Lake District 1-pointer mop-up cycle tours - May, June and July 2023

©Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey. Media 041/22

Friday 26 May

One of my objectives for this year has been to complete all of LD, with my enthusiasm for this cultivated by having completed Swinside earlier in the year leaving only a 16 one-pointers remaining. Over the month of May I had ticked-off several of the northern one-pointers: Lord’s Seat, Binsey and Watch Hill, leagving me with a total of 13 one-pointers remaining.

With a family holiday planned in the North Pennines, above Alston, I decided to do a short cycle tour around the south Lakes to mop up a few of the remaining summits.

The route started on a sunny Friday afternoon, cycling along the A595. This was a bank holiday weekend and the narrow A road was busy with both holiday makers and commuters. The sun was intense and I was wearing Assos sun-protectors no my arms to protect against sun-burn – I always feel more exposed to the sun when cycling compared to walking.

The first target was Kirkby moor (G/LD-049), lying at the southern end of the lake district and forming part of a wind farm. I was not expecting great things from any of these summits; indeed, I was worried I might find them all to be a bit boring as I do prefer wild places. However, as we shall see, the weekend was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The road rises to an elevation of 194m and the tailback of traffic behind me was glad to see my pull off the road onto a partially metalled track. At SD267847.

My touring bike is very much optimised for road use, being fitted with 28mm tyres and panniers front-and-back; nevertheless I followed the rough track as far as the boundary fence to the moorland, at which point I changed into walking mode.

With long trousers donned (to protect against ticks), and radio equipment transferred from panniers into a small backpack, I headed off up the hill. It was a pleasant walk up the summit, with a welcome breeze encountered near the top. Looking towards the north I could see the Coniston Fells and began picking out some of my next target hills.

A small cairn marked the summit, and I setup my radio while admiring the vista across Morecambe bay. I had with me a couple of handheld 2m/70cm radios, an HF CW radio (Venus SW-3B) and a 6m pole (with a 2m flowerpot and a EFHW for HF).

Google Photos
Kirkby Moor Summit

Google Photos
Rough track near to Kirkby Moor

Putting a call out on the HT, with just an RH770 antenna. First to call in was G4ZIJM followed by G6AZK, G0MRL and 2E0XLG/P, there followed a good pileup that included calls into Yorkshire and across to the Isle of Mann – I was surprised how many contacts I made from this little summit.

With lots of summits ahead, I decided that I would consider myself happy with 10 contacts on 2m, and did not bother to crack out the HF gear. At 1600 BST I started my descent, heading down via the Wainwrights summit to re-join my bicycle. I found a small stream along the way to replenish my water bottles, I was glad I had brought my Sawyer Squeeze water filter with me.

Back at the bicycle, I was quickly into cycling mode, and heading down the sweeping descent through Gawthwaie. I quickly reached a turnoff onto a minor road that took me through Lowick Bridge. I was on the lookout for a shop selling cold drinks, but nothing appeared, so I crossed over the A5084 and headed along a minor road that passes along the Crake Valley (the outflow of Coniston Water) and onto the quiet eastern banks of Coniston Water.

This being a sunny Friday evening, the lakeside was not so quiet; every little cover seemed to have people paddling and picnicking. The road along the lake seemed to go on for longer than I expected, and I kept stopping to check the map as I was convinced I must have cycled past the turnoff. Eventually I came across a small parking spot in deciduous woodland, set back around 20m from the road.

Google Photos
This looks like a good spot to camp

Google Photos
Shaded woodland walk on the way to Top O Selside

A rough track lead away from the parking spot, which I followed as far as I could, passing a log cabin in the woods until I found somewhere to leave my bike. Changed over to walking mode again, I headed through the woodland, enjoying the shade and cool dampness as I headed up Top O Selside (G/LD-048).

The route was a pleasant climb through the woodland, eventually emerging alongside a small stream, I avoided the temptation to take water from this spot, as the map showed some habitation further upstream. Sure enough, I later came across a small farm cottage, with cattle roaming around.

