local style, green with a red roof and a veranda all around it. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it, perhaps because the rain which had been threatening to arrive on and off all day, had finally arrived. It’s called the Bungalow and is available for holiday lets. More interestingly, it was a hunting lodge built for a visit by Kaiser Wilhelm.