24th September 2016

Sallows and Sour Howes - and the bit between them

Time 8:10am to 1pm (or there abouts)
Duration 4 hr 50 min (ish)
Distance 8.2 mile
Ascent About 1700 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Church Bridge - Garburn Pass - Garburn Nook - Sallows - Wardless - Sour Howes - Backstone Barrow - Dubbs Road - Dubbs Reservoir - Moorhowe Road - Longmire Road - Troutbeck Church - Church Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces, Church Bridge, Troutbeck

There isn't a great deal of room here; perhaps a few more than half a dozen spaces if you're lucky. Once these are taken however, people generally begin to park along the road near the church.

Parking is free

There are lots of walking on offer from this spot, but for myself, I find this an ideal place to head out onto the western arm of the Kentmere horseshoe.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


I'm hoping we haven't seen the last of any warm and sunny days for this year but whatever we end up with I felt like this was the day I said goodbye to the summer 2016. It was so windy when I stepped outside the house this morning that I took about 3 steps and then went back in to swap shorts for long pants (for today at least). On the drive past Bassenthwaite Lake the trees were bending over as though they were going to snap at any moment and the lorry in front was being blown all over the place. So much so that I sat behind it rather than try to get past. Then, as I crested the top of Dunmail Raise it was like I'd driven into a different day. Not a breath of wind (in the valley) and Grasmere was like a mirror. Brilliant, because during the first part of the journey I convinced myself there was no way I'd be heading up any fells today.

Just after passing the point where our route crosses Longmire Road (track) the view opens up to allow site of Troutbeck Tongue, the Ill Bell ridge, and of course the valley itself, which is just as enjoyable to walk through as the fells are to walk over - - I suspect many people would disagree with that.

Garburn Pass

Looking back down Garburn Pass with Windermere in the distance and the lovely village of Troutbeck on t'other side of the valley.

Here's a similar view from a little higher up Garburn Pass.

Ahead of us and topped with cloud is Yoke, but we're not going that way today. Instead, here at Garburn Nook we leave the stony track and head onto the muddy, soggy and grassy path onto Sallows. Shortly after getting over the stile we were forced to make a scramble for our waterproofs. Which way the cloud dropped and the way the strong wind was blowing the rain, we thought it was on for the remainder of the walk. Thankfully, by the time we'd reached the top and were then walking away from it, it began to clear. Big sigh of relief all round !!

Wet and windy on Sallows.

Within minutes of leaving Sallows we decide to head off path and take an out of the ordinary route up to Sour Howes. Rather than follow the wall (you can see it up there) we head across in as straight a line as possible to the eastern side of Sour Howes. On route we pass by this small quarry. I've seen it many times from Sour Howes but this is the first time I've been down to it.

After untangling Paul from some barbed wire we take a closer look at the place.


Our off path mini adventure may not have lasted long or offered us anything in the way of difficulty or hardship, but we both agreed it was a fantastic place and was a good option as an alternative to a 'normal' Sallows / Sour Howes walk. It was hardly remote by any stretch of the imagination but during the short time walking across here we could have been a thousand miles from civilization.

And here's an unusual view of Sour Howes for you.

Sallows, Yoke and the Ill Bell ridge seen from Sour Howes.

A close up of Windermere.

and not so close up, taken as we make our way down from Sour Howes.

Down from Sour Howes we have a few options for where to go next. So, as this was a make it up as you go along walk we opt to walk past Dubbs Reservoir to Moorhowe Road and then back along Longmire Road.


Sour Howes seen from Dubbs Road.


Sour Howes again, this time seen from Longmire Road.

Longmire Road.
It was just after half twelve when we reached the church and were both in need of some food.






In Memory of
George Birkett
of Troutbeck who
died 23 April 1836
Aged 80 Years

We claimed the seat next to the church door as somewhere to eat our dinner and after reading the inscription on this headstone, we had a brief conversation about how fleeting our time is and how we should make the best of that time. Because, to state the obvious, someday it'll all be over.

And on that cheery note I'll leave you with a quote from the play 'A Man for all Seasons'.

"Death . . . comes for us all, my lords. Yes, even for Kings he comes, to whom amidst all their Royalty and brute strength he will neither kneel nor make them any reverence nor pleasantly desire them to come forth, but roughly grasp them by the very breast and rattle them until they be stark dead!"


David Hall -
Lake District Walks