Some Outlying Fells: Flat Fell

Flat Fell

Flat Fell – The Outlying Fells 871′

Date: 28 August 1974

From: Cleator Moor

This was the second – and last – official walk from The Outlying Fells that my family agreed to do, at my suggestion. It was a complete disaster and we didn’t even do the best part of the route Wainwright described, and I was blamed for it in no uncertain terms by my mother, in a manner not quite as savage as the one in Pooley Bridge twelve months later that put paid to me going on any future family holidays. In retrospect, I should have seen the things that would go down like the semi-legendary cup of cold sick. The walk started in Cleator Moor, not a hive of fell-walking, and by the time we’d got from where we’d parked to the bridge where we got off the streets, with everyone looking at us in our walking gear and making us feel like we were the weirdos (hey, they lived in Cleator Moor, which doesn’t say much for their normality), the atmosphere was getting chilly. At least we were into the country now. But all it was was a simple grassy walk, towards the valley of Nannycatch Beck, then up a featureless inclined grassy rise onto the featureless grassy plateau that was Flat Fell (the name should have told me something), passing a small group of placid hill ponies and reaching the – what’s the best word? Oh, yes – featureless summit, where my mother made her disgruntlement known. Ok, dumb idea from me, but the rest of the walk, first down to the delightful sheltered little nook of Nannycatch Gate, which we all agreed was lovely, and then back over the other ridge, and the higher and rockier Dent, known to be a little gem, would all be far better. This would redeem the day. Except that when we left Nannycatch Gate, the adults decided they were going to head straight back to the car, along Nannycatch Beck, a clear case of cutting their noses off to spite their faces. My name was mud. What a disappointment.


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