Deepdale and back part 1

It’s been a very frustrating summer. My wife’s poor health has meant no opportunities to get out. However, I had to take out daughter back to university last week, so that opened up the chance to make a little side trip to the Lake District.

Because of uncertainties over timing, I decided to return to the eastern fells as it was easy to park the car safely and concoct a two-day/three-night trip. I wanted to return to Deepdale, so I planned to camp at the same places as September last year, but link them with a different route.


I arrived at Haweswater late afternoon and the sun was shining. After parking the car, I hefted my pack and went to find a spot on the The Rigg to camp.

DSC00042Camp on The Rigg

I decided that it was such a nice evening that I’d camp in the same spot as last year.


It was a very fine evening, with a fresh breeze to keep the insects at bay. After walking down to Riggindale Beck to collect some water, I rehydrated a meal. By the time I’d finished it was dusk, so I climbed into my sleeping bag and dozed off.

DSC00050Cloud over Riggindale

I woke at first light. The day dawned reasonably clear, although I knew the forecast was for a generally cloudy day with strong winds. I just failed to get a really good picture of the bright pink clouds over Riggindale illuminated by the rising sun 😦 .


After breakfast I set off back down towards the car park and dumped a couple of things in the car before taking the Gatescarth Pass path. For some reason, I’ve never used this path before, so it was nice to use a new route.

DSC00053Harter Fell and Gatescarth Pass

 It’s a pretty easy path up to the pass. By now the sky had clouded over and the wind strengthened appreciably as I climbed higher.

DSC00062Gatescarth Pass and the Laser Comp

At the top of the pass, I spied a tent in the distance. It was one of the worst pitched Laser Comps I’ve ever seen! Shocking!

DSC00071View from Harter Fell to High Street

From Gatesgarth Pass, the path turns westwards up the flank of Harter Fell. By this time the weather was brightening a bit, although the wind was still strong. There were some good views northwards to High Street and Haweswater.

DSC00072Nan Bield Pass and Mardale Ill Bell

From Harter Fell I descended to Nan Bield Pass and up to Mardale Ill Bell. Skirting the flank of High Street, I made a short cut across some moorland to the path that leads to Thornthwaite Beacon.

DSC00077Thornthwaite Beacon

Sheltering behind the Beacon was another walker. We had a quick chat, mainly about the weather. He said that the forecast was for heavy rain and high winds tomorrow but that it should clear by lunchtime.

DSC00078Descent to Threshthwaite Mouth

The descent from Thornthwaite to Threshthwaite Mouth was a lot rougher than I remembered. There were several walkers coming the other way, huffing and puffing up the steep path. At Threshthwaite Mouth the wind was being funnelled through the col and was ferocious.

DSC00080Pasture Beck

Some walkers were sheltering behind the dry stone wall where the path turns down to Pasture Beck. The way down Threshthwaite Cove was uneven and a bit slippery. I managed to stumble an graze a finger. A plaster stanched the trickle of blood. A little further down I took shelter behind a boulder to have a bite of lunch.

DSC00085Pasture Beck

Pasture Beck is a lovely walk. The top section is quite steep, giving way to some glacial humps (drumlins). The lower section opens out into a gentler valley with a good path. There are also a couple of good places to camp, which I filed away in the memory banks for future trips.

DSC00092Bridgend and Deepdale beyond

 At Hartsop, I took the track to Bridgend and crossed over the A592. I followed the lane to Deepdale Hall into Deepdale itself. I really like Deepdale. It’s not a very long valley but in the upper reaches it does have a feeling of remoteness amongst the crags of Hart Crag and Fairfield.

DSC00097Deepdale and Greenhow End

One unwelcome new feature of Deepdale, however, was a small herd of cows with calves. They were walking towards me on the path. Mindful of recent trampling incidents, I tracked up the slope away from the path through some bracken. Even so, they decided that I was interesting and started towards me. After I skirted round them they seemed to lose interest. Nonetheless, I wasn’t very impressed that cows and calves had been let loose on a well used path.

DSC00099Camp at Deepdale

After a kilometer or so, I left the track to find the spot where I had camped last year in one of the bends of Deepdale Beck. To my dismay, the idyllic spot of last year had been churned up by cattle and there was a profusion of cow pats. Fortunately, there was a small area clear of devastation and I pitched my Tramplite, tail into the strong and gusting wind.

DSC00102Cow pat city

I knew the weather forecast was poor for the next morning, so I made sure all the pegging points were secure. As it turned out, it was a wise thing to do. More about the ferocious weather in part 2.


9 thoughts on “Deepdale and back part 1”

    1. It’s about the only place to camp in Deepdale, although the top of some of the drumlins is feasible. Let me know if you need some camping spots.

  1. Glad you got out there. Bit disappointed about the lack of a picture of the badly-pitched Laser Comp. I could have done with a laugh…

  2. Cows can be very dangerous, especially with their young. I have had one or two close calls in the past, so as a rule I usually give them a wide berth, regardless of the season.

    Took a look at the Laser Comp picture, it’s hard to see properly, but it looks like the whole right hand side of the tent was lacking tension! Having never owned a Laser I have heard they can be quite tricky to pitch properly.

    I wonder if anyone is going to own up to it? 🙂

    1. I’ve got a laser comp but not used it for a while. It’s not that difficult to get a reasonable pitch. It might have pulled a peg.

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