Easter Around Eskdale – Part 1

Posted by @ 10:15 am on Thursday 3rd May, 2012.
Categories: Great Escapes, YHA

It was a dull and damp Easter Sunday afternoon when we arrived at YHA Eskdale and met up with the Maynes...


YHA Eskdale.


The optimistic BBQ area.


The weather forecasts for the next few days were grim - storms, high winds and snow - but we were determined to make the best of it so we got settled in and started planning what to do. The plan started with us assuming command of the log-fire and the associated furniture. Maps and guidebooks were consulted, a fine hostel meal was consumed and the rest of the evening was spent shooting the breeze in front of the fireplace.

Monday morning started with a fine drizzle but nothing worse so after breakfast we set out for the old peat-tracks that lead up towards Green Crag. The further we went, the wetter it became and a short halt was called after the zig-zags at the derelict Low Birker peat-hut. Natasha was feeling a bit off-colour so a bit of rest was taken:


Natasha feeling a bit poorly.


Chris and Anna at the peat-hut.

We pressed on for a short distance but at the turn where the track heads off over the marshy plateau it was too windy for the young ones and Natasha decided that she'd had enough. We agreed a safe spilt in the party - I was pleasantly surprised when Anna declared that she wanted to carry on with me and Geoff while the others retired to the hostel. Goodbyes were said and then we were off across the soggy ground heading for Green Crag a mile or so away:

Heading for Green Crag.

Of course, as soon as we'd started off the weather got progressively worse, so much so that the camera wasn't brought out again for the rest of the walk. After passing Tarn Crag we gave Anna the choice as to whether we should proceed or turn back, amazingly she not only wanted to carry on but she took the lead, picking out an interesting (and damned steep) off-piste route that took us through the col just west of Great Whinscale Crag before we got better views of Green Crag through swirling clouds. We had a short breather in the lee of a small outcrop before pushing on up to a point within sight of the boundary stone where we dumped the packs and went up the final slopes unhindered.

The summit was an airy place, sometimes wreathed in cloud but with intermittent clear views of distant places, we did get a glimpse of the coast where the weather looked quite pleasant. This would be a fine place to be on a warm summer's evening but this day was somewhat different so we legged it back to the packs (after a minor detour which meant that actually finding the packs took longer than expected). After a quick snack we decided against nipping over to the clagged-in Harter Fell, instead we took the obvious path back to Foxbield Moss and from there retraced our steps back to the peat-hut and then to the hostel. It hadn't been a long walk but battling the wind and rain while not being hill-fit made it seem like a full day out.

We got washed, dried and changed and then hit the lounge where the others had set up camp. Natasha had had a rest and was feeling a bit better, especially after we'd got the fire roaring again 🙂


Fireside #1.


Fireside #2.


A proper fire 🙂


"Scawfell from Kirk Fell", a fine over-mantel painting.


The rain abated so we took a short stroll to The Woolpack for an evening meal and some liquid refreshment. The place had changed a lot since I last nipped in for a beer, I wasn't particularly impressed by the "improvements" but the food was good value and there was a fine range of beers and ciders on offer. After that we headed back to the hostel, chucked more logs on the fire and lazed the evening away.


To be continued... 

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5 Responses to “Easter Around Eskdale – Part 1”

  1. Karl says:

    Looks to be another great adventure Stef. Thinking back we have always been really lucky with the weather when we have stayed at Eskdale YH. I was up on Green Crag at the week-end in similar weather that you endured, that mile from the peatcutters hut to Green Crag has got to be one of the soggiest and longest in Lakeland. Looking forward to part two.

  2. BG! says:

    Soggy indeed, on a par with the bee-line from Grey Crag to Tarn Crag up Sadgill way.

    This was my third attempt at Green Crag. The first time was in much worse weather with hopeless visibility, I came back down after reaching what I thought was the top but when I looked back from near the hut there was a gap in the clag and I could see the true top poking up beyond where I'd been. The second time I had much better weather but I was repelled by a veritable plague of ticks.

    Part Two is a little more sedate but a hell of a lot drier, I'll post it tomorrow.

  3. Andy Jones says:

    Eskdale and its environs is one of my favourite parts of the whole UK with loads of fon memories. I was lucky when I did Green Crag that it was hot and sunny and spent a whole afternoon lazing and sleeping in the sunshine, it's a grand spot

  4. Mark says:

    I too was lucky with Green Crag - on the same day as Andy, funnily enough.
    The beer that they brew at the Woolpacks is pretty good.
    The painting looks like it's by one of the Heaton Coopers?

  5. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By Mark
    The painting looks like it's by one of the Heaton Coopers?

    That's what I thought when I first saw it, but it's not so...

    The brass plate says "Presented by Delmer Banner 1946 "Scawfell from Kirkfell'", I think it's a regional variant or a misspelling, Google for "Delmar Banner" (1896-1983) and there are lots of similar works to be found. The GAC has a couple > http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/.....?id=107317 and there are four in the NT Collection > http://www.nationaltrustcollec.....-1983%29/1

    His works seem to command values similar to or higher than similar Heaton Cooper works of the same period.

    He did some quite pleasing works, IMO.

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