Grey Friar walk - Swirl How

Grey Friar

Southern Lake District

Route: Great Carrs, Swirl How and Grey Friar

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 2nd October 2014

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.3 miles

Weather: sun and blue skies

I parked near the Three Shire Stone at the top of the Wrynose Pass and was thankful to get a space as parking there is limited. It was a glorious morning and I set off up Wet Side Edge full of anticipation. The climb was easy and it’s a grand way to reach the summit of Great Carr. I visited the remains of the crashed Halifax bomber just below the summit – a poignant moment

I then made my way over to Swirl How, the highest point of the walk at 2,630 feet. After admiring more amazing views I left the summit and walked across easy grassy terrain to the final fell – Grey Friar

I did wonder about returning the way I’d come, along Wet Side Edge, so as to keep to the heights for as long as possible on such a lovely day, but in the end decided to stick to Plan A and descend towards Cockley Beck down a path clearly marked on the OS map. There was a slight problem as it soon became clear that the path doesn’t exist and the descent was pathless throughout. A descent to Cockley Beck would not be possible in any event, since about a third of the way down the so-called path meets a barbed wire fence. I followed the line of the fence across the fell and then down hill, which at least had the advantage of cutting a large corner off the planned route. Apart from the final section, which was quite steep and rocky, the descent was reasonably straightforward though I wouldn’t like to do it in mist

Having reached Wrynose Bottom, it was a simple matter of following the road back to the start – only hardy motorists dare to tackle Wrynose Pass, so I only saw a few cars along the way

It had been a privilege to be up on the fells on such a day as this

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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