I met the nephew at Thrang, just at the foot of Lady Anne’s Highway over the side of Mallerstang and he, me and the dawg wandered up the bridleway as far as Hell Gill, passing the sculpture placed in tribute to the sacrifices of many a brave lobster in the never-ending pursuit of the perfect thermadore. This sculpture is in the form of a huge lobster claw, rearing up out of the thin limestone soils representing hope, failure and rebirth by recreating in mock stone the many attempts at cooking the perfect lobster that ended up being buried in the back garden.
Hell Gill is an enormously deep and narrow limestone gorge, almost a roofless cave, in fact, which is spanned by a bridge and which begs for exploration from the bottom to the top. Or from the top to the bottom. I must do this some time, before I get to old and senile to ..er…. are you our Graham? I didn’t take a pic as I was still overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the lobster a mile or so back. These things are always an improvement on real nature dontcha think.
Incidentally, for those who considered that the cow in the picture in yesterday’s blogpost was beautiful, take a look at this sheep. Now worrabout that eh? Impressive, eh? Bit of a knowing wink, there….
Anyway – we progressed up an intermittent path alongside Hell Gill beck to the edge of Hangingstone Scar – noting several sheltered camping spots in the gill (note for all readers named “Dawn”). Hangingstone Scar is impressive and is the start of Mallerstang Edge. We left the Edge to bag the top at Archy Styrigg and followed the wide, grassy ridge easily to High Seat, lunching just out of the perishing draught in the hags at the head of Gale Sike.
Gale Sike gives an easy route back down through the crags – easier if you trend a bit to the North to avoid a steepening. More camping spots were noticed at the foot of the main slope – nice, flat places with a bit of shelter and a small stream of good, clear, water and, not to mention the cracking views West and North.
We did a sort of descending traverse from here back to the parking spot, which we managed to hit pretty accurately, mainly by aiming for a farm on the hillside opposite and not using any of your modern aids such as maps or compasses. I like to call this the “wet thumb” method. This is very accurate if it doesn’t get foggy or anything (!)
We put the world to rights and talked about music and stuff for eight miles and about 1700 feet of up. The dog didn’t really join in.
Longer walks along Mallerstang Edge are available, specially if you use the train to get from Kirkby Stephen to Garsdale where you can use the ridge to get back to the start. The walking is generally quite easy.