BB0831 : Luncheon Chez Monty

Thursday 2nd October 2008

Sometimes I have been unkind about the BBC.  I don’t intend, on this occasion at least, to be drawn into debate on the efficiency or otherwise of this state funded organisation.  I was referring to its weather forecasting service which, in my experience, tends on occasion to be over pessimistic, possibly as a result of the Michael Fish incident when the 1987 storm was denied.

However, today, it came up trumps.  It is only 2nd October but already snow was predicted for the higher tops and this plus heavy showers elsewhere and a severe wind chill factor of -12 degrees put us off venturing too far.  Kentmere was mooted but Tony thought we had done it to death recently as a convenient place to go and get wet.  The BBC forecast for Keswick was similar to that of Kendal- rain in the morning, heavy rain in the afternoon.  So it was not with any great hope that I had a look at the forecast for Penrith.  To my surprise, no rain was predicted.  I toyed with the idea of suggesting Cross Fell or Great Dunn Fell but the thought of the wind chill factor put me off.  Also, Stan needed to get back early.  So with a bit of inspired thinking, I suggested we went to Keld, then headed towards Swindale with a view to crossing over to Wet Sleddale sooner or later.  Sooner if it looked as if the weather was closing in, later if it did not.  

I must confess that one reason for suggesting this route was that I wanted to see Sleddale Hall again.  On BB0812 Bryan and I had not examined Monty’s cottage in the country (called Crow Crag in the film Withnail and I). We had waited under a dripping tree for Stan and Tony to catch us up from looking at what we then thought was a derelict barn.

It was a stunning day as we arrived at Keld, a stunning little hamlet.  I don’t think I have ever been there before. Certainly I had no recollection of Keld Chapel.  

The magnificent old key to this ancient chantry of Shap Abbey hangs outside the door of the house opposite, so we took advantage of it and entered.

It is a little 15th century gem. Fortunately the efforts of some local dignitary to have it pulled down because he could not get his hay wagon past it were frustrated.


The key to the Chapel

Keld Chapel

Inside the Chapel

For more about its history see Castle Blog and Chapel at Keld.

We took the path that leads to Swindale but rather than drop down into the valley we decided to stay high and head for the tops on the south side of the valley.  


We took our team picture at the Cairn on Langhow Pike.  By this time, the sky to the west was getting very dark and we could see rain showers heading our way.  We decided to cut across towards Wet Sleddale rather earlier than we might have done otherwise. Fortunately the showers hardly touched us.

Langhow Pike team  picture

Rain over the Howgills

My navigation to Sleddale Hall was slightly awry.  Basically I was heading for the wrong group of trees so we had to climb up alongside three fields before being able to drop down to Monty’s hideaway.

Wet Sleddale Reservoir and Sleddale Hall

The Hall was looking very sad, with windows long boarded up and plenty of visitors having left their generally rather rude marks!

Monty's Country Cottage: Crow Crag, aka Sleddale Hall

One door had a new padlock on it and I could hear something moving inside.  Strange, I thought, is it a cow or a horse?  I moved on to the front door, which had a panel missing so you could see inside a little.  I put my camera through to take a couple of flash photos and then backed away.  Bryan called out “How do you get in?” and a head popped out of the hole in the door and replied “Round the back!”  

Was Monty at home?

So round the back we went where we found access via a window and down a ladder into the back kitchen.  Of course, Monty was not at home; our companion was a visitor from Dent who had set out with the intention of photographing the Hall.  He observed that we had entered via Monty’s back passage.  Does that constitute burglary?  Sorry, that is an naughty in-joke for anyone who remembers the film.

We had a good look round downstairs.  It has obviously been in use!  Clothes were hanging in a small room, there was a Ouija board on the floor in the pink-walled lounge for calling up spirits and Halloween type decorations in the dining room.  Spooky!

The ouija board and the ghosts of Crow Cragl

The Halloween Dining Room

We did not venture too far upstairs as the flooring looked suspect and we had no light. Why, oh why had I removed my torch from my sac that morning?

We did, however stay for lunch whilst a heavy shower passed over.  By the time we emerged, it was bright sunshine again.