The track widens out and begins heading south, following a bridleway. I was deliberately taking a slightly longer route here, as I could see this track passed over a small stream; sure enough the water course emerged and provided an excellent rest stop. I sat a short while and admired the view across Coniston water – the lake was a deep blue, with the late afternoon sunshine sparkling on the water.

Fully refreshed I headed eastwards up a grassy bank to arrive at the summit. I found this to be a delightful hill: the rough summit appears surrounded by the lowland woodland; a pretty tarn (Arnsbarrow Tarn) lies just off the summit while the plateau offers many nooks and declivities suitable for sheltering a tent.

Google Photos
Summit of Top O Selside

I called out on the HT again, and was greeted by G6LKB, G1ZIM/M, G6AEK and G7CDA followed by G1OHH and M7MCG. It was 1812 BST when I finished, and looking forward to finding some dinner I decided to call it a day. The descent was quick, and I was soon at my bike. I paused a while in the woodland to consider staying the night here, but with the certainty of some proper sustenance in Coniston (rather than the meagre rations I had with me) I continued on.

Back on the bike, the evening had become cooler, and the lakeshore also appeared to have quietened down. The road took me around the northern head of the lack, and around into Coniston. I stopped at the first eatery I found – a pizzeria. The owner informed me there would ban hour wait for a pizza, but fortunately had a selection of cold (cooked!) pizzas too – which made a good meal for me alongside a can of dandelion-and-burdock.

Google Photos
Keeping it healthy

Heading out of Coniston after my meal, I was on the lookout for somewhere to camp…definitely not a campsite, I can’t think of anywhere worse to spend a night on a bank holiday weekend! I had noted a small road passing around the west side of Holme Fell (G/LD-051), which the map suggested had a number of options. The road passes alongside Yewdale Back, and into Hodge Close Quarry. The Quarry was amazing - I stopped a while and watched a lone sport climber on the opposite face of the quarry. This is a popular spot for car campers and fly campers, so I headed a little further along the road, where it turns into a track and passes over the side of Great How; here I found a patch of grass.

My plan was to sleep in just a bivvy bag, but the midges were thick this evening and I was glad I had packed a single wall tent to provide protection from insects.

Google Photos
After the road end - scouting for camping spots

Google Photos
Not the best spot - but it will do!

Saturday 27 May

I lovely morning dawned, and I packed away my tent with great haste – to avoid the midges. A short cycle rid back to the trailhead for Holme Fell followed, and I was soon walking up the hill. The morning was already warm, but there was quite a stiff breeze blowing on the summit. Holme Fell (G/LD-051) was again a delightful hill – lots of interesting things to see – woodland, tarns, and a generally wrinkled summit ridge with lots to explore.

Atop the summit I called out on 2m at 0810BST to be created by the reliable sound of G6AEK, but had no other callers – I suppose it was too early for many chasers? I was glad I had brought an HF radio with me, and set about erecting the EFHW using my 6m pole. Hf conditions were difficult too – it was the CQ WW CW contest so the band was full of people beeping “CQ Test” and “599” at 30 to 40wpm.I eventually made some contacts on a mixture of 20m and 40m, but the going was very difficult, I had calls into Germany, Wales Finland and Spain, I also caught G0TDM on 40m CW. After working HF I called on 2m again, and spoke with G6LKB.

Google Photos
HF on Holme Fell

After checking around on 2m again, I headed off the summit, and back to the bike. The sky was fairly overcast, providing some hope of relief from the intense sun that I had faced the previous afternoon. Back on the bike it was a glorious decent along a wooded back-road to get back to the main road, from where it was head down until the turn-off of little Langdale.

The turnoff usually marks a point of trepidation, as it is the approach road from Wrynose and Hardknott pass; today I had other plans and was able to turnoff the Wrynose pass road just at the warning sign of steep gradients. Nevertheless, the road between Little and Great Langdale was also quite steep, but somewhat more easily manageable than Wrynose. The bicycle was parked against a footpath sign, and after a quick change I was heading up a steep grassy bank to the a ridge. This was an interesting walk, with a few rocky parts, and all along great views across to Pike O Blisco (G/LD-024).

