Thursday, 20 October 2011

A little blog about a little hike.

Sunset from the top of the Hospice

It's easy to overlook what's right under your nose, or underlook what's right over your nose perhaps in this case.  I've blogged about many of our big hikes but have missed the one that's right on our doorstep.  A brisk 25 minute walk from our home will get you to the top of Hampsfell, one of the furthest flung of the fells with some of the most amazing views.  The route up is clearly marked and winds through Eggerslack Woods, which we're a little too familiar with from the time Monty went missing.  Once you pop out of the woods it's a straightforward stroll up and over the gorgeous limestone pavements to the hospice at the top.

I was quite taken aback when I first heard about the Hospice as I assumed it was some sort of rest home.  I was concerned that though it undoubtedly offered wonderful views, it seemed a little unorthodox, if not plain cruel, to put it on the top of a fell, albeit a small one.  Turns out the Hospice is actually a large stone shelter built in 1846 to offer protection from the elements.We've made the most of Hampsfell and have visited it roughly once a month since we moved here, often on days like today when I'm working from home and the gorgeous weather keeps banging on the window until I go out and play with it.

Hampsfell Hospice

Once you're up there the panorama is breathtaking, to the south Blackpool Tower is easily visible and on a clear day you can see all the way up to Skiddaw in the north.  If you're brave enough to tackle the rickety stairs then you'll be able to make full use of the viewfinder on the top to identify the many peaks away in the distance.  I keep trying to memorise them all but I keep failing miserably, I can pick out the Old Man but that's about it.

We took our lunchtime sarnies up there and a small flask of tea and I honestly don't think anyone could have had a more refreshing lunch break with better views than the ones we enjoyed today, complete with nosey sheep and worryingly loud cows.  Bliss!

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