A couple of walks and blogs ago we walked up the Roman road of High Street to
Arthur’s Pike from the pretty village of Askham. At the time we thought it would be a good walk to take the easy tracks from Askham to Pooley Bridge, taking in a couple of heights from Wainwright’s “Outlying Fells” book along the way.
So, on one of this summer’s rare dry and sunny days we set out from Askham, following the tracks to the woodland at Riggingleys Top – some of the easiest walking in Lakeland.
On then to the summit of Heughscar Hill, the first of our summits, though a barely noticeable one by Lake District standards. More a long and broad plateau of very easy rambling, with just a few stones of a cairn to mark the top. There are, however, quite superb views from this little hill – over Ullswater and towards Helvellyn in one direction, towards Blencathra in another, and back over Penrith towards the Pennines and the Scottish border in yet another.
Looking down over Askham Fell we could just make out the stone circle known as the Cockpit. There are a number of antiquities in the vicinity, suggesting a sanctuary in prehistoric times. The Roman road of High Street is a relative newcomer.
The latter is traceable over the western slopes of Heughscar, though – rather like on our last walk from Askham – it is still very much “course of” as the Ordnance Survey map suggests.
We descended by Roehead and then down the lane to a very busy Bank Holiday Pooley Bridge, crossed the bridge itself and climbed the half mile to the summit of our second Wainwright Outlying Fell, Dunmallet Hill – Dunmallard on the OS map. We took the path heading initially in the direction of Dacre, cutting back to the top. This is overgrown with trees and shrub and there are no views of the lake, though you can make out the earthen ramparts of the tiny Iron Age fort that bedecks the little hill.
Ideally, you return to Pooley Bridge the way you came. We tried a direct route down the steepest slope, which was, to say the least, slidy and muddy. Not recommended if you want to avoid slipping. We didn’t but we were lucky and had sticks.
There is a pleasant tea garden by the bridge. Worth visiting after such a scramble.
We returned very much the way we came, back to Askham. Around nine miles of very easy pleasant walking with the kind of long views you yearn for, so save this one for a good clear day.