BB1034 : A Good One For Tony

Thursday 23rd September 2010

It would have been very easy to say ďno thanks, not today.Ē  I hadnít arrived back from our grandparenting trip to Germany until the small hours and didn't fancy an early start, especially as the forecast was pretty poor.  But when Stan informed me that Bryan was out on the third day of his grand marathon to finish off the Wainwrights (one from each of the seven books with transport to, from and in between by leg power only), it would have been too wimpish to stay at home.  Nonetheless, it was not a day to venture on to the high fells.

Instead, we parked at Patton Bridge in that nice triangle of land between the A6 Shap Road, the A685 Appleby Road and the Whinfell Range.  It was raining quite heavily as we set off but that was no surprise and we were prepared for the worst.  

Rain over Patton Bridge and the Whinfells

Black Moss Tarn

Picking up the Dales Way, we headed for Black Moss Tarn, the first of many small tarns that we would pass in the next few hours, wondering if fishing fanatic Tony had dipped his rod there. There was a slight navigational hiccup as we followed what turned out to be a cow track rather than the map.  I was tempted to blame the fact that I havenít got this area mapped at the 1:25k scale on my computer so we relying on the 1:50k Ordnance Survey.  Whilst fine for roads and bridle paths, these maps do lack the detail you need to navigate across fields as no boundaries are shown.  But if you donít look at the map, whatever scale, you canít expect to be the right track.  So a minor diversion was incurred before retrieving the proper track and the second small tarn.

The third, Skelsmergh Tarn, was not that visible, hidden away behind hedgerows across a field.

On crossing the A6 we passed through Burton House Farm.  I remembered it from when Margaret and I did the Dales Way (DW03) as being the home of Shetland Ponies.  I donít know if it has changed hands, but today we saw no Shetlands, just a goat, a do-it-yourself café (brew your own tea- donations welcome) and what seemed to be a do-it-yourself tip with a log book for you to record your deposits!

Billy's do-it-yourself cafe

Billy's do--it-yourself tip

There is path marked on the map across the field to Bowbank but it was not there on the ground.  Having no clues as to field boundaries, we had an unintended detour around Coppice Howe Farm before finding the right path over the small hill before dropping down to Garth Row.

Looking back to Kendal

I particularly wanted to look at a house that we had coveted when it had been for sale in the late 1970s but hadnít been able to afford.  The subsequent successive owners have done a good job in maintaining the property, I was pleased to note.  

Stan the dry stone waller

The coveted house

After recrossing the A6, we climbed up a field and took advantage of the now improved weather to have lunch with a good view over to Burneside and beyond. We sat on some stones that had tumbled from the wall and, afterwards, Stan did the farmer a favour and rebuilt the wall for him.

Burneside and beyond

On reaching the minor road, we thought we had stumbled across a secret military establishment, such was the high level of security surrounding the Watchgate Water Treatment Works.  It is clear from the BiWater website that this is a serious establishment: These works represent a strategic national asset and outage planning was crucial to the success of the project.

It is a bit of a misnomer, really.  It should be called the Watched Gate Water Treatment Works, such is the plethora of security cameras.  On reflection, I am surprised we couldn't see the gun emplacements.

Watchgate Water Treatment Works

Keep out!

It also has a sort of pond and beyond it lies a much larger one, shown on the map as resembling a telephone handset!

The telephone handset tarn

In the distance the Howgills were looking dramatic during a gap in the weather.


We were heading for what the map showed as a school at Selside and were surprised to discover that not only is it still a primary school, the path goes right through the school yard where children were undertaking some sort of supervised outdoor lesson in pairs. It seemed to involved throwing a large ball to each other and counting how many times they caught it.  Is that maths or PE or what?

Another minor navigational hiccup followed and Bouthwaite, according to a very friendly farmer, turned out to be Steel Croft, not that it mattered too much.

High Biggarsbank has the biggest hen hut I have ever seen- absolutely massive with thousands of hens outside in the yards on both sides and many more in the surrounding  fields.

At this point, my camera failed with the warning that its electricity was exhausted.

Stan observed that it was a pity we were not looking at battery hens!  

Fortunately I had a spare battery albeit with not very much juice in it.

No spare batteries!

All these ponds would have got Tony very excited but he would have been beside himself with delight at Low Biggarsbank where there was an old tractor calling out for him to get his hands on and restore it.  Stan was excited by an old anvil that he wished he could transport home whilst I was more intrigued by what was obviously an old car seemingly rusting away under wraps.  We guessed it was an Austin 7 but but checking the number plate it seems to be Morris 8.

A project for Tony ?

Mprris 8 ?

After crossing a strongly flowing River Mint, pausing for the team photo, we passed through Topthorn, where a lot of wooden lodge and stone barn (with integral stone birdbox) conversion development has taken place.

Comitibus: River Mint

Integral stone bird box

I commented that Whinfell Tarn looked a lot smaller than I remember it.  A quarter of a mile later it was obvious why- the tarn looked at was a lot smaller than Whinfell Tarn, which was now clearly in view.

Whinfell Tarn

Looking back, there was a fine view of the tarn with the Whinfell range behind but sadly, my spare battery was also now exhausted, as now doubt you are, dear reader, if you have lasted this long with this report.

There is no more to add except that as we returned to the car the heavens opened and, on returning, the streets of Kendal were absolutely awash.  Pity poor Bryan!  Did he complete the round?  News will follow.

 Don, 23rd September 2010





23rd September 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Watchgate Water Treatment Works

Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 2, Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Don, Stan



If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1034.

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!

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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

BB1030 :
The Examination Results
Thursday 12h August

BB1031 :
Nick by Haggis
Thursday 19th August

BB1032 :
And Then There Were Two
Thursday 26th August

BB1033 :
A Surplus of Sheepfolds
Thursday 2nd September

BB1034 :
A Good One For Tony
Thursday 23rd September

BB1035 :
The Wainwright Triathlon
Tuesday 21st - Thursday 23rd

BB1036 :
The Nine Standards
or The Battle Of Birkett Hills
Thursday 30th September



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!