Google Photos
Heading up Lingmoor Fell - Pike O Blisco in background

Google Photos
Lingmoor Fell

The small rocky summit of Lingmoor Fell (G/LD-040) gave a great view back to Holme Fell. All around me I could recognise SOTA summits. I visually traced out the route I have taken previously from Pike O Blisco, across Great Langdale and up to High Raise (G/LD-019).

On the HT again I called out on 2m at 1100 BST and made a good number of contacts starting with G1OHH, G6AEk and G6LKB followed by 2E0BIA on G/SP-004 and 2E0LDF on Fairfield (G/LD-007) I also caught GM4WHA/M on his way to the northern Lakes.

The pileup subsided, and I sat for a while admiring the view, before retracing my steps to the bike. The decent into Landgdale was steep, and approached carefully on my laden bike, but I was soon gliding along the bottom of the valley. As I was cycling along the valley a lady got out of her car and stopped me, she asked
“is it okay to hike around here”
I replied that it generally was okay, and she then asked my to point out how to get to Wasdale (on foot). I had to explain that it was probably at least a couple of hours by car, and somewhat more than a pleasant afternoon stroll to get there-and-back on foot: she looked rather disappointed. I continued along the valley, until stopping for lunch at the excellent shop in Chapel Stile – it sells everything.

Google Photos
Heading into Langdale

Google Photos
Lunch stop

A modest climb up a little back road took me past High Close Youth Hostel before I parked my bike on a bridle way at NY341 059. The path soon opens out into a terrace above Grasmere, and was busy with walkers and cyclists. A stepped path heads up to the grassy summit, where I laid out my EFHW, being careful to avoid creating a trip hazard for the many others on the summit.

HF was poor again – due mainly to the contest – I only made three contacts on 40m but that included G4YTD/P on Tarn Crag G/LD-026 (a SOTA complete for me). I satisfied myself mostly with 2m and was pleased to get G4WHA/P on Little Mell Fell G/LD-037 – another SOTA complete. I had a good chat with G6LKB and also spoke with 2E0LDF/P who was descending from Fairfield. Once the calls had died down again, I sat and looked southwards, noting the length of Windermere and the fact that my plans for today were to take my all the way to the other end. With no time to lose, I headed off the summit, and back to my bike.

Google Photos
Grasmere with Dunmail Raise in background

Shortly after setting off, another cyclist drew alongside me and asked my callsign – he had noted the 2m half-wave vertical I have mounted on the rear rack. It turned out he was licensed also, and we were able to have a chat about what I was up to.

The route to Hawkshead was quicker than expected, I opted to head towards Ambleside and join the B5286 which is a relatively easy cycle ride. In Hawkshead I stopped at the CoOp to stock-up on food for the rest of the day, and ensure I had something for an evening meal. It was hear that the trip had its major fault; on the following Tuesday I was to fall ill with Covid, and since the CoOp in Hawkshead was the only crowded indoor space I entered during the cycle tout, I can only assume this was where I picked up the virus. I’d like to say that the iccecream and sour-dough bread was worth catching Covid – but I can assure you it wasn’t!

With panniers bursting with food, I headed out of the busy Hawkshead, passing alongside Esterthwaite Water and parked my bike on a rough track behind the public house in Far Sawrey. The walk up to Claife Heights was very pleasant again, with most of it through woodland. The last few hundred meters were a slog through fallen trees – a product of the winter storms a while back.

The summit would be a difficult place to setup HF, I was also keen to keep moving and catch the ferry. I was therefore glad to immediately be greeted on my HT by a call on 2m from MW0JKS/P on Yr Eifl GW/NW-075; this turned out to be an easy activation with calls from the LKB family (G6LKB and M6LKB) followed by M6BHU, M1AVV/M, G7CDA and G8KBH.

The view from the summit was great – I could see the Windermere Lake cruiser heading along the lake, and looking north and west, could pick out the hills I had traversed earlier in the day. It was a great vantage point to watch the bustling and busy lake below.
Google Photos
Parking for Claife Heights

Google Photos
Summit of Claife Heights

The descent passed quickly, and I was soon gliding down the hill to the ferry terminal, passing a long line of cars queueing for the ferry. As I arrived at the terminal, the ferry was just docking, so there was no waiting around.

