BB0624 The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some.

"Be gentle with us" Tony and I pleaded as we had had a bit of a lay off and fitness levels were down so when it was suggested we should start from 1,100 feet at Shap Summit to do the Crookdale Round, it sounded a good idea.  Unfortunately none of us had really studied the map and expected a shortish and fairly level walk.  Wrong!

It had the makings of a beautiful day following the deluge at the County Show.  The upper Kent valley was thick with temperature inversion cloud but it was obvious it was going to lift quickly and when we reached Shap, the weather was quite clear although the breeze was cold.

We got off to a bad start.  Bryan was intent on describing the 101 things you could do with his new "Buff" and so we didn't realise that we had gone in totally the wrong direction.  Once he completed his demonstration the truth dawned and we turned round, went back to the car and started again.

This time we found the very boggy track towards Crookdale.  We exercised our Right to Roam to find a crossing place over the beck and then headed gently up the hill on the south bank.  

A giant leap for Bryankind

Team  picture at Grey Crag

Eventually we reached a sort of summit and a discussion erupted as to whether it was Lord's Seat or Robin Hood.

Bryan was adamant it was the latter- he had been tracing the route on the map and was totally confident.  However I looked around me and related the visible terrain to the map and was equally confident that it was Lord's Seat.  Stan was vascillating and Tony tends not to join in these discussions.  Taking a compass bearing or getting the GPS out is no way to settle these matters- they have to be resolved by pure logic.  Eventually I realised that there was an extra clue- the sun was casting strong shadows and by noting the time and converting the shadow to a bearing this settled the matter conclusively.  I was quite wrong and I held my hand up.  It could not possibly be Lord's Seat.

An hour later when we came across a wall that was not on the map, Bryan also held his hand up.  He too had been wrong.  It had been neither Lord's Seat nor Robin Hood, just High House Bank.  Honours (or lack of them) even, except I had been the wronger!

I did pull back some credibility shortly afterwards.  There was a glimpse of a distant mountain.  Was it Hellvellyn?  Or Fairfield?  Or what?  Now one thing the Shores are good at is identifying Coniston Old Man when they see it and that is what I claimed it was.  Furthermore, again finding a bearing by the sun I could show it was due east of us and could not be any of the other suggestions that were being made.  Yes!

Robin Hood and Lord's Seat between Crookdale and Bannisdale from Grey Crag

From Lord's Seat we continued on to Grey Crag by which time it was well after one
o'clock or in Tony time "lunch plus 1.5 hours" only we hadn't lunched and he was getting desperate.  We found a lovely little ledge, sheltered from the wind where we had our butties and regarded the views down to the estuary.  And to Heysham Power Station.  And to the Fylde and... was it? Could it really be? Yes! Blackpool Tower!  It was just about that clear.

Click to see what Tony has spotted

High Street from Tarn Crag

From Grey Crag we progressed to Tarn Crag (where we could see down Longsleddale and across to Kidsty Pike and High Street) and then regressed to Harrop Pike to begin the long, long slog home following the wall via Lawyer's Brow, Great Yarlside, Little Yarlside and Whatshaw Common where Stan moaned that he was beginning to flag and promptly broke into a gallop!

The way back

This was not the prettiest walk we have ever done and it was much further than we had anticipated and at times the terrain was difficult- tufty with potentially leg breaking hidden holes or otherwise very boggy but this was definitely the day to have done it with very clear views particularly to the South and East.

Don, 15th September 2006


11.25 miles

Height climbed:
2,300 feet

Map reference:
See Map

The Crookdale Horseshoe extended to add  Grey Crag, Tarn Crag and the southern part of the (Westmorland) Wasdale Horseshoe

Wildlife count:  
2 herons (or in Bryan speak- bloody great seagulls), two frogs, one deer, many sheep and two guys from Workington.


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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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