The Southernmost Fell

2.83 miles 1h 17m ascent 74m

Longridge Fell/Spire Hill

It’s been a while since I stood by a trig pillar. Coronavirus lockdown limitations and a return to work have each played their part. But rules have begun to relax and James offered to walk with me. A wee hill was needed, for me if not him, and I chose one unlikely to tax my wasted muscles or attract too many other walkers. I turned to lists of Marilyns and started at the bottom.

Longridge Fell. Not much dispute about the etymology there but with the added bonus of being England’s southernmost ‘fell’. South of here the fjall are become hyll, despite the Danelaw having extended much further south.

There’s not much to say about the walk. There were several options and we chose the shortest route, which starts at Jeffrey Hill. A well worn track took us over heath to a a low cairn. The OS marks this as a cairn circle but we couldn’t see the circle. I believe the circle is of small cairns which are hidden in the heather. Or perhaps the circle has been gathered together into the one cairn.

The track becomes less obvious at the cairn. An alternative track forked off a couple of hundred metres earlier but I spied it a little further on and we headed straight for it.

The going was wet. I was wearing non-waterproof walking shoes and soon had wet feet. No reason to avoid the boggy bits after that. Until the boggy bits got deeper. We found that the ‘track’ I had seen was one of those very wet areas where even the heather can’t grow, made of spongy wet sphagnum moss into which one’s feet can sink to mid calf. Which they did.

Plan B. We turned towards the wall to our SE. This was over heather (see picture above) but proved to be just as boggy. Then James spotted some walkers, presumably on the actual path which we headed for. A wee brook/ditch in the bog added a little interest for us.

Once on the track we followed it up to the trig point on Spire Hill. The track follows a wall and there seemed to be a path each side. Which to choose. We went up with the wall on our left, and came down with it on our left. Neither was particularly superior.

From the top we could see distant hills which I took to be the lake district but checking the map I think they were the Yorkshire dales. In the valley beneath us sat the village of Chipping (see Chipping – still a fond memory) with Parlick Pike and Wolf Fell rising behind it.

We tramped back down on the path we might have used had we not gone via the cairn circle.

An easy walk with pleasant views. My first new Marilyn in a good while.

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