FELLS ALIVE! 06/09/2020

Current Covid regulations prevented celebratory tea and cakes at the end of the walk; despite this, six of us – Andy, Louise, Clare, Trish, Pat and Steve – gathered in Hallbankgate, with rain much in evidence. After a brisk walk up through the village we turned right along park lane then right again at “The Park” towards High Fell, which is just a farm house, and not all that high. It was then up the road to pick up the path to Whinney Fell. The path here is a clear line on the map but there is no evidence of it on the rough ground; with mist and mizzle all about the GPS proved very useful!

From Whinney Fell it’s down the track and left at the road before picking up the track on the right past Kirky Fell, where a break in precipitation signalled time for coffee. Evidence of mining history still abounds although nature has claimed back the piles of slag providing good seating for passing walkers. It was then right at “the green” before taking the path to Low Hynam and then Jockey Shield. Views opened up as we strode South East towards Geltsdale cottages and then the water works. With recent rainfall the Gelt was running high, a far cry from the pitiful trickle a few months ago. It’s now up the clear track past Middle Foot (!) and down over Old Water Bridge before the steep ascent northwards to pick up the ridge path and our last significant climb of the day, and all that before lunch, which was enjoyed in sunshine below Brown Fell.

Morning mist had prevented enjoyment of blooming heather but this is now resplendent in the sunshine making it very much a walk of two halves. Arguably this is one of the best wide views of Kings Forest of Geltsdale. Easy going now takes us past Howgill and on towards Tindale tarn, itself replete from all the recent rainfall. Skirting Tarn House we make for Tindale village and then it’s west along the dismantled railway line back into Hallbankgate. Whilst it is not a right of way the land-owners permit use of the railway for those who respect the environment.

Totals for the day: six walkers, sixteen and a half miles and some 700 metres of ascent.

Steve Bowles
Walk leader