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

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