G/LD-058 by train

My car is at the garage for repairs at the moment, so I thought it would be fun to try SOTA by train.

Arnside Knott G/LD-058 isn’t too far away by train, only requiring one change, at Carnforth. I booked my train tickets a couple of days ago via an online app, at a cost of £9.90 for a return from Bentham. Bentham train station is not very far from my house, probably around 3 or 4 minute’s walk.

The train was right on time at 0935.

There was a 27 minute wait until the connecting train and I was hoping to look in the railway model shop, but the shop was still shut. The clock shop next door had opened precisely at 10am as advertised!

The train at Carnforth was a few minutes late but not by a noteworthy amount.

What strikes me is how dreary and grey all of the stations look.

Anyway, before long, the train got to Arnside, the sun appeared and all looked colourful again!

The walk seemed much shorter than I’d imagined it would be and it was quite a straightforward route up to the summit.

I’m enjoying activating on 17m at the moment and I’d taken a home brew lightweight 20m, 17m and 15m linked dipole and 4m pocket pole, which fits inside my rucksack. I didn’t want to take a full sized pole on the train. The rig was my trusty home built camouflaged MTR-5B.

Business was quite slow on 17m but I easily qualified. I swapped on to 15m to see if there was any DX to be had, but it seems that I struggled to get out very far. It was such a pleasant sunny day that I decided to brave the ‘44’ crowd and put out a call on 20m. After the pile up had been worked down, my log contained 41 QSOs.

It was time to head down off the hill and seek out a hot drink in a cafe (and use the facilities!). After a wander around the gift shops and buying a gift for my wife, it was time to head back to Arnside station.

The train was several minutes late, which had me a bit worried.

Unfortunately there wasn’t time to visit the now open model shop at Carnforth station, there was about 7 minutes available before the train to Bentham was due. Oh well, a visit to the model shop will have to happen on another day.

The train pulled up at Bentham station right on schedule at 3.16pm. It had been a successful day out despite worrying about missing a connecting train.

I’m trying to think of other destinations by public transport, maybe Claife Heights G/LD-053 might be do-able?

73, Colin


Great report @M1BUU Colin - I could just hear you on 15m, I did call in twice but no joy. Fingers crossed for next time! I look forward to your next adventure.

73, GW4BML. Ben

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Sorry I missed you Colin.

I believe at the moment the buses in the Lake District are still £2 so you could get the bus from Windermere train station down to Bowness Bay then a 10 minute walk to the Ferry (or 30 minute walk from the train station) then Claife Heights is about another hour from the other side of the Ferry.

Given the current cheap cost of the buses it would also be worth considering summits further afield. Just as an example there is a bus that goes from Keswick to the top of Honister Pass - you’ve then got Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Dale Head, Robinson, etc. within walking distance.


Colin, congratulations on your green activation.

I am all the more pleased that I have reached you. Unfortunately it wasn’t an S2S but at least an S2P. I was in the car, but only had to drive 5km to my POTA Park.

Best regards Chris


FB report Colin @m1buu - register your activation for POTA under G-0271 Arnside and Silverdale AONB and you and Chris @dl1cr will both get a Park2Park credit! I’d forgotten you were fortunate enough to have a railway station in Bentham.

73 Phil G4OBK


And the buses free of charge anyway Mark for the over 66 age group if they have a bus pass. If so, the Old F***s like me have no excuse not to use buses to reach a SOTA start point! In GI where older activators such as @gi4onl and others live, pensioners get a free rail pass for the whole country - southern Ireland as well - albeit their network is quite limited due to the size of the population and terrain.

73 Phil


You could stay on the train until Silcroft, giving access to Black Combe.

With a longer walk in, Bootle (cumbria) will get you within a lengthy walk ro Whitfell (or could be combined with Black Combe/Silecroft for a long linear walk )

It was good to catch you on 20m CW for a S2S from Whitfell

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My 10-40 link dipole works fine with the 4m pole. I only take the bigger pole now if it’s a short walk and I’m getting to the start by car.


I would have expected the clock shop to open at 10:08, happy clock time.

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My 4m pole (Spirit of Air 4.1m pocket pole actually) is thinner at the top than the 7m poles that I usually use. I’ve made lightweight dipoles with holes the correct size for the shorter pole.

The 4m pole got damaged on the Isle of Mull GM/SI-167. A gust of wind blew the pole over and one of the top sections got snapped. I was able to cut a piece off with a hack saw and use a slimmer section as a sleeve to make the pole work again, however my 4.1m pole isn’t quite 4.1m anymore!

I’d like to get a 6m travel pole, but the prices are kind of frightening!

73, Colin

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Travel poles from Decathlon shops.

4m, 5m, 6m Carbon Fibre travel poles (you need to pick the length pole you want from the webpage)
The 6m one is really seriously fine at the top. I have removed the top sections to make a super tiny and lightweight 5-and-a-bit metre support. Not cheap.


This is a cheaper all fibreglass rod. I have one of these and it’s fine. The very top section is quite think but is solid fibreglass so a lot stronger than first looks. It bends a fair bit but so did my Shakespeare full size 5m pole and that did hundreds and hundreds of activations in Scottish weather.



Thick or thin?

Yes :slight_smile:


I have two of the 6m fibreglass poles. I have two because I stepped on the first one. Once I got home I realised that all I had to do was remove the broken section and it is now a 5m pole. The other one is about 5.5m because the very thin top section broke off - I should probably have removed it first.

The poles fit in my rucksack so I don’t get any of the silly questions about fishing on a hill. The second pole has been on almost 100 activations including in gale force winds and is still going strong.

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There’s this travel 6m one too; probably what Richard has. You need to “fish” about on the webpage to get it to show the 6m version.


I recently bought both the 5m and 6m version of the decathlon travel pole


Both come with a handy clip at the top of the top section. Yesterday i used the 5m pole with a efhw. I widened the hole on the clip at the top of the pole and it makes a great attachment point.


I went into the Decathlon shop in Leeds last month but I couldn’t see any poles, I was specifically keeping an eye out for them.

There isn’t a Decathlon anywhere near me as far as I’m aware.

Northampton station is a little over 5 miles from my house, but like Phil I’ve an old fogies bus pass. The problem is, I can walk to the train station in the time it takes the bus to get me within walking distance. It is hardly encouraging for a public transport based outing. However, I have been considering a rail based trip up into Scotland from my Northumberland base, though the cost would dictate an outing with a tent and a couple of days out on the hills.

I could just copy your signal on 20m, but there would have been little chance of working you with the amount of chasers that you attracted. Well done on the outing and the activation. :grinning:

73, Gerald

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The stores never seem to stock them. So you can either get it delivered to your home at some cost or ask for it to be delivered to your nearest store. I realise that may be less convenient for you than me as I have 2 stores within 20miles of me.

In the UK Decathlon also have ‘pickup from Asda store’ as an option.

Not tried this myself, but perhaps there is one of those closer?

I asked about the poles/rods at Edinburgh branch and was told they never stock them although they can obviously be ordered in for collection.