BB1502 : Blowin' in the Wind

Thursday 15th January 2015

What a week for excuses:

  • My mother-in law's stairlift has broken and I need to be around for the repair man
  • My brother-in-law has been taken to hospital and I am needed to do some chauffeuring
  • I've picked up a lump of metal in one of my car tyres and have to take it into the garage.
  • Why are you letting 100 mile an hour winds keep you off the fells?  Wimps, I'm going high!

No prizes for guessing from whom was the last one.  Mine was the first.

The survivors opted for a Lyth Romp.  Terry takes up the tale:

Blowin' in the Wind

Or as Bob Dylan also said "You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows".

That’s because you could hear the strength of the wind without going outside!

Following the dire forecasts from the aforesaid weatherman it was decided a low level outing was the prudent option.

Setting off from the Hare & Hounds car park at 9:10 John Hn, Mike, James and Terry set off on what was to be mostly a road based outing.




Taking the Levens Underhill Road and then into the wind on the aptly named Old Road, we were soon crossing the Gilpin River and out onto the A5074 behind the Gilpin Bridge.


Not the day for a dip

Walking towards the Lyth Valley the call of the Nespresso machine required a detour up through the How and a welcome stop at Mike’s house. A good strong coffee and panoramic views across the valley set the team up for the next few miles.

Huddled together too, with coats far superior

A beautiful day in the Lyth Valley?

Taking a path across fields we rejoined the A5074 and then off road across the levels, or peatbogs as they were called in the 18thC.

A Lyth History Note:

The peatbogs were a valuable source of fuel for the inhabitants of the area. The peat was hand cut and stacked to dry, with the surplus sold at markets in Kendal and Milnthorpe to provide a useful source of income. By the 18th century, peat digging had become much more commercial, with many peat cutters and dealers living at Causeway End, south of Levens.

With the Enclosure Acts of 1803 and 1838, concerted efforts were made to reclaim the peatlands for agriculture. In the Lyth Valley, ditches were dug to drain the bogs and create pasture land. Tracks were laid to access the new fields and these survive today as the long, straight ‘moss roads' that span the valley floor. The acidity of the soil was neutralised by adding huge quantities of quicklime to ‘sweeten' the grass. The quicklime was produced in kilns, several of which survive around the edge of Whitbarrow.

Our route across the levels via the"moss roads" prevented the need for waders and waterproofs. The previous days of torrential rain was now evident in newly formed lakes across the valley, however none of us was tempted to take a dip!

Crossing the Gilpin River provided a good opportunity for a comitibus photocall. Mike risked setting his camera on the bridge wall for the greater good and fortunately the wind briefly abated.

The Levels

Comitibus :  Lyth Valley?

The walk across the levels in sunshine provided a good opportunity to fully appreciate the sartorial elegance of James walking ensemble. Tweed and cords finished off with his newly acquired ‘trainers’ (entry level brown walking boots) added a refined element to the usual collection of rustling synthetic waterproofs and fleece!

Brigsteer and a decision point, forsaking the enticing Wheatsheaf, we took the Crooked Gate lane and onto Parkend Lane with the Hare & Hounds our lunchtime target.

Undoubtedly Brigsteer is a pretty village, however we marveled at some of the incongruous additions and extensions.

Surely they would not meet the approval of today's planning officers!

The road between Brigsteer and Levens is known for its abundant display of snowdrops in February and later in Spring a profusion of bluebells.

However, today Mike noticed some curious growths in the woodland. They looked like mossy stalagmites.

Any suggestions?

What's this?

Walking into Levens, John and James took the Church Road route to The Hare & Hounds, while Mike and I took the Lowgate route, which proved to be quicker.

After 3 hours and 8.2miles miles battling the wind we were ready for the usual warm H&H welcome. Disaster! Due to renovations and winter opening hours they were closed.

It's shut

That's why!

Fortunately the answer, my friends, was "blowin in the wind"..... i.e. blowing across to Brigsteer and we quickly repaired to The Wheatsheaf for a splendid steak sandwich and refreshments.

Terry, Thursday 15th January 2015




Thursday 15th January 2015

Distance in miles:

8.2 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

556 (Memory Map)


Lyth Valley


James, John Hn, Mike, Terry

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1502 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.

Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me!
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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When?
This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2015


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