BB0610 Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson

Thursday 4th May 2006

I just can't get this thing about clouts right.  After last week's little problem, "She Who Knows About These Things" informed me that what I thought was May blossom was in fact Blackthorn blossom.  The clue is in the name, it was only April and anyway spring is late this year.

So, better informed this time, I decided clouts should still be uncast.

We weren't helped by the forecasts.  BBC promised wall-to-wall sunshine whilst MWIS threatened showers and 55 mph winds.

We chose Whitbarrow Scar as I had to take the car in for its MOT in Grange so Bryan picked Tony up in Kendal then came to Grange for me and we parked at Raven's Lodge, under White Scar and set off towards Rawsons and up into the forest.  It was almost raining but not a problem in the trees.  What became a problem was the awful mess the Forestry Commission have made of what used to be nice forest trails.  It is a disgrace. They are now massively rutted and made what should have been a pleasant gentle stroll into more of an obstacle course.  See photo for the evidence at Rut Junction!

Rut Junction

Cuckoo Spotting

Coming out of the forest at the north end of Wakebarrow it was definitely raining but eagle eyes Hardaker spotted that the low limestone outcrop actually had an even lower overhang where we took shelter and a team picture!  It was whilst sat here that I saw my first ever cuckoo.  How do I know it was a cuckoo?  Because as it flew by it told us its name.

The rain was very light and didn't look set to last but even when it stopped the visibility was disappointingly poor so when we reached Lord's Seat we could see there was quite a vista that was not going to be seen today.

Lord's Seat

Whitbarrow Scar

As we descended the seriously steep Whitbarrow Scar path down to the Whitbarrow Hall seriously naughty boys' school the sun came out and it started to become seriously hot. Also the air quality began to improve and it became seriously clear.   After the Hall we went up the track to Lawns beyond which we came across an old guy looking lost. Whether he was really lost or he was using it as a pretence to ear-hole a ready audience I am not sure.  Anyway we got the history of the Stanley family back to the 12th century, how Lord Derby was given Whitbarrow estates as a reward after the Battle of Bosworth, how and when the hall was built and how the descendent old girl is living in a poor way in the village now.  I am sure Tony or Bryan could give you a more detailed account if you want it so enrapt were they.  Not!

Shortly afterwards we took a small detour to take in the top of Yewbarrow and it was well worth the minimal effort involved for the panoramic view of Whitbarrow Scar.

It was now very hot and, having got the clouts decision wrong, I had to remove the lower part of my zip off trouser legs to reveal some fetchingly blue tights.  Or to be more precise to unzip the trouser leg bottoms and roll them down into my socks because I couldn't be bothered taking my boots off.  Sometimes Bryan despairs about me.  Or rather about being seen out with me!  I have a nasty feeling Tony is going to distribute an incriminating photo before too long so I will pre-empt him:

A lovely view

Another lovely view

Given the warmth and the exercise, it was too good an opportunity not to close one's eyes and drift away.  Bryan claimed that the sound of the wind kept him awake but I can vouch for the fact and have the photographic evidence that before the wind got up all that could be heard was the sound of the meadow pipits and the snores from the two sleeping beauties.  However up the wind did get and it was mighty blowey

Refreshed we made our way through the woods out of the wind and down to the road and then bridle path back towards the car.  Before reaching it Bryan decided that the walk had been far too tame and suddenly set off vertically up the hill.  It turned out to be a very good move- he had thought that it would be a shame to go home without first seeing the base of the scar at close quarters.  And quite a remarkable sight it is.

From there it was an easy short stroll back to the car and on to Grange where the good news was that the old banger had passed its MoT.  

It had seemed a very gentle walk with no real steep climbs apart from the little burst at the end so it was a surprise when the computer told me what we had covered.  It didn't feel anything like that.

Don, 4th May 2006


8.6 miles

Height climbed:
1,850 feet

Map reference:
See Map

Whitbarrow Scar



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Slipper Strolls:



  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
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