It has not rained for a few precious days and the tourist board are trying to attract people back into the Lake District. Today was ideal for a quick raid on the Southern lakes Wainwright Outliers. I didn’t use Wainwright’s route but followed my nose on one possibly more varied, but I did take heed and visit point 182m for the best views. The lower end of Windermere was surrounded by smaller hills most of which I now recognise from my recent wanderings. In the hazy background were the white Coniston, Langdale, Helvellyn and Kentmere Fells. It was freezing on top despite the sunshine. Interestingly there is a cairn on this unlikely spot, I can only think it must be related to the popularity of AW’s books.
Attractive open fellside took me across to the summit of Bigland Barrow 193m and its unusual wartime observation structure, others have written of it so just look up on that wicked pedia place. The rusty steps and bannister have lasted well but won’t be there forever.
From here one can see down to Backbarrow famous for its ‘Dolly Blue’ mill on the River Leven, all tourism now. Belted Galloway cattle roamed these uplands and there was much evidence of horse riding, [I later realised that Bigland has a large stabling facility]. On the horizon to the SW was a higher prominence which I was keen to explore so I found muddy paths above a delightful tarn,?Back Reddings, to the road outside the gates of Bigland Hall. This all looked very private but the footpath sign pointed down the drive and my map agreed. Within yards, I came across less friendly signs!
Throughout the estate there is an unnecessary proliferation of PRIVATE signs, they must be paranoid. Bigland Tarn [No Fishing signs] was passed along with its boathouse and railings from the past.
Then, using stone steps in a wall, fields were entered giving access to the green hill, Grassgarth Heights 203m. I had an uneasy feeling I was trespassing and in full view of Bigland Hall but reached the trig point and was rewarded by superb views south into the Leven and Kent estuaries.
I retreated quickly to the safety of what turned out to be the Cumbrian Coastal Path although I seemed a long way from the coast. This guided me between all the private signs down to the river near Haverthwaite. Passing through a delightful hamlet, Low Wood, I found a woodland path alongside an old mill race. There were signs of past industry all about. Further on I was above the River Leven and able to watch some canoeists braving the falls of white water, there must have been an abundance of this in the last few weeks.
Back to a flask at my car just as the weather dulled – see next post.