Swindale to Mosedale via Selside Pike and Branstree

Name of walk Swindale to Mosedale via Selside Pike and Branstree
Date of walk 2012-05-28
Distance walked (miles) 11
Duration of walk 7 hours 0 minutes
Weather Blue skies and sunshine
Peaks on walk Selside Pike, Branstree
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Roadside just outside Swindale.
Last week was the best weather we would have all year and I had to spend it all inside in the exam hall! Grrrrr!!!!! But on Monday I actually had a day off so Ged, Kas and I drove to Swindale.

Swindale is an isolated valley to the east of the Haweswater valley (Mardale). The walk would include Selside Pike (2149ft) and Branstree (2339ft), Mosedale Cottage and a wild swim in the secluded waterfalls and plunge pools of the Mosedale Valley. A walk of 11 miles. This is not a walk that I`d do by myself, as Wainwright says: “The desolation is profound. Solitary walkers who want a decent burial should bear in mind that if an accident befalls them in this wilderness their bones are likely to adorn the scene until they rot and disintegrate”….Oh-er!!!

The road down to Swindale is single track. Then before you enter the valley you have to park the car on the side of the road and walk the couple of miles to Swindale Head. Cars are forbidden to park beyond by order of Cumbria County Council, but this adds to its isolation as it puts off the casual tourists!


Looking down Swindale Beck after nearly two miles of walking.


There are still lambs about.


Swindale Head.


From the start of The Old Corpse Road. Such a great name! It is the route that Mardale`s dead were taken by horseback for burial at Shap. The last such jouney was made in 1736.


In the middle of the photo are the series of waterfalls that we would visit at the end of the walk


The weather was very hot today so thankfully this is a grassy, non-strenuous walk. View back from the route up to Selside Pike.


We detoured to the survey post just below Artle Crag. Haweswater behind.


One of the cairns on Artle Crag and our route on the left back to Selside Pike, and on the right is the survey post we had just visited.


Kas on the summit of Branstree, Harter Fell beyond. It is lunch time so we head down for a view of Haweswater.


A lunch spot with a view!


Blea Water nestling below Mardale Ill Bell. The Riggindale Ridge leading to High Street on the right.


High Street, Riggindale, Kidsty Pike and High Raise.



Heading down Branstree. Tarn Crag ahead.


Blind Kas leads the way across boggy ground into Mosedale.


The isolated mountain bothy, Mosedale Cottage.


We take a break in the luxury of leather armchairs and a lovely cool room!


We fill up our water bottles in the cottage's only running water.


Looking back to Mosedale Cottage.


We head for the low point in this photo and the start of the waterfalls.


The start of the waterfalls. We follow them down to find a good place to swim and cool off.


This looks to be a good spot.


The weather may be hot but the mountain water is freezing! Ged braves the cold.


Just beyond where I am sitting the water gets very deep, but it is not quite big enough for swimming. We then decide to move on to an area with a bigger pool.


This one is more difficult to reach but it is totally secluded and has a large and deep plunge pool. It reminds me of one of the waterfalls in "Lost", but minus the Hawaiian water temperatures!


Refreshing? Bloody freezing!



Kas likes the water too!


We spent an hour or so cooling off in the water, then dressed and continued down the series of waterfalls. Ged gives some perspective to the photo.


Almost at the bottom. Looking over to the farm that signals the start of the Old Corpse Road and our route up this morning


One of the lower pools.


It is only three miles back to the car!


We reach the drumlins and the bluebells.


The promised weather front appears ahead.

An excellent walk. We saw no one until after lunch when we met three people on Branstree, then no one for the rest of the day!