5th April 2009

An unusual route to High Raise and a change of plan to stay in the sun


Walk Overview
Time 08.30 to 13.45
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 11.3 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with On my own
Burnbanks - Haweswater - Sandhill Knotts - Fordingdale Bottom - Measand Beck - Longgrain Beck - High Raise - Red Crag - Wether Hill - Bampton Common - Four Stones Hill - Burnbanks
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Burnbanks, Haweswater

There aren't many spaces here I'm afraid and parking is not allowed any further into the village. The good news (or bad news depending n your point of view) is that once these spaces are taken, there is room to park along the road outside the village.


Route Map

Heading along the path above Haweswater on what was a lovely morning. And in light of the good forecast I decided to take an unusual route up to High Raise, firstly by heading into Fordingdale Bottom, following Measand Beck and then Longgrain Beck. This really was an out of the way route, and even though I have no reservations at all about walking off path on my own, I have to admit it crossed my mind a couple of times that I was on my own in a place that very few people must visit.

Looking down the length of Haweswater. Notice the cloud rolling over the fells at the far end of the lake.

Almost at the head of Fordingdale Bottom, which turned out to be much drier than I thought it would have been at this time of year. The most notable thing up here was that I was now out of the wind, where I spent just under two hours walking in a sun trap. So much so that the first thing Jennifer said when I walked in the house was that I'd caught the sun.

The large sheepfold on the opposite side of Measand Beck.

Measand Beck. Thankfully it was easy enough to keep crossing from one side to the other. As the route got narrower and the sides of the fell got a little steeper, it became obvious that I wouldn't be able to follow the whole length of the beck on the same side. Some bits were steep and slippery, others were more rocky, and the only option was to do a little bit of stone hopping.

Just one of a series of small but very nice waterfalls I passed on route.



Looking back down towards Fordingdale Bottom.


What a fantastic place.

I wouldn't say it was the only reason for taking this route, but reaching this hidden away sheepfold in Longgrain Gill was certainly a nice bonus.

On more than one occasion I've heard people say that they've worked their way through various lists of fells, with one of the reasons be that "it takes you to places you wouldn't otherwise get to". Well, if you really want to get to some obscure places, try visiting some of these sheepfolds or rather try incorporating them into your routes. Getting to the fell tops is fine; it's something I do all the time so I'm not knocking it. But the summit is nothing more than the highest point, and there's generally much more of interest on the way up or the way back down if you invest the time and effort to explore.

This picture was taken at the point where I left Longgrain Beck and headed up to High Raise.

Blimey, I didn't expect to see all that cloud. I'd been walking in sunshine since I left Burnbanks and for obvious reasons I couldn't see in this direction, so I wrongly assumed that everywhere else was enjoying the sunshine I'd had. Sadly that was the direction I'd originally wanted to walk in, which wouldn't have been so bad, except that in the opposite direction there was hardy a cloud in the sky. There was only one thing for it, and that was to head along the ridge towards Wether Hill instead.

That's better.

Looking along the ridge from the end of the wall seen in the previous picture.


The view across Steel Knotts, Hallin Fell, Ullswater, the Gowbarrow Fell area, the two Mell Fells and onto the northern fells.

This picture was taken a coupe of minutes after passing the only other person I saw on the whole walk, apart from the guy cutting his grass when I got back to Burnbanks.

Still a reasonable distance left to walk, but definitely on the homeward stretch nonetheless.

A close up of the Measand Beck / Longgrain Beck route I took earlier in the walk.

Now it was time for something else to eat. This time at the ruin next to the disused quarry found below Low Cop.

Four Stones Hill and the tarn, which was bone dry when I got down to it.

Haweswater seen from the two remaining stones on FOUR Stones Hill.

Just some of the lovely countryside found to the north of Burnbanks.

And Burnbanks itself.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks