SkelwithBridge, Ambleside, Rydal, Loughrigg Fell

Our last day walking in the Lake District and the weather is still behaving.

Today we started from base gradually circling to Ambleside (no gear shopping), Rydal Water, up to the trig point on Loughrigg Fell and dropping back to our HQ.

Route

We headed east passing under Ivy Crag to Todd Crag and passing Lily Tarn. From here we followed a path leading steeply down to Ambleside.

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Windermere

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Lily Tarn

 

 

There was a short stretch of busy road walking before we cut off to a path which took us to Rydal MountRydal Mount with views of Rydal Water and Loughrigg Fell. A brave soul was spotted swimming in the lake whilst we tucked in to lunch.

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Gardens in Rydal Mount

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Rydal Water and Loughrigg

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We crossed over to the south side of the lake and came across a huge cave the result of quarrying in the past.

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The collar work now started as the route climbed to the summit of Loughrigg Fell before the steep descent back to base.

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That way.

Once again a good week of walking and although we had some rain mostly it was dry and despite it being October winter woollies were not required.

Thanks to our better halves for letting us out to play.

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That’s all Folks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tarn Hows Circular

Another rain free day and we set off to park at Glen Mary.

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Route

We set off up the small gorge which contains Tom Gill and leads up through woodlands to Tarn Hows and I agree with the “Navigator” this is the best approach to this honey pot.

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Tom Gill

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Further up the Gill

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Andy admiring the waterfall

From here we walked alongside the Tarn and then struck up for Black Crag.

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Tarn Hows

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Coffee break view of Tarn Hows

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A distant view of Langdale Pikes

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Subsidiary summit of Black Crag

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A little further on at Park Fell we turned south west heading for Yew Tree Tarn and Harry Guards Wood and the car.

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Looking down to Elterwater

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Bracket Fungi

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Reflections in Yew Tree Tarn

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The Tarn is part of a 4000 acre estate

Langdale Linear

Weather was now improving and we ventured a little higher. Today would entail a bus ride from Skelwith Bridge to the New Dungeon Gyhll pub and then ascend to Stickle Tarn and wend our way back to Skelwith roughly following the easterly ridge.

Route

Our Welsh bus passes unfortunately are invalid in England and Andy a “Sais” was too young for a pass. The single fare was £4.80!!! At the pub we soon started the climb alongside the river leading to Stickle Tarn.

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The climb to Stickle Tarn

The path is engineered all the way and there seemed to be a continuous line of people all heading up. The old path on the left is clearly no longer encouraged although our young Andy way out in front of us took it. We eventually met up at the tarn and the crowds expected had dispersed.

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Andy walking on water

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Stickle Tarn with Harrison Stickle in background

The cliff face opposite the tarn is Pavey Ark with the infamous Jack’s Rake.

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Pavey Ark

We were not going that way and our route went south easterly up and down various outcrops leading back to Skelwith Bridge.

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Easedale Tarn

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Coledale Tarn

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Lunch stop

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Great Langdale

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Grasmere and Rydal Water

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The views today were extensive and clear.

 

Windermere and Latterbarrow

Tuesday was forecast to be the wettest day and so a fairly low level walk was called for, no point in having expensive rain proof gear if not used!

The “Navigator”had to amend his original plan as parking in this area is hard to find. However we found a  village hall in Far Sawrey with an honesty box where we did pay the suggested fee of £2.00 a bargain in the Lakes.

Route

It started out dry but we soon donned the gore tex and headed down to the lakeside for a cup of coffee.

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A calm Windermere

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Shaggy ink cap?

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Fly agaric

There lots of other nutters out for a walk.

At Belle Grange we took the path signposted for Hawkshead a steep and slippery ascent. Our objective was Latterbarrow but this was to be tackled after a very wet lunch stop.

Our route to the hill could have been better as we battled our way through the mess left when trees have been felled.However we found the right track and were rewarded with good views from the summit.

