Five Fells and a Priest Hole

Name of walk Five Fells and a Priest Hole
Date of walk 2008-04-02
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 7 hours 30 minutes
Weather overcast
Peaks on walk High Hartstop Dodd, Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Hartsop Above How
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Cow Bridge car park
The forecast for yesterday was poor, but Ged and I still decided to do the Dovedale Horseshoe which includes High Hartstop Dodd (1702ft), Little Hart Crag (2091ft), Dove Crag (2603ft), Hart Crag (2698ft) and Hartsop Above How (1870ft) and a diversion to the Priest hole on Dove Crag. A walk I`d been meaning to do for the past year.
We started from Cow Bridge car park at 11 O`clock and set off along Brothers Water to head for High Hartsop Dodd….
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We walked along the path to the right of the river.

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Lakeside path.

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Brothers Water plus a scenic dead sheep on the right!

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Hartsop Hall with High Hartsop Dodd behind.

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You cross through to the farm and across the field and the steep route up comes into view.

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Looking back to Brothers Water from the start of the crags.

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Looking across to Red Screes. There is no summit marked for High Hartsop Dodd so we walked on up to Little Hart Crag.

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You can look down the Scandale Valley towards Winderemere. Scandale Tarn in the foreground.

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Ged and Kas by the summit cairn.

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Looking across to Dove Crag.

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Looking back to High Hartsop Dodd and Little Hart Crag.

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Following the old fence line up to Dove Crag looking across to the long undulating ridge of Hartsop Above How, our route back. Ullswater in the distance..

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Black clouds over Windermere and Coniston Water.

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Summit of Dove Crag.

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Route to Hart Crag, Fairfield behind..

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Hart Crag summit.

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Sunshine reflecting on Coniston Water.

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Looking over to St. Sunday Crag.

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The route down to Hartsop Above How is very awkward, a bit of a climb in places with some long drops over slippery rock. No wonder Wainwright says it shouldn`t be attempted in mist. Kas, being blind, found it very difficult especially as he isn`t good at going down at the best of times! We eventually made it to the ridge and could look over across the moraines at Dove Crag and the Priest`s hole. A close up photo. The Priest`s hole is to the left side of the Crag. It is a wide but squat. The route up can be made out once the cave entrance is located.

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So we set off across the moraines and made our way up...a route not for those who don`t like either height or sheer drops!

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Looking up to the Priest hole.

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View out to the ridge of Hartsop Above How.

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Ged and Kas finally arrive!

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Inside is a box that contains a log book and supplies of food, drink etc for anyone in difficulty. There is a gas cooker and loads of candles. Quite a home from home! People often camp out here. A bit cold at this time of year. It was three O`clock so time for lunch!

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Ged was very happy with this detour as he didn`t even know this Priest hole existed and he has been fell walking for over 50 years!! So much for the "old dog, new tricks" saying!

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Looking to St. Sunday Crag.

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It you do stay the night, best not be prone to sleep walking as this is the view down!!!!!

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Looking down the Dovedale valley.

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After a bite to eat we made our way back down. Ged and Kas carefully negotiating the path.

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We crossed back over the moraines and up on the the ridge of Hartsop Above How. It goes up and down so much it is difficult to tell where the summit was. We found a cairn that seemed to mark the highest place.

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It was quite boggy in places causing a few detours. On the left the dark fell is Place Fell.

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Looking over to our route up High Hartsop Dodd.

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The beginnings of the Deepdale Valley.

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The sun was now out and it was warm, time for a breather!

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Looking over at Caudale Head.

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Brothers Water and High Hartsop.

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Looking back up the Kirkstone Pass.

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We headed back down the fell taking the route off right over a stile and evenually coming through the woods to end up exactly where we had started. The walk had taken seven and a half hours and was about eight miles. We stopped off for a drink at the Kirkstone Inn, the highest Pub in Cumbria at 1480ft.

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We also stopped off at Jesus Church, Troutbeck which has a wonderful display of Daffodils.

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The weather turned out to be very good in the end, so much for forecasts!

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