BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade

Tuesday 17th November 2009

A couple of months ago, Stan was persuaded by his son, Martin, to undertake a monster walk from Burneside over to Mardale and back.  Organised by the Long Distance Walkers' Association, it was entitled Where Eagles Fly, referring to the fact that it runs close to the Eaglesí nesting place in Riggindale.  Billed on the LDWA website as a 25 miler, the route map shows it as 26.2 miles.  Whichever, too much for me, but Stan completed it.

There was a shorter option, a mere 18 miles, that Stan had been keeping up his sleeve for a BOOTboys wet day out.  Today was that day!  To be fair, he eased the pain by moving the start from Burneside to Mirefoot, thereby saving us nearly three miles, for which I am extremely grateful.

Apart from the distance, I had a couple of concerns before we set off.  

The first was that the ground underfoot might prove to be extremely soggy, with some streams impassable after all the rain recently. If there were to be any eagles landing in our vicinity, they would have to be good waders!

The second was that we should be off the hill before the evil weather arrived with the dusk.

Looking over Ghyll Pool to Kendal

Looking back to Potter Tarn

We climbed up from Mirefoot alongside the unnamed ghyll, past the Ghyll Pool, to reach Potter Tarn and then turned east to reach that little gem of a tarn with the equally remarkable name, Gurnal Dubs.

Gurnal Dubs

Gurnal Dubs into the sun

Stan insisted that I navigate from here as on his marathon the group of people with whom he was walking went wrong, despite his advice, so he left them.  He wanted to see if I made the same mistake.  I am delighted to report that I passed the test and took us on the correct path.

Todd Fell and Whiteside Pike across Longsleddale

Unperturbed by the occasional light shower, we passed by the summit of Potter Fell and across a very boggy Black Beck.  Fortunately Dockernook Gill had a footbridge or else it might have been a much shorter outing!

Comitibus:  Dockernook Gill


Sleddale Forest might well have been a forest once, but there is no such sign now, simply open moorland with a clear view of Skeggles Water.

Sleddale Forest with Skeggles Water in the distance

I had it in my mind that we might return via Skeggles Water and from my recollection of the surrounding ground in the summer, I anticipated that, today, we might end up swimming.  However, first we had to drop down into Longsleddale

House in Longsleddale with washing for Margaret

Cottage with solarization for me!

At Sadgill, the view of the lovely old bridge was somewhat compromised by the sight and smell of three dead sheep.

This is the point on the Where Eagles Fly walk that you can choose whether to continue up the Gatescarth Pass and over to Mardale or wimp out and turn left up the bridle path over to Kentmere.  It would not have been a difficult decision for me!

I was wrong about visiting Skeggles Water.  Our route lay directly over the fell to Green Quarter in Kentmere.  

Climbing out of Longsleddale.....

..... and dropping into Kentmere

Rather than swimming, we had to endure a long severe shower.  It was quite unpleasant, near hail.  My energy levels were decidedly flagging at this point.  Fortunately, the rain ceased as we dropped down into Kentmere and at Green Quarter we found a welcome seat on which to sit and eat our rather delayed lunch, in which several hens took a close interest.

Kentmere Old Forge

Stan and the hens' lunch

Refuelled and rejuvenated, the route back was over undulating but relatively low fellside, very wet underfoot in parts before we reached the tarmacced section near Littlewood Farm.

Open fellside

Overflowing stream

We dropped down on a pleasant woodland path through Spring Hag where there was a surprising amount of leaf left on several of the trees.

Spring Hag wood

It's still Autumn

At Hagg Foot, the LDWA route went down to the river at Cowan Head.  However we turned up past Hundhowe and over to Mirefoot to reclaim the car.

Brunt Knott from near Littlewood Farm, reinterpreted!

Regarding my concerns, it had been very boggy underfoot but the streams had been passable and the evil weather had had the good grace to hold off until our journey home. In fact, excluding the harsh shower, it had been a good outing.

Regarding birdlife, we saw a kestrel and a heron but as for eagles, there were none, neither flying nor wading.

Don, 17th November 2009


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Tuesday 17th November 2009


15.2 miles

Height climbed:

2,839 feet



Other Features:

Potter Tarn, Gurnal Dubbs,
Sleddale Forest, Sadgill


Don, Stan



If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0937


Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

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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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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
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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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



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



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys 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