Way back in the 1980’s when men were men and pub food came in a basket, we travelled from far-off Bradford to a small car park in a quarry where you could park your car and get on to the crag without touching the ground.
And so, on Friday, I parked the knipemobile in the very same quarry at the village of Warton in the bit of Lancashire that pretends to be Cumbria, and me and the Bro and the Pooch set off through terraces of little crags for the bagging of Warton Crag, a 163 metre HuMP somewhere up there …. The challenge was to get to the top using only the unmapped footpaths through the rocky bits. One path was clear on the ground but was overgrown with small bushes, all of which carried a generous sprinkling of very wet snow, so that anybody who went first (me) got really wet.
But we found the top which, for anybody wishing to confirm they’ve arrived, has a beacon on a tall pole (or it may be for a large flower display, I suppose) and a trig point. There’s probably easier routes to the top but only those who are local and know where the unmapped paths are will take these courses.
We ventured Northish to find a bridleway which would lead us to the road which in turn would lead us to Objective #2 – the diminutive TuMP Summerhouse Hill. This was found to be some kind of cairn or ex-plinth, (or maybe the ruins of a summerhouse perhaps)sitting on the top of a huge pile of sheep-poo/mud conglomerate. At this point it began to snow quite heavily. We progressed. The mud was not as frozen as it should be considering I’d brought khatooola spikey things. In fact, it was just mud.
Objective #3 was to be Cringlebarrow Hill – deep in the woods to the North and quite hard to get at – being defended by a mossy wall – or maybe a crag…. ? After this, we got a bit lost and so had lunch. The sun had come out by this time. Lucky refused dog food/dog biccies etc but enjoyed some cheese.
We pressed on to Yealand Storrs and altered the route slightly to include Haweswater. Not that Haweswater, a different Haweswater. This was very nice. If muddy.
We changed direction – now heading for Silverdale – but first the paths to Bottoms farm. (snigger…. Bottoms…..) And then by various devious but muddy paths and streets, we attacked objective #4 Heald Brow. Despite the fact that this had extra paths not marked on the maps and some grazing cattle who studiously ignored the dog, we found the top easily in some brambles.
And to finish off, we descended muddily to a path along a sea defence thingy and then a long bit of road called “The Lancashire Coastal Path” where the sun set on Morecambe Bay and the car was still where we left it.
It was ten miles. Nice walk, actually.. and the dog liked it too.