Sunday, 16th September 2016

Walk: Lower Wham, Sandford, Rathmell Common,Whelp Stone Crag, Swainstead Raike, Littlebank.
Start Point: Giggleswick Station Grid Reference: SD 803 628
Distance: 10.5 miles Ascent: 1,200 feet
Time: 6 hours
Weather: A  wet start, sunny at Whelp Stone Crag, heavy rain for the end.

10 walkers set out from the station car park at Giggleswick with full waterproofs needed for the start. We made our way along a side road passing Swaw Beck Farm and a left turn onto a rough walled lane. We crossed an open field to gain a stile onto the old green way of Cocket Lane, an over grown pathway took us out onto a broadening rough pasture and down to a path which enters Cocket Moss, we stopped for our coffee break. Onwards across the mossy base we climbed to a more defined path which took us past Rome Crag and the boulders of Moor Close Crag. We crossed a couple of open fields to eventually reach a gate onto a back road where we turned left past lower Wham a hamlet of 3 properties. Onward on roadway to pass Sandford Farm to a junction right which started our climb out onto Rathmel Common. Climbing out on the moor heading for Foxholes Crag just ahead. A stream crossing took us to the top where we stopped for lunch giving us the opportunity to view the profile of Whelp Stone Crag our next destination. After lunch we followed a walled path on the edge of Gisburn Forrest, this took us to the lower reaches of Whelp Stone Crag, and began our climb to the trig point on top. Great views all round as the sunshine broke out to give the perfect conditions to pick out Bowlands steep slopes and rounded tops beyond Stocks Reservoir, Pendle Hill with the South Pennine heights beyond, also we had an array of Dales Mountains near to hand. On a thin path we made our way off the Crag downwards now for a few miles to pass Whelpstone Lodge and onto Hesley Cottage and our route to Swainstead Raike. Following defined pathways we made our way across Coney Garth and into a pocket wood. Out of the wood and onto Littlebank we stayed on the approach road to gain access onto a main road where by now heavy rain was falling and so chose the road route back to Giggleswick Station.

Leaving the Trig point

Climbing out of Hesley Cottage

Passing through Pocket Oakwood

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