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Approaching Blades with Wild Boar Fell beyond
Approaching Blades with Wild Boar Fell beyond

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Route No. 359 - Sunday 15 August 2010
Thwaite Bridge, Blades, Cotterdale circuit - 10km
Wensleydale,
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL19 Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley at 1:25000

This route is another contribution by Ray Brown of Northallerton.
Thanks again Ray!
(I have not walked this route myself, Frank)


Stile at SD822925 above Thwaite Bridge
Stile at SD822925 above Thwaite Bridge

Keeping North of copse
Keeping North of the copses

Ladder stile between Cotter and Yore House
Ladder stile between Cotter and Yore House

After passing over stiles and a ford through a tiny brook we passed to the right of Yore House farm over a stile with a signpost to Blades. We kept well to the left of Cobbles Plantation and took an early lunch as we awaited the weekly Waverley steam train excursion to pass over Lunds Viaduct, half a mile away.

The walk began and ended at Thwaite Bridge House farm on the A684 at SD826923 after we had parked in the lay-by some 370 yards further west. On leaving the A684 we turned West through a signed farm gate and followed way marks to a squeeze stile at SD822925. The path, mostly obvious, follows a 290° bearing and we took care to keep to the right of two walled copses before heading for the southern edge of Cotterside Plantation.

Looking back to Thwaite Bridge Farm
Looking back to Thwaite Bridge Farm

Heading towards Cotterside Plantation
Heading towards Cotterside Plantation

Crossing Tarn Gill between Cotter and Yore House
Crossing Tarn Gill between Cotter and Yore House

Scots Guardsman on Lunds viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle line
Scots Guardsman on Lunds viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle line

Our approach to Yore House
Our approach to Yore House

Looking back down the hillside to Blades
Looking back down the hillside to Blades

High Dyke
High Dyke

Notice at High Dyke
Notice at High Dyke

Footbridge at SD811943 across Johnston Gill
Footbridge at SD811943 across Johnston Gill

After this the gradient eased progressively as we traversed a kilometre of moorland with a row of grouse butts seen to the right.

A notice at Blades that diverted us around the right of the property through rough ground was supplemented by another dissuading us from entering the farmyard. The path to High Dyke was initially through bog and reeds but eventually gave way to a region of pasture before a steep climb.

Approaching Blades with Wild Boar Fell beyond
Approaching Blades with Wild Boar Fell beyond

Crossing the pasture towards High Dyke
Crossing the pasture towards High Dyke

Steep climb towards High Dyke
Steep climb towards High Dyke


A lone Xmas tree by the path over Tarn Hill
(Norway Spruce)

Line of grouse shooting butts heading Southwest from the pathover Tarn  Hill
Line of grouse shooting butts heading Southwest from the path over Tarn Hill

Looking back at the obstacle course
Looking back at the obstacle course

On crossing a small footbridge leading into the forest we were confronted by a barrier of five conifers, complete with their branches, which had been uprooted so as to fall directly across the right of way. It was now essential to resort to a magic carpet to surmount this obstacle as limbo dancing offered no prospect of success.

 

There was a waymark as we reached the highest point at 1791feet (546 metres). Here the path became indistinct and we continued in the same easterly direction, now slightly downhill. When Cotterdale could be seen in the distance we aimed towards the hamlet. Tarn Gill runs in the same direction and, when we moved to its left "bank", a path emerged which we followed to a forest recently partially felled and replanted.

The descent towards Cotterdale
The descent towards Cotterdale

Entry to what remains of the forest
Entry to what remains of the forest above Cotterdale

Track down into Cotterdale
Waymarked track down into Cotterdale

The path branched off to the right
The path branched off to the right

Waymarked track down into Cotterdale
Waymarked track down into Cotterdale

Stepping stones over West Gill
Stepping stones over West Gill

We resumed the short forest path which emerged to join a gravel track for some 20 metres before a path branched off to the right and led directly downhill to a further gravel track which was crossed.

Waymarked track down into Cotterdale
Waymarked track down into Cotterdale

The track down into Cotterdale led over yet another gravel track
The track down into Cotterdale led over yet another gravel track

Signpost pointing to Cotterdale
Signpost pointing to Cotterdale

. . . to a footbridge over West Gill
. . . to a footbridge over West Gill

Continuing in the same south direction the path climbed steeply up to the surfaced road that serves Cotterdale. This was perhaps the sting in the tail of our walk as we crossed over the road to begin about 60 metres of more ascent over High Rigg before dropping down to Thwaite Bridge. Here flying ants provided a real sting in the tail to what had proved to be a surprisingly strenuous 10km.
Ray Brown

The path now had mature forest to the left with replanted forest to the right and eventually led over yet another gravel track to stepping stones over West Gill, a stile and a signpost pointing to Cotterdale. We then made a bee-line over the fields to the hamlet where we turned right and made for a squeeze style to follow the West bank of East Gill. The path bore right through a field to a footbridge over West Gill.

A squeeze style to follow the West bank of East Gill . . .
A squeeze style to follow the West bank of East Gill . . .


The path climbs steeply up to the surfaced road