Return of the Hotel Inspectors
24th July 2019
don’t know what the TV Hotel
Inspector, Alex Polizzi, would
have made of it, though I have
on bare boards with no piped
water, no electricity and dig
your own latrine is probably
not what she would consider
appropriate for a successful
if you are stranded on the fells in foul
weather or fancy the opportunity to spend
the night deep in the wild country but don’t
want to pack a tent or to bivouac under
the stars, Mosedale Cottage has considerable
is three years since our last inspection
so today that was our mission.
the Cottage is always a bit of a challenge. We
decided to take the high route. The
forecast was for a lovely day after a damp
start. Britain would be basking in
temperatures approaching 30 degrees. Also
it would enable Mike T to earn a couple
of Wainwright points.
no-one told the Lakeland Fells about what
was supposed to be provided. Instead
it threw a very strong and cold south-westerly
wind at us. Not bad enough to
impede progress seriously but certainly too chilly
for the summer gear I was wearing. Fortunately
I had my lightweight mac-in-a-pack to shield
ground was wet as there had been fierce
thunder storms in the night. We were
each parading our excuses about how feeble
we would be due to the amount of sleep we
had lost thanks to the bangs. Tony won-
he claimed to have been kept awake beyond
4 a.m. and would spend the day in bed. That
was his pretext for not being with us.
route up on to the fells was the Old Corpse
Road. The poor old mules must have
struggled at times with the dead strapped
to their backs. Near the col, our
path branched off left, offering a fine
view (apart from the shrouded tops) of the
stop Selside Pike and then on to Branstree.
Mike T and I visited the strange pipeline
surveyors’ structure. Haweswater looked
is definitely the easy way to Branstree.
Far better than the climb from the
top of Gatesgarth Pass.
it was time to visit the hotel, sorry- cottage,
for lunch. The descent to Mosedale
is steepish but not challengingly so. Morecambe
Bay could be seen in the distance.
track at the bottom was quite boggy in parts
but we were now out of the wind and the
promised nice day was upon us.
about half a mile Mosedale Cottage came
into view. Perhaps I should explain
that it is actually a bothy managed by the
has been recently painted and looked in
good condition as we approached. Stan
was hoping there was a pretty nurse on the staff
as he had sustained a cut whilst trying
to rescue Brian from a fall. He was
out of luck. There was no-one there.
was a bit of a disappointment.
were a lot of flies. It
smelt of damp and staleness.
clients had been few lately.
threw open the window to let
the air in and maybe the flies
the plus side it was clean and
tidy and, if the stove were
lit, it was easy to imagine
a convivial night being enjoyed.
opted to eat outside in the
grassy yard, borrowing chairs
from the lounge to sit and feast
in the sunshine.
B pulled out a meat pie for us to send Tony
a picture to taunt him as he wasn't with
us. It didn't work as Tony thought
it was an apple! He turned over and
went back to sleep.
T, Stan, Brian, Don, Mike B
accomplished, we set off down the valley.
Mosedale is a wet under foot trudge.
We met a couple of men heading for
the cottage. The elder had front and
back rucksacs. He explained that one
was filled with logs as he intended to stay
at overnight. The other planned to
return to Shap. Not presumably for
descent to Swindale is one of the district's
best kept secrets and I don’t mean the two
young ladies picnicking by the stream. It
has a series of waterfalls helping the beck
rush to the valley.
downside to the inspection visit soon followed.
It is a long trudge along the narrow
road, past the intriguingly named Truss
Gap House and back to the only parking area.
Still, we were all going well and
it was no great hardship. The scrutiny
visit was complete and, apart from the demerits
mentioned, it was declared fit for purpose.
T, Stan and I now had to return home. Mike
B and Brian shot off elsewhere. On
the way, we passed the Greyhound Inn at Shap.
Outside, what did we see? Mike B’s car
parked at the front. Clearly those Hotel
Inspectors had a second appointment today.
Wednesday 24th July 2019