I’ve just had quite a busy few days walking, and I’ve mentioned one of the walks in the previous blogpost. Basically, due to various domestic commitments, I had to squash all my walking into four days, the last of these being today.
This post is about the first of the four walks – a sneaky expedition into to wild wastes of Stainmore. I took the dawg, which is one of the reasons it had to be a bit sneaky. Readers with calendars will appreciate that it’s now August (this walk was on the 2nd) and grouse-shooting season starts on 12 August. This means that gamekeepers and their staf are full o’ busy (Co Durham expression) sprucing up their grouse butts and generally beinbg out and about on the moors. And they tend not to be too keen on doggies. So, some discretion was required.
I parked at Balderhead reservoir which has two car parks and a water-skiing club. We (me and the dawg…) wandered through Hannah’s Meadow and Southwards on the Pennine Way to race Yate – the top of the ridge just out of Baldersdale. From here a fence runs in a dead straight line for five and a quarter kilometres in a direction just South of West until it meets the Cumbria County boundary. Over the five k’s, it gains just 40 metres of altitude, so it can’t be described as “steep” It is very empty, though, which is what attracted me. A couple of k’s in, there’s a cairn on a nobble – Crawlaw Currick – a fine wild camping spot and a cracking place for an early lunch and a snooze in the sun.
From the border we continued West through grouse buts and past some shooting huts, which may well have been occupied, so we went quietly and were soon hidden away in a deep cleft for lunch number two.
We circled Great Knipe to be out of sight of grouse moors and patrolling peeps on ATVs and climbed to the summit trig followed by a saunter roughly Northwards along the ridge to a bridleway where all pretence at not being there was dropped. We followed the soggy bridleway back to Baldersdale. There was much activity going on all around.
A hot day. This could well be 2012’s hot summer day. I have made a note. I got a tan. Bruno was fragged. We did sixteen of your Earth miles. Its a great area for those who enjoy peace and quiet and wide open spaces. For those who want dramatic, craggy hills, it’s crap, frankly.
Another three walks followed…….
Great Knipe, though, eh? Worra cracking name for a hill – and it’s got a lovely view of the traffic on the A66, and the Lake District as well.