Summit of Hare Shaw

The summit of Hare Shaw, the highest point of the horseshoe. Strange tree-growing experiments seem to be occurring. Kidsty Pike in the background.

Summits: There are no fewer than seven summits delineated in this chapter, which I first visited in this order: Scalebarrow Knott (1109 feet above sea level), Harper Hills (1378’), Hare Shaw (1650’), an unnamed summit at 1427’ and another at 1380’, Hugh’s Laithes Pike (1390’) and one final unnamed summit at 1296’.

Looking at the configuration of this group from afar (and you get a good view from the Shap-Bampton road — see the picture), I think that if Wainwright had treated these fells in the same way that he did in the seven volumes of the main Pictorial Guide, he would have got the number down to two, namely Hare Shaw and Hugh’s Laithes Pike. But seven are what we have on the chapter’s title page (p. 224 of volume 8), so let’s not bicker and just bag what’s there.

Geese over the Naddle horseshoe

Geese on their way somewhere warmer. The fell straight ahead is the Hugh’s Laithes Pike end of the Naddle Horseshoe. The Haweswater dam is just visible.

Date bagged: First visit: 13th November 2014 (walk 89).

Second visit: Harper Hills and Scalebarrow Knott, but not the other five, were rebagged on 8th September 2016 (walk 117).

Bagged as numberFirst round: The seven become numbers 274-280 of the full 330: which means that after coming off the last, unnamed summit, I now have 50 to go. [<< Knipescar Common (272)  (281) Burney >> ]

Second round: Just the two, so numbers 73 and 74 of 330. [ << Selside Pike (72)  (75) Carl Side >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: I did not quite follow the route depicted in Wainwright’s chapter, starting and finishing at Burnbanks rather than the Rosgill-Swindale road. From Burnbanks one can easily reach Naddle Farm and at that point Wainwright’s route is joined. It should be observed that contrary to the advice given at the top of page 229 of volume 8, Burnbanks can be reached on a bus, even if only once a week (currently Thursdays).

The summit of Scalebarrow Knott

The summit of Scalebarrow Knott

Second visit: Came up to Harper Hills from the Old Corpse Road that links Swindale and Mardale. Descended to Naddle Farm, but this time via the previous route of ascent.

What Mr Wainwright says (from p. 225 of volume 8): “[The Naddle] is a small side-valley of attractive appearance, being inurned between steep and craggy slopes draped with mature woodland, a natural forest centuries old; but, having no public road along which cars may be taken, it rarely gets more than a passing glance from visitors on wheels…. It is a quiet valley with one farm only and beyond its enclosing arms an undulating plateau of rough pasture with a fine view of the mountains around Mardale that few walkers ever come to see.”

Point 1296'

The last summit of the horseshoe, 1296′ above sea level.

What I say:  I had slightly higher hopes for this walk than were fulfilled, mainly because I thought, making a judgment from the map, that I would get a rather better view of Haweswater than I did.  The attractive head of the reservoir is not seen, and the northern of the two ridges which make up the ‘horseshoe’ is a tough one to follow thanks to deep vegetation and a lack of paths. Not a dull walk though, just an awkward one in parts. Probably it is a lot more attractive on a sunny day in August than a chilly, grey one in November. (My second visit to at least part of the horseshoe wasn’t a great deal better weather-wise, so I don’t really revise these opinions.)

Its main advantage is allowing one to knock off seven Wainwright summits without a momentous expenditure of effort; though if depending on public transport, at the moment you can only get here on Thursdays, and then not without logistical challenges (see the walk 89 commentary).

I also give Hugh’s Laithes Pike the award for ‘Wainwright with the most tongue-twisting name’. Are both those s’s really necessary?

[ << Nab Scar     Nethermost Pike >> ]

2 Responses to “The Naddle Horseshoe”

  1. […] walk I did, which in highly economical fashion bagged me the seven summits in Wainwright’s Naddle Horseshoe chapter. As of today I have therefore done 280 of the full list of 330 Wainwrights and thus […]

  2. […] fringe of the District: several from chapters in the Outlying Fells (Bannisdale Horseshoe, Howes, Naddle Horseshoe) and three from the Far Eastern Fells (Grey Crag, Tarn Crag, Selside Pike). This boosts the total […]

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