South-east out of Pooley Bridge to The Cockpit, then south-west across Barton Fell by way of the Roman Road to Loadpot Hill. Further south to Wether Hill, before descending steeply in a north-westerly direction to Martindale. Anti-clockwise around the bottom of Hallin Fell, then returning via the road and paths along the banks of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge. A 14-mile walk in the Lake District.

The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Eastern Area, reference OS Explorer OL5, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

The view of Ullswater shortly after leaving Pooley Bridge on the way to Loadpot Hill.

The view south-west towards Arthur’s Pike.

Looking back to Pooley Bridge, nestled just below the woodland on Dunmallard Hill.

Looking over Ullswater towards Blencathra in the far background.

Triangulation pillar on Loadpot Hill, at a height of 2205 feet (672 metres).

The view west from Loadpot Hill to Helvellyn.

Small pond just south of Loadpot Hill.

Heading down to Brownthwaite Crag.

Looking over Howe Grain to the snowy Helvellyn in the distance.

The lovely valley of Howe Grain.

The valleys of Howe Grain (right) and Fusedale (left), separated by the Steel Knotts ridge.

The Fusedale valley, and Ullswater in the background.

The farmland in Howe Grain and the crags on Beda Fell.

St Martin’s Church, Martindale, often referred to as the ‘Old Church’ to avoid confusion with the nearby St Peter‘s Church which is situated half a mile down the valley.

Howe Grain.

Howegrain Beck.

The Kathleen Raine Poetry Stones

The Kathleen Raine Poetry Stones can be found in a small clearing in the magical setting of Hallinhag Wood. It can be reached by walking a short distance north-east along the Ullswater Way from Sandwick Bay, or in the other direction south-west from Howtown pier.

This stone says:

the human word carved by our whispers in the passing air

The lines inscribed on three rocks in this dell are from two poems by Kathleen Raine, who lived in Martindale during the 1940s. Raine was a visionary poet and admirer of William Blake, with a profound sense of the beauty and the spirit of the natural world. She regarded Martindale as an idyllic world apart and wrote some of her finest poems in the valley’s peace and seclusion. These include ‘Night in Martindale’ and ‘On Leaving Ullswater’.

This stone says:

words say, waters flow, rocks weather, ferns wither, winds blow, times go

The design and lettering are by Pip Hall, a stone carver from south Cumbria whose other work includes the Poetry Path at Kirkby Stephen and The Stanza Stones in the southern Pennines.

To select the stones Pip visited the site with residents Jane Penman and Berry Patel. She then made sketches for each of the three stones before returning to carve them in situ.

This stone says:

the lake is in my dream, the tree is in my blood, the past is in my bones, the flowers of the wood, I love with long past loves

The poems from which the lines for the poetry stones are taken are Night in Martindale and On Leaving Ullswater.

Not in the rustle of water, the air’s noise,
The roar of storm, the ominous birds, the cries –
The angel here speaks with a human voice.
Stone into man must grow, the human word
Carved by our whispers in the passing air
Is the authentic utterance of cloud,
The speech of flowing water, blowing wind,
Of silver moon and stunted juniper.
Words say, waters flow,
Rocks weather, ferns wither, winds blow, times go,
I write the sun’s Love, and the stars’ No.

The air is full of a farewell –
Deserted by the silver lake
Lies the wide world, overturned.
Cities rise where mountains fell,
The furnace where the phoenix burned.
The lake is in my dream,
The tree is in my blood,
The past is in my bones,
The flowers of the wood
I love with long past loves.
I fear with many deaths
The presence of the night,
And in my memory read
The scripture of the leaves –
Only myself how strange
To the strange present come!

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