15th November 2008

Not another soul in site - Branstree to Hare Shaw


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 12.45
Duration 3 hr 30 min
Distance 6.7 mile
Ascent 2010 ft
Walking with On my own
Haweswater Road - Hopgill Beck sheepfold - Branstree North Ridge - Branstree - Branstree Tarn - Captain Whelter Bog - Selside Pike - Selside End - Old Corpse Road - Hare Shaw - Guerness Gill - Aaron's Bield - Haweswater Road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Haweswater, bottom of the corpse road

Prior to the church at Mardale Green being consecrated, what we now refer to as the corpse road, was the route used by the people of this valley to take the bodies of their dead to Shap for burial. Thankfully the gruesome purpose of this route has been consigned to the history books and what we have now is a wonderful stretch of Mooreland footpath, which despite it's closeness to Mardale and Swindale, has a feeling of remoteness about it.

There aren't too many spaces here, but there never seems to be more than a couple of cars parked, so I'm probably right in saying this is somewhere you'll always get parked.


Route Map

Looking across to Mardale Ill Bell, High Street, Kidsty Pike and into Riggindale.

This large sheepfold next to Hopgill Beck might be easy enough to find, but actually getting across to it was a bit of a wet affair, leaving me soaked up to my knees.

Back on Branstree's North Ridge now and at last I'm walking in the sunshine.

Selside Pike seen from the ridge up to Branstree.

Branstree's summit.

And again, this time with Harter Fell behind.

Hardly a stones throw from the summit you reach the end of the wall coming up from Selside Brow, the fence coming from Gatescarth Pass and the fence leading to Selside Pike. Three useful navigation aids if ever you're up here when the cloud if down. no such problems today though; it was about as clear as you could ever wish for.

The higher of the large cairns on Artle Crag. The fell to the right of the cairn is Selside Pike.

From Artle Crag I headed across to the fence running between Branstree and Selside Pike. Rather than follow the fence however, I walked across to Branstree Tarn, and the stone pillar which you can just see near the middle of the picture.

That's a bit closer!

Branstree Tarn.

I expected to end up jumping over the muddy bits here, but surprisingly, the area around Captain Whelter Bog was quite dry.

Approaching Selside Pike summit.

Sunshine, wide open spaces, no people and no noise; fantastic!

Walking down Selside End you get this great view into Swindale; one of the Lake District's more secluded valleys.

I was getting a bit hungry now, but I suppose I could manage to wait until I reached Hare Shaw, seen here in the distance.


Crossing Moss Gill. Talk about getting away from it all.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Aaron's Bield.
I wouldn't say it was the only reason, but visiting this shelter was one of the reasons why I took such an out of the ordinary route from Hare Shaw back to the Haweswater road.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks