Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy

picThe Langdales from Moss Eccles Tarn

A Scenic Walk in Borrowdale

picClimbing out of Portinscale in the early hours of Friday morning following the track which will take us along the western shore of Derwentwater and up onto Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy high above the Borrowdale valley, we are looking forward to a good days walking and hoping the mist clears to enable us to see where we are going (and where we've been). As we gain height the views looking back through the gloom towards Keswick and Bassenthwaite and to our left over Derwentwater look quite promising, infinitely better than the view ahead which indicates a long hard uphill slog. Gradually the mist clears and gives way to bright sunshine, we start to be overtaken by other walkers who seem to be able to cope with the exertion better than we can, we make ever more frequent stops supposedly to admire the scenery but really to take a desperately needed breather.
       We sit down for a drink and a Mars bar just below the summit of Cat Bells and before long we are exchanging notes with fellow walkers and admiring the landscape, imagining the contrast between the scene below and the dark stories related in the Herries books of Hugh Walpole, set around Borrowdale, in particular Watendlath, Rosthwaite and Seatoller. Looking across over Grange in Borrowdale to Watendlath on the other side of the valley, although we can't see the tarn we imagine the scene still a magnet for local artists who set up their easels amongst the sheep and occasional cow. Our companions tell us their life stories about where they've been and where they're going, the highlights illuminated with graphic details of injuries and dramatic rescues. It turns out the gentleman was having kidney problems and spent the whole of the previous day on dialysis, they were taking the opportunity to enjoy one of their favourite walks between treatments. On reaching the summit they start to descend, every now and then we turn to wave as we continue our travels with renewed spring in our step, a little more humility and a better appreciation of the world. Somehow the path ahead onto Maiden Moor and High Spy looks less steep and we soon achieve our objective. Far from being easy the return journey descending to the right onto the upper slopes of the Newlands valley turned out to be quite a challenge, mainly due to the indistinct footpath and our readiness to confuse it with sheep trails, compensation however comes in the form of a break at the foot of a magnificent waterfall, the kind for which the Borrowdale area is quite famous. Managing eventually to reach the valley floor without alerting the mountain rescue we follow the river and a nice broad bridleway back to Portinscale where it takes us exactly thirty seconds to conclude we'll have to find a scruffy eating place in keeping with our dishevelled appearance - Ah well we'll have to give the White Horse a miss and get a takeaway.

Further Walking
Moss Eccles Tarn, Abbey Lakes - Coppull Moor Walk, Chorley Ice Cream Walk, Douglas Valley Dawdle, Three Counties Cycle Ride, A Lancashire Linear Walk, Blackrod or Bust, Cycle the Sankey Valley, Cycle the Monsal Trail, Walking on Liverpool Bay.

