MW01 : Kendal to Bannisdale
22nd January 2013

I suspect that if John Dodgson Carr (JDC for future reference) had intended to set out on his long walk to set up a bakery in Carlisle on a day like today, then after pulling back the curtains he would have leapt back into bed and uttered something like “Carlisle can wait” or “Let Them Eat Cake”.

However, the cold, cloudy conditions with a fresh smattering of snow on the ground did not deter us.  After doing the two car shuffle, leaving one at the Selside Community Centre. just above Bannisdale, we (i.e. Ian & Cynthia plus Brora, Margaret and I) posed for the inaugural photo, at the correct place- i.e. the War Memorial in Kendal Market Place

Down through the market place, we trod, across the River Kent, heading out of town, passing on the way several old buildings that would have been familiar to JDC.  No doubt there were some of which he would not have approved!

Stupidly, bearing in mind that JDC was a staunch Quaker, I forgot to take a picture of the one he most certainly would have approved- the Quaker Meeting House.  Consequently I have "borrowed" one from its Tapestry Exhibition website.  Hope they don't mind.  Click on the picture to see details of the exhibition.

Kendal Market Place

Quaker Meeting House

Wildman Street Brewery

Castle Dairy

The 1657 Chocolate House

Bridge Mills

Sleddale Hall

The Duke of Cumberland Inn

On reaching the River Mint, we left the road and followed its left bank for a while before heading up to Dodding Green.

The sign at the entrance suggests this to be a Catholic Church but it doesn't look like one.  It seems to be acountry retreat where young men are helped to to rebuild their lives after drug addiction. You can read about this at Cenacolo Community UK.  Sadly, Once again, I have had to "borrow" aphoto but I hope they will forgive me in return for the minor piece of publicity that will be gained by clicking on the picture.  I did take the picture of the unusual seats and the tiny statue of the Virgin in a wall.

Dodding Green

Seats ar Dodding Green

Skelsmergh Hall Farm was not what I expected.  Rather than a charming ancient building was a charming new development of rather nice small houses.  Tucked away behind, was a somewhat nondescript old farmhouse.

Curious sheep near Skelsmergh Hall

I nearly went wrong on the next section because I could not see Skelsmergh Tarn. Looking back over previous reports, that ought not to have been a surprise. For example BB1034 describes it as being "not that visible, hidden away behind hedgrows across a field". Why should it be any clearer when frozen and covered in snow?   It just looked like a field to me.  Fortunately Cynthia had better judgement.

Skelsmergh Tarn. Probably!

From Otter Bank the route lay along Dry Lane

Dry Lane, looking back towards Kendal

A distant Benson Knott

Unnamed, frozen tarn

The ground became increasingly snow covered and just before arriving at Selside school there was a rather tricky stream to ford.  We arrived at the school just after their lunch break so I was looking forward to us having our lunch break on the Millennium seats (see A Minty Treat).  Unfortuanly my companions were worried that I might be thought a potential child molester so I was forced to be refreshed whilst standing in its car park.

Millenium  seat

Brora waiting

As we walked north from here, the day became sunnier and the snow deeper, with the distant Howgills looking quite splendid.  

The Howgills

A fine snowy specimen

There was one little hiccup at Cooper House where we strayed into the farm yard.  When we asked about the Miller Way, the old farmer denied all knowledge of it despite having lived there for all his seventy plus years.  He did, howver, indicate that the footpath was where we thought it should be.  Footpath is not exactly the right word.  It was more a narrow and uncertain channel between wall and snowdrifts, interspersed with high ladder stiles that challenged Brora if not all of us at times.

More fine specimens!

Even more fine specimens.....

Brora copes with the drifts.....

..... find the going getting tricker

.... but Ian eats snow!

The Whinfell range

Fortunately, as the drifts go deeper, the car park got nearer and we were able to complete the first stage without anything untoward having happened.

End of the first stage

Thoughts on the Way so far:

The descriptions were generally good, just occasionally somewhat unclear.

Clarity suffered somewhat from the common fault of not giving distances between instructions so you often have no idea whether the next is in 10 yards or two miles.  It was easier to preplot the route and then follow the map.

More importantly it took us through lovely, gentle rolling countryside with fine distant views, especially of the Howgills.  A good taster for the next slice.

Don, 22nd January 2013

Bonus Photos

Ian kindly forwarded these bonus pictures, below and bottom right.





Tuesday 22nd January 2013

Distance in miles:

6.5 (Memory Map / OS)

Height climbed in feet:

895 (Memory Map / OS)

Cumulative miles:


Cumulative feet:



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