If I had a pound for the number of times I’ve climbed Fairsnape I …. so here I go again. I have one of my grandsons staying with me and need to keep him occupied and off his smartphone, certainly smarter than mine. He was keen to have a day’s walking and preferred reaching a summit rather than just rambling. So a circuit of the fells above Chipping was hastily planned, there was no rush, being a teenager he wasn’t up till well after nine. We parked at Chipping and walked up past the old Kirk Mill with its delightful mill pond and resident ducks. Soon we were into fields and suffering hay fever together from the long grasses – a family allergy. I displayed my knowledge of the area by getting slightly lost on farm tracks and then on rough ground before reaching Burnslack Farm. This isolated farm now seems to be converted into the formula country house or two, though an original well pump remains. Would be interesting to see how they would cope with a severe winter up here. As a child, I lived on an isolated farm and in the exceptional winter of 1947, my family spent days trying to dig out the track to a road, have photos of 8ft snowdrifts! No helicopter ‘rescues’ in those days. Soon we were up Saddle Fell and on to the good track leading to Fairsnape’s highest point 520m. This is now approached on a flagged path reminiscent of the Pennine Way. After several weeks of good weather the peat hags had dried up and were a joy to walk on making the short journey to the Fairsnape trig point, 510m, effortless.
The views across Morecambe Bay and back to Yorkshire’s three peaks was good. No sign of Wales though. Our onward walk to Parlick was accompanied by several gliders picking up the thermals at great speed.
Then down onto lanes into a valley with old mills. By now the fit young grandson, who can easily cycle 100miles in a day, was fading and had to be refreshed with ice cream in the wonderful Cobbled Corner Cafe in Chipping. Made me feel what is 50 years difference if you are still keen and able. Home to watch the end of today’s Tour.