Palfreyman 12th August 2004


picpicFarthingale Publications: ..... Is a hobby web site containing articles of local interest to Lancastrians, some favourite walking and cycling routes, selected words and poetry, and some writings of more general nature as well as the authors own picture gallery. Access is available via the homepage and menu at the head of the page or via one of the direct links below.
Local Interest: Richmond Hill Dairies; Mind Your Language; John Lancaster Wigan MP; Thomas Aspinwall Miners Agent; Thomas Aspinwall Obituary; Upholland Telephone Exchange; Thomas Linacre School Wigan; God's Choir; Scot Lane School Wigan; The Lindsays of Haigh; Dust Upon God's Fair Earth; The Nurburgring 1960; Wigan Advertisements 1960; Wigan Soldier Missing in Action; It's a Funny Life; Private Thomas Whitham VC; Isaac Watts 1674 - 1748; Wigan Old Bank 1792; The Brocklebank Line; John Byrom 1692 - 1793; The Holy City Liverpool; Jubilee Park Memorial, Ashton in Makerfield; Little Ships at War 1918; A Cricket Calypso; Not Much of a Warrior; Peveril of the Peak.
Walking & Cycling: Moss Eccles Tarn; Abbey Lakes to Coppull Moor; Chorley Ice Cream Walk; Douglas Valley Dawdle; Three Counties Cycle Ride; Haigh to Borsdane Wood; A Lancshire Linear Walk; Blackrod or Bust; Cycle the Sankey Valley; Cycle the Monsal Trail; Wigan Circular by Bike; Freshfield to Crosby; Irwell Valley Trail (Bury to Rawtenstall); Irwell Valley (Bury to Salford).
Words & Poetry: Wisdom; Only a Cranky Owd Foo'; Martin Chuzzlewit; Dover Harbour; Rogue Herries; The Heart of Midlothian; King Cotton; The Family Man; The Pickwick Papers; The Fair Rosamond; The Fair Rosamond Comic; A Legend of Montrose; When Winds Breathe Soft; The Wreck of the Hesperus; God Bless these Poor Wimmen that's Childer; Dombey and Son; Aw've Turned me bit O' Garden O'er; On Th' Hills; Four Favourite Poems; The Darkling Thrush; The Glory of the Garden; The Rolling English Road; The Antiquary; Hymn Before Action; Dust upon God's Fair Earth; Mind Your Language; Jeff Unsworth's dialect poetry; Martyrs of the Arena; Th' Coartin' Neet; Boat Song; Toddlin' Whoam; A Lancashire Mon; Calm is the Sea; The Bride of Lammermoor; Redgauntlet; A Tale of Two Cities.
pic Wallgate Chronicles: Little Dorrit; Hugo Boss comes to Wigan; In the footsteps of the Manchester Rambler; Fun with Trigonometry; Surprise at the Philharmonic; The Marriage of Figaro; Cat Bells; A Walk in the Hills; Eay Times Uv Changed; Fidelio; The Ravioli Room; Desert Island Discs; Travels in Time 1960; Travels in Time 2010; The Spectroscope; The Bohemian Girl; Bookcase; Barnaby Rudge; Romance on a Budget; The Battle of Solferino; The Getaway Car; The Switchroom Wigan; The Force of Destiny; Adolphe Adam; The Fair Maid of Perth; Ivanhoe; Semele; Lohengrin; The Old Curiosity Shop; Hard Times.


Selected articles from the above listed:
pic Richmond Hill Dairies - Pemberton - These pages contain some personal memories from my youth and my association with Richmond Hill Dairies, a local business I grew up with and remember with some affection. A well known and important feature of the local community in its day and part of the heritage of Pemberton, this is my attempt to commit some small snapshot of its history to print, I hope these pages paint a worthy picture.
Mind Your Language - A humorous poem by "the bard of Haydock" George Anderton, inspired by memories of a trip to Bad Canstatt, Stuttgart Germany with the Haydock Male Voice Choir in 1975. This publication will bring a smile to the faces of not only those members who were there at the time and know the people involved but the wider population of Haydock as well who speak the language.
Wigan and the American Civil War - Wigan Coal and Iron Company, The Right Honourable John Lancaster MP for Wigan, the Confederate Raider Alabama, USS Kearsarge, Cherbourg and the yacht Deerhound all feature in the last great sea battle of the American Civil War.
Wigan Old Bank 1792 - A tragic boating accident on Windermere and a surprising journey through the social history of Wigan during the reign of Queen Victoria, highlighting the relationships between four families who played an important part in the commercial development of the town.
The Brocklebank Line - Daniel Brocklebank (1741-1801), shipbuilder and mariner, a brief biography, and some background detail of his family and the shipping line he founded.
Little Ships at Zeebrugge - An account of a heroic attempt to block the port of Zeebrugge during the first World War, to protect supply routes into the UK by denying enemy submarines based there access to the open sea.
A Cricket Calypso - A short biopic of cricketer Cyril Washbrook and a snapshot of his career including his role in the West Indies tour of 1950 recorded in the lyrics of the Cricket Calypso.
Not Much of a Warrior - Wigan RLFC in the fifties and sixties, through rose coloured glasses. A golden age of legendary players and memorable moments, along with some personal memories.


picLyme Hall, Disley, Cheshire