BB1339 : Sallows and Amazon

Thursday 6th November 2013

The Lake District has many literary connections, ranging from William Wordsworth, De Quincey, Sir Clement Jones, Postman Pat (sorry, John Cunliffe) plus several more through to Melvyn Bragg.  Plus of course Alfred Wainwright.

And Arthur Ransome.  

Indeed Arthur Ransome has a room dedicated to him in the Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal.

As a somewhat disillusioned young man, in 1917 he took himself off to Lenin's Russia and became well known in very high places.  

Was he a spy?  Maybe.  

Or a double spy?  Perhaps.

You can find out more by reading the Daily Telegraph's review of Roland Chambers' biography The Last Englishman although if you look at the Amazon (N.B.) website, whilst many enjoyed the book, some contributors were less than impressed by this interpretation of the Ransome Story.

It was much later that Ransome started writing his stories about the Walker children and their adventures in the Southern Lakes.  

As a child, I was never much into Swallows and Amazons, I have to confess to preferring A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh, Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Capt. John's Biggles.  But the destination of today's walk brought the subject to mind although you might well consider the relevance to be extremely tenuous!

Our first objective was Sallows which is a W (i.e. a Wainwright peak) so if you mix the two together you get Swallows.  Pathetic, isn't it? Plus you've already seen the Amazon reference!

I doubt if the Walker children would have ventured out today!  To be fair, it was fair when we set off up the Kentmere Valley to park by the Church.  

Mike provides Linthwaite sausages

Tony and the Edward VII post box

As we climbed the Garburn Road it clouded and became cooler (the Met Office had forecast a chill factor of -12°).  Also short sharp showers, sometimes rain, sometimes light hail, passed through.

On reaching Sallows summit, it was blowing a gale so we didn't linger but made our way round to Sour Howse where it was little better. As we dropped down towards the valley, we found a suitable place to stop for lunch, sheltered from the wind by a small patch of conifers.

The Kentmere climbing rock

Comitibus :  Descent from Sour Howes

The weather brightened considerably as we descended, thought the stream were in spate aking crossing them, at times, challenging.  Sadly, no one fell in so my photographic efforts to capture the moment were in vain..  

Tony and the Edward VII

I thought Tony had been this way before so I was somewhat surprised when he detoured to examine the small abandoned shepherd's cottage, with much of its iron fireplace still in position.

Cottage for sale

Open plan kitchen / lounge

There is a sheep hill not so far away

As we made our way along the riverside, we passed a building where the upstairs is a gallery (closed for winter) and below is a garage.  The door was open and an ancient tractor was spotted.  Then I noticed that beyond it was an old car wrapped in protective covering.  In a strange sort of role reversal, it was Tony who had to stop me from looking under the cover to examine it further so I am unable to report what it was.

Name that tractor

Name that car

On return to our starting point, Tony and I decided to have a look in the church, St Cuthbert's.  Its exterior is very plain and the inside mostly likewise except for the cushions adorning the pews.  Each one crotched to a different pattern.  Perhaps the most poignant one, at this time of year, being a Remembrance Cushion.

St Cuthbert's Church

The Remembrance cushion

Walk over, we made our traditional call at Staveley's Hawkshead Bravery which seemed to be having a Celebrity Chef convention.  The arrival of such acclaimed hoteliers as James and Mike soon had the chefs genuflecting.

Some members of the Comitibus seemed to have worked up a thirst that was beyond the capacity of the Brewery to satisfy so I dropped James, John and Tony at Alexanders and made my virtuous way home.  It looked like they were in for a session to celebrate John having conquered two more Ws: Sour Howes and Sallows.  They must have done that in some style.  Just after 10 p.m. I received a message from James saying that he had just got home after the longest walk yet.  I suspect that they had Swallowed enough to have drunk the Amazon dry!

Don, 6th November 2013




Thursday 6th November 2013

Distance in miles:

7.9 (Garmin GPS)

Height climbed in feet:

1,529 (Memory Map / OS)


Sallows, Sour Howes


Don, James, John Hn , Martin, Mike, Tony


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1339 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

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


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