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Monument on Latterbarrow

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Views opening up

 

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From here we walked south passing a number of tarns until we arrived back at the car.

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Tarns on way back

A warning here if you are considering visiting Hawkshead with the hope of finding food supplies, DON’T. It’s full of shops all trying to extract the tourist pound.

Food was found in Ambleside.

Swirl How

The forecast was not the best but the decision was to visit Swirl How via Little Carrs, Great Carrs, Swirl How and then Grey Friars.

Route

At our age we use the car to gain height and so the old Toyota wheezed its way up the Wrynose Pass with sections of 25% incline until we parked not far from The Three Shire Stones.

We dressed in full wet weather gear as it was raining and a stiff breeze blowing. The tops were cloud covered but we  are eternal optimists!

The path up has been engineered for a good section of the route and made for easy walking.

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A look back from our route up

There  were  occasional views down Tilberthwaite but the wind kept us from wandering too near the edges.

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Cloudy and moody

At Great Carrs there was a memorial to a second world war plane crash which made for sad reading. Two of the Canadian training crew were only 19.

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Sad remains

 

There were more gaps in the cloud when we reached the summit of Swirl How and we had a lunch break in a sheltered  spot. My camera died here.

Grey Friars was our next objective before  the downward route back to the car.

 

 

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Heading back to the blue dot on the road.

 

Skelwith, Tilberthwaite, Little Langdale

Day 2 of our tour was supposed to be flat day but overall we climbed 2300 plus feet!

We started from base and our first objectives were Skelwith Force and then Colwith Force before heading south west to High Tilberthwaite. From here we headed north into Little Langdale and back to base via Elterwater.

Route

In Tilberthwaite we came across a school party who were being instructed in the art of ghyll scrambling. Andy and I suggested to the “Navigator” that instruction on outdoors skills should form part of each trip. We may have to wait a long time!

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View from cottage

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Skelwith Force

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Colwith Force

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Typical Cumbrian Farm

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For the woodpile admirers

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In need of TLC

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Hodge Quarry

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Herdwick

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Keeping an eye out

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View down Tilberthwaite

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On holiday from Scotland

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Old bridge over River Brathay

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Little Langdale Tarn

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Looking toward Langdale Pikes from Elterwater

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Loughrigg Tarn

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Last hill of the “flat” day

 

 

 

Lake District 10/2016- Staveley

This was day one of “the boys” week away in the lake District, Cumbria. We were based near Skelwith Bridge.

The “Navigator” and I travelled to Chester to pick up Andy and then onto the lake District. As usual we stopped for a short walk on the way to our base and the stop this time was in the village of Staveley.

Route

The weather was good and we were soon down to shirt sleeves. The floods of earlier this year were still in evidence as  there was a bridge closed in the village and another bridge washed away on our planned route.

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Staveley

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Navigators first ascent of the week

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large fungi at base of oak tree

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Potters Tarn

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Where’s the bridge?

 

 

Lake District

Every October The Navigator and I spend a week in the Lake District. We were joined this time by my recently retired brother-in-law, Andy. Our base was in Lorton Vale which gave us access to the north western hills.

A map of the area with indications of our routes is below.

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The weather leading up to our trip (10th to 17th) had been dry for some time, would it last? In fact it went on and on and our waterproofs were of use only to keep the chill wind at bay.

After picking Andy up in Chester we headed north up the M6 with no traffic hold ups. Our usual practice of having a short walk on the route north continued and we turned off at junction 36 with an objective to climb the limestone outcrop of Holmepark Fell. The limited parking near Holme Park Farm where we had planned to take the marked path was full and so we nearly gave it up as a bad job. However as we returned a parking spot was found by Dykes Bridge and another path by Townend Farm. A close look at the map shows a crowded area of contours and our route went straight up a scree/mud path, an unwelcome climb after a long drive. However with suitable stops to admire the views we made it to the top and the limestone pavement. Our route down was a lot more forgiving and we continued of our journey to Lorton Vale and our cottage at The Hope Farm, an apt name for guys of our age!

