BB1020 : Red Screes and Sausages

Thursday 20th May 2010

Today's route was intended to be more or less the reverse of BB0902- the one in which Pete developed the theory that Bryan could only navigate if he couldn't see where he was going and in which having lost Stan we accidentally rang his wife thereby letting her know he had vanished in thick mist.  We had also had car parking facilities laid on at Tony's Aunty Ethel in Ambleside.

No Tony today so Auny Ethel's was out of the question but we had another secret weapon in the guise of Mike, the "unstuffy" hotelier from the Linthwaite House Hotel who used his contacts within the trade to secure parking for us at the Rothay Manor. Thanks guys!

No Bryan also, partly because he, too, has now joined the grandad club and had other duties.  However Stan was back from an ash affected trip to Spain and Pete again braved the M6 with a nine mile tailback.

The mist was down as we approached Ambleside.  However the Met Office forecast had been quite prosaic with its promise of it becoming:

Quite atmospheric with shafts of sunlight breaking through at times lighting up the clouds and creating pools of light which will intensify the vivid green spring foliage.

Mike ensured that we would not go onto the hills hungry by producing Cumberland sausages, still warm from the Linthwaite kitchens, which we duly scoffed. 

Linthwaite sausages

The start was always going to be a bit of a road slog up the Struggle but I have to confess that Stan and I were too busy gassing to notice the path off left onto the fell. That is despite me having had a much less strenulous virtual stroll up the road on Google Street View the night before to ensure that I knew exactly where the path commenced. Pete was beginning the think that perhaps Bryan wasn’t such a bad fair weather navigator after all!

However, once we had established where we were, it was clear that all we had to do was cross one field and we would regain the path.  Simple.  In theory at least.   The problem was threefold.  Firstly, the field was an extremely long one and secondly it disappeared into the mist.  And thirdly it was rather steeper than if we had gone the proper way.  So it took us quite a while to get back on track.  And on track you need to stay as there are some steep drops away to the right.

Just one field to cross

Not the best way to proceed!

Thereafter, however, despite the mist, it was a fairly simple climb to reach the two small tarns (the second remarkably short of water) that presage the Red Screes summit where the steep drop to the Kirkstone Inn could only be imagined.

The thirsty summit tarn

There is an excellent nest-shaped shelter at the top so there we took lunch and lingered for quite some time.  No sooner had we commented that we hadn’t seen anyone all day when a couple appeared out of the mist.  And then two more couples.  Time to go.

Comitibus: Red Screes nest shelter

The north nose of Red Screes

As we dropped down to Scandale Pass, it seemed, briefly, as if the Met Office "atmospheric" prediction would come true.  A bit of a wind arose and the mist started coming and going with occasional glimpses down to Brotherswater.

"Atmospheric" view down to Brotherswater

At the Pass, we had a decision to make.  To continue to Little Hart Crag and High Pike or to drop down into Scandale?  There was no sign of the mist clearing on the hill ahead so we opted instead for the descent.

Looking down upper Scandale

Scandale is an interesting valley- broad U-shaped in the upper reaches, more ravined below High Sweden Bridge with much more vegetation and increasingly open views over to the Langdales and beyond.

Looking back up upper Scandale

High Sweden Bridge

The increasingly open views over to the Langdales and beyond.

Indeed, the view of the Langdales is unusual as normally, in the iconic view, you can only see two tops but from here you could see Pike o'Stickle between Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle.

Loft Crag, Pike o'Stickle and Harrison Stickle

Windermere comes into view

Across a field before Ambleside we spotted a strange construction in a garden.  Mike thought it was a Yurt which is a Mongolian sort of tent.  This one obviously had a wood-burning stove in it. Nearby was the "Tower of Beauty" folly recorded in CW09. See below.

The Yurt

Tower of Beauty and Friendship

The dustblowing roadsweeper

A little further on our way was totally blocked by a roadsweeper that was about as wide as the road.  It kept backing up, switching something on that created an awful lot of dust and then moving forwards again.  It turned out that it was cleaning the road in preparation for some repairs.

Seeing as that track probably gets about two vehicles a day, someone, somwhere seems to have got their priorities wrong.

Or perhaps some local resident has disproportionate influence!

There is little more to report. Mike conveyed our thanks to the Rothay Manor and we drove back with the evening turning into the sort of day that the Met Office had lured us into thinking we would have experienced earlier.

Don, 20th May 2010


Eller How and the Tower of Beauty  
The following is an extract from

The day before this walk, we undertook a training exercise from Ambleside via Low Sweden Bridge to High Sweden Bridge then down the other side of the valley.  On reaching the outskirts of Ambleside we saw a strange ruin, pictured here.  It seemed to be in the grounds of a rather fine house called Eller How but we could not find out any more.

I was going to ask if you could identify the building or its purpose but first thought I should google for it and immediately discovered that it is for sale, if you have a spare £2.25m.  

Tower of Beauty and Friendship

Here is the story of Eller How, as per the estate agents.

Originally built by local builders as a small country house, Eller How has a distinguished history. It was purchased in 1851 by the Clough family. Arthur Hugh Clough, the English romantic poet, lived here and his sister Anne Jemima Clough, first principal of Newman College Cambridge, established a small school for girls at Eller How. The school introduced progressive ideas on teaching and learning and became significant in the development of child-centred education in Britain. Signs of the school can still be evidenced today in the boot-room and through the shape of a door in the present garden room.

The house was purchased by the Boyle family in 1862. The Boyles were prominent figures in the Potteries where John Boyle was a partner in the then 'Wedgwood and Boyle' factory. His son Henry, a typical Victorian dilettante and eccentric, was a keen botanist with a passion for landscape gardening. It was his ambitious schemes that gave the gardens at Eller How their present day character. He specialised in rockeries and tropical plants obtained from friends at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew. He built egg-timer ponds, rustic bridges, flights of stone steps, a fernery, where tree ferns and orchids grew inside an impressive glass house, kept crocodiles in heated ponds, dug underground caves and built what has become known locally as the 'Tower of Beauty and Friendship'. Built on a high mound at the top of the garden, the tower stands as an elaborate 19th century visitors' book. The names of friends who stayed at Eller How, including the Wordsworths, the Arnolds, Harriet Martineau and other womens' suffrage supporters were carved into bricks built into the face of the tower and can be clearly seen today.

Henry's son Harry Boyle became a significant figure in the late 19th and early 20th century British Diplomatic Service, and his biography, 'A Servant of the Empire,' written by his wife Clara and published in 1936 by Methuen, provides much more detail about the house and garden in the two chapters devoted to the Boyles life at Eller How. The family owned the house until Clara's death in 1962.

In the year 2000 Channel 4 Television produced a one hour documentary, presented by Monty Don, in their 'Lost Gardens' series, where the fernery, the underground caves, additional ponds and an ancient home-made water heating boiler were re-discovered. A video of the programme can be obtained from Channel 4 and account of its making found in Jennifer Potter's book of the series.


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21st May 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Red Screes

Other Features:


Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 23     Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Don, Mike, Pete, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1020.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.






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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 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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2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June




BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.

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