The 10minute ferry crossing added a unique element to the tour – and reminded my of cycle tours I have taken in Scotland, I could picture myself on the short crossing from Bute to Argyle. After leaving the ferry I headed north into Bo’ness looking for a cold drink, but found it to be uncomfortably busy and so u-turned and headed south along the lake. I kept heading south until a arrived at the National Trust owned centre at Fell Foot – the terminus for a passenger ferry from the steam train at Lakeside.

Google Photos
Ferry across Windermere

It was now early evening, and all the crowds had dissipated so I had the carefully manicured parkland to myself. I found a tap next to the café from where I was able to fill my water bottle (I sued my Sawyer Squeeze to filter the water, just in case).

With bottles filled with water, and one more summit to do, I headed out of the National Trust park, and begin the road climb up Fell Foot Brow. This was a vicious end to a day, the OS map includes two pairs of double chevrons and two separate single chevrons on this road. It was a battle to get to the top, requiring me to eat a full packet of Jelly babies.

I eventually reached the footpath for Gummers How (G/LD-050); the summit area was being grazed by Highland Cattle, and was also still quite busy even in the early evening – so not an option for camping. I scampered up to the summit, and called out on the HT, getting several contacts in quick succession starting with G6LKB, G6AEK, G7CDA and G1OHH. It was a nice relaxed evening and I was abale to have a good chat with several of the chasers.

I could barely believe what a lovely evening it was, watching the sun set over West Cumbria, and looking back up the lake to trace out my route of today. I could have sat here all evening, but it was not too far from dusk and I needed to find a camping spot. I looked out at a few options from the summit, but eventually chose to head for a forestry plantation, where I could be sure of finding a secluded spot for the night.

Back at the bike I cycled a short distance to Show How Land, where turned off the road into the forestry plantation. I headed some distance into the plantation, approaching a series of three connected ponds where the forest track changed to a path at SD 395 871; here I found a patch of ground under the pine trees on which to pitch my tent.

Google Photos
Gummers How

Google Photos
Parking spot for Gummers How

Google Photos
Secluded camping spot

Sunday 28 May

The road to Kendal was tough – very undulating. I considered deviating to climb Whitbarrow, but by the end of the day I was glad I had made the right decision and avoided this distraction.

Arriving in Kendal late morning, I found the town to be very quiet. I had wanted to find a bike shop in order to restock on chamois cream, but they were all closed. The last time I cycled through here (over a decade ago) I was on my way to John-O-Groats, it was also a Sunday and I had my choice of several bike shops .

Google Photos
Navigating Kendal’s one way system

After Kendal I was on very familiar ground, having cycled part of the route up to the M6 in December on my winter cycle tour of NP summits. Back in December I had cycled straight past Lambrigg Fell, as I was racking up winter bonus points. Today, it felt good to dismount the bike at Lambrigg fell (G/LD-046), making more of an event of reaching the M6.

The walk across to the summit was easy at first, but then reduced to some rough ground; with the actual summit being made difficult to reach by dry-stone walls. Eventually on the summit I was pleased again with the number of calls on 2m, starting again with a S2S to MW0JKS/P, this time on GW/NW-035, there followed G6LKB, G6AEK, MWOPJE/P on GW/NW-043 and G8KBH. A concluding with a chat with G7KSE/P on the side of Old-man-of-Coniston advised that there was a metalled road up the next hill – but it wouold have been a bit of a detour to the northern side of the fell, and probably would have taken more energy to cycle up than to walk up.

Google Photos
Lambrigg Fell summit - not much to show for the climb!

Google Photos
Crossing the M6

Google Photos
Yorkshire lays claim to part of Cumbria

Google Photos
Finding the going tough - the M6 cutting between Lakes and Dales

Google Photos
The Howgills

The bike ride across to Greyrigg Forest (G/LD-038) was tough – the sun had come out in full force, and the road took a seemingly unnecessary detour (and climb) to a spot height of 300m. This point is on the SE side of the summit of Greyrigg Forest, but there does not seem to be a good route up from there, so I was forced to lose almost 100m of height before heading up into the Lake Districts lesser known version of Borrowdale.

