BB0833 : Only on a Thursday

Thursday 16th October 2008

Regular readers will have noticed how the use of public transport has transformed BOOTboys from having a Wainwright oriented circular trip focus to a more liberated approach to our outings.

Liberation, however, also has its restrictions.  Today’s outing, for example, a linear walk from Barbon to Sedbergh over Middleton Fell, is only possible on a Thursday.  Indeed, not only is it the only day that the bus runs- it only runs once on the allotted day, presumably to take the burghers of Sedbergh to the market at Kirkby Lonsdale.  

Tony and the giant coffee

We arrived so early that we had time to take coffee in one of the many coffee shops that are now to be found in the self described “book town of the north”.  We chose the Post Office, partly because the bus stop was outside but mainly because it was open.  The cappuccino was served in the largest cup I have ever seen in a café.  And that was a medium sized one. Tony wondered if a “large” came in a bucket?  I asked the lady; she was rather vague on size but said that it needed two handles in order to lift it!

The bus arrived bang on time but on the wrong side of the road!  Poor Bryan, he was the only person who had to pay- the penalties of youth!

We alighted at Barbon, near the Pheasant Inn, and headed towards the church. Opposite, on a garden wall, was a very strange object, clearly some form of roller, but for what?

St Bartholomew’s could not be passed without inspection.  It is a nice village church, typical of the area, with an antique wheeled coffin bier proudly on display.

What is this roller for????!

St Bartholomew's Church

The old wheeled bier

We turned up the drive to Barbon Manor, better known as the venue for the Barbon Hill Climb, but our route lay across a surprisingly boggy field to Eskholme where we headed east, directly up Devil’s Crag to Eskholme Pike- a steep little climb.  Thereafter the gradient was gentler as we followed the ridge line round to Castle Knott and on to Calf Top.  

Barbon from Eskholme Pike

Calf Top team picture

The day had been clear but we could see wintry showers over to the east and one seemed to be heading our way.  The temperature dropped and a thin wind blew strongly making it feel very cold.  As we reached the top, it looked as if we were going to get caught, so we made for a wall corner about two hundred yards away for some shelter and lunch.  However, just before the corner was a large depression in the ground with a group from County Durham ensconced therein. We joined them and watched as the shower passed close by.

Thereafter it was a ridge walk along Green Combe and the appropriately named Long Bank.  The drop off the escarpment to the east was severe but the wall and fence was sufficiently far away from the edge to prevent any fear of exposure or, sadly, clear views down into Barbondale.  However, the Howgills were looking splendid and at various times on the walk the air quality was such that we could clearly see the Lake District hills, plus Whernside, Ingleborough and Pendle.  Tony and Bryan also claimed to have spotted Blackpool Tower.  I chose to believe them.

Brown Knott

Looking back to Green Combe and Middleton Fell

Brown Knott held happy memories for Tony of chasing sheep in his younger days. Perhaps Bryan had thoughts of such activities as he had been enquiring of the Durhamites why they were walking in cute little Wellington boots and where could he buy a pair?  Tony contended that he had been rounding them up for a taxi-driving farmer friend. But a man who derives pleasure from standing motionless in a freezing pond for hours at a time obviously has strange tastes. Not so strange, though, as to try the peculiar red funghi that he spied on the path.

Tony's magic mushrooms


The splendid looking Howgills

We crossed the River Dee close by what had been an 18 hole golf course owned by two brothers.  However, they fell out and it then became two 9 hole golf courses!

Dee-lightful and .....

...... Rawthey nice!

After the lovely 1762 dated cottages at Birks we crossed over the Rawthey and into the Sedbergh School grounds, which were looking magnificent with all the autumnal colours and well tended pitches.  

Birks cottages

Sedbergh win the line out

There were two rugby matches in play.  The Under 16 first team were pressing very hard against a side whose shirts were not a hugely different colour.  I discovered that the other team was Millfield from Somerset and, to my surprise, that Sedbergh were getting stuffed 5-20.  At that point Millfield scored another try.  Game over. That’s not the way it used to be with Sedbergh at rugby. Are they going soft with all those girls there now?

