21st September 2014

Walk 2 - A Wetsleddale Hoseshoe


Walk Overview
Time 12:30 to 4:25pm
Duration 3 hr 55 min
Distance 8.3 mile
Ascent 1400 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Cooper's Green - Howe Gill - Lunch House - Gray Bull - Sleddale Pike - Great Saddle Crag - Ulthwaite Rigg - Tod Crags - path to Stackhouse Brow - Cooper's Green
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Wet Sleddale Reservoir

This car park offers access to the wonderfully remote Shap Fells. Even though the terrain around here is wide open and remote, the car park itself is actually quite close to the busy A6 road and the village of Shap.

Parking is free and I should imagine you'll always manage to get a space.


Route Map


We'd been fed and watered, we'd driven a few miles north and now we're setting off for a circuit of the fells around Wet Sleddale. Jennifer opted to sit this one out because her foot was hurting. "Are you sure. We could be gone for about four hours" I asked "Definitely, I can have a peaceful afternoon on my own and maybe a sleep in the car" (more on that at the end).

Looking across to Wet Sleddale Reservoir and Seat Robert. The car park seemed quite full as we passed by, although, I've no idea where the owners wandered off to today. We saw no other people until we were on the way back down to the cars at the end of the walk.

A close up of the dam.


Deception, , , , trick the animals into believing there a good bridge to cross and then SNAP - - - - they never make it to the other side.


We pass the Lunch House which is used by the folk that are out for a days shooting.
Talking about people that go out shooting. Needless to say they have to pay for the privilege of blasting birds out of the air, but, how much do they pay. Well, we don't have a clue about that, although, if the quality of the Grouse Butts is anything to go by there's obviously a tiered membership to this particular club.

This is the deluxe Grouse Butt used by those wealthy enough to be at the 'posher' end of the club.
Those suffering with a slight financial embarrassment would only be able to secure themselves a day in this somewhat shabby looking butt.
And finally, we find our selves looking at this battered bargain basement butt. Presumably this one would be used by anyone who failed to keep up with the membership fees or perhaps those that have accidentally shot one of the beaters.

The next place we headed for was Gray Bull; a giant of a stone found in the middle of an otherwise grassy landscape. I actually have theory about the origins Gray Bull. Personally, I reckon this was the preferred site for Stonehenge. Unfortunately, with the ground being so boggy it proved very difficult for the workmen to drag anymore stones up here so they gave up. You can hardly blame them can you? Anyway: they sent out the surveyors to find an alternative site and they eventually settled on an available building plot just north of the A303 in Wiltshire.
Okay, it's not much of a theory but it's got to be more likely then the stupid idea of it being left here by a glacier, , , , I mean come on, how far fetched is that.


Sleddale Pike summit.



If only they wouldn't run away at the first sight of us humans. This was just a small selection of the many deer we saw today. We had a quick count up of the deer we'd seen and got a figure between 80 and 100. Absolutely magical to see, especially the ones we got quite close to.

Watching us watching them.

After spending much of the walk off path we spy the bridalway running across the fellside below Seat Robert. From there we turn right and the going is a lot easier with not quite as much need to watch where you're putting your feet.

Looking down to Wet Sleddale Reservoir and Sleddale Hall.

Ahead of us are the 2nd & 3rd other people we'd passed all day. I knew it was gonna be busy around here.

Passing by the entrance to Thorney Bank Farm.

"Have you been for a walk about" I asked Jennifer when we got back.
"Not far but I had a relaxing sleep until I felt something banging against the car"
"what was it"
"Cows, , , , those ones over there. I was gonna get out and chase them till one started licking the window"
Okay it can't have been very nice but you have to see the funny side, , , , , don't you?

David Hall -
Lake District Walks