Or: Not fixing the summer house roof.
One day left of half-term, and now I really will have to fix the summer house (read: glorified shed) roof. It needs re-felting – just the kind of DIY fun I really relish. But then, at the eleventh hour, a phone call from our friend C, the painter, “We’re going for a walk tomorrow and we wondered whether A might like to come with us. Or you could all come?” Hmmm – tough decision.
The plan was to park on the Clawthorpe road, between Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof Crags – to explore Farleton Fell in the morning, return to the car for a picnic, and then to have a wander around Hutton Roof Crags in the afternoon.
Despite having had an extra hour in bed, with the clocks going back the night before, both families managed to be late for the rendezvous. Still, we were eventually underway, with occasional blue-sky and sunshine.
If you have being paying very careful attention, you will know that back in August, after we last came this way, I discovered this detailed map, which shows some of the many paths on the fell. I was looking forward to trying it on the ground. A cautious person might have compared it with the OS map and discovered that it has some walls missing. I chose instead to lead two families of small children around in circles, thoroughly confused by the fact that usually reliable linear features like walls seemed not to conform to reality at all. Taking the OS map with me to supplement the new untried map might have been wise with hindsight. Eventually we found the route we were looking for however, a new one to me, taking a line to the top which was further west than the path I have used before. This route had the advantage of a final climb to the summit along a ridge of limestone pavement.
Kent Estuary from the summit.
It was quite late for lunch by now and the kids were starving, so we took a more direct route back to the cars. Although when we came across this ‘shark sculpture’…
..the kids were captivated and temporarily forgot their grumbling stomachs.
C had suggested stoves and a cooked lunch, which seemed like a very fine idea, so I had knocked up a Dutch Hotpot in preparation. This is a very cheap and cheerful dish which I’ve been making for years and which usually goes down well.
- 1 tin kidney beans
- 1 pint stock
- 1 lb spuds, cubed
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 dessert apples cored and chopped
- 1 green pepper (although on this occasion we had red so I used that)
Bung it all in a big pan then simmer it for half and hour. Simple. It’s nice with some Gouda cheese grated on top, and the recipe suggests that it should be served with bacon, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried that.
I’ve had this dish in my repertoire since my student days when I found it in ‘Grub on a Grant’ by Cas Clarke, the book which was the basis of most of my early attempts at cookery. It was a good starting point, mainly reliable, although I should warn the curious that nobody had a good word for the Carrot and Banana Curry.
We’d found a sheltered little spot on the verge, by a gate, and after hotpot and tea and sundry supplementary snacks, the kids played hide-and-seek whilst the adults lay on picnic rugs and enjoyed the sunshine and a few moments of relative peace and quiet.
Time was marching on, however, and if we wanted to make the top of Hutton Roof Crags at S pace we needed to be on the move.
Because most of Hutton Roof Crags is covered in dense scrub, and the OS map doesn’t show any of the paths, it was useful to have this map along. We followed the re-entrant which crosses Uberash Plain, and is named (on the OS map) as Potslacks.
The second right turn of this path heads onto limestone pavement and if I hadn’t been here before and known how hard the turn would be to spot, I’m not sure that we would have found it.
Just short of the top the path emerges from the trees and wider views open out.
We returned via Uberash breast which is a long low cliff, and later disturbed a roe deer shortly before arriving back at the car.
In all, a grand day out. But not half as much fun as mending the shed roof would have been, obviously.