" " Lake District Trails and Ales: Swinside Stone Circle and Stickle Pike, June 3rd 2010

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Swinside Stone Circle and Stickle Pike, June 3rd 2010

Another week with the boys in the Lakes. In the aftermath of the shootings in Cumbria yesterday it is unbelievable to think that such a thing could happen in a part of the Lakes that is so quiet. Today we decided we had to visit the Swinside Stone circle as we had never been before. A friend, Ged, was taken there by Derry Brabbs (one of the country's finest landscape photographers and who did the photography for Fellwalking with Wainwright) on a photgraphic workshop, and he recommended it.  So with map in hand we headed off to a small lay by, large enough for a couple of cars, at the start of the path next to Cragg Hall.

Unless you drive over Thwaite Fell southwards you can't actually see the stone cirle from the car.  Apparently its possible to do a circular walk by heading up towards Fenwick, but we decided on the direct assualt.  The walk is very easy going on a path, passing through a field of cows, and over a couple of cattle grids. After a couple of kilometres the circle becomes visible, but it is only when you get up close, that it becomes really impressive. We have been to the Birkrigg Stone Circle many times, but this is much bigger. With views over fells rising to Black Combe its a great place to be on a warm and sunny day.
The cattle grids help to focus the mind. As you can see it requires intense concentration. Once back at the car we headed off for another quick ascent to justify stopping off at a watering hole on the way back to the cottage. 

We decided we would do Stickle Pike in the beautiful and quiet Dunnderdale valley. Driving up the valley from Broughton Mills we stopped off at the top of the pass, just past the start of the path to Seathwaite (and Caw).  Crossing the road we started our ascent, the three of us with Jess our border collie.  There is a small tarn half way up so we stopped for a short while. As usual Jess sloped off over the top of a rocky crag out of view.  The wind was blowing quite hard but the next thing we heard were some really loud shrieks, obviously from Jess. With the wind we couldn't tell where they were coming from so we all started shouting his name. After about 30 seconds the squealing stopped and about 30 seconds later Jess repeared on the path on the far side of the tarn, limping really badly. We thought that was it, so we rested for about 30 mins until his leg appeared slightly better. There was no visible damage. To this day we do not know what happened. He either fell off a cliff face, got trapped in some rock or got a good hiding from some sheep if he was annoying them. We carried on and soon reached the top, with Jess walking much better.  The views from the top are great in all direction on a clear day.  We headed back to the car and to the Manor Arms in Broughton for our well deserved refreshments, with a bag of Pork Scratchings for Jess.

1 comment:

  1. Have never been to Swinside, will have to try it when we go up there!