The weather forecast for today was really not good; persistent rain, 65mph winds and mention of 'tortuous mobility'. The forecast was accurate. I decided to stay low with an ascent of two easy Sub2000ft Marilyns.

The first Marilyn, Kirkby Moor, has a windfarm at the top and a quarry on its slopes; an ideal hill to ascend in poor weather and minimal visibility. There are several potential starting points for Kirkby Moor. Given the heavy rain, I opted for an ascent via the road leading to the quarry. I am not sure if access is permitted via this route. I am fairly sure the Health and Safety brigade would not be keen on walkers walking through the quarry workings. However today there was no-one around.

Hill: Kirkby Moor [Lowick High Common]
Date: Sunday 12th April 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 5.6km, Ascent: 205m
Time: 1Hr 20Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I took the first photo from inside my car with the boot lid open. The DSLR then went into the rucksack and stayed in the rucksack for the remainder of the day. I used my iPhone to take all subsequent photos.

Road to Burlington Slate Quarry:

I wasn't sure why the quarry warranted having a showroom. A subsequent search of the internet shows a variety of very nice slates that can be purchased.

Burlington Slate Quarry Showroom:

I walked through an area with a variety of stone chips, slates and large blocks. Some of the green slates were very nice.

Looking down on various slates and stone chips:

It was really interesting to look down into the deep quarry. Unlike most quarries this quarry does not have various levels to it, just one very deep pit. Production apparently started here in the early 19th century. The slates were formed during the Early Devonian period (416 million to 358 million years ago).

Looking down into deep quarry:

I wasn't sure if the two pools in the next photo were natural or former pits which had subsequently filled with water. They are marked on the OS map. I suspect they are former quarry pits.

Quarry pools:

Looking back towards quarry:

Beyond the quarry, I entered the windfarm. Today I only saw a few turbines as the visibility was really poor. The turbines on this hill are really squat; this is great as it means they are not so visible from miles around. It would be good if more windfarms could use this squat design to limit the visibility of these monstrosities.

Turbine near summit of Kirkby Moor:

A short distance from the summit, I had to leave the track and a short distance later join another track leading towards the summit.

Kirkby Moor summit cairn:

From the summit, I decided to follow a faint path through the heather heading downhill. I soon abandoned this plan and made my way back across to the main track.

Small shale heap during descent:

Back at the quarry storage area:

By the time I reached the car, I was literally soaked to the skin. My waterproof trousers are definitely no longer waterproof. I found the walk through the quarry works very interesting.

Next I drove to Coniston Water for an ascent of Top o'Selside. I parked in the Dodgson Wood car park where there is room for several cars.

Hill: Top o'Selside
Date: Sunday 12th April 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 4.7km, Ascent: 310m
Time: 1Hr 35Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park, I followed the track at the back of the car park up into the wood. I soon came to a hut that had several people inside.

Hut in Dodgson Wood:

Beyond the hut, I noticed a sign saying that I was on a 'permissive' path. I had no idea what this was. Was this a path that you are permitted to walk on or was it a path that you have to seek permission to walk on?

The answer: "A permissive path, permitted path or concessionary path is not a public right of way, but a path (which could be for walkers, riders, cyclists, or any combination) whose use is allowed by the landowner, but over which there is no legal right of access. Some permissive footpaths and bridleways are shown on 1:25,000 and 1:50,00 scale Ordnance Survey maps. A permissive path is often closed on a specified calendar day each year, and clearly signed as permissive. These are precautions to prevent any possible future claim of continuous public access, which could result in its becoming designated as a statutory right of way."

Access legislation and rights in Scotland are so much better than those in England!

Permissive path through Dodgson Wood:

During the ascent I had to cross two streams which were in spate but easy to cross.

One of two stream crossings:

I then followed the track heading diagonally uphill to Low Parkamoor.

Track leading to Low Parkamoor:

From the track to Low Parkamoor, I was able to see down to Coniston Water.

Coniston Water:

Looking across to Low Parkamoor:

Looking down to Coniston Water:

From near Low Parkamoor, I followed a wide track until reaching the public right of way which I followed towards the summit. During the ascent of this section, the wind was sufficiently strong to blow me about. I am glad I didn't venture high today.

Footpath leading up Top o'Selside:

On arriving at a large cairn, I thought I was at the summit. However my GPS, which has all the Marilyns (and every other hill list) programmed in, showed me that the summit was still a couple of hundred metres beyond.

Approaching the cairn on Top o'Selside:

The summit is featureless.

At the featureless summit of Top o'Selside:

To avoid walking back facing into the very strong wind, I decided to carry on along the ridge and then drop down towards Low Parkamoor. This may not be a public right of way but who cares!

Descent towards Low Parkamoor:

Coniston Water:

During the final ten minutes of descent, the rain stopped. I decided that if the weather improved, I would also ascent Black Combe. However, first I decided to visit Ulverston for some lunch.

I had heard of the Stan Laurel pub in Ulverston, so I paid it a visit. A large roast dinner and chocolate fudge pudding with ice cream all for £10; and good real ale too. What made the pub visit even better was my friend Dave met me in the pub to say hello. We will hopefully be walking together later this week .

Stan Laurel Inn, Ulverston:

Despite this being a horrible weather day, I enjoyed the two hills and subsequent pub visit.  Lakeland has great pubs .

Black Combe was still covered in cloud so I have left it for another day.