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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Three Birketts and a HuMP

After a fairly relaxed morning with a kipper and some shredded wheat, me and Superdawg packed a banana and a cheese butty (Lancashire by the way) and hurtled off over the A66 to Cumbria and the back door of Whinfell Center Parcs – or, as we know it in England, Centre Park. This looks remarkably like a very comfy prisoner of war camp from the back, what with the security fencing and the guards in high-vis jackets and so on.

green meldrum 005 Stalag Center Parc pooch on peripheral path partially parallel to private part

A footpath leads through very soggy woodland (perhaps its not always soggy, but its been raining a lot recently…) and up to the front entrance where there is a bus stop and a border post, and a sign, on the track I wanted to take up the HuMP, saying “Private Road No Public Access” So I sneaked around the back.

green meldrum 003

Bruno at the summit of Quarrystone Bank (This is proper bagging!)

The summit was well forested. I had bagged Quarrystone Bank. I returned from whence…. – about 4km altogether.

green meldrum 008 Warning! These vicious commie squirrels will nibble on your nuts, specially if you’re a capitalist running dog

The, after scoffing the cheese butty, I drove off and got fairly lost on the Cumbrian back lanes, eventually turning up at a place called Underwood, on the minor road from Watermillock to somewhere else.

Another very soggy and, this time muddy path, signposted for Aira Force, took me along an attractive fellside and through woodland to open fell, where a group of children in red waterproofs were doing something noisy, but, probably, harmless. I gained the fell top and headed North to bag Great Meldrum, a little, round, grassy thing with a great view and a cold wind.

green meldrum 010 Furry, ferny tree on the path to Aira Force

Little Meldrum followed but with a bit more difficulty. Its in a forest, y’see – but the summit is open fell and its a bit rockier than the Green Meldrum.

We struggled uphill to find a gate giving access to our final target for the afternoon – Watermillock Fell – another, slightly rock lump with a cracking view.

This is like Fell Walking, but without all the hard work. It would be a nice little trundle for a rest day, or a wet day when the high fells are splatterred and misty. And there’s a pub just down the road for shelter.

green meldrum 016 Great Mell Fell

A bit of a downhill road walk brought us back to the knipemobile.

Three Birketts bagged.

Impressive stuff, eh?

Total mileage was about 8 miles and 1200 feet of uphill.

Must set the camera to do higher quality pictures….

green meldrum


Phreerunner said...

Excellent, Mike.
The map is particularly illuminating!
I take it Bruno had a happily thistle free day...
It's raining in Timperley, so a quiet week on the blog fron for this FWW.

mike knipe said...

No doggy health and safety issues today, Martin, and he did get to be off the lead around Whinfell, which cheered him up, too. Although, I did notice, at one point a reluctance to leap a stile, and he used the little dog gate. Must be getting old...

ukmase said...

You will be in that Hall of fame in no time.

I may well give this walk a look in the spring if we go to Center Parcs.

mike knipe said...

The Meldrums walk is about 10 miles West of Center Parcs, on the West side of Ullswater. There's loads of family friendly walks around there.
The Quarystone Bank walk may be frowned upon my the local guards.
130 Marilyns to go for the Hall of Fame - just counted them....

ukmase said...

I meant to ask Mike...what is the TGO dinner like, worth a look?
What night are you attending?

mike knipe said...

The food used to be 'orrible at the dinner, but it seems to have improved. You should definately go as a first timer - its a bit of a laugh.
I'm not sure which one I'm going to at the mo.. - my walk finishes on the Thursday, so its likely to be Friday - but I'll probably be stood at the back getting ratted on the Thursday! Thursday is usually the main event.