Wet Sleddale, Seat Robert and Mosedale Cottage

Name of walk Wet Sleddale, Seat Robert and Mosedale Cottage
Date of walk 2011-08-03
Distance walked (miles) 9
Duration of walk 6 hours 30 minutes
Weather overcast
Peaks on walk Seat Robert
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Wet Sleddale Reservoir

On Wednesday Ged, Kas and I drove to Wet Sleddale Reservoir near Shap to climb Seat Robert (1675ft) and to visit Sleddale Hall and Mosedale Cottage and come back again, a walk of about nine miles.

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Wet Sleddale Reservoir. The weather was warm but a little overcast today as we set out for Sleddale Hall.

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Sleddale Hall, built in the late seventeen hundreds just below Seat Robert, is a place of pilgrimage for film buffs and fans of the cult British film "Withnail and I" (1986), starring Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann. It stood in for Uncle Monty`s Cottage. I expained all this to Ged, who had never heard of the film.

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It is a bit isolated! We head for the pack horse bridge that will take us across the river and we can head back towards the hall.

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It is now all boarded up, but was sold by United Utilities to a private buyer for 265k in 2009. All the boarding is covered with quotes from the film. Plot summary: "London 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail's uncle Monty's country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there's no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood."

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The main door.

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We then set off along the bridle track following the zig zags before eventually making a dash for the summit on the right across wet, pathless ground.

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Seat Robert summit.

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We then head off along the track and over a hill towards Mosedale. Looking down Mosedale in the direction of Swindale.

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Mosedale Cottage is the white blob left of centre. We head for the bridge on the right.

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Mosedale Cottage nestles at the back of Branstree. It is the most isolated (two and a half to three hour walk to reach it!!) and unknown of the mountain bothies. And also the most surprising in its contents!

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View from a bridge. Ged and I walked this way back to Swindale from Harrop Pike when we did a 13 mile walk including all the main fells a couple of years ago. We saw deer then, but none today.

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It is not small by any means!

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Some of the outbuildings are locked and belong to the shepherd, but the house is free to stay in and open to all travellers, no booking required.

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Luxury compared to the majority of mountain bothies I have been to!

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Very comfy leather armchairs, just what you need in the middle of a walk!!!

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There is also a table and chairs, and two small rooms (pantries/storerooms) leading off the living quarters. There are copies of maps and mountain walking magazines, recent newspapers and in the guest book is a history of the cottage. Most of which I can`t remember!! It was last lived in in 1930. In the 1851 census it was lived in by a shepherd, his wife and three small children, but they had left by the 1861 census.

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There are two large bedrooms, one with a raised area for sleeping bags

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An outside loo too!

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There are a couple of guys who come most weekends to keep up the maintenance and clean up any vandalism. Going by the guest book it is due to occasional visits by kids from Shap. But what a great place! The view from the back of the loo.

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A stream passes just outside the cottage, so no problems with water supply. There is a good supply of night light candles too.

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We spend about an hour in the cottage and have lunch before we need to head back. Looking towards Swindale.

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Lots of lizards kept darting across our path.

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Kas heading back towards Seat Robert.

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Looking back down on the reservoir and Sleddale Hall from the bridle path.

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Kas leads the way.

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Just past the cows we meet a man and two women sat on the wall looking for the way to Sleddale Hall. It turned out they were fans of "Withnail and I", so we give them the directions, and warned them about the wet ground, for they were wearing trainers. I guess the clue "Wet Sleddale" passed them by!!!!

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The dam.

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Bigger on this side!

The walk had taken about six and a half hours. An interesting and gentle excursion to a few places neither of us had visited before.
Jo.
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