The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 10 April 2015

Birks Fell

Friday 10 April


When I told Mick, before this trip, that I had worked out starting points and route options for 14 hills, he exclaimed “Fourteen!” in such a way that I promptly reassured him that I had no intention of squeezing all 14 into the space of a week, but that it was best to be armed with information so that we could pick and choose accordingly.

Thanks to the glorious weather that we’ve enjoyed, it turned out to be no squeeze at all and today we went up the fourteenth and final hill of the trip: Birks Fell.

Although we could barely make out Buckden Pike across the valley, such was the haze, it was another lovely sunny day. So, when we had visited the summit we figured that, rather than going straight back down, we may as well walk the ridge to the south east, via the tarn and the trig point, to pick up the bridle way which leads down to Starbotton.

The Dales Way then took us along the river (with a clear high-water mark which told us that the path had been underwater sometime this last winter) back to our start point in Buckden.

As tempting as it was to pop up Buckden Pike to see what it was like when not under drifting snow and in a howling wind (and by now the haze had cleared), we opted instead to journey south in search of an ice-cream vendor. It was, after all, turning out to be the warmest day of the year so far. (Incredibly, it was only last month that we were on Buckden Pike in full winter conditions.)

So, that’s it for this trip; we now have three days of rest before we start the Southern Upland Way on Tuesday.


  1. Three days of rest? REST??? Waddyamean, rest? And three days of the stuff? You'll be turning into a pair of couch potatoes if you keep taking rests y'know!

    1. 'Rest' may have been a misleading term. The late nights of a big get-together of Mick's family (for his Mum's 90th birthday celebration), followed by a day and a half of frantically sorting stuff out for the SUW perhaps isn't entirely restful!

  2. Birks Fell: the OS map is not clear as to the name of this summit. It could be:

    Birks Fell
    Old Cote Moor
    Haw Fell
    Moor End Fell
    I had it as Firth Fell when I was bagging trig points - 10th March 2005:

    Littondale down to the south-west is my favourite dale.

    I reckon you have covered some of the best terrain in the country on this trip.

    1. Whilst I agree that there are many names that could apply to the top on which the trig point sits, the Marilyn summit is about a mile away and the name Birks Fell is the only one which sits close to that spot.

      I don't believe we've ever ventured into Littondale; we must do so.

      As for what we did do, it was a truly excellent trip. It will be memorable not just for the walking and the weather, but also for some fantastic night-stops which had my head swivelling in all directions unable to believe the quality of the surrounding views.

  3. Please check your email addresses for SUW information,


    1. Done - and apologies for not acknowledging sooner.

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