Sunny Shap Hills

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We can’t quite believe the weather that we’ve had over the last couple of weeks! Most people think that Shap weather is pretty rubbish all the time, but I think we’ve proven this not quite the truth. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that in nice weather, we cannot think anywhere else we’d rather be.

So when Sunday rolled in and I (i.e. Eeva) found myself with some free time between being busy at New Ing Lodge, I decided to head for the hills instead of spending it in the deckchair reading (which, by the way, is also very acceptable way of spending time, especially when reading a Lake District crime thriller The Fell Walker, which we’ve just added to our little library in the bar).

As for company, I managed to convince Tia to come with me. As we’ve both been recently injured and had to have some time off from the hills, it was only fair that now we’re both on the move again, we should get out together. Instead of heading further into the Lakes, this time we decided to walk from the door.

I didn’t go out with a specific plan but decided to make my route up as I went along. Tia and I headed down the junction just opposite to New Ing Lodge and made our way down to the little hamlet of Keld, which hosts a National Trust owned chapel and is definitely worth a visit when passing. This time, we didn’t stop but headed through Keld and towards the old Water Board road that connects the A6 with Haweswater. We crossed the road and took one of the tracks that led to the hills above it.

I love spending time in these hills between Swindale and Wet Sleddale. IMGP7822-01There are several tracks there that you can easily pick up and they lead you to wonderful untouched wilderness. They also lead a true follower of Wainwright to some of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland, which are not very often visited. Although not great in terms of height, they still offer some beautiful scenery. Usually, any walker heading that way ought to be warned about the boggy conditions, the spell of dry weather we have had means that the tracks and the hills could almost be reached with dry feet!

IMGP7830-01My first hill of the day was Great Ladstones (439 m), which is the nearest high point you can spot from New Ing Lodge windows. From there Tia and I passed Bleak Hill (438 m) and headed towards Seat Robert (515 m), which had been my aim. The top of Seat Robert hosts an impressive cairn and Ordnance Survey “ring” instead of the usual trig point column. As I was enjoying the view towards Swindale and the impressive top of Kidsty Pike in the distance, I also looked at the map to help me decide where to head next. I decided to bag High Wether Howe (520 m), which looked too inviting in the distance to ignore and then head down to Mosedale via Scam Mathew (519 m).

High Wether Howe offered great views towards Mosedale and you could IMGP7870-01see Mosedale Cottage, which serves as a mountain bothy, from the top. As I was standing there, Selside in front of me looked incredibly inviting and I considered making a beeline towards it and coming down again via the Corpse Road but according to the map, there wasn’t a way to cross Mosedale Beck that ran between me and the hill, so I stuck to the plan I had hatched at Seat Robert and dropped to Mosedale via Scam Mathew instead. (In hindsight, because of the dry spell, the river was actually totally cross-able!)

The bridge that leads over Mosedale Beck is among my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by. There are not many places where you can expect to find such complete quietness and feeling of being completely isolated from the noise of the world.

Although the track that led up Brunt Tongue looked lush and it IMGP7852-01would’ve been a great to make my way back via Wet Sleddale, I didn’t have OL7 with me that could have helped me navigate, so I decided to head back to Shap via my number one favourite place on Earth – Swindale. The sight of that gorgeous valley never fails to amaze me and fill every cell in my body with excitement. Instead of following the footpath down, I picked up a track by the beck, which offers a weary walker the best views of the magnificent waterfalls. In order to be fully honest, I think Tia was even more excited about taking this route down as she kept running back and forth between the water and me.

When we reached the bottom of the valley, I decided to take the newly waymarked track that leads through Swindale on this side of the river. It joins the BMC crag access path and offers great views upto the climbing routes. I then gradually climbed out of the valley via the IMGP7891bridleway that leads towards Tailbert farm.

There we joined the road once again and started our way back to Keld and Shap again. Although I venture into and around Swindale often enough, it had been a while since I had spent time in Mosedale and the hills leading to it. It was a perfect day to test out my recovery after the injury and fall a bit more in love in the hills around me. So, when we say that there are plenty of great options for walks from the door, it’s because we wholeheartedly believe that to be the truth!

The forecast is looking great again for the next week and we still have some availability left, so why not come and see for yourself! You can see our live availability grid just HERE.