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Sunday soon arrived and from our cottage we could see Scotland in the distance with good weather forecast. Our objective today was Mellbreak. A fell which seems to stand on its own, with a steep up, a walk across the top and a steep down.

Mellbreak

Mellbreak

 

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Views on climb

Views on climb

 

Are we going up there?

Are we going up there?

 

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Crummock Water and Buttermere

Crummock Water and Buttermere

 

North Summit

North Summit

 

Crummock Water & Buttermere

Crummock Water & Buttermere from the south summit.

On our way down we visited Scale Force, which was lacking force due to very little rainfall.

 

Scale Force

Scale Force

 

Scale Force

Scale Force

We walked back to the car, alongside the edge of Crummock Water.

 

Lonely kayakers

Lonely kayakers

 

Light failing on Crummock Water

Light failing on Crummock Water

On Monday Scotland was once again in view and this was going to be our benchmark for good weather and to avoid boring my reader it was like this until Friday! Today we were tasked with climbing Barf and Lords Seat and my quick look at the map indicated a short day, it was not to be!

We parked opposite the Swan Hotel and soon a footpath sign showed the way to Barf. We should have paid more attention to the route shown in Mr Wainwrights guide. The lower slopes of the hill are well known for two rocks painted white, known as the Clerk and The Bishop.

The white Bishop

The white Bishop

We were somewhat misled as we began to follow an obvious path which led to these outcrops. It went up steeply on scree and we turned away but it was still  a knee touching chin climb.

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A small ledge was found to have a coffee. Obviously by now we recognised we had taken a more “interesting” route up the fell and continued upwards until we were met with a rock face.

Towards Derwent Water

Towards Derwent Water

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

There was much chin stroking and false attempts at a way through but in the end we had to take off our rucksacks to enable a climb through a gap in the rock and then by judicious use of a spare bootlace lift the sacks up to safety.

The awkward step

The awkward step

From here the route became much easier and we were soon on the top of Barf and headed over to Lords Seat before descending through the forest back to the car.

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Towards Lords Seat

Towards Lords Seat

 

Summit Lords Seat

Summit Lords Seat

 

Looking back to Barf

Looking back to Barf

 

Just for me

Just for me

 

Towards Siddaw

Towards Skiddaw

 

Good crop of fungi

Good crop of fungi

Tuesday was to be an away day and we headed over to Ennerdale Water, a fairly quiet part of the Lake District. We were heading to Anglers Crag and Crag Fell again trusting in Mr Wainwrights guidance to a gently climbing path which we  ignored (missed).

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Our destination

 

Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water

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Good progress was made on the lakeside path until we realised the diagonal rising path we were looking for had not been seen (we did see it on the way back!). With yesterdays climbing experience fresh in our minds we struck upwards battling through bracken and whatnot until we made the top of Anglers Crag for a welcome coffee.

Anglers Crag

Anglers Crag

From here we were now on more obvious ground and continued to climb on good paths to the top of Crag Fell where we settled down for lunch.

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Path to Crag Fell

 

Looking down to Ennerdale Water

Looking down to Ennerdale Water

 

Towards Pillar

Towards Pillar

 

Towards Red Pike

Towards Red Pike

We could have returned downhill by a good and obvious path, but no, we took another “interesting route” which went over boggy ground and more bracken bashing, down to the lakeside and returned us to our car.

We woke to another good day on Wednesday although there was a chill in the air. Our target today was Grisedale Pike and Hobcarton Crag a sort of horseshoe. No doubt today we would have to pay for parking in one of Whinlatter Forest’s car parks, but no, the meter was covered up, result.

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It was a steady pull up to the summit of Grisedale but the views were well worth it.

