Eskdale Green, Illgill Head and down Miterdale

Name of walk Eskdale Green, Illgill Head and down Miterdale
Date of walk 2012-03-19
Distance walked (miles) 10
Duration of walk 7 hours 0 minutes
Weather Sunshine and blue skies
Peaks on walk Irton Fell, Whin Rigg, Illgill Head
Walked with Brendan
Parking Spaces at Giggle Alley, Eskdale Green

On Sunday Brendan and I went to Eskdale Green to climb Irton Fell, Whin Rigg (1755ft) and Illgill Head (1998ft). These are the fells that make up the top of the Wasdale Screes. We then went down to Burnmoor Tarn and walked back through Miterdale. A walk of just over 10 miles. I last did this walk two years ago. Brendan needs to get into training for the Keswick to Barrow walk in May (40 miles), so this one should be a good start…..I still think he has left it a bit late! Today is forecast to be a glorious one!  It was Mothering Sunday but Tom stayed in bed as he was out late at a surprise 18th birthday party for one of his friends the night before, but will be cooking tea for when we return!


The walk starts at the free car parking spaces at Eskdale Green next to the Giggle Alley sign.


We head up and over the Giggle Alley path going to the left of Green Bank, ahead on the photo below. You first walk up through deciduous forest and then coniferous forest then out through a gate on to Irton Fell.



Except now most of the coniferous forest has gone and you are walking through mud made by heavy machinery up to the gate. I hope they plan to replant with deciduous forest soon!


Looking back down the wall of Irton Fell to Irton Pike and then out to sea.


View up to Whin Rigg..


First view of Wast Water. There are signs of frost on Scoat Fell at the back.


Panorama from Whin Rigg summit.... Below on the left is Greendale. The fell to the left of Greendale is Buckbarrow, behind is Setallan, to the right is Middle Fell, with Haycock and Scoat Fell behind. Then Red Pike and Yewbarrow then Kirk Fell and Great Gable. To the right of the grassy slope of Illgill Head is Scafell Pike, Scafell and Slight Side. Thn Crinkle Crags and the Coniston Fells. Below is Burnmoor Tarn with Great How behind.


It is warm for March.


Looking across to Nether Wasdale and Buckbarrow and down to the Youth Hostel.


Route to Illgill Head. We take the route along the edges.


One of the un-named tarns


Brendan making sure he is not too close to the edge!


I need to be right on the edge to get the view straight down!


One of the many other precarious promenentaries with a straight drop down to the lake. Sellafield Nuclear Power Station on the far left.


Buckbarrow out of the shade.



Plenty of sheep about.



Another good spot for a breather! Yewbarrow and Kirk Fell behind me.


Illgill Head summit cairn. We stop and have lunch in the shelter a bit further on.


Last view down into Wasdale before we head down to Burnmoor Tarn.


We head straight down the fellside to Burnmoor Tarn. Burnmoor Lodge is at the top right of the tarn..


Looking down into the start of the Miterdale Valley.




Panorama of Burnmoor Tarn. Scafell behind.




Burnmoor Lodge is privately owned by John Foote...It is the one of the most remote buildings in the lakes. There is no vehicle access at all!


Plaque on the wall.


The waterfall that marks the beginings of the Miterdale Valley. The gill eventually becomes the River Mite.


View along the valley bottom where we will walk back.


Looking back to Scafell. It was really warm Brendan was just in a T-shirt.


Then we visited the old ruins of Miterdale Head farm.


Bakerstead Outdoor Pursuits Centre......closed. A new bridge and forest road has been constructed here.


We head for the mud fields of Low Place Farm. We cross the field. This year it was a total quagmire, mostly due to the cows walking on the trackway. We had to do several detours away from the muddy track. The cows were happy to just sit and watch us up to our ankles in mud!


There was a pig on the track too. I do like farm animals but I would prefer them on another side of a fence to me! Especially after the way this pig was growling!


A sign to confuse the tourists, especially foreign ones! It is in Cumbrian dialect and says "Head right for Eskdale".


As we head through the farm we encounter numerous chickens and then a free-range goat too!


Looking back to Low Place Farm. Unfortunately we are still too early in the season here to see any lambs.


Frogspawn and hundreds of tadpoles in a pool.


Lal Ratty


We drove home over Birker Fell. Good views today!

The walk took us about seven hours. We stopped off for a drink at the George IV pub in Eskdale Green. We saw the Eskdale Lal Ratty train in the distance. Then who should come into the pub but Ed Cleasby. He was Head of Design Technology for all my 12 years at Thorncliffe. He had once even graced the front cover of a book on mountaineering. It was good to catch up. He hadn`t changed much….a bit greyer, still opinionated by his own admission! We talked about the old days. He told me I had to ask Dave B. if he wanted to absail down the Tower Block again sometime….(If you ever read this Ed, Dave said “Yeah!” Ha! Happy days!)

Another good day! With super views! Tom had made us French Chicken for tea, with the addition of some of Atlanta Geoff’s homemade chilli flakes in the sauce just for me, as it was Mother’s Day!