Thornthwaite Beacon and High Street

A less adventurous walk this week but no less enjoyable for that and I was glad to give my knees a rest after the battering they received last weekend.

We started from Cow Bridge near Brotherswater and after walking through the small village of Hartsop turned right over the stream and followed Pasture Beck up towards Threshwaite Mouth. This is a beautiful little valley that I don’t think I’d ever been to in all the years I’ve been coming to the Lakes. The path steepened towards the col and I realised it’s good to walk with someone who is just slightly fitter than you are – I’ve been dawdling too much when walking alone recently, taking too many photos for the blog and eating too much flapjack!

We were soon at Thornthwaite Crag with its huge beacon, a rather unsteady looking stone tower. I’ve tried to find out why it was built but have failed, with even Wainwright being silent on the subject. There were signs warning us not to sit underneath the beacon for fear of falling rocks, so we kept our distance.

High Street was then only a short walk away. This hill is named after the old Roman road that came this way to avoid the then marshy and densely forested ground below where there was a greater risk of ambush. You can almost imagine the Roman armies marching over the summit through the mist and rain on their way from the fort at Brocavum near Penrith to Galava near Ambleside.

Today there were no Roman armies or mist or rain, just lots of people enjoying the hills on a chilly and windy autumn day. We had great views westwards towards Helvellyn and Fairfield and further afield to the Coniston and Scafell hills.

We continued northwards past Knott Crag and down to Angle Tarn. Here we stopped for lunch and watched geese land on the water, presumably on their way south from Greenland to spend the winter in a warmer country. One day I will do the same 😀. The sunlight shone like diamonds on the water and out of the wind it was still remarkably warm.

We descended via Boredale Hause and returned on the pleasant bridleway that runs down the east side of the valley. A really enjoyable walk with good company as usual from Steve.

Copyright of all text and photos, Jane Ascroft 2020

Published by alpinejane

Explorer, hill walker, mountaineer, backpacker, scrambler, Mountain Leader, member of Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team and lover of wild places

One thought on “Thornthwaite Beacon and High Street

  1. It’s a nice walk that – haven’t been to Patterdale for a couple of years though – must get back there soon.

    Thornthwaite Beacon didn’t used to look tottery and didn’t used to have signs – I’m wondering if it’s deteriorated?

    I actually walk much faster on my own and push myself way too hard – consequently, I end up not enjoying my day as much a lot of the time as I tire myself out too much. I also suffer in the evening when I get back. When I walk with other people, I’m forced to walk at a more sensible pace. I have to say though that I never really stop for breaks as such – not unless I find a really sunny, warm coombe or something.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: