BB0807a  An Outbreak of Common Sense

Thursday 21st February 2008

The day started badly.  An early start to enable us to get to Derwentwater in good time to knock off 2 to 4 remaining peaks out that way had seemed a good idea but the traffic in town was awful and the drivers so mindless that by the time I got to Tony's my blood pressure was high and my tolerance zero.  Another round of cursing brought us to Stan's. Half an hour's travelling for what normally takes less than ten minutes.  However that had nothing to do with what followed.

By unanimous agreement at 9:05 this morning on Stan’s driveway, BB0807 was officially aborted.  The prospect of another hour's travelling then to face persistent rain and 70 mile an hour gales with -10C wind chill factor suddenly seemed less appealing than all those jobs we have been putting off for weeks because we don’t really want to do them.  No doubt if Bryan were fit we would be on the fells by now!  Margaret thinks this is the first time we have aborted after setting out.  She might be right.  At least there was not a game of e-mail chicken.  Or perhaps it was the ultimate game of e-mail chicken?

Whatever, as I drove home, all the traffic had dissipated and I now have a bonus day and my lunch already made! Magic!  Get the flask out.

Don, 21st February 2008

Distance: 0.0 miles  (Garmin- Memory Map)

Height climbed: 0 feet (Garmin- Memory Map)

Wainwrights:  None


BB0807b  Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate

Thursday 13th March 2008

Ullswater from Heughscar Hill

I had not gone far when I realised that I had left home without picking up my wallet.  Never mind, I thought.  The boys will sub me if I need to buy anything.  Then, as I reached the outskirts of Kendal, the phone rang.  Unfortunately I had stored it in my anorak, which was in the boot, so I had to stop to retrieve it and pick up the Voice Mail message.  “I hope you get this before you go too far because you have left your butties behind!”

To be without money is one thing.  To be without butties is quite another- the boys might prefer that I starve than for them to go hungry!  And to be without both meant I couldn’t pop in ASDA to buy provisions before picking anyone up.  So back home I went to collect butties and wallet, which explains why we were rather late in setting off from Kendal.

What a motley crew we were.  Bryan nursing his broken ribs (with a warning from Liz to all of us not to let him do too much, as if we had any influence).  Tony was nursing a pulled muscle in his calf.  Stan had a bad attack of idleness and would have preferred to have stayed in bed.  And I had my bunged up sinuses that just don’t seem to want to clear up.

All this on a day when the Met Office mountain forecast read “Ask yourself this- do you really need to go into the mountains?”.  This was a bit OTT, we thought, more relevant to yesterday’s gales than this morning’s bright start with spells of rain by mid morning. Anyway, we had already decided to take it easy on a low level walk that Bryan had been saving for a rainy day and especially suited to a group of old crocks who had not been out for a month.

We parked at the sensibly large and free car park in the beautiful village of Askham, having driven through Lowther Park.  My first stop was the local store in the hope of buying an inhaler.  Yes, they had one but the wallet for which, in part, I had gone back home, had no money in it!  However my prediction was correct and Tony loaned me a fiver.

We set off through the village out to the west up a road that turned into a track and no sooner had we reached open fell than we came across a group of fell ponies sheltering against the wall.

They seemed undisturbed by our presence and looked so sweet that Stan was moved to say to one, kindly, “If I had an apple, I would give it to you.”  

Then panic set in.  He realised he did have an apple so clarified his message “I have an apple and you’re not having it!”  

Fell ponies waiting for Stan's apple

It seems that he was once nearly killed by a group of horses clambering over each other to reach an apple that he had offered to give them and were crushing him against a wall in their mass anticipation.

From here it was a gentle climb up past various wooded areas suddenly to emerge almost at the summit of Heughscar Hill, all 1,230 feet of it.  There were splendid wintry views over Ullswater to the Lakeland hills where the weather was distinctly darker than that which we were enjoying.


Team   picture on Heughscar Hill

The climbing already over, we cut across Askham Fell, noting in the distance the cockpit that we first visited on BB0617.  We found birthday greetings written in stones.  On the map we saw the comment “Cairn Circle” and for once actually managed to find it.  Tony searched in vain for a virgin to sacrifice.  At least I think that was his intention in the unlikely event he found one.

Happy Birthday Mollie!

Tony seeks a Virgin!

We crossed over a minor road and down towards Helton through an interesting anciently terraced field then via an old narrow lane, walled on both sides. 

Ancient terracing

The walled lane

The lunch bridge

Our objective was to have lunch down by the River Lowther, sheltering, if necessary, under a bridge.

It did not prove necessary, the rain was still holding off.  

Stan was in much better spirits, Bryan seemed untroubled and I could breathe.

Tony, however, was really struggling with the combination of his calf strain and it now being 45 minutes past his feeding time.

After lunch, we crossed the bridge, went up by Whale Farm and followed the river through the Lowther estate, past farmland and woodland, finally emerging in front of the sad derelict Lowther Castle.

A once fine estate gate

Lowther Castle- Keep Out!

We made our way through the parkland to St Michael’s Church where the lead had been stolen from the roof of the Earl of Lonsdale’s Mausoleum (see BB0729).  This time we went into the church.  The entries in the visitors book talked about what a peaceful place it was.  Not in my book.  It is large, cold, damp and with little sign of living creatures ever using the building.  It is probably the most unwelcoming, soulless church I have ever been in.  It is dead.  Another Mausoleum.

St Michael's Church, Lowther

A large medieval knight

We emerged into rain, but that was where “peaceful” was to be found- outdoors in the countryside overlooking the river.  We dropped down, on the road, to the river and across to the Askham side where there is the much nicer looking St Peter’s Church to be found.  

However we found this to be unwelcoming in a quite different way- it was shut.  

So we headed on back to the car through this quite delightful village past a house that Stan would rather like to buy!  

St Peter's Church, Askham

By this time it was raining heavily and for the first time in a long while we returned in a rather wet state somewhat surprised to find we had completed 9.2 miles.

Nonetheless, this is a lovely walk through open fell, farms and parkland and, one day, possibly on a fine summer’s evening, I will do it again, next time with Margaret.

Don, 13th March 2008

Distance: 9.2 miles  (Garmin / Memory Map)

Height climbed: 1,074 feet (Garmin / Memory Map)

Wainwrights:  None

Debt:  £5 (DS to AR)


For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!

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Home Page








2008 Outings

BB0801 : Avoiding the Graupel;  
16 January

BB0802 : Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January

BB0803 : That's Lyth;
27 January

BB0804 : Tony's Memory Lane;
30th January

BB0805 : Fell's Belles!  Thank You Mells?  
6th February

BB0806 : The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
13th February

BB0807a: An Outbreak of Common Sense;
21st February 2008

BB0807b: Askham Fell and  the Lowther Estate;   
13th March 2008

BB0808 : Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008

BB0809 :  High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
28th March 2008

BB0810 :  Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008

BB0811 :  Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008

BB0812 :  Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
Thursday 10th April 2008 

BB0813 :  What's It All About, Tony?
Thursday 17th April 2008 

BB0814 :  The Hidden Mountain
Tuesday 22nd April 2008 

BB0815 :  The Bowland CROW
Thursday 1st May 2008

BB0816 :  High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
Wednesday 7th May 2008

BB0817 :  Travelling Light
Wednesday 14th May 2008


BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
23rd February - 1st March



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which Bootboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of Bootboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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