A Sparky Walk 06/11/2022

Led by Allan

Eleven members of Cumbria LDWA including new members Phil & Gill met on a wet morning in the lane outside the Rheged centre.

After passing through the village of Stainton the route undulated across farmland and woodland to Dacre and its Norman Church where it continued to rain.

Here Allan told the story of the four historic and enigmatic stone Dacre bears then passing the ancient Horse & Farrier pub, everyone took a footpath west to a well-hidden Pele tower at Hutton John.

Turning south, a short road section followed via Sparket Mill to a mid-morning break on the grassy verge. A footpath and a quiet road then led to the north-west corner of Little Mell Fell, from where an ascent was made in wet & blustery conditions. The view from the top had to be imagined as the cloud was down, so after a pause for a photo, a slippery descent led south to The Hause and some surer footing on the tarmac.

The road led to Watermillock church which provided welcome shelter for lunch. The church has a number of victorian stained-glass windows painted in the pre-raphaelite style and an intriguing triple-locked chest dating from the 16th century. Retracing our steps for 150 metres we picked up the Ullswater way which was followed via Bennethead and Waterfoot to the Birkett of Dunmallet Hill and its hillfort in the trees.

Another slippery descent was followed by a boggy footpath leading to Dalemain House before a return was made to Stainton and then the short final leg to Rheged.

Distance: 16.5 miles, average moving speed 3.1 mph

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