BB1028 : All Around the Edge

Thursday 29th July 2010

It was surprisingly wet underfoot.  Yes, I know that it has rained nearly every day since the hosepipe ban was announced but this is Limestone country and I expected it to have drained away.

We were exploring Mallerstang Edge.  Or to be more precise we were exploring the moorland plateau that stands rather higher than the Edge.  In fact, other than on the return to the car, we hardly saw the Edge at all.

Mallerstang Edge from  the River Eden

The sun was shining brightly when we left the car by the River Eden near Dale Foot and I was worried because it had never occurred to me to cream up.  Would I end up frazzled?

For once we did not choose the direttissimo route onto the fell and as a consequence soon found ourselves knee deep in nettles and breast high in bracken.  

Mallerstang Edge left, Wild Boar Fell right, Stan and Tony in the undergrowth!

On the skyline we could see some strange shapes and on reaching them discovered a series of long-abandoned buildings.  The map says it is an old quarry but it looked more like a mining village.

Old quarry workings

By the time we reached the first summit of the ridge- High Pike Hill, any concerns I had about sunburn were long past.  It had become a grey day.  We could see the moorland stretching ahead of us for miles, each top and various non tops marked by a series of cairns.

Stan on High Pike Hill

Top of the Edge + Ingleborough & Whernside

Lunch was taken in a peat hollow out of the wind on High Seat before pressing on to Gregory Chapel and then Lady’s Pillar.  

Comitibus: High Seat

Looking back to High Seat

Gregory Chapel with the Yorkshire 3 peaks- Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough, Whernside behind

Determining the optimum route back to the valley took a lot of map consultation and deliberation but we eventually found our way down the strangely named Home Gutter then Hell Gill Beck.

At the top of a ravine we met a family where one daughter was giving a good impression of the girl in itzy-bitzy-teeny weeny- yellow-polka dot bikini.  She had been exploring the possibility of descending the gorge, dressed appropriately in her swimsuit but was afraid to come out from behind the rocks!  Mother solved the problem with a towel and we had a look down the ravine.  It looked descendible but now I am not so sure.

Hell Gill Beck

Hell Gill disappears!

Hell Gill Force is apparently a 25 foot drop waterfall! However, for the second outing in succession (see BB1027 and Graham's photo of what we didn't see last time), we missed out on viewing the falls.  Instead, in ignorance, we rounded the ravine, dropped to the Hell Gill Wold Old Road and headed north.

This provided pleasant walking on what was now a grassy track with a fine view of Mallerstang Edge to our right and Wild Boar Fell to the left.  Just before the road dropped away to the valley there was a most unusual sculpture by Mary Bourne called Water Cut, which provided a team photo opportunity with a difference!

Water Cut

Team photo

Shortly afterwards, we came across one of the brass rubbing plates similar to those Margaret and I had seen on the Westmorland Way.

Brass rubbing

St Mary Mallerstang

Originally we had thought of returning by the paths on the other side of the river but the walk had taken longer than expected so we opted for the shorter, but harder on the feet, road slog back to the car.  This took us past St Mary Mallerstang Church (doors closed to keep out swallows and locked to keep us out).  

There was a touching memorial in the graveyard to the men killed whilst creating the Settle to Carlisle railway who were buried there.

Mallerstang Edge from the valley road

After the lovely hamlet of Outhgill, the final item of note was Pendragon Castle.  I had thought it was the home of Uther Pendragon, the father of the Once and Future King, but, as it is described as a Norman keep, if Uther had lived there, it must have been an earlier building.

Pendragon Castle

Wild Boar Fell from the castle

As we completed the circumnavigation of Mallerstang Edge and were approaching the car, the sun made a welcome return.  Far too late to worry about suncream!  It had been a longer than expected walk but Bryan, recently returned from his Alpine adventure, declared himself as feeling not the slightest bit tired.  Fortunately, the effects of high altitude training wear off after three weeks or so!!  Meanwhile, here are a couple of tasters of what he was doing last week.

Don, 29th July 2010




29th July 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Mallerstang Edge

Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 6, Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Bryan, Don, Stan, Tony

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1028.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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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


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Home Page










2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June

BB1023 :
Something Brutal
Thursday 10th June

BB1024 :
Rendezvous on Haycock
Thursday 17th June

BB1025 :
The Men of Gragareth
Thursday 24th June

BB1026 :
The Smardale Round
Thursday 1st July

BB1027 :
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Thursday 8th July

BB1028 :
All Around the Edge
Thursday 29th July

BB1029 :
The Return of Uncle Jamie
Thursday 5th August



BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

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







To see which Wainwright top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.

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