Neither Tony or Bryan had been aware of the Quaker Meeting House at Brigflatts (where I experienced the miracle, reported in The Mrs's Dales Diary) so rather than heading straight home, we took a detour to pay a visit.  The chairman of the property committee was fixing an induction loop for the hard of hearing and was happy to tell us about the building and exhibits.  It really is a little gem.

Quaker Meeting House at Brigflatts

Inside the Quaker Meeting House

Middleton Fell from the doorway

We drove home in autumnal sunshine reflecting on a good day out over an unusual route incorporating great views and several places of interest.  

But remember, you can only do it on a Thursday!

Don, 16th October 2008




10.7 miles

Height climbed:

2,247 feet




If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0833.

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


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2008 Outings

  • BB0801 :
    Avoiding the Graupel;  
    Wednesday 16 January
  • BB0802 :
    Lyth in the Old Dogs;
    Tuesday 22 January
  • BB0803 :
    That's Lyth;
    Sunday 27 January
  • BB0804 :
    Tony's Memory Lane;
    Wednesday 30th January
  • BB0805 :
    Fell's Belles!
    Thank You Mells
    Wednesday 6th February  
  • BB0806 :
    The Langdale Skyline
    and a Fell Race!
    Wednesday 13th February
  • BB0807a:
    An Outbreak of Common Sense;
    Thursday 21st February
  • BB0807b:
    Askham Fell and
    the Lowther Estate;
    Thursday 13th March
  • BB0808
    Thanks to the MWIS
    Wednesday 19th March
  • BB0809 :  
    High Street and Kidsty Pike
    but no Fairy
    Friday 28th March
  • BB0810 :  
    Prelude to Spring
    Wednesday 2nd April
  • BB0811 :  
    Spring in Lakeland
    Sunday 6th April
  • BB0812 :  
    Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
    Thursday 10th April
  • BB0813 :  
    What's It All About, Tony?
    Thursday 17th April
  • BB0814 :  
    The Hidden Mountain
    Tuesday 22nd April
  • BB0815 :  
    The Bowland CROW
    Thursday 1st May
  • BB0816 :  
    High Cup Nick:
    The Gurt La'al Canyon
    Wednesday 7th May
  • BB0817 :  
    Travelling Light
    Wednesday 14th May
  • BB0818 :  
    Pensioners’ Day Out
    Thursday 22nd May
  • BB0819 :  
    The Northern Tip
    Thursday 29th May
  • BB0820 :  
    The Bannisdale Horseshoe
    Wednesday 11th June
  • BB0821 :  
    Black, White or Grey Combe?
    Thursday 19th June
  • BB0822
    Thunder on the 555
    Thursday 3rd July
  • BB0823
    We'll Give It Five
    Thursday 10th July
  • BB0824 :
    Shelters from the Storm
    Thursday 17th July
  • BB0825 :
    The Big Wind-Up
    Wednesday 23rd July
  • BB0826 :
    Tony’s Third (and wettest) Alfie
    Wedmesday 30th July
  • BB0827 :
    A Visit to Mud Hall
    Tuesday 19th August
  • BB0828 :
    The Tale of Randy Gill
    Tuesday 27th August
  • BB0829 : Mosedale Cottage Revisited
    Wednesday 3rd September
  • BB0830 : Mist Over Pendle
    Wednesday 10th September
  • BB0831 : Luncheon Chez Monty
    Thursday 2nd October
  • BB0832 : Escape from the Madness
    Thursday 9th October
  • BB0833 : Only on a Thursday
    Thursday 16th October
  • BB0834 : YIFT
    Wednesday 29th October
  • BB0835 : Reflections on Thirlmere
    Thursday 6th November
  • BB0836 : Reet Grand Randonnées
    15th - 19th November
  • BB0837 : Back to Real8ty
    Wednesday 26th November


 The Comback Trail

  • CBT01 : Helm, direttissimo
    Monday 22nd September
  • CBT02 : Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
    Monday 29th September



  • BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
    23rd February - 1st March


Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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