Lake District Walks
Great Dodd & Clough Head
Date: 7th June 2008
Distance: 11.4 miles
Ascent: 2711 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY380219
A real peak bagging expedition at the northern end of the Eastern Fells visiting, amongst others, Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head.
Route Summary: High Row - Dowthwaitehead - Birkett Fell - Hart Side - Green Side - Stybarrow Dodd - Watson's Dodd - Great Dodd - Calfhow Pike - Clough Head - White Pike - Old Coach Road - High Row
1. Watermillock Common
2. Aira Beck
3. The cairn on Birkett Fell
4. Hart Side from Birkett Fell
5. The top of Hart Side looking towards Green Side
6. Great Dodd
7. Stybarrow Dodd from Green Side
8. The top of Stybarrow Dodd
9. Hart Side and Deepdale from Stybarrow Dodd
10. Great Dodd from Watson's Dodd
11. Looking back at Watson's Dodd
12. The top of Great Dodd
13. Approaching Calfhow Pike
14. Clough Head from Calfhow Pike
15. On Calfhow Pike
16. The top of Clough Head
17. A paraglider below Clough Head
18. Looking towards White Pike with the Mell Fells in the distance
Walk Detail: The initial approach was via an area of Lakeland that is little known and I found the valley down to Dowthwaitehead was very attractive. The lack of breeze meant the thin path leading up the flanks of Hart Side was harder going than it should have been.
As I approached the summit of Hart Side there was still some low cloud about though the sun came out where I was and I thought the weather was finally going to break up. Unfortunately this was as bright as it got. I like the summit of Hart Side but this was my second visit so I eagerly carried on over to Green Side and on to Stybarrow Dodd.
The view from Stybarrow Dodd though could have been excellent but I was disappointed to find that nearly everything west of the ridge was barely visible. Still I got a good view of Deepdale to the north east and Hart Side and found a nice perch to eat my lunch.
Watson’s Dodd while in effect a non-summit was far enough removed from its fellow Dodds to at least feel like one. However once again the views were severely restricted. The strange thing was that by now the Ullswater scene was bathed in sunshine and blue sky but everything north and west was paralysed by a grey gloom. It was very disappointing and the swarm of insects on Great Dodd did not make me feel any better.
The tor of Calfhow Pike was not as interesting as I thought it would be and the climb up to Clough Head became a dull trudge without any decent views. Clough Head was made a bit more exciting by the drop on the northern flank where there were some paragliders. The much anticipated view of Blencathra was spoilt by the gloom.
The only note of excitement on the long long walk back was the subsidiary top of White Pike, the walk along the Old Coach Road was punctuated only by the unusually high number of mountain bikers. For the last half a mile the sun had the cheek to finally make a sustained appearance and to add injury to insult I got sunburnt.
I'd always imagined doing this walk on a bright sunny summer's day with glorious views in all directions and indeed this was pretty much what had been forecast. As a result I was probably more disappointed than I should have been with the weather and consequently didn't enjoy it as much as I should. I definitely want to do the Dodds again though next time I think I might tackle them from the Legburthwaite side.