With the amazing weather last week lasting just up until the weekend, I decided to take the opportunity to get back over to the Lakes for the first time in about a month to tick off another Wainwright or two. I spent about an hour on Friday night flip-flopping over where to go, but finally settled on High Seat and Bleaberry Fell in the Central Fells. Usually Bleaberry Fell is tackled alongside Walla Crag, but we’d previously done this walk on Christmas Day and so I decided to go up a slightly different way.
As most routes up Bleaberry go via Walla Crag, I free-styled and made up my own route using the OS maps app starting from the National Trust’s car park at Ashness Bridge. Parking here is free for members and a pricey £8.50 all day for non-members – definitely worth investing in a National Trust membership if you’re thinking of walking the Wainwrights!
From the car park I crossed the road and headed up the footpath running parallel to Barrow Beck and Ashness Gill. It’s a steady and fairly steep climb and I was soon shedding layers! We stopped about two thirds of the way up where the path passed close to the gill and the dogs enjoyed having a splash in the water to cool off.
Navigation was pretty easy – I just stuck to the most obvious path all the way to the summit of High Seat. I have to say I was glad to get to the top, the climb was nowhere near as steep as some other paths we’ve walked in the last few years but the sunshine and total absence of a breeze meant that the going was a bit sweaty!
Just before the final ascent up High Seat, the going gets slightly boggier underfoot. This wasn’t too bad but I’d read reports about how boggy the ground is here, so I’d intentionally saved this walk for a day when it had been dry for a while, therefore it may be wetter than this if there hasn’t been a long-ish dry spell.
The views from High Seat were excellent and more than worth the effort – a cracking panorama across Derwentwater to the Central Fells, made even better by the clear blue sky. After descending a little way into a much wetter, boggier section of the walk (although there was only one occasion where the bog went over my boot), I began the climb up Bleaberry Fell.
If the views from High Seat were great, Bleaberry Fell was just as good, with incredible views across to Blencathra and Skiddaw as well as Cat Bells and Derwentwater. There were quite a few people enjoying the views on the summit, while I’d had High Seat to myself – it was a bit later in the day by this point though. After a quick stop at the top to take in the view I began my descent back to the start – the less said about this the better, and if anyone is planning to follow my route I’d recommend doing it as a linear!
Dog friendly rating – 3/5. All of this walk is on open fell side so keep your leads at the ready in case of livestock, or on all the time if your dog is an unknown when it comes to chasing/recall. There were also a few stiles which required me to lift the dogs over – they weren’t too high but I still managed to get fairly filthy after they’d both been splashing in the bog! On the plus side, both of ours appreciated the chance to cool off in the gill on the way up, and jumping in and out of bogs along the top helped keep them nice and cool in the sunshine.
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