BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)

Thursday 29th June

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

   I 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 glance!

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.


High Street summit

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.

Twelve 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 offer.

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 Ullswater.

Lost- 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 route.

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.

Queen's Head, Tirril

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, thank you!

Don, 30th June 2006

17.6 miles

Height climbed:
3,540 feet

 Map reference:
See Map

Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Rampsgill Head, High Raise, Wether Hill and
Loadpot Hill.



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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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