Leader Derek reports -


The day started off beautifully sunny but with a cold wind from the north. This augured well for the high level walk - at least the tops were cloud free which was not the case when I had done the recce. It was a pity then that there were only four of us to enjoy the good conditions. Barbara, Andy, Dennis and I made up our small select group.


We set off from Scales heading downhill and soon picked up the Glenderamackin River. Having just passed the Keswick Golf Course sharp eyed Barbara spotted two deer drinking from the river. Shortly afterwards we crossed the river and began the climb towards Newsham and the open fell. Then we picked up the Old Coach Road until we reached a stile which gave us access to the flanks of Clough Head. After a steep climb we reached White Pike and paused briefly before setting off for Clough Head. By the time we reached the summit there was much more cloud but still a fair bit of blue.


I innocently remarked how strange it was that we had seen no other walkers - silly boy! No sooner said than we spotted tiny figures on the summit of Great Dodd.  After that we spotted a whole army of them on the ridge between Watson's Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd. By the time we had visited the Dodds the sky had clouded over and we could feel the cold. We got some respite from the conditions by descending sheltered Sticks Gill. The sun came out again so we decided to eat lunch on a sunny bank above Greenhead mine.


We then contoured round the head of picturesque Glencoyne before crossing the watershed to Brown Hills and a soggy descent to Dowthwaite Head farm. Then up again before heading down to pick up the Old Coach Road once more.


The final stage was following a supposed footpath across boggy Sandbeds Moss and Threlkeld Common to reach Lobbs Farm, then Wallthwaite and welcome tarmac before reaching Scales. We arrived about 4 pm so I reckon we had covered more than the scheduled 15 miles. No one had a GPS so we estimated about 18 miles (that's 15 North Cumbrian miles to the uninitiated!).

APPROACHING WATSON'S DODD                                                                                        LUNCHTIME ABOVE GREENHEAD MINE