walks 2007

 walks 2008

walks 2009

walks 2010

walks 2011

walks 2012

walks 2013


walks 2014 

walks 2015

   walks 2016

 walks 2017

 walks 2018

  walks 2019



Ravenglass to Birker Fell and back

2nd and 3rd January 2019

Route. 2nd. Ravenglass - Cumbria Costal way - Hirst Lodge - Ellerbeck - Barnscar - Devoke Water - Woodend - Winds Gate - Birker Fell. (about 11 miles  2000ft of ascent )

3rd. Birker Fell - Birker Tarn - Birker Force - Doctor Bridge - Dalegarth - Forge House - Esk Trail - Muncaster Tarn - Fell Lane - Ravenglass ( about 11 miles 1100ft ascent)


For the last couple of years we seem to have had a few nice days just after the new year and I've taken the opportunity to have a night out on the fells. This year I didn't really have any fixed route in mind apart from starting from Ravenglass and wanting to try the route to Devoke Water via the neolithic settlement of Barnscar.


Sunny and cold as I arrive at Ravenglass. Even though I caught the 6am train it was gone 10 when I left the village on the path past the Roman ruins and join the Cumbria Costal path..


Looking into the sun and Black Combe.


Passing Newtown Knott the Stainton group of hills appear across the valley..


The Esk nearing the end of it's journey to the sea.


The path passes below Muncaster castle and the views start to open  to the high fells. I have to brave a few hundred yards of the busy A595 although there is a narrow grass verge apart from Muncaster bridge where it's best to wait for a gap in the traffic and run !


Looking back to Muncaster castle from near Ellerbeck.


After passing the house at Ellerbeck, the path, ( such as it is ) climbs through this lovely ancient woodland..

I found out why this is not a well travelled routs as there are several fields to negotiate which are comprised of high tussocks with leg swallowing holes which even when semi frozen were really hard to cross..


 The views of Great Gable on the left then Scafell and then Bowfell are great though.

 A lonely tree surrounded by ancient stones near Barnscar.  

Even to the untrained eye it's obvious that something has been going on this lovely wide open moor.

Looking to the Irish sea from Barnscar.

Eventually I reach Devoke Water.

Which was beautifully calm..

Looking past the boathouse to the giants around the head of Eskdale. Scafell on the left then (seemingly lower ) Scafell Pike then Ill Crag, Esk Pike and Bowfell.

From Devoke Water I headed for the farm and holiday cottages at Woodend. Caw is prominent in the distance.

Lovely light over the Scafell group.

After walking along the Birker Fell road for a while I thought I would follow the wall up on to Birker Fell rather than cut across country on the faint path. I have descended by this wall in the past and wanted to see if the path I remembered by the wall existed. It did and I thought that I preferred it to the boggy wander across the moor usually described in the guide books.. 

Looking over the ancient and distinctive field system to the Dunnerdale fells with Pikes and Caw on the left, Stickle Pike and Tarn Crags on the right and the Fox Haw / Raven's crag ridge in the middle..

Winter sunshine on the fells to the south west..

I did think I might make it to Harter Fell but time was against me so I looked for a place to camp between White How and Green Crag..

Which was not a bad spot.

Looking over to Green Crag.

A lovely end to the day. Although it's not yet 4 o'clock.

There was a cold northerly blowing but I was nicely sheltered. The Coniston fells in the background.

Unfortunately Thursday was a very dull day and the sun never showed itself.

With the dull weather ( and I was feeling a little lazy ) I decided to return to Ravenglass by way of Eskdale. This is Slight Side and Scafell from the path under Green Crag..

Looking back to Crook Crag and then Green Crag..

Passing above Birker Tarn.

I diverted off the path to the valley to have a look at Birker Force.

The old peat hut on the path down.

The old peat road is a nice easy way to descend ( and ascend ) .

Looking up to Birker Force whilst walking down by the Esk.

The only uphill section on my way back is the climb up Chapel Hill on the Esk Trail. The high fells are lost in the murk


 Friendly Robin on the path.

Passing by Muncaster Tarn, again as flat as a mill pond. One of the main features of the two days was the almost complete absence of wind.

Walking in the footsteps of the Romans down Fell Lane

Looks like my navigation was spot on.

Previous walk  - High Pike and Carrock Fell - Next walk - Sallows, Sour Howes and Longsleddale