Walking The Corpse Road

Kim needed to get another backpack under her belt. She’s done two in the Peak District now, but I felt we needed to go a bit further afield this time. Somewhere a bit quieter, without the hordes.

It still needed to be something fairly easy mind, and as she’d not yet done anything out of summer either, somewhere near a bothy (ie a psychological bolthole) seemed to fit the bill.

So, a linear route from Blencarn to Garrigill, crossing the Pennines on the flanks of Cross Fell, was suggested. This meant that we could spend the night near Greg’s Hut. Kim was happy with that.

There was one condition, though. I wasn’t allowed to tell her any spooky stories.

We were dropped off in Kirkland. This meant a mile up the tarmac to Blencarn, but this also meant that the walk in wasn’t too short. It was very quiet from the word go.


The clouds were scudding across the hills on the horizon and we were convinced that at some point it was going to rain.


It didn’t. It stayed dry for the whole afternoon.


This particular Corpse Road used to be used to take bodies from Garrigill, across the Pennines, to consecrated ground in Blencarn. And despite my promise not to say anything spooky, Kim was the one who kept muttering about ghosts passing us on the way….



After the first couple of miles, the track deteriorates into a bit of a boggy mess. This was the point at which Tilly found a nice pile of fox poo to roll in. Luckily, I’d put a small pack of baby wipes in her panniers for just such emergencies.



Still no rain, but the temperature was starting to drop with the height gained.


As we crested the route and passed the junction where the Pennine Way comes in from the summit of Cross Fell, I was surprised to see a newish looking gate and fence cutting right across the hillside.


I have no memory of this whatsoever from when I walked the Pennine Way a few years ago.


This pretty much coincides with the point at which the track becomes a well used route again, and Greg’s Hut was only a couple of minutes further on.



I don’t think Kim was particularly impressed at the idea of using it as a place of repose.


Anyway, tents were soon up, brews made and water sorted for the evening.



As dusk approached, the temperature started to drop, andย this was when we finally had a fairly heavy, short-lived shower. This was also the time when Tilly decided to refuse to come into the tent and I had to go out in the rain – getting thoroughly wet in the process – to get hold of her and shove her in.


And it was a cold night. The hubbies back in the vans over at Nenthead said itย went just below freezing over there. And I was up four times to answer the call of nature. That’s going some, even for me.

Sunday morning dawned suitably bright and sunny, with the temperature slowly rising as we took our time over breakfast. We were in no hurry.




When I did the Pennine Way, it was thick clag the morning I walked down from Greg’s Hut to Garrigill, but this morning was bright and clear, with far-reaching views.



Unfortunately, the views also included a couple of diggers in the distance – presumably doing something connected with tracks and grouse shooting – and there was also another fenced off section where we had to keep the dogs on their leads due to the large number of traps lining the route.

So, despite the fact that we had fun, I think it might be a while before I return here.

And we didn’t see any ghosts, either.



23 thoughts on “Walking The Corpse Road

  1. Nice one Chrissie. Lovely photos, glad to see you had good weather. Last time I was around that way it was very wet with heavy rain. Shame about the fences.


    1. Thanks Dawn ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure that before we left, the weather forecast was giving heavy rain showers and not freezing temperatures; or maybe I was just living in an alternative universe!


  2. Ouch! what kind of traps?? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I hate traps! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    That looks a great trip – I’d like to have a look at Greg’s Hut and maybe a night there. I still haven’t done Cross Fell (and Great Dun Fell) despite saying for years I must do them!


    1. Don’t know much about traps, but they were over ditches and bits of water – looked like they might have been for stoats or other things that sort of size. I’m sure a doggy could get a paw or a muzzle hurt in one ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Dixie and I slept in Greg’s Hut when we did the Pennine Way. I remember being woken up by mice scampering around in my food! And actually I quite liked Great Dun Fell, coz I like all things aviation…… ๐Ÿ˜€


  3. Greg’s hut, I’ve slept there many a time. I first stayed there when I bivvy’d the Pennine Way without a tent when I was 17. Lord only knows where that stupid idea came from. I arrived at Greg’s hut cold, hungry and miserable, only to find that I was sharing the place with a tramp who looked like Fagin. He took great pity on my sorry state and gave me a bowl of stew he’d cooked up in the fireplace in a big old pan. The best stew I’ve ever tasted, and one of the kindest people I ever met.


    1. Hi John, thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚
      I slept in the hut too when I did the Pennine Way a couple of years ago. I had our other dog with me – Dixie, a Boxer – and the weather was so wild it was rattling the roof tiles really loudly. I was also a bit spooked after reading loads of haunted bothy stories, so spent the night with a little emergency torch on in the corner of the sleeping platform! ๐Ÿ˜€


  4. What is with dogs and unpleasant things. My dog always used to roll in anything smelly and also had a nasty habit of cracking open a dried cow pat to get to the runny stuff inside and lick it up like egg yolk – nasty!

    A fine trip that one. Actually Greg’s Hut looks rather better than I thought. Most of the reports I read seem to indicate its very squalid. Perhaps a Gregg’s Hut would be better ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. There’s hardly a walk goes by without her rolling in something disgusting! Luckily, that particular evening, the smell had mostly dissipated by the time we got settled – which was nice…

      I’m no bothy expert and although I’ve passed and looked into quite a few, Greg’s Hut is the only one I’ve actually slept in, but I certainly think it looks reasonably ok. Kim had just never seen one before at all and had nothing to compare it with other than a nice hotel!

      Mind you, a Gregg’s Hut with a few cheese and onion pasties and sticky buns would be rather nice ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. Looks like a cracking trip. It’s a long time since I stuck my head into Greg’s Hut, but on the few occasions I’ve been there it’s never struck me as being very enticing. It looks like some work might have been done on it since then however.


      1. Hmmmm – weather’s a bit wild at the moment!
        I camped just at the top of High Cup Nick once, on a long, and eccentrically routed, walk from Ravenglass to Lindisfarne. Weather was a bit wild then too.


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