A Round of Four Wainwrights above Swindale

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This mountain challenge utilises a significant amount of open access land, so there is no clear footpath for some distance. However, navigation is relatively easy as fences, walls and Little Mosedale Beck can be followed on the return for direction through the remote valley of Mosedale. However, if mist is a possibility the use of a map and compass is essential.

After a short road-walk to Swindale Head (no parking there) we head towards Haweswater over the Old Corpse Road footpath, then branch off over High Birkin Knott to the higher ground above the lake to Selside, the first of our summits. Near Branstree we see the first of the trig pillars Manchester Corporation built to assist with navigating the pipeline from Haweswater to Manchester. Later we get up close to one on the top of Tarn Crag above Longsleddale and Sadgill.

Mosedale is remote Lakeland at its best. Few walkers venture here so don't expect a path. There are no houses, roads or pylon wires as far as the eye can see, once Harrop Pike is traversed. Towards the end of the walk we pass the Forces Falls which tumble into Swindale on our right and then immediately on our left we have the intriguingly named Hobgrumble Gill.

Look for the fine example of a Lakeland barn just before Swindale Head is reached on your way back and wonder, like I did, if Alfred Wainwright ever slept in it while he was compiling his pictorial guide to the Far Eastern Fells…

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North East


Ancient Monument, Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Mountains, River, Waterfall, Wildlife

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