I parked my bike about a kilometre past the carpark, and headed on foot up the side of the hill. This the highest 1-pointer in LD at 494m, and I certainly felt it (the lowest 2-pointer, Little Mell Fell at 9m higher is trivially easy thanks to the road passing almost up to the summit). The large grassy summit was pleasant, and I even found a geocache (held by fishing line inside the trip point).

On finishing the activation I headed down to the bike, and cycled up to Tebay where dinner was pizza – but freshly cooked this time. A call at the Tebay services disappointed – it was just a porta-cabin. Knowing that water is hard to find up on Orton Scar I stocked up on bottled water at great expense before heading up to Orton, and then on to the fell road. I pulled the bike off the road and camped near to Orton Scar – an excellent example of limestone pavement.

Google Photos
Summit of Greyrigg Forest

Google Photos
Pizza and lemonade

Google Photos
Google Photos
camping on Orton Scar

Monday 29 May

On Monday I headed up towards Alston via Hartside Pass. My plan had been to cycle home via High Rigg at the end of the week, but as I mentioned earlier I came down with Covid and instead had to travel home in the broom wagon.

I know have four LD summits remaining: High Rigg; Whitbarrow; Arnside Knott and Hutton Roof Crags.

Google Photos
Heading off Orton Scar

Google Photos
The highest point of the trip was not a SOTA summit, but rarther the top of Hartside Pass


What a superb adventure!

1 Like

Return from Alston

The little cycle tour described in the original post finished at Alston. My plan had been to cycle home to the west Coast of Cumbria, activating High Rigg (G/LD-044). Unfortunately I came down with covid on arriving at Alston, so I had to leave my bike there, and the XYL drove me home later in the week. This left me with four summits remaining to complete LD - including High Rigg.

On the evening of Friday 23 June the XYL took me back up to Alston ready to cycle back the following morning, again with plans to activate High Rigg.

I started off from Alston after 0700 hours, the wind forecast was from the SW and 18mph, with rain showers forecast, wind is always the enemy when cycling.

Google Photos

Google Photos
Descending Hartside, and looking out across Lakeland

The start of the ride is a good warm up - after passing through Alston and negotiating the cobbled high street, a 5 or 6 mile climb up to the 600m Hartside pass follows. The top of the pass was windy, misty and bleak. However, as I descended on the west side of The Pennines the Lake District came into view, and I started trying to pick out various summits.

The next few miles went pretty quickly, it being mostly downhill, and the headwind didn’t bother me too much. Crossing the M6 at Penrith I stopped at Rheged services for some supplies, and then continued alon the A66 with The Mell Fells on my Left, and Blencathra ahead. This is a fun road to cycle, with several sweeping descents and a net loss of height when heading westwards.

Google Photos
Crossing the M6

On the approach to Threlkheld I could spy High Rig in the distance, the clow cloud base seeming to make the hill look bigger than it is.

turning southwards I began watching for signs to St Johns-in the-vale church, where I turned onto a single track road that began climbing up. I was delighted to find that this was a metalled road all the way to the Church, and even a little beyond. The road took me right up to the summit ridge. I was even more pleased to see a track continue westwards, of a nature that I could manage on my road touring bike - saving me from having to backtrack when I returned to the bike.

It was about 1030BST when I locked the bike to a tree and changed into fell running shoes before scampering up the hill side. I had alerted for 1100 BST, so was pleased with my timings. I hadn’t really planned this part very much and just started heading to “High Rigg” as marked on OS 1:25000 maps. Fortunately I checked a SOTLAS after a few minutes to find I was almost on top of the summit already. It only too a few minutes.

Google Photos
Almost at the summit

The summit was a a mixture of rocks and grass with a modest cairn. I started the activation with an FT5D and RH700 antenna, not expecting much from this location. The hill is surrounded by much bigger hills , and so not a great location for VHF.