Dodgy Mushrooms

The Rainbow's End?

We crossed the fields. passing by some rather dodgy looking mushrooms, to the Bee Boles seen on BB0812, and then turned north over the moor back to Keld.

Showers seemed to be all around but not over us and there was a bright rainbow ahead.

Keld from Brown Hill


Keld Post Box

Bizarrely, Tony found a golf ball on Brown Hill.  That will be presented to Philip to celebrate the birth of his grandson, Leo.

Tony made another discovery in Keld- an unusual post box.

He likes that sort of thing.

On the drive back to Kendal, we experienced the worst of the weather.

It was pretty bad.  

Thank goodness we had not gone up Kentmere!

Don, 2nd October 2008




6.8 miles

Height climbed:

1,038 feet




If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0831.

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!


E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



BOOT boys


Home Page








2008 Outings

  • BB0801 :
    Avoiding the Graupel;  
    Wednesday 16 January
  • BB0802 :
    Lyth in the Old Dogs;
    Tuesday 22 January
  • BB0803 :
    That's Lyth;
    Sunday 27 January
  • BB0804 :
    Tony's Memory Lane;
    Wednesday 30th January
  • BB0805 :
    Fell's Belles!
    Thank You Mells
    Wednesday 6th February  
  • BB0806 :
    The Langdale Skyline
    and a Fell Race!
    Wednesday 13th February
  • BB0807a:
    An Outbreak of Common Sense;
    Thursday 21st February
  • BB0807b:
    Askham Fell and
    the Lowther Estate;
    Thursday 13th March
  • BB0808
    Thanks to the MWIS
    Wednesday 19th March
  • BB0809 :  
    High Street and Kidsty Pike
    but no Fairy
    Friday 28th March
  • BB0810 :  
    Prelude to Spring
    Wednesday 2nd April
  • BB0811 :  
    Spring in Lakeland
    Sunday 6th April
  • BB0812 :  
    Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
    Thursday 10th April
  • BB0813 :  
    What's It All About, Tony?
    Thursday 17th April
  • BB0814 :  
    The Hidden Mountain
    Tuesday 22nd April
  • BB0815 :  
    The Bowland CROW
    Thursday 1st May
  • BB0816 :  
    High Cup Nick:
    The Gurt La'al Canyon
    Wednesday 7th May
  • BB0817 :  
    Travelling Light
    Wednesday 14th May
  • BB0818 :  
    Pensioners’ Day Out
    Thursday 22nd May
  • BB0819 :  
    The Northern Tip
    Thursday 29th May
  • BB0820 :  
    The Bannisdale Horseshoe
    Wednesday 11th June
  • BB0821 :  
    Black, White or Grey Combe?
    Thursday 19th June
  • BB0822
    Thunder on the 555
    Thursday 3rd July
  • BB0823
    We'll Give It Five
    Thursday 10th July
  • BB0824 :
    Shelters from the Storm
    Thursday 17th July
  • BB0825 :
    The Big Wind-Up
    Wednesday 23rd July
  • BB0826 :
    Tony’s Third (and wettest) Alfie
    Wedmesday 30th July
  • BB0827 :
    A Visit to Mud Hall
    Tuesday 19th August
  • BB0828 :
    The Tale of Randy Gill
    Tuesday 27th August
  • BB0829 : Mosedale Cottage Revisited
    Wednesday 3rd September
  • BB0830 : Mist Over Pendle
    Wednesday 10th September
  • BB0831 : Luncheon Chez Monty
    Thursday 2nd October
  • BB0832 : Escape from the Madness
    Thursday 9th October
  • BB0833 : Only on a Thursday
    Thursday 16th October
  • BB0834 : YIFT
    Wednesday 29th October
  • BB0835 : Reflections on Thirlmere
    Thursday 6th November
  • BB0836 : Reet Grand Randonnées
    15th - 18th November


 The Comback Trail

  • CBT01 : Helm, direttissimo
    Monday 22nd September
  • CBT02 : Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
    Monday 29th September



  • 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!

If you want to contact us, click on