HESPECK RAISED, 5th December 2021

Led by Paul

A cold day with a moderate breeze from the North-West, but prospects for panoramic views were good as seven members of the group set out from Castle Carrock.

A footpath led us up past Garth Head farm onto open-access land where an intermittent path and some heather-bashing (aided by two strategically placed cairns) led us to the summit of Hespeck Raise (427m) which is crowned by a small but perfectly formed radio mast. From here the track led gradually up to the trig point on Cumrew Fell (482m). A detour was taken at this point to visit the impressive and ancient cairn on Cardunneth Pike.

Back on the main track the route descended with open views to the shooting box near Eller Beck where a coffee-stop was made. A good path (boggy in many places) then led to the Old Water beck then climbed below Tarnmonath Fell to reach the cottage at the site of Gairs colliery. It is hard to believe that at its peak more than 200 people worked here.  An alfresco lunch was followed by a warming climb to Simmerson Hill and a summiting of Talkin Fell with fantastic views towards Scotland and the Solway Firth, before descending back to Castle Carrock via Hynams and the Gelt river.

Walk stats:  14.2 miles, 2,500 ft of ascent