5th May 2008

Great Dodd, Clough Head and half a dozen sheepfolds


Walk Overview
Time 08.50 to 14.10
Duration 5 hr 20 min
Distance 9.7 mile
Ascent 2475 ft
Walking with On my own
High Row - Groovebeck Fold - Randerside - Great Dodd - Calfhow Pike - Jim's Fold - Clough Head - Rowantree Fold - Wolfcrag Fold - Mart Fold - Old Coach Road - Barbaryrigg Fold - High Row
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, High Row

Wanthwaite is found on the western end of the Old Coach Road and this car park at High Row is found at its eastern end. It may not be the biggest car park, but more often than not you should find a space. If it's simply a walk along the Old Coach Road of an excursion onto the Great Dodd / Clough Head fells you're after, I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Parking is free.


Route Map

The car park at High Row leads directly onto the area known as Matterdale Common. Winding its way through the area from High Row to Wanthwaite is the Old Coach Road; the track I followed for a short way at the start of the walk and again at the end.

Groovebeck Fold.

Sunshine and bank holidays don't come together too often, but when they do it generally feels that little bit extra special; more so than on other days. Today was no different, and the thought of walking in warm sunshine was great. So, having originally set out to do a circuit of Haweswater, I abandoned my plans in favour of brighter conditions. On the drive through I could see there was more cloud in the east of the county. So I turned around on the A66 and without any planning or much thought at all I ended up at High Row and made the walk up as I went along.

Looking up to Randerside and Great Dodd.

Looking across to the northern fells from the ridge to Randerside and Great Dodd. It was fantastic on here today and made a real change to be walking in such warm weather.

We all have our own preferences with regard to areas and types of terrain we enjoy the most. Some people have a passion for being 'near the edge' and hanging on for dear life, some enjoy the rugged areas where you have the feel of Lakeland rock under your boots, walking next to rivers or lakes or simply strolling along the country lanes. All of which are enjoyable; and as much as I like these different terrains offered by the Lake District, what you see here gives me more enjoyment than anything else. Wide open spaces of grassy moorland.

Great Dodd seen from Randerside.

Just past Great Dodd and getting a fine view of Derwent Water, Keswick, Portinscale, Braithwaite, the Lords Seat fells, Dodd, Latrigg, The Skiddaw fells, Tewet Tarn, High Rigg and what ever else you care to pick out.

Raven Crag and the dam end of Thirlmere.

And a wider view looking in the same direction.



Quite a lot of today's walk was done off path and the section between Calfhow Pike and Clough Head was no exception. What I did, was head in what was almost a perfectly straight line from Calfhow Pike to Jim's Fold.

And there it is; Jim's Fold.

A close up of Tewet Tarn. I know it wasn't bad up here, but I'll bet it was lovely down there today; an area I always enjoy.
Castlerigg Stone Circle can be seen in the top left hand corner of the picture.

Clough Head summit and amazingly for a sunny bank holiday, I still hadn't seen anyone else since I started the walk. The first people I saw on the walk were a couple of cyclists at Mariel Bridge.

Looking down to St John's in the Vale.

It was far too nice to rush away from Clough Head, so I thought this would be an ideal spot for a sit down and a bite to eat. Obviously the swarm of flies up here had other ideas, and after less than a couple of minutes they'd got the better of me, so I carried on.

Rowantree Gill. The tiny black lump, just to the left of the lowest point on the skyline, is Calfhow Pike.

Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell, seen here from Mart Crag / Mart Fold.
I'd had a great day in the sunshine so far, so I suppose I shouldn't really complain about the build up of cloud. To be honest I was just glad that I'd abandoned my original walk and done this one instead. I don't normally plan walks more than a day in advance, but I really do want to keep the circuit of Haweswater walk for a good day.

Looking back to Clough Head from the Old Coach Road.

Passing by Barbaryrigg Fold, with the northern fells were looking much darker than they were when I set out this morning.

Great Mell Fell.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks