|Name of walk||Muncaster Fell and Stainton Tower|
|Date of walk||2015-03-25|
|Distance walked (miles)||5|
|Duration of walk||3 hours 0 minutes|
|Peaks on walk||Muncaster Fell|
|Walked with||On own|
|Parking||Lay-by opposite Muncaster Guest House.|
I had to drop into school and visit Tesco in the morning so I would be starting out late. I had planned to walk over Grike and Crag Fell, but the Cold Fell Road was closed and I couldn’t be bothered to drive all the way around, and didn’t have the time to walk up any fells from Wasdale today, so I changed to a walk up Muncaster Fell, which would leave me time to find a way up to Stainton Tower. Every time I pass this way I look up to it on the hillside and think to myself that I must go up there, now today would be that day! I parked in the lay-by near to the Fell Lane.
Walking up Fell Lane to the tarn.
Just before you get to the tarn the evidence of tree felling is paramount.
I take a detour off left behind the tarn for the view out. Trees all gone!
View out to Sellafield.
I return to the tarn to complete my circuit.
Heading up a now very open Fell Lane.
View to the summit cairn of Muncaster Fell (Hooker Crag)
It takes no time at all, and very little effort to reach the summit. I have it all to myself.
View back towards the tarn and Ravenglass.
The dark fell on the right is Scafell Pike. To the left of it is Whin Rigg, Kirk Fell, Yewbarrow etc.
The pointy fell on the right is Caw, the pointy fell on the left is Harter Fell, where I was last week.
Looking out towards St. Bees Head.
I head back down.
This used to be a lovely enclosed lane!
Stainton Tower on the skyline. I park up on the grass outside Dyke Farm where I assume the best access to Stainton Tower would be. I have no map on me for this area, but there is a bridle path that goes to Barnscar and on to Devoke Water. Logic would suggest that the easiest access would be from the top of the bridle path. The bridle path goes through the farm.
The path takes you around to the right of Stainton Tower. At the fork of two routes I take the gated path on the left.
I head up to a gated break in the stone walls and follow the path that leads below the gorse
At the stone wall at the top of the hill, I follow it left.
Then cross the ladder stile. Access turns out to be very easy, no tramping over fields needed.
Stainton Tower, known locally as the Pepperpot. In Wainwright's Outlying Fell Book, Stainton Pike walk, he says that the tower is not a monument but was built as a navigation guide for ships entering the port of Ravenglass. However local historians believe it is not a beacon for shipping but a "folly" built by the local gentry.
There is the remains of something on the floor in the middle which could have held a beacon. However local, Mike Steele, told me that the thing on the floor used to hold the stone leg for the stone table that was still in situ in the 60's. The wooden door was also in situ then. It is believed cows knocked the table over after the door was left open & vandals rolled the table down the hill thus smashing it. From the inside you can see that the tower once had two more windows.
View out of the remaining window.
View out from the door.
The tower does have some superb views.
Close up of Muncaster Castle.
Looking down on the farm and the bridle path.
From the route down there are good views out to Stainton Pike
View towards Whitfell. I return to my car. Both walks together had taken less that three hours
View from Corney Fell.
The combined lengths of both walks was about 5 miles. I will have to try out the route to Devoke Water via the Barnscar bridle path and return over Stainton Pike in the near future, in dry weather. An interesting day and another destination ticked off my bucket list.