QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
Too tired to attempt to produce a report on returning home, it is
now the morning after. So let's start
with the damage. Blisters on the balls
of both feet. Some minor difficulty in
going up and down stairs. A bit of a
twinge in my back. Slightly pink and
tender calves. And the hint of a fat
head (although not caused by walking!).
All in all, rather better than I had feared when Graham picked me up
yesterday morning! He and John duly delivered Tony, Robert, Stan, Ian and myself to
the Queens Head at Troutbeck in good time for the team picture and to set off, 5 minutes ahead of
schedule, to recreate what must have been a routine legionnaire's walk 2,000
years ago. Fortunately we were not
wearing sandals, nor having to carry armour although my rucksack was heavier
that I would have liked, due to the possibility of rain later in the day. In fact it was somewhat cloudy which served
to keep the temperature down.
Queen's Head Hotel, Troutbeck
spy Boot Boys!
Sadly no badgers were spotted this week as we made our way along
Ing lane although there was a nice little dappled pony that gave us an admiring
The slanting path across
Froswick to get onto Thornthwaite Crag was steeper than I had anticipated. Tony, of course, has been in serious training
up here. Ian, on the other hand was
wishing that he had done a bit more training in recent times. Stan kept motivating us by telling us how
little climbing there was left to do and once we reached the top it was downhill
nearly all the way!
The views up here are superb and were
quite a contrast to BB0603 when only
the tops could be seen emerging from a sea of cloud.
Tony is definitely maturing as a fell walker. It was 12:15 before he first asked when we
were stopping for lunch and didn't protest too much at being put off until we
reached the top of High Street shortly before 1 p.m..
After lunch the sun came out
but was accompanied by a cooling breeze.
We took a slight detour from the proper route due to navigating from
memory and wrongly taking the Knott path rather than that for Kidsty Pike. This was soon corrected and we took in what
we finally determined to be Rampsgill Head and not High Raise, to which we then
proceeded. Ever onwards past Wether Hill
and eventually to Loadpot Hill where we had our second break. It was very peaceful and maybe it was the
sound of the skylarks (or were they meadow pipits?), or the splendid views of
the north end of Ullswater, or the cake that Ian's wife, Ros, had provided for
us all but in truth we stayed there rather longer than we should. We rather over-estimated how well we had
progressed and how quickly we would reach the second Queen's Head.
Fell Ponies. Or are there more?
Not long after we set off we saw a group of at least 12 of wild
ponies and foals.
Visually, the distances here are deceptive. It is rolling moorland and everything turns
out to be rather further away than it seems.
In the distance on Whitestone Moor (or was it Brown Rigg?) we could make
out a figure watching us.
As we came
closer we could see it was Bryan Hardaker with a large and heavy rucksack.
Bryan had decided to meet us and to set up
café if necessary. He had brought his
stove and ample provisions. However it
was not that long since we had tarried at Loadpot Hill and it was becoming clear
that we were in danger of falling behind schedule so we declined his kind
We had already seen one stone circle in the distance (near
Bonscale Pike) and what is marked on the map as The Cockpit turned out to be
another though whether the stones just marked the limits of an arena for cock
fighting or were of antiquity we could not determine. However, there being no sport, Bryan left us
here to retrieve his car parked on some obscure back road.
After the Cockpit there were magnificent views along the length of
One Roman Road
It should have been a
simple direct march but for the first time the route seemed to disappear. There were other very distinct paths but the
straight(ish) line shown on the maps vanished under bracken. It therefore took us considerably longer than
it should for us to reach Winder Hall farm and not entirely by the authentic
We had missed our ETA and Graham
phoned to see if he should call out Mountain Rescue.
After the farm, the route again
vanished. Clearly marked on Robert's
ancient OS map (but not marked at all on my Harvey' s as we were now off the
fell and they don't think you need guidance down there), the farmer obviously
did not want the ghosts of roman legions disturbing his cattle. Consequently the last mile or so was a bit of
a road slog but there at a table outside the Queen's Head, Tirril, basking
themselves in the sun were Bryan, Graham and John. We apologised for being late and they said
they had been whiling the time away with some intellectual discussion. We soon put a stop to that!
Martin Samman then arrived and took another team picture for
us. And then a stretch limo
rolled up so we thought our achievement had really been recognised and we were
to be rewarded with a glamorous night out on the town. Sadly however it turned out to be for the
local girls who had finished their A levels and were off to celebrate in
style. Back to Plan A and a few pints
plus an excellent meal later our support crew kindly returned us home, in my
case at least, sufficiently exhausted to have the best night's sleep I have had
for quite a while.
Marcus Boundarius' headstone
So, that was the Roman Road vanquished. But had there been any evidence of it ever
having been a Roman Road? The only
things we saw that indicated some form of historic relevance were stones
obviously man handled into the vertical.
Were they in honour of some Roman Soldier? If I heard Stan correctly he ruled that they
were there for Marcus Boundarius but of which legion and of what honour, I do not know.
At the outset we anticipated a distance of some 16.2 miles. With the detours it was obviously a little
longer and we debated whether we might actually have exceeded 20 miles? Tony in particular was anxious that every
inch be counted.
Sorry boys, I have put the route through two different computer
mapping programs and the best I can offer is 17.6 miles and 3,540 feet of
climbing. And 6 Wainwrights.
No mean feat for a bunch of oldies and many thanks to the support crew
who made it possible.
Graham suggested we should do it again in the opposite
direction. A good idea, but not today,
30th June 2006
Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Rampsgill
Head, High Raise, Wether Hill and
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on the photos for an enlargement or related large
- BB0631 Coppermines
- BB0630 Relocation,
- BB0629 Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
- BB0628 Knocking off Wainwrights. Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
- BB0627 Blencathra
and the Mungrisdale Round
- BB0626 The
- BB0625 Les
Garçons de la Botte
- BB0624 The
Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
Selside Pike revisited
Round the Dunny!
The Malham Experience
Old Man Succumbs!
QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
High Street Racecourse
Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue
Yewbarrow and a history lesson
Clough Head and Great Dodd
The Corpse Road and beyond
A Bit on the Side.....
Angle Tarn with Surprises!
Cragg via Dovedale
in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
Street via Gardiner's Grind)
Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric