Pooley Bridge Walks

Pooley Bridge Walks

The Dacre Bears

Pooley Bridge Walks

Lunch And Just Desert.

There are many circular and triangular walks in the world although not as many which are short, yet long enough to work up an appetite, and with such excellent all round benefits as the one I am about to tell you of.

This particular Pooley Bridge walks I have called Lunch and Just Desert with good reason. It’s quite simple! I love my deserts and I enjoy being a little naughty as I am sure we all do? Therefore the title of this walk is a little play on words and will unfold some more as you read on.

This Pooley Bridge walks is between the Lakeland village of Dacre, which is situated not too far from Penrith and Pooley Bridge, and the stately home of Dalemain, which is open to visitors (but do check on opening times!).

There is both parking in the village hall car park of Dacre or near to the 18th Century Horse and Farrier Inn at Dacre to one end of the walk, or parking within the grounds of Dalemain at the other end of the walk.

Pooley Bridge Walks

Dacre Castle

I would suggest a good time to do this walk would be when both the above establishments are open as this definitely makes the walk more rewarding to all, including the little people.

The Pooley Bridge walks is between the historic village of Dacre and its medieval Church and peel tower type castle and Dalemain. Depending on your view point one can start from which ever end you desire although I would recommend parking at Dalemain and commencing the walk from there.

Once parked up at Dalemain in the visitors parking you will see towards the right of a stone building is a road with cattle grid and this you need to aim for and follow the road towards the courtyard of Dalemain. Keeping to your right you will pass an old gamekeepers lodge on your right as the road opens up into the courtyard.

Pooley Bridge Walks

The Village Green

Pooley Bridge Walks

To the right there is visible a stonewall of maybe 10 feet in height and I might suggest this to be possibly a walled garden on the other side. Following the tall stonewall and keeping it to your left follows the single-track all the way towards Dacre.

This is then a very simple walk with just a few gentle slopes of very little incline and I would say it is a good walk for all and of all ages. No great skill is needed in following the track road as it just opens out in front of you.

There are sheep about in the fields so keeping dogs on a lead is advisable.

Once you get near to the end of the pathway keep an eye to your left for the Peel tower castle of Dacre, which has a history all of its own. As you pass the tower on your left if you look to your right you should see St Andrews Church and believe it or not; Dacre has had a church for over a 1,000 years !

Pooley Bridge Walks

Within the grounds of the Church you can see the old and famous Dacre Bears and you may visit this website link to find out more; http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/chp1.htm or

http://www.english-lakes.com/dacre.htm

The church is well worth a visit.

Keeping to the path and passing the tower you will come to a T junction and if you turn right you will see a short distance in front of you the old 18th Century Inn, the Horse and Farrier.

Pooley Bridge Walks

18th Century Horse And Farrier, Dacre

On entering the public house I would recommend if you get your timing just right that this would be a grand time for a spot of Lunch after a brisk walk from Dalemain. For a reasonable price I would go for lunch here and a sample of the cask ales, obviously just going for the main course.

All good reasoning would then justify after all this exercise and precision timing that it would be possible to make it all the way back to the exquisite old tea room at Dalemain for Just Desert and coffee !!

What more can one ask of a good walk? Fresh air, exercise, beautiful Lakeland scenery and wholesome food to boot!!

This is a great Pooley Bridge walks and being a circular route is great for parking your car any where upon the route.

Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Do you like a walk of untold mystery that makes you wonder who or what was here before us? How old is civilisation itself? How different are we to those who long ago walked these same hills?

Look to the heavens on a clear night here in the Lake District and you could be looking upon the same stars as someone did some 1,000 years ago.

Not too distant from the village of Dacre is the stone circle of Castlerigg not more than some 9 miles away and throughout the whole area is a wealth of tumuli, barrows, mounds and stone circles all of great antiquity, and not forgetting the strange stone Dacre Bears.

This walk is going to take us from Dacre to the summit of Great Mell Fell just of the road A5091 and back.

Great Mell Fell will be visible for most of the walk so we will start with some history and it is for you the reader to decide on fact or fiction?

Is Great Mell Fell an early pyramid built at the dawn of time and before history began ? There are some who consider this to be fact ! The question is, should Great Mell Fell be considered in the same context as Silbury Hill in Wiltshire to be some kind of earth mound ? Or is it just an uncanny resemblance with Silbury Hill ? Great Mell Fell is taller than the great pyramid of Giza. Great Mell Fell elevation is 537 m (1762ft)

An ancient tumulus or gravesite was discovered close to its summit and the area is full of Neolithic sites.

So whilst walking this easy to medium walk you may ponder the simple existence of Great Mell Fell, is it simply a fell or is it some strange ancient burial site ?

Leaving the village of Dacre and heading down the road towards the settlement of Sparket. Keep looking out for a sign on the right hand side for Hesket Farm and leaving the road firstly follow the farm road until you see on your left just before the farm a public footpath sign and follow this.

Great Mell Fell Walk

This path bends to the right around the farm buildings and heads across the fields and down towards a small wooded copse and you will be looking for a bridge that cross the stream which is flowing towards Dacre beck.

Panoramic View From Summit

Panoramic View From Summit

Reaching the farm road you turn right and follow the track all the way through the Hesket farm and aim for Sparket Mill. On reaching Sparket mill if you are lucky you might see the peacock that lives locally.

For approximately 30 minutes follow the Thackthwaite road until you have passed through the settlement of Thackthwaite and look out for a public footpath on your right. It is a little misleading at first as it does start as a very rough pathway of the road, which after approximately 10 meters bends out of sight to the right.

Following this public footpath across the fields you are heading towards 1 large barn and house in the valley below although this cannot be seen. Coming to the barn the style was broken and lying in the field as of 20.02.10.

On seeing the 2 Dacre Beck bridges take the one to the left and look on the left hand side for the public footpath that follows the edge of the Beck. You are then aiming roughly for the right hand side of the large farm of Walloway.

On reaching the road turn left and keep walking with Great Mell Fell now to your right. Keep walking along the road until you reach the first road / rough path on the left and taking this you will start to rise upwards. Looking for the second gate and taking this you will see the main footpath, which will take you all the way to the summit of Great Mell Fell. There are some amazing old wind thrashed trees on the fell and keep your eyes open for the wild life on the fell.

On reaching the summit after several false thoughts of having reached the top you will be rewarded with some fantastic far-reaching panoramic view of the Lake District and the Pennines.

Whilst having reached the top of Great Mell Fell it is only now that you will realise how curved and possibly tomb like it really is. Yes I agree it is not perfectly curved but then it was possibly made some 2,000 plus !! Food for thought as you walk home !!

Great Mell Fell Walk

Returning via the route up Great Mell Fell and returning to the road you now have a choice of routes. Firstly you can simply turn left and follow the road all the way back to your car at Dacre using Ordnance Survey map 90 or you can turn right along the road and look for the public footpath on the left which takes you across the fields towards Grenrow and on reaching Greenrow turn left and follow the road back to Dacre depending on your time scale and fitness levels?

This walk is good for families with children, dogs and individuals of all levels with reasonable fitness levels.

Please remember to keep dogs on a lead whilst on farm land although these roads are quiet and with a reasonably well behaved dog you might enjoy letting your dog of the lead whilst on the road, although this is entirely at your own risk and within your own responsibility.

I hope you enjoy your Great Mell Fell Walk.