 

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Ridge to Hopegill End

Ridge to Hopegill End

 

View from Grisedale

View from Grisedale

 

Another view

Another view

 

Lunch

Lunch

 

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The Navigator and I realised that there would be an early finish today and so we gave the youngster the chance to extend his walk to take in Hopegill Head and Whiteside which he of course did whilst us old ones had a leisurely lunch and a stroll down Hobcarton Crag back into the forest and the car. I even had time for a visit to the fleshpots of Keswick before Andy came home.

The week is flying by and here we are at Thursday already, with our venue Carling Knotts and Blake Fell near the shores of Loweswater.

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Carling Knotts

Carling Knotts

View down to Loweswater

View down to Loweswater

The climb up to Carling Knotts went well, perhaps hill fitness is happening.

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Me

We had lunch overlooking Cogra Moss before returning towards Holme Wood.

Cogra Moss

Cogra Moss

It was here we gave Andy another chance to extend his walk straight down through the woods, across the valley floor and up towards Low Fell where The Navigator explained there would be a good view down to Buttermere. The B Team strolled down a wide green path to High Nook farm and back to the car near Watergate Farm to await Andy.

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The hill Andy was heading for

There had been some confusion here as time was getting on and no sign of Andy. After a couple of walks up the lane to obtain a signal my mobile rang with Andy telling me he was in Thackwaite Village! We eventually met up without the need to call out the mountain rescue team.

Friday morning was the only day we could not see Scotland and the day was overcast all day. We were off to climb to  Greystones and Broom Head.

A diversion was planned to look at Spout Force which like the previous waterfall we had seen earlier in the week there was little water.

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Spout Force

From here we cut through the woods of Darling How Plantation to meet the path halfway up to Greystones. From here we headed on to Broom Fell from where we could see most of the tops we had climbed throughout the week.

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Towards Broom Fell

 

Greystones summit

Greystones summit

 

Cairn on Broom Fell

Cairn on Broom Fell

Start of descent

Start of descent

Following lunch we headed down through the valley to the car. Although we knew this would be an early finish we did not extend Andy,s day and he stayed with us whilst we paid a visit to the Whinlatter Centre and were astounded at the cost of some of the mountain bikes on sale.

Sculpture at Whinlatter Centre

Sculpture at Whinlatter Centre

 

Fungi

Fungi

This was without doubt the best week of weather we have experienced in the Lakes in October and if this is global warming, bring it on!

 

 

 

Whitbarrow

More rain and even lower cloud but we were not deterred. Today’s destination was the limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow.

Route

We parked by Millside and started up through the woods climbing into the rain and mist. I am sure there are good views from up here but you will have to “google”them.

 

At least one view as we climbed

 

It says it all

 

Nice summit cairn

Following lunch the mist cleared a little as we descended steeply through more woods to the valley floor passing Witherslack Hall.

Keep the home fired burning

 

Apparently we were up there

 

Lovely welcoming sign

We also passed an interesting art gallery before coming out at Beck Head where it seemed a stream came from under a limestone outcrop and some very nice private homes.

Beck Head

It was still raining.

Back to base for our last meal and packing up for the  trip home on Friday.

Although we could have done with better weather I still enjoyed the walks and countryside we saw in this part of the Lakes.

Cumbria Way – west of Coniston Water

Our week is coming to an end but the weather is still being a little selfish with low cloud and light rain forecast.

The benefit of this of course, is that we don’t have to flog up the biggies!

Today we were heading for the low hills to the west of Coniston roughly the Blawith fells in a figure of eight walk.

Route

We parked near Brown How and walked up the lane to join the Cumbria Way to Beacon Tarn heading southwards to Tottlebank and then south west to the Giants Grave.

 

Beacon Tarn

 

We are somewhere on here.

 

Coffee at Beacon Tarn

 

 

 

Might be Giants Grave

Here I was able to remove the over trousers before the climb up to Blawith Knott where we had lunch.

Blawith Knott

The top half of the “eight” was accomplished by walking north eastish to the east side of Beacon tarn and up onto Beacon Hill and dropping back to the car.

Beacon