Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Walking Yorkshire : Great Shunner Fell, Lovely Seat

Monday again, the weather is nice, cool with only a light breeze, so I set off for the Hawes - Muker pass and parked up at Buttertubs.

Great Shunner Fell seen from the road.

And facing in the opposite direction, Lovely Seat. Both of these hills are Marilyn's, that is, they have at least 150 metres of relative height (above the last connecting contour line to any other hill regardless of absolute height), hikers and climbers you see are statistics geeks of the very worst order. The Scottish mountains are called Munros, named after Sir Hugh Munro who compiled a list of all mountains in Scotland over 3,000ft in 1891. That's the Scots then, serious folk.

The English are obviously a bit dafter, and because Scotland has nearly all the really big peaks in the UK, the English decided to name their taller hills Marilyns, just for a bit of silliness really. Geeks being geeks though, there are more named lists of hills classified by location, absolute height, relative height or who originally described them in the case of the Lakeland Wainwrights. You walk the hill, then write it down in your notebook and thus you have walkers who collect, or bag, Corbetts, Donalds, Fells, Munros, Marilyn's, Grahams, Nuttalls, Wainwrights, Hewitts and Murdos, and to make the matter more confusing, many peaks fall into more than one category.

That aside though, it was a nice morning, slightly wet underfoot and a little chilly, but a swift stroll up and down Great Shunner Fell soon got me warmed up.

The view across to Muker and Swaledale from the flanks of Great Shunner Fell.

The summit of Great Shunner Fell, the Pennine Way passes over the peak here so there are often folk around. The Pennine Way is so popular that large scale erosion was occurring along the route here until the path was flagged across large parts of the hill, the flags make for easier walking and limit damage to the land, but they don't have quite the challenge of the giant bogs I remember from climbing this hill with Cubs and Scouts.

A ewe amidst the slightly alien eroded peat landscape on Great Shunner Fell.

The summit of Lovely Seat, where some wags have indeed built a lovely seat. It is a bit like Amon Hen from Lord Of The Rings, you can perch here and have a commanding view of the Dales.

Great Shunner Fell as seen from the summit of Lovely Seat.

Brother in Law mk.3 and girlfriend please note, Australia pffft, this is Yorkshire !


  1. That seat was a cairn last time I was there, but it's well over 7 years ago. Nice seat though....

  2. Marcus Halberstram5:08 am

    I'm always amazed by the casually stunning Vista's you post of your Dales. It almost makes me curse my 4200ft treeline and 91% forested state.

  3. Cheers Marcus, it is beautiful here in The Dales, sometimes in a stark and spare manner, but attractive none the less.

  4. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you do live in a stunningly beautiful part of the world.