We started off from the pay and display car park just north of Brothers Water. We took the track that passed Brothers Water and headed towards Hartsop Hall. The path was easy going here as it is farm track all the way to Hartsop Hall. There are stunning views all the way along, across Brothers Water and to the other side of the valley to the hills beyond. Once we reached Hartsop Hall, we continued along the track.
Hartsop Hall is a Cow farm, so it was very mucky and muddy as we walked through it. Being careful not to disturb the cattle too much, we continued along the track (it was still a stony farm track). We passed alongside some more trees and eventually came to a small footbridge crossing Dovedale Beck. We decided to stop and have a quick coffee here before continuing.
The path here isn’t as well defined as the previous one, but we followed it as best as we could, following the course of the river. It is a very picturesque river waterfalls and pools, and we resisted the temptation to dip our feet in. We carried on along the path until we came to a dry stone wall, and this is where any recognisable path ended. We took what we thought was the path up and over the hill. How wrong we were!!! It was a very steep climb, and after many stops to “admire the view”, we eventually reached the top. It was from here that we saw we had taken the wrong path; we should have skirted round the hill, rather than climbing it.
We found an easyish path off the hill, and headed towards the path we should have been on. We continued along this path, which was now a well defined track, up towards Dove Crag. The path was now a rocky path, with steps carved into the stone. This made the path easier to see, but it made the going slightly tougher. We reached the top, and the ground levelled out to a grassy slope. We headed for the dry stone wall to have our lunch. After eating my stew and dumplings, we looked at the map and plotted our way down.
We followed the line of the dry stone wall, past Black Brow, Little Hart Crag and Scandale Tarn to the crossroads at Scandale Pass. The turn is easy to miss (we missed it), but once we found it, we headed down between Middle Dodd (on our right) and High Hartsop Dodd (on our left) alongside Caiston Beck. The path started out grassy, but gradually got steeper and rockier the further down we went. I decided to demonstrate the slipperiness of the rock by slipping and falling on my bum!!! This was just after I told Les to be careful, as black moss can be slippy! We continued on, and as the ground levelled out, it became easier to walk on.
The path was still not very clear, as it is just walking across grass. We eventually came back to Hartsop Hall and picked up the path back to the car park at Brothers Water.
|Map used:||OL5 – The English Lakes, North Eastern Area|
|Start/Finish||NY 402 133|
|Time Taken||About 6 hours|