Caldbeck 50k Circular, 2nd July 2023

Led by Paul

Five LDWA members (one from Northumbria and four from Cumbria) met for an 8am start at Caldbeck village car park for a 50k (30 mile) social stroll along the fringe of the northern fells. The forecast was for a strong westerly breeze with intermittent but possibly heavy showers. The showers were indeed heavy at times but our waterproof cladding was up to the job. And the wind would be behind us on the homweward leg...

Starting with a loop through the village, a section of the Cumbria Way followed along the Cald Beck into the woods to meet the Caldew river at a footbridge. It seemed bizarre that the Caldew at this point was almost dry whereas the Cald Beck had plenty of water in its bed. Following the Caldew upstream Hesket Newmarket was soon reached. It was not yet 9am Sunday and the village was quiet. (photo)

A section of minor road and farmland footpaths led on to Caldbeck Common at High Row (photo). Following the arrow-straight road across the common towards Carrock Fell the route then followed the narrow road up over Carrock Beck (photo) to a coffee stop at Calebrek, a stone wall providing decent shelter from the stiff breeze.

A section of rough pasture/moorland followed before reaching the cluster of buildings at Nether Row (photo).  Allan left us at this point as intended,  Caldbeck being only1.5 miles to the North.

The route then followed the Cumbria Way towards High Pike before undulating round the fellside to meet the low-level branch of the Cumbria way and follow it down to the road at Fellside Mansion.

Lunch was taken in the sheltered hollow that is Longlands, before continuing on the Cumbria Way as far as Peter House farm. Here the route followed the minor road into Bassenthwaite village where sports day was taking place on the green, and a welcome stop was made at the Sun Inn.

Taking the steep road up to the lodges at Robin Hood, the route headed North-Westerly to High Bewaldeth (photo) and a short distance further and higher to Fell End (photos). Here the zig-zag public footpath led steeply up to a gate on the flanks of Binsey from where a contouring path led eastwards past a water resupply point to the road near Binsey Lodge. Following the road to Ruthwaite a footpath then led to Uldale where a heavy rain shower saw the group take cover in the bus shelter for a late afternoon break.

The final leg of the journey started with a climb towards Aughertree Fell (photo), following the wall on our right all the way to the Longlands road. The route crossed the Uldale to Caldbeck road then recossed it at Ellerbeck common before making its way up to Faulds Farm. Last time the group came this way the gate had to be climbed over, but happily the L.D.N.P.A  have provided a brand new set which opened easily. Whelpo beck provided a lovely end to the walk, passing the waterfall and the Howk (photo) before returning to the cars at just before 8pm.

Walk stats: 48.5km (30 miles), 1036 metres (3,400 ft) ascent. in almost exactly 12 hours