Swindale Circuit

Outline of Route
Rosgill Moor - Scalebarow Knott - Hare Shaw - Swinside Pike - High Howes - Howes - Swindale Head - Rosgill Moor (Grid ref. NY 528157)
Total Distance 10.1 miles, Total Ascent 1950 feet, Equivalent Distance 14.0 miles

Map OS Map in This Window - OS Map in New Window - Route Grid Refs

Escape Routes

  1. Descend the Old Corpse Road to Swindale Head.

Details of Route
Turn off the Shap to Bampton Grange road where signposted to Rosgill and descend through the village and over a narrow bridge at the bottom. Bear right after the bridge and take the first turn on the left, a very acute angle, signposted Swindale. After three quarters of a mile, and just beyond a (private) road where you have to give way, there is a layby (photo). After parking here walk away from the road, there are paths which serve, until reaching a farm track. Turn left along this track and follow it to Scalebarrow Knott. There is a good view from the first (a false) top back towards the layby (photo). Continue in the same direction, with the wall a short distance to your right until you reach the next felltop, Harper Hills. There is a small reservoir serving Swindale just over the wall (photo). There is a clear path continuing towards Powley's Hill (photo) but it doesn't go there. Once over the next brow veer left towards Powley's Hill crossing a fence, only a couple of feet high, and avoiding some boggy patches on the way. From the top head towards the first of many summits of Hare Shaw (photo) and keep going until the last one, which is the true summit.

From Hare Shaw head south west towards Selside Pike (photo). There is a path, hard to follow in places, which may bring one to a wooden marker post on the Old Corpse Road, and a path up Selside Pike. There is a branch of the path which goes to another marker post, one at the summit of the corpse road. If you arrive there inadvertently just go down the road about 200 yards east, towards Swindale, to find the other marker post and the path. The walk up Selside Pike easy and uneventful apart from the odd peat hag. From the summit there are fine views of the fells around Mardale Head (photo) and also to Cross Fell in the east (photo). Continue south-southwest along by the fence (photo) to the col then cross the fence and still going south-southwest head up High Howes (unnamed on OS maps but given a height of 673 metres).

The summit of High Wether Howe can just be seen nearly two miles away to the east, largely obscured by the bulk of High Howes itself. Head across the summit plateau towards that until Howes comes into view (photo). Find your way down to Howes, there is no footpath until the last 100 yards. Looking back you will see High Howes and Selside Pike (photo). Follow the high ground to Nabs Crag crossing a fence near the top of Swine Gill. There is a fine view of Swindale from here (photo). Go back towards Swine Gill and descend into Mosedale (photo). Bear left at the bottom and descend into Swindale. The track is hard to follow but there is a prominent patch of gravel, where the track crosses Swindale Beck to aim for (photo). There are fall across to the right (photo).

Down in the valley we get a good view of the delightfully named Hobgrumble Gill (I can find no derivation of this) (photo) as we head for Swindale Head farm (photo). As we continue along the valley road there is a dam with associated works at Truss Gap (photo) and a good view of the valley (photo). As we continue back along the road the private road comes into view ahead on the right but there is still some way to go the the layby at the top of the hill.

Rev. 02 September 2014

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