BB1633 : Schafe können sicher weiden

Wednesday 21st September 2016

"Have you seen them?” he said.

"What?" we replied.

"The orange sheep."  

No we hadn’t but we would keep an eye open for them.

Mind you, for the first part of our outing it would have been difficult to see sheep whatever colour they were.  It was supposed to be nice this morning but, not trusting the forecasters, we eschewed the opportunity to go high and instead sought to satisfy Robin’s wishes to visit territory unfamiliar to him and knock off a few Wainwrights (although I didn’t know he was on the bagging trail).

We parked by the Watermill Inn at Ings and headed off up the lanes and bridle paths onto Mickle Moss which Robin likened to the African Savannah. 

Mickle Moss Savannah

Hounds in full flight

An unexpected sight greeted us. Not lions or tigers or camels (nor old ale and sandwiches too) but hounds in full flight. Had the weather been better I might have been able to show you some fine photos but it was very gloomy.

Not so our spirits.  We climbed Caple Howe and then advanced to Sour Howes. I remember the trail from there to Sallows to be a pleasant trip round the head of a valley and I am sure that on a good day it still is.

Hounds at the gate

However today we couldn’t see it until we got quite close.

Sallows from Sour Howes !

Objective achieved, we dropped down onto the Garburn Pass and continued to Troutbeck.  Bryan had recently been on a tour of the village led by an enthusiast who could explain the history - geographically, structurally and socially - of this interesting linear village. Unfortunately Bryan could remember little of it other than gems like “the man mentioned something about this house”.

Well, this man (me) mentioned something about the café that now exists in the old Post Office and had already suggested that, rather than carry butties, we stop there for lunch.  So we did.  Bacon and Brie Paninis we ordered. Unfortunately others had beaten us to the bacon so ham and cheese or tuna and something had to suffice but these were all enjoyed. It was then that the proprietor informed us about the orange sheep.  No, we hadn’t seen them, we told him.  What’s the story?  It seems that after some instances of woolly rustling, the farmer had decided that if he painted his sheep orange, the thieves would be unlikely to target them.

We were not absolutely sure whether this was true or just a shaggy sheep story.  We checked our change to make sure we had not been fleeced then set off in search of the orange ovine.

It soon became evident that he was right.  The sheep had been painted a fetching shade of orange.  Some had also obviously been Tangoed by the Tangerine Tup; evidenced by the mark left on their backs.


The orange ovines

Tangerinally tupped!

The Great Wall of Wansfell

Our objective was Wansfell- the far end, Baystones- and as we climbed we saw more examples of the orange sheep although they were too far away to tell if TT had had the pleasure.

It was still a gray day but clearing somewhat as we turned south along a mini version of the Great Wall of China.  

Perhaps the colour of the sheep was Mandarin!!

At the Ambleside end of the ridge is Wansfell Pike. On a good day this is a splendid viewpoint but not just yet.

Windermere from Wansfell Pike

The descent to Ambleside is on a recently laid stone path.

These are very helpful for the ascent but I find them hard on the heels when descending.

However a slippery off-piste diversion proved hard on the bum so back to the path I went.

Down in the town we decided to catch the bus back to Ings to give us more time at the Watermill.

Comitibus: Wansfell descent

This is one of those locations where, to my mind, the floods have been kind to the owners or at least the customers.  My recollection is of soggy carpets (caused by beer not river).  Now there is a smart floor flagged in slate from the local stone merchant.  The beer too was good.

In the corner sat the farmer supping his ale and humming happily.  We couldn't quite make out the tune but it certainly wasn't "I'll never find another ewe".  Then I recognised it from my piano lessons as a child.  It was Johann Sebastian Baaaach's

Schafe können sicher weiden

otherwise known as "Sheep May Safely Graze".  Of course!

Don, Wednesday 21st September 2016

Hues of Ewes

Terry is now on the lookout for different hues of ewes.

Here are some pretty pink ones that he found.

Let me know if you see any other interestingly coloured sheep.




Wednesday 21st September 2016

Distance in miles:

13.8 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

3,072 (Anquet Harvey's)


Sour Howes, Sallows, Wansfell


Bryan, Don, Robin, Terry


Map shown: Harvey's

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1633 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of   the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

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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 2016


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