My first caller was GM4WHA, followed quickly by M0LLC and 2E0LDF, then finally G1FVA called giving me my four contacts.

The weather wind was gusting between 30 and 40mp and it was starting to rain, so it was tempting to finish at that point. Nevertheless, I setup a EFHW just off the main summit, and sat in a bothy bag to give HF CW a go.

40m CW yielded only one contact at first, but 20m was much better, and gave a couple of S2S into Switzerland. I then noticed G4BML spotted on G/NP-003 so switched to 40m and was pleased to get a third S2S.

A few more calls followed on 20m, until I found I had been on the summit for an hour, and the rain was pelting down. I decided to make a move, knowing I still had plenty of cycling to do.

Google Photos

**EFHW - looking eastwards **

Google Photos
Back at the bike, ready to descend

Google Photos
Looking back at High Rigg from the Thirlmere - Keswick road

Back at the bike, I followed the track westwards, down a a short twisting section of rough track before reaching metalled road again. A was soon back on the Thirlmere-Keswick road. As I cycled along I heard G1KHW/P calling from Great Mell Fell, giving me a SOTA complete.

stop for a bite of lunch in Branthwaite gave me a boost as I then climbed over Winlatter and down to Loweswater, passing numerous SOTA summits on the way.
the climb up Fangs brow was the last impediment before reaching West Cumbria.

I now have three sumits left to do in LD - Arnside Knott, Hutton Roof and Whitbarrow-Lords Seat


Great adventure! Sorry to hear you were ill. Hopefully not too bad. When I had covid, I was ill for around an hour but had to take 10 days off work! I didn’t do anything stupid, but I was out on my bike or up local hills for most of that time.

Wonder what your plans are for the final mop up?

1 Like

Covid didn’t last long, i was out playing cricket in the garden the following day.

The last three will be a short cycle tour on one weekend soon…aiming to finish on Arnside Knott as its the lowest elevation Marilyn.

1 Like

With only three summits left in LD, I’ve been itching to get them completed for the past couple of weeks. So on Friday 7th July I set off on my touring cycle to get the last three done - Arnside Knott (G/LD-058), Hutton Roof Crags (G/LD-052) and Whitbarrow (G/LD-056).

The weather forecast was rather odd with sunshine but strong winds forecast for Saturday morning, followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon. The plan was to activate Arnside Knott in the early evening, followed by cycling across to Hutton Roof Crags where I would spend the night. An activation of Whitbarrow would then proceed on Saturday morning, avoiding the thunder storms.

After a wet and windy Friday morning, that did not hold much promise at all, the sun started to emerge before 1500hrs, in time for me setting off on my bike. By the time I was in Arnside at just before 1800hrs, it was a warm sunny evening. People were picnicking on the foreshore and the fish-and-chip shop was busy.

Heading round the west side of Arnside Knott I followed the road signs, which led up a single track road. I eventually parked my cycle next to convenient bench before changing into my walking gear. As it happens, it is such a short trot, much of it over springy turf, that I could have easily managed it in cycling shoes.

Being wary of the tick-laden bracken I weaved my way up the slope and through a little woodland before suddenly the white painted trig point emerged. The summit is shrouded in woodland so I opted to raise my flowerpot antenna on a 6m pole to give the best option on VHF. I was keen to keep this a short activation so that I had more time for the cycle ride across to Hutton Roof Crags.

First to respond was @M0LLC/A in Southport, followed by M0LKB, M6LKB, G4WPS and M0NOM. The activation ended with G6LKB. Later that evening G6LKB who kindly emailed me the " Worked all LKB Award" - it didn’t even need me to upload to LoTW (which is just as well, I would never go through the faff of registering for LoTW!)

I made my exit from the summit pleased with he easy activation, and then lingered for a few minutes on the edge of the woodland, admiring the view and identifying the various lakeland summits that were in view.

Google Photos
Activating Arnside Knott

Google Photos
Arnside viaduct

Google Photos
Parking spot

Google Photos
A rest on the pier

back at the bike it was quick change back to cycle mode, before the glide down the hill into Arnside. A short break for an ice-lolly a
nd a promenade along Arnside Pier (really a short concrete jetty) I headed off. I really liked Arnside, I’ve passed by many times without visiting, but I thought it was a lovely village worthy of a longer stop.

