Caudale Round.

Start. Hartsop.

Route. Hartsop - Hartsop Dodd - Stony Cove Pike - Caudale Moor - John Bell's Banner - Rough Edge - Caudale Quarry - Sykeside - Hartsop Hall - Cow Bridge - Hartsop.

Notes. Caudale Moor passed unnoticed by motorists as they cross Kirkstone Pass, you know the hill I mean, the featureless slopes on the right of the road as you descend to Brothers Water, don't let its bland exterior put you off, Caudale Moor has many assets. Apart from the ascent from the Kirkstone Pass Inn the climbs are lung busting, the descents knee burning, but when you stand on the vast boggy plateau the views are spectacular. This was a short horseshoe but I greatly underestimated the amount of time needed to complete the round, the last time I walked these ridges I was on a quest to bag Wainwright's, a lot younger and fitter in those days, I guess I was watching my feet not the views, how sad, today I lapped it up, enjoyed every minute, “Oh” the joys of getting old.

The time was getting on when I reached Hartsop village, I slotted the car in the final parking space, laced my boots up, slung my bag over my shoulder then headed west through a gate, following the track into Pasture Bottom I immediately crossed the beck before passing through another gate. Rising immediately in front of me the steep unforgiving slopes of Hartsop Dodd, a green path rose to a stile, I gritted my teeth and started climbing. The next hour was about breathtaking views, breathtaking being the appropriate word in more ways than one. No false summits on this climb, when you reach the boundary wall you can see the summit cairn, a most welcoming sight.

From the summit the climb gets considerably easier, with a dry stone wall to guide me I ascended to the cairn on Stony Cove Pike, most guide books tell us this is the summit of Caudale Moor, in my mind the summit's to the west across a tarn adorning the vast plateau, but first, a small cairn to the south awaits, a small cairn with a wonderful view. From the actual summit of Caudale Moor? a faint path guided me to another cairn, this one has a cross rising from it's apex. Mark Atkinson's Memorial, for many years the landlord at the Kirkstone Pass Inn, when he died in 1930 his final wish was to be remembered where he could forever see his beloved inn, his son William a school master in Patterdale is also remembered.

From the monument a faint path carried me north, a short stretch of level walking before the path plunges down Rough Edge, I took the opportunity to visit the abandoned Caudale Quarry as I was traversing the ridge above the workings, the slate quarry although small was able to boast the steepest tramways in the whole of the British Isles, it was this legacy that guided me down. As I made my descent the rain that had been hanging over the Irish Sea all afternoon finally arrived. I wandered back along the shore of Brothers Water hoping to get some shots of the round I'd just walked, unfortunately the hills were fast being enveloped in the late afternoon mist.

view route map.


Seen from the start of my ascent, Hartsop village with Arnison Crag rising across Patterdale.

Lit by the afternoon sun the green fields of Dovedale, Dove Crag overlooks the valley.

High on Hartsop Dodd with stunning views down Patterdale.

The summit Hartsop Dodd looking to the shadowed Deepdale face of Fairfield over Hartsop above How.

Viewing the Caudale Quarry on Rough Edge, Red Screes rises rather ominously behind.

The high skyline, the flat plateau of Caudale Moor.

On the far horizon the long ridge of High Street leads to Thornthwaite Crag, in the middle distance the Gray Crag ridge with Raven Crag in the foreground.

Ascending to Stony Cove Pike looking back to Hartsop Dodd.

The summit Stony Cove Pike with views to Thornthwaite Crag.

Windermere Lake and the Irish Sea, magnificent views from Stony Cove Pike.

Dominating the view to the west Red Screes, seen across a distant horizon the Scafell massif.

The ridges leading across Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick, another stunning view from this vast plateau.

Caudale Moor Tarn backed by the Helvellyn skyline, to the far left a lonely cairn marks the summit of the moor.

The summit Caudale Moor with magical views to the northwest.

Looking to High Street with the sharp profile of Kidsty Pike rising above the Straits of Riggindale.

Mark Atkinson's Memorial rests forever on John Bell's Banner.

Viewing Kirkstone Pass from Mark Atkinson's Memorial.

Brothers Water, Ullswater and wonderful views down the Patterdale valley, seen from the start of Rough Edge.

Racing moody shadows and a slight play of light add to the breathtaking topography.

Taking a stroll with the ghosts of industry passed, the Caudale Slate Quarry with views down Patterdale.

The weather's closing in behind me, fording Caudale Beck looking to the sylvan slopes of Hartsop above How.

Seen from near Brothers Water, Rough Edge leading to Caudale Moor.

Well that's the end of the views for today, the darker ridge is Hartsop Dodd with Caudale Moor hardly visible through the driving rain.

Hartsop Dodd seen across Brothers Water, grey against a grey sky Gray Crag.

back to top

back to list