BB1027 : Don't Shun The Shunner

Thursday 8th July 2010

Rain threatened as we left Kendal but we had every confidence that deep in the Yorkshire Dales, all would be fine.  We parked at Hardraw, near Hawes and set off up the Pennine Way.  It was a long, steady climb with the view changing only slowly.  Our objective was Great Shunner Fell.  

A distant Great Shunner Fell

We had toyed with the idea of going up via the woods above Cotterdale but as they were temporarily closed due to forestry operations that no longer seemed such a good idea.

There were several fledglings in the hedgrows.  The RSPB Bird Identifier confirmed my suspicion that they were juvenile goldfinches.

Juvenile Goldfinch

Looking back down the flagged path

The path climbed steadily and, as it crossed the open moorland, was extensively flagged though whether with local or Indian stone we were not quite sure.  Given the number of feet that pass this way and the damp nature of some of the terrain, the path before flagging must have been pretty awful.  Now, it is mostly easy under foot.

Surprisingly, we met only one other person before reaching the excellent summit shelter- thank you, Wensleydate Round Table.  Lunching out of the strong breeze, there now appeared a succession of walkers, mostly heading south.

Approaching Great Shunner Fell summit

Comitibus: Great Shunner Fell

Great Shuuner Fell is feted as a view point and, indeed it is, but the distances are long and the views not that distinct.  Nonetheless we could make out the Three Peaks, Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleboroguh and Whernside peeping out in the southwest and Swaledale to the east.

Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleboroguh and Whernside

Our next objective was Little Shunner Fell but having left the flagged Pennine Way onto increasingly damp moorland, it seemed to have little to offer other than a potential wading exercise so we by-passed it and headed south for Fossdale Moss.  This was actually drier than I expected.  


The strange piles of stones

We passed some very strange piles of semi ordered stones plus a couple of small tarns and several shooting butts before discovering what can only be described as a motorway that is unmarked on our map.  A vast sum of money has been spent on putting in a  packed stone road all the way up from the valley, proving that shooting must be very big business indeed.

Pickersett tarns

Shooting butt number 4

The Gamekeeper arrives on the motorway

We met a gamekeeper who confirmed that it was so the clients could drive their Mercs and BMWs high onto the fell, eliminating uncomfortable trips in LandRovers and people carriers.

Talking of gamekeepers, you know the old story of a sign of aging being when policemen look young.  I remember one day coming back from London on the train sat opposite a young looking policeman and concluding that I must now be very old because he was actually a chief constable!  Well, gamekeepers are generally thought of as rather grizzled mature men.  This one wasnít any of those things.  Actually, she was a rather attractive and very young woman!

We followed the motorway down for quite a distance before reaching a gate which, although open, made it pretty clear they didnít want the likes of us passing through.

Instead, we took a sharp descent to Hearne Beck and then joined what the map calls the Hearne Coal Road (Path), where Tony took great interest in some haymaking equipment.  

It must have been abandoned for some time as he pronounced it to be horse-drawn.

Tony gets excited at haymaking equipment

The Hearne Coal Road (Path)

The path led to the Pennine Way and back to Hardraw.  Tony had told us what an attractive village it was, so, having plenty of time in hand, we had a good look round.  The old school is now an outdoor centre for the lucky pupils of William Hulme Grammar School in Manchester.    The church (St Mary and St John) is attractively located by the river and provided a convenient bench for us to have a coffee stop.

William Hulme's Outdoor Centre


On the other side of the road, by the bridge, is a nice little memorial garden.

The river had a mother and two baby ducks of some description.The RSPB website suggests they might have been female red-crested pochards but I am not altogether convinced.

St Mary and St John's church

The bridge from the memorial garden

Female red-crested pochards?

On reaching the car, we discovered we had only done 9.5 miles, so, to ensure we reached double figures, we walked up the road towards the farm where some extraordinarily expensive equipment was involved in haymaking, not exactly horse drawn! 

10.1 miles achieved, we could go home satisfied.

Now, however, I feel less satisfied.  We had seen the sign to the waterfall, accessed through the pub.  What it didn't tell us is that it is the highest single-drop waterfall in all England, that you can walk behind the waterfall and, if the sun is shining, you may see many tiny rainbows over the water!  Sounds like we missed a treat.

Great Shunner Fell is not one of the more spectacular destinations.  If it were not on the Pennine Way, it probably would only receive a tenth of the traffic that it experiences. However, it had made for an interesting and worthwhile walk in pleasant countryside.

In other words, donít shun the Shunner!  At least, not the Great One.

And don't miss the waterfall!

Don, 8th July 2010


If you want to comment on this report, click on .


Hardraw Force

Graham W, who has not been able to join us for a long time due to knee problems, wrote:

Thanks for the latest account of your wanderings; keep them coming, as it's good to be reminded about what's out there awaitng my return.

I can confirm that in not going to see Hardraw Force you and the others missed a treat, but as consolation and an incentive to get you and the others there sometime, I attach a copy of  a vertical panoramic image I took a few years ago (on a real camera!! and which I have just submitted as an entry in a landscape photo competition).

It is a very impressive place and one can walk behind the waterfall, but it's quite scary getting there for the last few yards behind the water in the sense that there is overhanging rock above you, much of which does not look too solid; it's the sort of place one doesn't linger too long. Nevertheless, well worth seeing and experiencing.

He didn't say whether he had taken the oppoortunity to skinny dip in the pool.  For those who want to be reminded of Graham skinny dipping, see BB0407.

A usual, click on the photo to see it in its full glory.




8th July 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Great Shunner Fell

Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 6, Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Don, Stan, Tony

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1027.

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.



E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  




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!

If you want to contact us, click on


If you want to join
he BOOTboys Inter-continental
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.


Home Page










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

BB1023 :
Something Brutal
Thursday 10th June

BB1024 :
Rendezvous on Haycock
Thursday 17th June

BB1025 :
The Men of Gragareth
Thursday 24th June

BB1026 :
The Smardale Round
Thursday 1st July

BB1027 :
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Thursday 8th July

 BB1028 :
All Around the Edge
Thursday 29th July



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

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







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!