DATE                        12.07.2011

DISTANCE                ABOUT 9 MILES

WEATHER                GERY BUT DRY




Longlands & the Northern Fells

After receiving some good info about this area and even better still a suggested walking route from John (Brandywell) I just had to go and have a wander.

Now as I’ve stated in the past I am always very wary about going to new areas for the first time simply because there are certain types of terrain that make it almost impossible for me to walk on , however after looking at a few photos I was almost certain that I would be alright in these hills.

The plan for this walk was to park up in a little roadside lay-by near Longlands, head up along the edge of Longlands fell 482 meters on what I believe might be a section of the Cumbria way then head straight up Longlands fell then down and up to Lowthwaite Fell 509 meters, from there still on the grassy path up to Great sca fell 651 meters then finally up to the summit of Knott710 meters which was the highest that I was going today.

It was at this point I made the rather bad decision to ignore the route that John has so kindly given me and head off to do my own thing. Big mistake. After a quick look at the map I decided to head down Via Burn Tod where according to my os map there was a footpath waiting for me, to start with things where going well, then about a third of the way down this nice grassy hill decided to get sneaky and get steeper, now one thing I don’t like is steepness, still I was committed (or I need committing not sure which) and down I went one step at a time , going into my lets just take it one step at a time mode (which is really Shit I have buggered it up again talk)

After three lifetimes I eventually got to the bottom and sure enough picked up a grassy footpath / sheep trail that followed what could be the Hause gill down. Now it’s at this point I really knew what a monumental [censored] up I had made, this Gully (not really sure if that’s the correct name for it) was one huge nightmare for me, sloping ground lots of lose scree , lots of clambering , hard rocks sticking up everywhere , (you know the sort the one’s  that hurt when you fall on them ) small uneven footholds , basically I couldn’t think of a worse place to be , and if any amputees ever read this I always believe in pushing ones boundaries but don’t come here to push them .unless

A)     You want to really fall and hurt yourself

B)      You are brain dead

C)      You have decided to give up on living

Of course if you are well insured and a family member brings you this way, I would be a bit concerned. Anyway you have been warned.

All you two legers’ will have no trouble so please just ignore my last few lines.

After another three lifetimes, two gallons of nervous sweat, about six mental breakdowns, several promises that I will always stick to the route and huge amounts of adrenaline coursing through my system I actually found myself enjoying this. (Don’t worry I have booked into the local Looney bin to get my head sorted out) again something seems to kick in and I went into auto pilot.

Strange how the body always seems to produce the goods to get you out of trouble isn’t it?

Eventually I walked out onto a very pleasant path out of this gully, and had to sit down, by this time my body was screaming for fluids and something to replace all the nervous energy that I had used, a quick rummage in the rucksack produced all sorts of goodies which I quickly threw down my neck before any of the local sheep muscled in.

Would you believe at this point I started feeling guilty, I mean John had done a map for me and I have deliberately   gone off course, so a quick look at the o/s map again and a new course was set, up the side and onto the summit of Great cock up(that’s its real name ) , his route called for me to go down little  cock up but you know how it is once you been on great cock up who want to go on a little cock up , so instead I headed towards Trusmadoor  which was a lovely mini type valley , the only problem was it was a bit of a steep but short decent down , but after my adventures earlier on I could do anything.

Once down it was a simple case of following the footpath all the way back to Longlands which was a pure joy to walk on.

Other stuff about the walk, I haven’t mentioned the views that’s because they are fantastic, from the view out over the Solway Firth to the back of Skiddaw and Blencathra.

I’ve read somewhere that this range of hills are mostly ignored in favour of the bigger one further across , well I feel privileged to have walked among them . There is certain peacefulness to them.

Thank you John (Brandywell)

As per norm some photos enjoy:-

First one taken at the start where I parked up the car


The cairn on top of Longlands fell looking towards over water


My route ahead towards Lowthwaite fell


On top of Lowthwaite fell


Some general views as I hobble along


Great Sca fell top?


And again (I think)


Knott fell cairn


My own way down (looks easy at this stage)

Looking back up, it’s steeper than it looks


This is where I know I am in for a rough time

Further down Burnt Tod

Looking back up


Breathing space's

Just keeps getting better


 I think it can’t get any worse this looking back


 Yeah I’m out

Skiddaw I’m impressed


Looking back at my route


Half way up Great cock up looking back


Shooting stell on Great cock up

General view as I hobble along


On the top looking across towards Skiddaw


Looking out towards the coast


Another cairn (or I’m losing the plot!)

My way ahead

Gulp! Going down


Did I ever tell you how much I hate this type of ground?


Still heading down looking up the valley


Now in what I will call the mini valley Trusmadoor


Peering up at the sheep


On my way out


Leg shot


Looking back


The way ahead


Baby crossing


Last look back I really am sorry to finish this walk


Thank you.