Caldbeck Circular 19th Feb 2023

Led by Paul.

On a cold and windy February morning ten walkers met at the Caldbeck village car park. With winds on the fell tops predicted to exceed 40mph with poor visibility all day the decision was taken to follow the Plan-B route which would keep to lower paths.

This took us south out of the village as far as Nether Row, following the Cumbria Way which divides into high and low level routes at that point. Passing near the home of Sir Chris Bonnington we followed the low-level route on to the fells as far as Fell Side. We then continued on the Cumbria way along minor roads and then a stony track to the ford over Charleton Gill. This had some depth to it but a few people managed to keep their toes dry!  A grassy track then took us down to Longlands and a morning break.

After some refreshment we finally left the Cumbria Way and taking a footpath along the dam at Chapelhouse reservoir we then followed a boggy but waymarked path over fields to Stanthwaite Bridge. From here it was a short steep climb on tarmac into the village of Uldale. As our route took us right past the very pleasant tearooms in the old Uldale school we spent 25 minutes sampling their tea & coffee.

Soon it was time to take on the hardest climb of the day, up to the summit of Aughertree Fell and a new vista opening up towards the Solway Firth. The terrain hereabouts is moorland and we headed east over the heather on minor paths, soon realising that we would be sharing the moors with a motorcross event. As the riders were using the same route as us, the path ahead was suddenly very obvious!   After a while we left the roar of engines behind and continued eastwards to have lunch in the shelter of the wall by Snowhill farm, as it was by now very windy.

After lunch we followed the minor road over Ellerbeck Common before passing Greenrigg Farm then up the hill to Faulds farm. The wooden gates at the start of the footpath here are due to be replaced but for now we had to climb over. Safely past this obstacle we followed the track to Whelpo Head then down the road to Whelpo Bridge and alongside Whelpo Beck all the way to Caldbeck. Just before the village and the waiting cars we paused to look at The Howk - a former bobbin mill.  We will hopefully return to Caldbeck at some point to follow the high-level route.

Walk stats: 14 miles (22.5Km) with 2,300ft (714m) ascent

Possible future route extending the above: