Blea Tarn, Side Pike, Greenburn Mine and Cathedral Quarry

Name of walk Blea Tarn, Side Pike, Greenburn Mine and Cathedral Quarry
Date of walk 2013-03-12

Yesterday’s forecast was for strong winds on the high fells so I took the opportunity to do a lower level walk I had been planning to do for some time.
I had never visited Greenburn Mine, having only looked down on it from the ridges above, on the walks from Swirl How and Great Carrs to Wet Side Edge.
I did consider doing it from Tilberthwaite, but if I started from Blea Tarn I could get the views from the top of Side Pike into Oxendale, Mickleden and  Great Langdale, plus all the surrounding Fells. Then finish off by nipping into Cathedral Quarry as it must be a few years since I’ve been in.
I dragged Ged and Kas along too!


The Blea Tarn car park is National Trust, so I don't have to pay! Panorama of the tarn. Only the edges are frozen......


Kas and me with the Langdale Pikes behind. Side Pike is the sticky up mini-mountain on the right.



We walk around the tarn through the woods


As usual Kas leads the way.


Looking along Great Langdale from Side Pike (1187ft)


Pike O'Blisco and Crinkle Crags behind me.


The view in glorious panorama. Pike O'Blisco, Crinkle Crags, The Oxendale Valley and The Band leading up to Bowfell. Mickleden Valley leading up to Rossett Pike, and the Langdale Pikes on the far right. Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub below.


We then head for "Fat Man's Dilemma" or "The Squeeze", the way off the precipitous, narrow route around Side Pike. Ged contemplates the view


This is the only way through.


I said it was precipitous! Kas makes it through easily.


But then Kas doesn't wear a rucksack!


We head down to the road back to Blea Tarn. Blea Tarn House, (17th century) which is included in one of Wordsworth's long poems. 'The Solitary`. Side Pike top right


Back to Blea Tarn outflow. We head behind me following Blea Moss Beck to the Wrynose Pass.


From the Wrynose Pass looking back across Blea Moss. The Pass is closed due to ice, but there is still plenty of traffic coming across.


Fell Foot. From the Greenburn Mine footpath we watched a large lorry coming over the Wrynose Pass (GPS!!!!!) and come to a dead stop here! It is narrow for a car, let alone a lorry! He took ages, but he got through. He must have been close enough to shave the hairs off an elephant!


Bridge End Farm.


We head in the direction of Little Langdale Tarn until we see the Greenburn Mine Path above us, we head up the grass to join it and head off in the opposite direction.


The route to the mine.



We do a bit of sheep herding! The paths are very icy, we keep to the edges


Only the centre is water, the rest is snow, ice, rime ice and icicles!


Looking back down the valley


Greenburn Mine. A copper mine. The mine was mostly worked in the 19th century, but may have been going since the 17th. It closed in 1865, but later re-opened until 1940. The shafts of the mine reach down 700ft.


We stop for lunch here in the sunshine, perched on one of the windowsills.


Then we do some exploring.


Where the overshot wheel would have gone.


We by-pass Greenburn Reservoir and head up to the top of the valley so we can look down into the depression. Great Carrs ahead. We are at 1,200ft here just into the snow line. The depression is littered with the remains of a World War Two Halifax Bomber which crashed in October 1944. The memorial to it is on top of Great Carrs. Ged found a small piece of aircraft. I have it in my rucksack, I'll put it on the memorial with the other pieces next time I`m on Great Carrs.


We head down to Greenburn Reservoir.



The reservoir is frozen. It is only about 6m deep, and built in the 19th century. The Fairfield Horseshoe (where we were last week) is behind.


Looking back up to where we were on the far left.


We head back down to the Mine


Then we take the footpath back to Little Langdale. High Hall Garth, available to rent from the National Trust. But no car access!


It is abit like a game of Jenga, take the wrong piece of slate out and ....oopps!


The entrance to Cathedral Quarry.


It is big! Always difficult to capture it on camera.


Slater Bridge, a very old Packhorse type sides....



We then take the road back to Blea Tarn which took us about an hour to walk.
The walk is 11 miles long. A quite interesting lower walk.