Sunday, 2nd November 2008

             

           

 

Walk: Dockray, Gowbarrow Fell, Swinburn's Park, Little Mell Fell, Lowthwaite, Great Mell Fell, Matterdale End, Ulcat Row
Start Point: Bridge in Dockray Grid Reference: NY 393 215
Distance: 11.4 miles Ascent: 3, 020 feet
Time: 6.25 hours    
Weather: Mainly sunny with a cold breeze at times
Comments: Climbing directly from Dockray the path is undergoing reconstruction and, when finished, will be quite an easy, if steep, route up to the trig point. Leaving Gowbarrow Fell summit we navigated our way round the 'boggy areas' until we reached the ruins of the shooting hut. (The group had been warned that this would be a wet walk!) Walking through Swinburn's Park there were a number of open areas where we caught glimpses of Ullswater and the High Street range beyond. After leaving the park and walking below Priest's Crag we emerged onto the road and as we approached the turn to Bennethead we were treated to a great 'red squirrel display'. The first squirrel was spotted crossing the road and disappearing up a tree. The second one had been chased by a cat and ran up a tree. It then explored the branches until it found one from which it could launch itself across to another tree a few yards away. Amazing! Following this impromptu show it was on up the road and a quick ascent of Little Mell fell before continuing on through Lowthwaite. After crossing the valley we then made our way up Great Mell Fell, stopping for lunch shortly before reaching the summit. Returning by the same route we made our way to Matterdale End, on to Ulcat Row followed by a short stroll back to the cars. 10 members attended and all seemed to have enjoyed the walk (despite the detour round a very boggy field!!!).

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Just enough room for our group by the bridge in Dockray

 

The path, which is under reconstruction, heads steeply up from Dockray . . .

 

and before long we enjoy the views from Gowbarrow Fell

 

Having walked round to the ruined shooting hut we are now ready to enter Swinburn's Park . . .

 

and are treated to a glimpse of Ullswater with The Knotts on the right . . .

 

followed by a lovely sunlit dell

 

A large number of yachts are enjoying the breezy conditions on Ullswater

 

We are lucky enough to spot a red squirrel crossing the road . . .

 

whilst another squirrel explores the first branch . . .

 

changes his mind and heads onto another branch . . .

 

before launching himself onto a tree a few yards away!

 

Excitement over, we make our way up Little Mell Fell . . .

 

and pause to admire Blencathra . . .

 

before regrouping by the trig point . . .

 

and checking out Clough Head and Great Dodd

 

The trees have distinctive shapes an the ascent of Great Mell Fell . . .

 

and also provide a great spot for lunch

 

A little more clothing is required on the summit and before long . . .

 

we head back down - Gowbarrow Fell is the dark mass just above the trees

 

The group regathers after a brief tour round a boggy (very boggy!) field

 

Great Mell Fell . . .

 

and Little Mell Fell bask in the late afternoon sunshine

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