The Outlying Fells, Irton Pike from Irton Road Railway Station

6th July 2017

Todays next walk starts conveniently just up the road at the next railway stop for La'al Ratty at Irton Road Railway Station but it was here that I forgot to pay a visit to the Station during my haste to find a parking spot which I needn't have been too worried about in the end but that short drive through a bustling Eskdale caused a slight panic until I managed to park at the parking spaces next to Giggle Alley.

I can only assume that relief got the better of me as I walked through Giggle Alley and started my descent into the Mitredale Valley because it was only during my drive out did I have that D'oh moment! Yes it was only a matter of a starting point but it was the official starting point of Wainwrights and that mattered to me no matter how small or medial.

Walk two from Eskdale collects the lonely Outlying summit of Irton Pike found on the most westerly tip of the Whin Rigg ridge and is gained via a steady ascent through the beautiful Mitredale Forest, a place that I grew fond of after my first visit, a place that yearns for exploration, despite its deforestation the woodland has always held that remoteness that only a thick woodland can provide.

Wainwright Guide Book
The Outlying Fells

-Irton Pike

Its view seawards is unrestircted but the gem of a wide panarama is Great Gable - a noble sight at the head of Wasdale.


Ascent: 751 Feet - 330 Metres
Outlying Fells: Irton Pike
Weather: Dry, Muggy And Very Hazy. Highs of 23°C Lows of 23°C
Parking: Irton Road Railway Station
Area: Southern
Miles: 5.25
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: OL6
Time Taken: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Route: Irton Road Railway Station (Eskdale Green) - Giggle Alley - Porterthwaite - Miterdale Forest - Irton Fell - Ancient Cairn - Irton Pike - Bowerhouse Inn - Irton Road Railway Station (Eskdale Green)

Map and Photo Gallery


Giggle Alley, Eskdale Green 13:20pm 23°C

Eskdale was the busiest I had seen it for sometime with cars, bikes motorbikes and taxis passing without so much of a gap in between. After parking easily I threw my pack over my shoulder and collected my walking poles which lay still extended across the back seat of the car, time to head out which I guess in my earnest, was the exact moment I forgot to double back to Irton Road Station from where this walk officially started, the station is so close I can hear the queues of people waiting to board the train.

Giggle Alley, Eskdale Green.
A steady incline awaits alongside double stone walls before Giggle Alley starts to descend into Porterthwaite and the Mitredale Valley.

Miterdale Forest.
After crossing the River Mite via the packhorse bridge at the Porterthwaite side of Giggle Alley Miterdale Forest is entered where two tracks ascend through the forest, during my last visit I took the right track which takes in the view of Great Bank so today, just to be different I take the left more prominent track, both tracks eventually ascend onto Irton Fell meaning it doesn't really matter which path is taken.

Captured sunlight.
The path ascends sometimes steeply through the forest where at times the bracken can take over the path, other points during the ascent is the exact opposite with wide open spaces passing boulders as large as cars alongside the path as it so happens I only spotted this one lurking within the trees after looking though the pictures when I got home.

Lake District Rangers.

A dogs bark broke the silence but I couldn't tell which direction it was coming from until I broke through the trees at this forestry track which is where I spotted this Land Rover, up ahead two workers from the National Park dig channels across the path to help with drainage, I approach and spot what was once a white collie caked in mug from its paws to the top of its ears, as it turned out it liked to play in the mud pike that had been shoveled out.

"Where you heading the two workers stop me to ask?" Irton Pike I reply, ahh, that's just left once the top of the ridge is reached, two nice guys working hard in the humidity of the afternoon who still had time for a chat.

Irton Pike from Irton Fell.
By the time I reached the stone wall along the top of Irton Fell lunch time had passed and I decided to stop for a break on a large boulder next to the wooden gate. Here a slight breeze cooled the sweat still pouring from my forehead and down my back but at least that cooling wind was starting to do a great job of cooling me down.

A distant Irton Fell seen over the Miterdale Forest from Irton Pike summit.
It would seem that the haze is here to stay.

Still a beautiful view nonetheless.

Descent via the southern flank of Irton Pike.
From the summit the southern descent is seen via a narrow path that leads directly back on to the Santon Bridge - Eskdale Green road. The path appears to be quite prominent from the summit before tracing through thick Fern and Bracken further down, a descent that at this time of year required some concentration.

Heading back to Eskdale Green via Bowerhouse Bank.

Bower House Inn.

I walked the last mile over tarmac back to Eskdale Green passing Bower House Inn, by which time it was approaching three thirty in the afternoon where a cool pint would have worked and been a reward for two great Outlying walks from Eskdale but I summoned the strength not to and continued back to Eskdale Green where a warm bottle of Diet Pepsi awaited me in the boot of my car. The two Lake District workers happened to pass in their Land Rover as the driver waves on by, I wave my right arm right back feeling content at a great day had on the hills of Lakeland. It was still stifling hot by the time I arrived back at the car and before I de-shouldered my pack I turned the air conditioning on before I carefully kit down while looking forward to that first drink from that warm plastic pop bottle.

It was right at that moment did large spots of rain begin to hit the windscreen, the very same rain that the forecasters had predicted that might fall as flash showers, blast, I wouldn't have minded being caught in one of these just an hour ago.


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