Hampsfell, Grange-over-Sands

Date: 5 Mar 2020 Weather: 4’C, partly cloudy
Height gain: 528 ft Distance: 3.2 miles
Time taken: 1 hrs 20 mins Wainwrights: Outlying 8 of 116

The strong winds persist in the mountains but sunny spells are forecast for this morning so we decide to tackle another of AW’s Outlying fells and head over to Grange-over-Sands for a short walk up Hampsfell.  It turns out to be a surprisingly lovely walk despite more cloud than expected and a biting wind.

We set off in good time for the half hour drive to Grange-over-Sands and just manage to squeeze into a parking spot in a layby on the Grange Fell road close to the golf course.  We get our boots on and set off up Spring Bank road, gaining a modest amount of height quite rapidly.  Morecombe Bay comes into view and it’s lovely to see the sea:

1

The road becomes a track as we pass a farm and then take a left hand turn towards Hampsfell and start some more serious height gain – this is all relative as it’s only about 400 feet of ascent in total.  The terrain is not dissimilar to Scout Scar and we can just make out the ridge of the Lake District hills in the cloud:

2

It’s not long before we reach the top – I wonder which way the prevailing winds blow up here?

3

At the top is a structure known as Hampsfell Hospice – built in 1846 by the Vicar of Cartmell to provide shelter for walkers:

4a

I start taking my photos before realising that you can climb to the top of the tower, albeit up a very narrow and steep set of stone steps.  There are great views all around us, sadly somewhat obscured by the cloud which has descended further as we’ve climbed.

We find a really clever gadget at the top – a numbered list of the mountains and other features you can see is pinned to the railing and the wheel in the middle has a pointer you can move around to each number so you can work out what you’re looking at:

5

Unfortunately the cloud is so low over the mountains there are no photos to show you, but we could just about make out Helvellyn, Coniston Old Man, the Langdales and a host of other mountains that we know so well.

The wind is bitingly cold up here so once we’ve had a good play with the gadget and taken in the views as best we can we make our way carefully down the narrow steps and head south for the return journey.

There are good views over the bay with the sunlight glinting down on the water:

4

After a few hundred metres I look back to the top – such an interesting landscape:

6

We plough on over another small rise at Fell End.  The wind is bitterly cold on this stretch and it starts to spot with rain.  The light over Morecombe Bay is making some beautiful patterns in the water which happily photograph quite well:

7

We don’t hang around as we start to descend towards the golf club, hoods up to give some protection from that cold, cold wind.  We reach a final stile back onto Spring Hill road and walk the few short steps back to the car which is now on it’s lonesome in the layby.

This has been a wonderful little walk with both sea and mountain views – we both agree we’ll come and do this again, perhaps on a warm summer evening later in the year.