The winding road was a pleasant ride in the sunny evening, passing charmingly named hamlets such as Yealand Redmayne before turning due west towards Burton-in-Kendal. I was tempted to call into the services for a Burger King, but reason pulled my on through the village of Burton and the steady climb past the very posh looking Dalton Estate.

Google Photos
Crossing the M6 - Burton in Kendal Services behind

The usual setting off point for Hutton Roof is a parking place/picnic place, but I had spied some good looking forest racks on the OS 1:25000 map hat I thought I would try on my touring bike.

A locked gate was the first obstacle (with two padlocks on the chain - someone really wanted to keep the riff-raff out). Fortunately, alongside the gate was a kissing-gate that required some contortion to get the touring bike through.

Now in the woods, I cycled for a short way, and then out of respect for my narrow tyres I began walking/pushing. This is a delightful example of limestone heathland, and it was absolutely fantastic to walk through in the late evening.

I crossed into the activation zone at an elevation of 250m and spotted the perfect place to camp and leave the bike. This was just as well as a sign informed me I was about to enter the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which specifically prohibited pedal cycles.

After passing through the wall, it was less than a hundred paces to the trig point. A call on 2m FM at exactly 2030hrs BST yielded calls from G6LKB, M6LKB, 2E0MOW, GM4LJE (really pleased with a GM station), and G6AEK.

Google Photos
Padlocked gate at entrance to the woods

Google Photos
trig point emerges - Hutton Roof Crags

Google Photos
Ingleborough (G/NP-005)

Google Photos
The Calf (in The Howgills) (G/NP-013)

A stood for a while at the summit, noting this really was the easternmost outpost of LD. Not only was the limestone geology more NP (North Pennine) than LD (Lake District), but the view was also mostly of NP. To the east, seemingly in touching distance, was the village of Ingelton with Ingleborough (G/NP-005) behind while north were the Howgills.

I headed back to the bike, and started setting up for HF. For only my second activation I was able to use a tree as an antenna support. I slung the end of my EFHW into a tree (and got it over the target branch first time!). I then started calling on 40m CW with the Venus SW-3B.

First to call on 40m was M5SOTA followed by Es9AMH (this prefix always seems more exotic than it is…the first time I heard it I was hoping I had just worked Kingdom of Eswatini). I noticed spots for OZ/DG8HJ and QSY’s to his frequency where he was very loud and clear, but I couldn’t get heard. The band was busy with a contest plus occasional deep QSB.

Google Photos
End Fed Half Wave - note the rock dangling from the tree

Google Photos
Activating position (click to view - forum crops my image)

Eventually I got through to OZ/DG8HJ for a good S2S to OZ/OZ-009. After playing about for a bit on 20m and 40m, I closed down at 2200 BST. My plan had been to sleep in a bivvi bag at this location. However, the wind had picked up quite a bit, and was forecasted to gust above 30mph in the morning. In order to assure a good nights sleep I packed up and dropped further down the hill, startling several deer in the process. I erected a small tent in the twilight - it was forecast to be dry and so it was purely to keep the flies off. I had been looking forward to sleeping in the bivvi bag, but the tent gives better night sleep with less distractions.

I awoke at just before 0500 BST and dozed for a few minutes before getting started. The wind was gusty, but nothing like as bad as the forecast, I was kind of wishing I had stayed in the activation zone.

Google Photos
eventual camp spot

Google Photos
back over the M6

Google Photos
followed by a canal

Google Photos
and the railway - west coast mainline

I was soon packed away and wheeling the bike down the hill. Back on tarmac I started cycling at just before 0600hrs. The cycle ride was fairly simple, passing over a very quite M6 and then the disused Lancaster to Kendal canal. Sadly, the canal has been severed in several places where it runs in a narrow culver beneath the M6, and it has also been in-filled and turned into a cycle path near Kendal.

