Sunday 28 September 2014

An Afternoon Walk up Thack Moor

Friday 26th September 2014 

An afternoon walk in the North Pennines up England's shortest 2000ft peak 

Distance: 8km; Ascent: 390m; Dry, sunny and windy; Solo

After my lunchtime walk up Cold Fell earlier, I drove around the western side of the Pennines to reach the village of Renwick, where I parked on the road near the church.  I set off walking again at around twenty past three this afternoon, and headed up the steep little minor road towards Outhwaite.

Trees on way up from Renwick
A few hundred metres up the road, where the road takes a sharp right, I continued straight on along a reasonable stony vehicle track heading straight for Thack Moor, with good views SE towards Melmerby Fell.  The track allowed me to reach an altitude of around 500m pretty quickly, where the track ended.  From here a faint path led onwards up the steep grassy slopes to reach the moorland ridge above.

Track heading for Thack Moor
Melmerby Fell from southern slopes of Thack Moor
At twenty past four, around an hour after I set off walking, I reached the the trigpoint on summit of Thack Moor (Nuttall), where it was quite cold and exposed to the still bitter wind.  I nipped over the wall to visit the true summit of the hill, which is an unmarked area of grass on the north side of the wall.

Thack Moor trigpoint
Grassy summit of Thack Moor
On this side of the wall I was able to shelter from the wind and hence stopped for a short break to admire the excellent expansive views out over the North Pennines and the Lake District, although the sky was pretty hazy in the direction of the latter so it was hard to pick much out.  I also spotted what looked like a wooden nesting box in the base of the wall, which seemed like a strange spot for it - I wondered what it was for?

Nesting box? on Thack Moor
Returning to the southern side of the wall, I headed SE along the wall with excellent views towards Watch Hill and Black Fell.  The ridge onwards over these moorland hills looked quite enticing this afternoon, but it would have to wait for another day as it was now late in the afternoon and I doubted there would be enough daylight to complete the circuit!  Plus I'd already arranged to give Andrew a lift from Penrith down to Stockport.

Black Fell from Thack Moor
Watch Hill & Black Hill
I followed a fence SSE down the slopes of Renwick Fell to pick up a wet and muddy footpath, which gradually improved as it headed SW back towards Renwick.  Around two kilometres after joining this path, I rejoined my outward route and retraced my steps back towards Renwick.  I arrived back at the car at around half past five, a little over two hours after I left it and headed for Penrith station to pick Andrew up.  It had been a pleasant day's walking in the North Pennines, and I now had only 12 English 2000ft peaks left to climb!

Black Fell


  1. That nesting box looks like a small animal trap, Sir.
    Nasty that.
    I would have kicked the shit out of it.

    1. Ah, I wondered if that's what it was!