Torver Common

Bleaberry Haws, High Pike Haw and old quarries
31 December 2007

With heavy rain forecast for the whole afternoon, a shortish morning walk was in order, and with cloud lower than yesterday, a low level one too. A perusal of the maps drew attention to two little summits on Torver Common that I hadn't visited before, with also presented the opportunity to visit a big hole!

Torver across the fields as we start our walk from the bridge over Torver Beck

Climbing through High Torver Park

A glimpse of Coniston Water as we emerge from the trees

Much of the path up the fell side was a stream bed

On the left, the rounded skyline is Bleaberry Haws; the peak in the centre is High Pike Haw. The crossing of Bull Haw Moss was, as might be expected from the name, rather damp in places, and there was little evidence of the stepping stones promised by the map, but I managed to keep dry feet - which is more that can be said for George!

George drying out a bit as we ascend a pleasant grassy path towards Ash Gill Quarry

Ash Gill with some of the spoil heaps from the quarry on the right. Here we left the path and struck off across moorland directly towards the summit of Bleaberry Haws.

Although the photo doesn't show the elevation very well, this ring is clearly the remains of some ancient structure. High Pike Haw can be seen on the left, with White Pike, White Maiden and Walna Scar disappearing into the cloud.

Our beeline to the summit of Bleaberry Haws was much to the consternation of this flock of sheep. Although we never got nearer than about 150 metres, they continued to run away from us. As sheep run away in a straight line, and we were heading straight for the summit, they went almost right over the summit. There are no crags hereabouts, so they were in no danger, just wasting their efforts!

The summit of Bleaberry Haws, with the modern cairn on an ancient mound.

From Bleaberry Haws, looking to High Pike Haw

From High Pike Haw, looking across Bleaberry Haws (you can just see the cairn), past another ridge on Torver Common, to the land between Coniston and Windermere

Broughton Quarry

A look back at High Pike Haw as we descend to the north.

We reached Ash Gill again above the quarry, and look down on the waterfall. It was delightful, but being a waterfall whose rapids turned a corner, was difficult to capture with the camera.

Some of the ruins of Ash Gill Quarry

More of Ash Gill Quarry. These places are in one sense a blot on the landscape (and certainly the modern Broughton Quarry is), but one abandoned they have a way of seeming right in the landscape even though not natural. Will we one day think the same about wind power stations? Probably not, as the difference here is that the natural materials of the fells themselves are being revealed, albeit in a crude way, rather than importing thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel.

From Ash Gill, we followed the path which proceeds north-east contouring the hillside until we reached the stream which drains The Cove and Goats Water and which is a key tributary of Torver Beck. Crossing it with dry feet was easier said than done, but was managed eventually. The crossing wasn't essential as we could have visited the remaining highlight of the walk with a diversion, but it was better to cross the beck and join the main path coming up from Torver to Goats Water, where we turned downhill.

The big hole, Banishead Quarry is an impressive sight. Extending the earlier theme about the impact of quarrying, here man has, accidentally, added to the landscape in a wonderful way. It is steep and dangerous though, so George was safely tied up while I took some photographs.

Descending the hillside, we come across this straight, sunken stream - it is the outflow from the lake in the big hole.

An unintended aqueduct as we continue our descent to Torver after a very pleasant exploration of Torver Common.

Total distance 7.99 km and 311 metres of ascent in 2 hours 35 minutes


Back Up Next

Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson