|Kirkbank, Bro and LTD|
We (Me, LTD and The Bro) were supposed to be having a little trundle around Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam and, in the process, bagging a couple of very very obscure Synge Tops and a wee Tump called The Bell. But the Met Office/BBC weather forecast consistently produced dire warnings about torrential showers and thundery thunderstorms with localised flooding (important, this...) over the very fells wot we were intending to do.
So we didn't. Instead, we headed for a triumvirate of diminutives not towering over Sedbergh at all, but lurking quite close by (to Sedbergh).
|Baby cows (no trouble from these babes)|
And, parking neatly in a very small layby on the A whatever-it-is, we headed off through a sheep-pasture for the first top - one brackeny and tussocky Kirkbank, a hill, I suspect, where almost nobody goes unless they're after obscure Cumbrian Tumps. This is a bit of a shame, really, because it has a fine view of the Howgill Fells. The day was warm and fairly bright and it seemed unlikely that the Met Office's dire prognostications would actually happen. And since we'd abandoned the higher and more prettier and altogether more betterer fells of Coniston for these nests of horseflies and deep grass, it seemed a shame. I came to hope that it would rain. Heavily. But not yet.
We headed off in completely the wrong direction for our next target - the 305 metre Tump of Knotts. This was deliberate and was really just to make the walk a bit longer.Instead, we wandered off South-West to Greenholme and then on a pleasant path North to Shakla Bank where there were flowering haymeadows which was all very nice.
More haymeadows and cow pastures, complete with the bovine version of teenagers, we came to a path traversing the hillside parallel to the Howgill Fells. This produced some surprisingly cracking views of the Howgills (see the video below!) (This was take 2, take 1 being spoilt by some off-screen swearing because I couldn't find how to stop the recording, a short sequence of some boots and paws and a plastic sandwich bag obscuring the screen. You don't really want to see Take 1.
And so, up to the many tops of Knotts and a long and ultimately successful search for Fox's Pulpit. It seems that this very hillside was , on 13 June 1652, the place where George Fox preached for three hours to 1000 people, an incident which lead directly to the founding of the Society Of Friends (aka Quakers). There's also a small and simple burial ground close by containing a few very old graves and, probably, just the sort of place that a Pieman might rest his ashes should the Quakers ever allow such a thing to happen to a soul-doomed pagan. Was it a coincidence that the date was also 13 June... albeit 364 years later? Probably.
|Fox's Pulpit plaque|
Onwards and upwards and, by missing a path and leaping gracefully over a drystone wall, we achieved top number three - Firbank Fell 324 metres, with it's commanding view of the M6 motorway. It was with some delight that we noticed that , to the South, Kirkby Lonsdale seemed to be getting a bit of a pasting from a localised storm but that the dark clouds seemed to be closing in on us from the South and from the North. A few spots of light rain made us walk a bit faster, Southwards, over the rough moor back towards our little layby.
|Gloom moves in...|
In the last few hundred yards, the skies opened and we finally got wet. It was too short a distance to put the waterproofs on. So we got wet.
There's a map. Its quite a nice walk, actually, through meadows and little woods and over moors and stuff and with really nice views all around. And cheap, too, at just 7 of the Queen's miles.