Crookdale Horseshoe to the west of Shap summit.

From the Crookdale Horseshoe looking north yo the Longsleddale fells.

From the Crookdale Horseshoe looking north to the Longsleddale and Mardale fells.


More Wainwright Outliers with Sir Hugh.

I refer to the Shap summit on the old A6. This was the major route up to Scotland on the west coast before the Motorway opened in 1970. On our drive up from Kendal, we recalled the infamous Jungle Cafe once popular with the HGV drivers, I think the site is now a caravan sales. The ‘Leyland Clock’ which stood by the roadside nearer the summit has also gone and is now restored in the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal. I hadn’t realised that it stood at the halfway point from Land’s End to John O’Groats. We parked up in a layby, near the summit, where there is an interesting memorial mounted on a substantial lump of pink Shap granite.






Pictures are taken from



A subsequent visit to The Brewery, Kendal, produced these two pictures.

My diary from 1974 shows that on August 26th I did a similar round as today’s but also including the more distant Harrop Pike. 12 mile in 4 hours in cloud and showers, I have no recollection whatsoever. Our more leisurely 6 hours today must reflect on the 40 odd years I’ve accumulated.

The walk today was in sun with clear views. The going could only be described as heavy most of the way. We combined AW’s Wasdale and Crookdale circuits which effectively was a true Crookdale Horseshoe. The northern leg was Whatshaw Common, Little Yarlside and Great Yarside, the latter just under 2000ft. We then had an interesting traverse across the head of Crookdale successfully avoiding the worst of the bogs. This brought us on to the southern ridge of Lord’s Seat, Robin Hood and finally High House Bank. Vast expanses of grass with the odd little crag to break up the monotony. Good conversation filled in the gaps. Views into the Lakes were restricted by the closer Longsleddale and Mardale Fells but there were extensive views to the Pennines and Howgills. Most interesting were birds’ eye glimpses into the hidden valleys of Wasdale, Crookdale and the larger Borrowdale.

Great Yarlside from Little Yarlside.

Great Yarlside from Little Yarlside.

Unusual Trig. Point on Great Yarlside.

Unusual Trig. Point on Great Yarlside.

Upper Crookdale.

Upper Crookdale.

View into Borrowdale from the last summit - High House Bank.

View into Borrowdale from the last summit – High House Bank.

We never met another person.

P.S.  16 to go.

5 thoughts on “Crookdale Horseshoe to the west of Shap summit.


    Fancy having a clock up there (before my time I think), and the Jungle Café and Senior Service (I used to smoke them back in the old days – pre 1970), all nostalgia. I’ve not done my post yet, but the photos are so boring compared with the feeling of awe and wilderness that one gets on the ground up there.

    1. bowlandclimber

      I have vague memories of seeing the clock – pre 1970. There were apparently 6 others on trunk roads in England. That lady in the photo had the job of winding it!
      Yes the photos were not good, needed some galloping horses.

  2. McEff

    Interesting, that. My dad used to drive us from Barrow to Sanquhar, north of Dumfries, several times a year to visit relatives, and we’d either go through the Lakes or up the A6 over Shap – which was notorious, especially in bad weather. The first ever trip was in a motorbike and sidecar, subsequent trips in a Consul and Anglia Estate. It was always an adventure of epic proportions, and always took a complete day. Think now’t of it nowadays. The world is smaller than it used to be.

  3. Pingback: WAINWRIGHT’S WAY – A KENDAL INTERLUDE. | bowlandclimber

Leave a Reply