Joining the A590 dual carriageway north of Milnthorpe I was soon whipping along with Whitbarrow ahead and in my sights. The A590 took me around the southern tip of the hill and I then turned off up a rough single track road to reach Witherslack School.

There were no convenient fences, so the bike was just locked to itself, and off I headed up the final G/LD summit. The walk was thoroughly delightful, passing first through some mixed woodland, and then a surprisingly broad and easy path up the side of the escarpment (I would never have expected there was such an easy route from a distance).

Atop the summit plateau, limestone pavement and silver birch trees with views across towards the Langdale Pikes. A significant cairn marked the summit, and I excitedly prepared my HT to call from my last LD summit.G6AEK responded first followed by a S2S with M0JKS/P on Kinder Scout (G/SP-001). It then went very quiet - I suppose 0745BST on a Saturday is too early for everyone??

I turned to HF, and rather than use the pole I climbed to the top of the cairn and fied the end of my EFHW to a rock. This provided excellent support, and I was soon calling CQ.

PA9CW called first followed by F6EAZ to qualify the summit. A short run of stations then followed before I noted @GW4BML on GW/NW-009, giving a second summit-to-summit. I returned to 2m VHF and caught G6LKB again, followed by G7CDA.

It was now 0900 BST and the wind was picking up, plus I had a way to go to get home. I packed up my things and slowly headed down, admiring various trees and plants on the summit plateau. Back in the woodland, I jogged down the path and back to the bike, pleased to find it where I left it.

I’m now turning attention to G/NP (only twelve left to do) but also eyeing up making a start at G/SB. As with G/LD the plan would be to try and do all the summits by a mixture of cycling/walking and the odd bit of public transport. I cheated on a couple of LD summits – getting a lift to Swinside (G/LD-057) for a club outing, and also cycling to meet 2E0LDF who gave me a lift to Binsey (G/LD-041) and Lord’s Seat (G/LD-033) for joint activations – but the rest have been achieved without use of private car.

Google Photos

Google Photos
Route to Whitbarrow summit

Google Photos
Operating position - EFHW attached to Cairn


Another great read. By chance these three summits are my closest and most-oft visited, with or without radio but always with my faithful dog. Satisfying to read about your activating them on the one trip and by bike. I feel lucky to have them and many more G/LD and G/NP summits so close to hand.


Both Hutton Roof Crag and Whitbarrow were very surprising in how fulfilling they felt as a fell. The terrain on both fells was super interesting with lots to explore.

Only problem with Hutton Roof was the vlight of the M6 road noise.

1 Like

Congratulations on getting them all done, and in fine style too.

The gate with multiple padlocks could have been to aid different users access the hill. There’s one round here with half a dozen locks - eg land owner, mobile phone companies, MRT, utility companies etc.

1 Like

Call me a thicky but I don’t see how that works. If the several padlocks are around the same gate-gatepost, don’t all the different users need all the keys/combinations? You can remove your padlock but the other(s) keep(s) the gate locked. Unless the padlocks are inserted like a ‘daisy chain’ in a metal chain? [i.e. in series rather than in parallel]

1 Like

Yes, that’s how it works. Some places even have a speciallly made bar containing all of the padlocks. Releasing one unlocks the gate.


Until some kind soul from the lines company locks your padlock out of the daisy chain … oh yes, so many memories.


Congratulations on completing G/LD! Great report of your adventure by bike.

That’s the old way. When I had permission to access Cyrn-y-Brain by car we had to collect a key from nearby. This became tedious over the years. So we added our own padlock and piece of chain into the series of padlocks. Then one day we arrived and the system had changed and our padlock was gone. We fetched the key and Brian spent the afternoon filing a copy of the key into a blank he just happened to have.

Here is a photo from 1994, Brian has a normal moustache and my beard isn’t grey. We had just finished 2m contesting at the top of GW/NW-043. We’re testing and finishing off our clone key hence the WD40. You can see there are 2 padlocks attached to each end of a bar. Undo one padlock and you can remove the bar with someone else’s lock attached. You rotate the plate to where you have removed the bar and you can open the bolt to the gate. This way 8 locks can be installed for 8 separate people to have access.