Holme Fell and Tarn Hows

This is night No 38/2018 staying in my caravan. My 4th and final night in Coniston Coppice C&MC Site near Coniston in the Lake District.

Yet again, woke to stunning weather around 0600. Took the dogs for a quick walk round the top of the site on a lovely sunny morning.

I had my mind on another nearby Wainwright, but unlike yesterdays hills (oops, fells), this one isn't such a honeypot. Quite a low 1040', but a hill with a lot of character according to my guidebook.

Left the site around 0830. It was already 16C and clear blue skies. I used my reciprocal benefits of the NTS membership and parked at the NT Carpark at St Marys Glen. The walk takes you round the stunning Yew Tree Tarn, a man made reservoir and now a NT property.

The walk makes it way through a lovely waterside wood. Lot's of scented plants.

Incidentally, this was a dog's off lead stretch and it was great to let them have a blast. I didn't meet anyone else on the way up, and only met one couple on the way back.

Looking back to the Tarn as the path grunted it's way upwards. It's a steep one! When I reached the interestingly named 'Uskdale Gap' which is a narrow, bouldery gully, I suddenly came across a herd of Galloway Belted Cattle! I'd read about this online, it's the NT's grazing herd. Fortuneately, I think they're used to walkers and they weren't bothered by me or the dogs. I was also sweating buckets at this point, the heat seemed to be bouncing of the rocks.

I continued up onto a rocky, craggy summit. I spotted the cairn. It was on a rocky platform, and I headed up. What a great spot.

Brilliant, I thought. Another Wainwright bagged..until..I looked across the summit and on another crag was a higher cairn? I was on Ivy Crag, and the other, higher, cairn was the real summit.

A bit of a scramble up a rocky gully, and I was there. Even better view!

I took out my Wainwright guide. An absolute fantastic and educational publication and from it's hand drawn sketched, panoramas, and directional aids, I could identify many of the surrounding hills.

A distant Helvellyn, which my brother will be trotting round in December. Bet it won't be this colour!

My favourite peak. A very 'Torridonian' looking Pike O' Blisco.

Pike O' Stickle, note the little building on the shoulder of the closer hill.

As Wainwright says, there is no better hill to get a full length view of Consiton Water. I'm staying up near the sticky out bit on the right.

The vertigo inducing zig zags on the Old Man of Consiton.

It was roasting. I reckon 22C. And no wind. Hamish jumped in a puddle, apparently it's good for 'cooling the blood'!

I had planned to do another hill in the afternoon, but it was just too hot. I only have a 1lt water bottle, and I'm not wise enough to know if drinking from 'gills' (english for 'burns') is safe. The dogs were struggling to keep cool on this one. I'd need to have brought a proper pack and a good supply of water.

Instead, we headed back to St Marys Glen and walked up a lovely gully to Tarn Hows.

Tarn Hows is a NT property and is absolutely picturesque. A bit of a sweaty grunt up the gully to get here, but well worth it. There's actually a carpark up here too, but the riverside walk is nice.

And the NT grazing squad of Belties were also feeling the heat!


  1. Fantastic photos dad, looks such a dreamy place x

  2. Odd to see Belties there - and quite ominous, given where you are headed next. Aye, I hope Helvellyn will be mine (again) in December for a nice winter round. Odd how an area so close to Scotland has so many countryside terms (tarns, etc.) that we never encounter here. The Wainwright books read so well, almost as if someone in a pub is telling you the way to go as well as his opinions, thoughts on others, etc.. Very endearing. Your reports have put me in the mood to have a read of a few. Hope the drive back to Jockland is easy.


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