Swindale and Mosedale

The fells on this walk are the furthest east in the Lakes, and in many ways resemble the Pennines and moorland fells more than the traditional Lakeland fells.  They don't even, like the moorland "back o' Skiddaw", enjoy the company of any major, craggy fell; in fact, to someone like me who prefers the sharp to the smooth (in fells, that is), this was a walk which I needed to do rather than wanted to.  And, to the people who think "but what about the peace and solitude, then?", I can only say that I saw more people on this walk than I have seen on many walks over Walla Crag to Ashness Bridge! 

Here are some pictures
(click on any picture for a larger version)

Just to get me into the right mood, you can't park near the head of Swindale, where the walk starts, so there's a 2-mile slog along a surfaced road to start with.  I hate walking along roads - it's something from my childhood...

But at least you get this view of the valley!

You go up the right hand side of the valley and turn left to reach the top of Selside Pike.  A large cairn in the midst of acres of grass...

No view from here.
Haweswater is visible from further along the path to Branstree.

This impressive cairn, one of two, marks the top of Artlecrag Pike, which is certainly the most interesting point at the top of Branstree, which is marked by...
this OS curiosity.

 Again, no views.  On reflection, I should have walked a few hundred yards west, over flat moorland, to look down into Mardale and the head of Haweswater.  But I didn't...

Instead, I took these photos of the dogs, who weren't interested in views, or the lack of.
They're not always smiling...

At last, a view!  Of Morecambe Bay in the far distance, beyond Kentmere Pike.
Further south and looking across to Harter Fell, with the highly visible path up from Longsleddale on the left.

On the top of Tarn Crag you have this construction which, according to AW, is a survey post for the construction of the tunnel from Haweswater to Manchester.  There's another one on the line of the tunnel down Longsleddale.  They didn't go in for half measures, these engineers!

This (human) couple who, like me, were "off-comers" to the Lake District but living in Cockermouth, provided good company on the rather tedious trek from Branstree to Tarn Crag
Looking across Longsleddale towards the eastern side of the Kentmere Horseshoe.

And down into Longsleddale.  I recently met an old school acquaintance who told me he had moved to this lovely valley,  Ah, I thought, a possible walking partner!  "Oh," said he "I don't walk, it's just somewhere nice to live".  Takes all sorts...
From Tarn Crag you cut across down and up to Grey Crag, about which I can find nothing to say.

Now we are heading back, via one of the many Mosedales.  This is the view north, with Mosedale out of sight below us and Haweswater in the distance.
This is the valley, which feeds down into Swindale, seen in the background.

The head of Swindale.  This would be a far more interesting way to climb Selside Pike, up on the right, but we didn't know that at the time.

Glacial moraine hummocks at the head of Swindale.  Very similar to Trusmadoor, back o' Skiddaw.

Mosedale Beck coming down into Swindale.
Look at them horns!  By far the most spectacular thing we saw all day...

On our two-mile traipse down the Swindale road, I became quite intrigued by the ridge on the other, eastern side of the valley.  It is about 3-4 miles long and 1000ft in height, with lots of up, downs and craggy bits, and seemed to offer the prospect of a pleasant and varied walk for the less ambitious soul.  Well worth a visit, I would think.

If you would like to sponsor me and the dogs in our quest to walk all the Wainwrights for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, please click here - and thank you for your generosity!