BB2209 : So Good They Went There Twice

Thursday 17th March 2022

Jay-Jay Okocha is the former Nigerian international footballer who used to play for Bolton Wanderers. 

In fact, in 2017 he was voted the best player to have ever played for the Wanderers which, considering it had been the province of the great Nat Lofthouse, is quite some accolade. 

The fans so liked their attacking midfielder that they printed T shirts with the slogan: 

so good they named him twice

Today's outing somehow reminded me of Jay-Jay.

The plan was to do a 1191BB, or to put it more sensibly, BB1911 in reverse.  That meant starting at Ludderburn, a fairly obscure location to the east of Windermere (the lake) then heading south over Gummer’s How and Simpson Ground to High Newton  However a threatened downpour in the late morning led to a rather contrived way of doing the same trip but avoiding the bad weather.

The key was to start, mid-way, at the Gummer’s How car park and set off straight up the nose. 

OK it is a fairly short climb in the greater scheme of things but it does feel like a proper mountain with some awkward little craggy bits to negotiate. 

It was fairly cold with strong gusts of wind and the Lake District hills were shrouded but we made good progress. 

Once we reached the trig point we could take it much easier and head north through Bare Allotment to the Blake Holme Plantation where, protected by the trees, if the threatened rain did come, we would be somewhat sheltered. 

In fact the threat started to become a reality as we emerged into the open so wet weather gear was quickly donned.  It didn't stop the sheep trooping across the fields to be fed.

Soon we were back at the car that had strategically been left at Ludderburn.  Time to take shelter whilst the deluge passed through.  But where? was the question.  The obvious place was the Hare & Hounds at Bowland Bridge so that is where we went and entered the premises.  Unfortunately (for them) it was only 11:45 and they didn’t open until noon.  Why they didn’t just invite us in and offer us a coffee if they couldn’t yet serve food or alcohol, I don’t know.  But they didn’t, they just turned away custom.

Never mind, we thought.  We‘ll return up the hill to the Mason’s Arms.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately as things turned out) they were short staffed (Thank you, Covid / Brexit) and were only open for bookings. 

Our walking strategy required us to start the next stage from way down south at High Newton so that is where we headed.  Ignoring what used to be The Crown and is now the rather posher “Heft”, we drove on to Harry’s CafeBar at Yew Tree Barn.  What a superb light lunch we had.  Cappucino to my specific temperature and froth requirements.  Half of me wished I had ordered the Sea Food Chowder that Mike was clearly enjoying whilst the other half was delighted that I was tucking into the most delicious Ratatouille.  It was so good. 

It might surprise you know that none of us had any alcohol with our lunch.  We didn’t want to undermine our performance for the second part of what should have been the first part of the adventure.

We passed High Newton Reservoir and followed the bridle path through pleasant countryside until it was time to turn into the woods for the Simpson Ground Reservoir.

Rather than take the marked footpaths that would lead to Sow How Lane, we followed forestry tracks that would lead directly back to where we had parked the car. 

The problem was that there had been a lot of heavy machinery that had clearly been used for a great deal of logging.  They had left a quagmire in their wake.  We emerged from the woods distinctly muddier than we had entered.

Now it was decision time.  We had completed 1191BB. Should we call it a day or should we undertake a second ascent of Gummer’ How?  We are (or at least I am) very fond of this mountain in miniature so the decision was simple.  It’s so good that we’ll go there twice. 

To make things more interesting we opted to keep to the east of the hill and then attack it from that side.  It’s less dramatic that way and the track had been made much muddier and difficult to follow, thanks to the many cows that had been traipsing round, but the final climb was satisfying.

It was rather sunnier than in the morning but the Lakeland Hills were still obscured.

Feeling rather smug at our second conquest, we descended the craggy ground that we had climbed several hours earlier. 

On reaching the car we headed back to High Newton's Yew Tree Barn, the home of the so good Harry’s CafeBar.  Had it been so very good that we should visit it for the second time?  It would have been very tempting apart from one thing.  We had come prepared to eat on the fells and had walked round with a sac-full of goodies to eat.  After completing the steepest part of the descent, Stan had found a suitable place for us to have our afternoon tea (or coffee in my case) where we ate our butties and Stan treated us with FlapJack.

So in summary, Gummer’s How was so good that we went there twice and Harry’s CafeBar was so good but the second visit will have to wait a while.  But not for long.  I think Jay-Jay would have understood.

Don, Thursday 17th March 2022


Comitibus:  Don, Stan, Mike, Terry

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Map  OS 1:50k




BB2209 : So Good They Went There Twice


Thursday 17th March 2022


Gummer's How, Simpson Ground

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (MM):



Don, Mike B , Stan, Terry


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