Day 5: Patterdale to Shap

The weather forecast was great – a sunny day with no rain.

Patterdale is a lovely valley with Helvellyn on one side and Place Fell on the other with between them Lake Ulswater. Our overnight stop was at the White Lion in Patterdale.

The White Lion at Patterdale

The White Lion at Patterdale

The journey from Patterdale to Shap involves crossing the High Street Massif, the final mountain barrier of Lakeland.

The path leaves Patterdale and climbs steadily to Boredale Hause. Here there is a variety of routes which can cause confusion and we encountered the Australians who we had first met on Day 1 when they were lost on Dent. Once again Ian’s GPS verified the correct route.

The path climbs to Boredale Hause leaving Patterdale and Lake Ulswater far below

The path climbs to Boredale Hause leaving Patterdale and Lake Ulswater far below

Angletarn pikes is the next objective and the path curves east to reveal Angle Tarn. This is a really beautiful spot and so nice to have a natural lake rather than a reservoir like nearby Brothers Water, Hayes Water and Haweswater. The word ‘tarn’ comes from the Norse word ‘tjorn’ which means ‘teardrop. Alfred Wainwright says that Angle Tarn “ranks amongst the best of Lakeland tarns” with its “indented shore and islets”. It is, he says “the crowning glory of the (Angletarn) Pikes” that over-look the tarn that gave them their name.

The tarn itself lies on a broad ridge below the Pikes. The area offers massive 360 degree mountain views of the Helvellyn range to the west and the High Street range to the east. We felt completely surrounded by mountains in this beautiful wild terrain!

The natural beauty of Angle Tarn

The natural beauty of Angle Tarn

After Angle Tarn the path passes over Satura Crag and crosses over wet, boggy ground before a steady climb up to the Knott. Beyond the Knott, High Street is reached and the path – still ascending, curves round to Kidsty Pike and then the descent to Haweswater.

Kidsty Pike has gentle grassy slopes on the northern side. By contrast the southern side of the ridge drops over crag and scree to Riggindale, 1,500 ft below. The difference in slopes gives Kidsty Pike its appeal when viewed from Haweswater, or on the M6 motorway near Shap. From here, in profile the summit appears as an acute angled peak. We were to view this distinctive sharp angled peak for the next 2 days until we crossed the Pennines at Nine Standards Rigg.

We decided to prolong the wonderful Lakeland scenery a bit longer and headed north up High Raise. High Raise is on the main north-south spine of the Far Eastern Fells between Wether Hill and Rampsgill Head. Its eastern slopes drop to Haweswater and its western flank is the steep scree-lined side of Rampsgill.

High Raise

High Raise

We continued along High Street before descending across Bampton Fell eventually emerging at the Haweswater Dam. This route was not as good as we expected. We did get a long last wonderful view of Lakeland but the paths marked on the OS map were not paths on the ground and spent a couple of hour’s yomping across tussocky grass and peat hags. Energy sapping and time consuming. In retrospect we would have been better descending across Low Raise and down along Measland Beck.

Eventually descending to the dam at Haweswater – a fight through gorse and bracken

Eventually descending to the dam at Haweswater – a fight through gorse and bracken

We had a pleasant walk for the remaining 5 miles to Shap. The C2C is signed in places and the permissive path is easy to follow through cultivated fields and along the delightful River Lowther.

A C2C signpost. The first we had seen since Cleator on Day 1

A C2C signpost. The first we had seen since Cleator on Day 1

After a climb up from the river a short climb reveals a view of Shap Abbey.

Shap Abbey

Shap Abbey

The Abbey was built in the twelfth century and occupies a position deep in the wooded valley of the river Lowther. The tower remains but not much else above first floor height

A concrete road climbs up after the abbey. At this stage of the day this requires significant effort. Shap is still over a mile away. The village straddles the A6 which was the main artery to Scotland until 1970 when the M6 opened. The village is a mile long and clings to the road with little breadth.

A welcome sight – it had been a long day

A welcome sight – it had been a long day

Thankfully New Ing Lodge was at the closer end of this mile so we had reached our destination for the day and could stop!

27.2 km with 1050m of elevation.

The GPX file for the route that we followed is here.

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