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Bowland & Pendle Walks

Whitendale Fell

Date: 22nd October 2011
Distance: 9.6 miles
Ascent: 1736 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD693547

Walk Summary:
A wonderful walk exploring Croasdale and Whitendale by way of the Salter Way, Whitendale Fell and Burn Fell.

Route Summary: Woodhouse Lane - Hornby Road - Croasdale Fell - Whitendale Fell - Hornby Road - Whitendale - Dunsop Head - Burn Fell - Dunsop Head - Woodhouse Lane

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Hornby Road as it contours above Croasdale
A remote building in Croasdale
Whitendale Fell from Hornby Road
A small herd of Belted Galloway in Croasdale
Looking back down into Croasdale
On the top of Whitendale Fell
Wolfhole Crag from Whitendale Fell
Back on Hornby Road
Looking back along Whitendale
Gutter Clough
Middle Knoll
By the trig point on Burn Fell
Stocks Reservoir from Wisket Hill


Walk Detail: I'd not visited the Bowland fells since way back in April so thought it was about time to head out that way again. At virtually the last moment I decided on this walk, rather than my initial route, which was to visit Hawthornthwaite Fell.

Leaving the car at what is probably the only parking space near the end of Woodhouse Lane I initially followed the former packway known as the Salters Way or Hornby Road. Soon after starting the walk some early morning sunshine broke through the clouds and illuminated Croasdale below. It was a magical start to the walk.

I followed Hornby Road until just past the remains of an old quarry at which point I took a track leading up on to Baxton Fell and Whitendale Fell. Initially quite wide it eventually petered out so that the final section on to Whitendale Fell was completely pathless.

In fact the absence of any kind of trod, even alongside the summit fence, would suggest that very few people actually go up there. Not that I was bothered as I was able to drink in the fine view of the surrounding Bowland fells in complete solitude. Particuarly prominent were Wolfhole Crag, White Hill and Whins Brow.

Instead of making a beeline for Whitendale I followed the fence north-west back to Hornby Road which I followed again a short way before descending on a thin path with fine views of the upper section of Whitendale ahead of me. This was the second magic moment of the walk.

The path south along Whitendale was, it is fair to say, very wet in places. Still this didn't hinder my enjoyment as I was too busy enjoying my remote surroundings. Eventually the path began to dry out and, after passing between a couple of plantations I re-entered civilisation.

After passing the farm houses at Whitendale I was then faced with a second climb of the day. Initially on a path that zig-zagged up the fellside the highlight of this part of the walk was the view back across to the impressive outline of the very un-Bowland like Middle Knoll.

The rest of the walk, which included a detour to the trig point on Burn Fell, proved to be quite a squelchy affair, first of all on the peaty bridleway to Dunsop Head and then after that over a couple of quite substantial bogs. The final descent back to Woodhouse Lane provided fine views eastwards to Stocks Reservoir and across to Pendle Hill.

Although I'm sure this walk would not be everyone's cup of tea I thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather was perfect and the autumn sunshine perfectly captured the beautiful moorland colours. I was also able to spend some time experimenting with my new camera and even took quite a bit of video footage. Now I just need to work out what to do with it!

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