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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Into the Valley of the Deer walked the five gadgies..................Sept18th.(Lake District)
  Having been promised a fine September day five gadgies, Brian, Dave, John H, Harry and I decided to head for the Lake District again. This time we planned a walk from Hartsop, a hamlet at the south end of Ullswater. To get there from base; A69 west, M6 south, A66 west and just after Rheged turn down the A592, drive the length of Ullswater, through Patterdale and look for the sign on the left that directs to Hartsop. It is a narrow track, be prepared to back up if you meet anything, particularly a John Deere. At the end of the track is a car park for about twelve vehicles. It is free but a box has a note on it requesting contributions to the local school;. Government cuts bite deep.
Hartsop means the Valley of the Deer. Once the property of the Earl of Lonsdale the village hall is now run by the National Trust. Once there was some lead mining in the area and several of the beautiful stone built cottages still have "spinning galleries" for wool I guess.
The walk starts from the car park and it is covered by OS OL5 The English Lakes, North East Section.
This week's car park



                  Cottage with outdoor stairs and a "spinning gallery"
We went through the gate at the back of the car park and followed the gravelled path. At the fork you can choose to go right along Pasture Bottom or go left up the hill alongside Hayeswater Gill as we did. After three quarters of a mile of ascent there is a footpath on the right. It is not posted and is a bit difficult to spot, nor is it marked on the map as an official route, but it leads very steeply for gadgies uphill for about a half mile to the top of Gray Crag. We arrived, exhausted. However from here on the walk is fairly level up to the downhill bit at the end. From Grey Crag we walked approximately two miles to Thornthwaite Crag and its beacon where we called a Herbie Spot. Today's treats were ALDI ginger parkins, Hobnob Medley bars, Tracker flapjacks and some cracking sweet mincemeat cake from Mrs A. The other treat was a Chelsea supporter who was teased.
                              Thornthwaite Beacon, a "Columnar Cairn".
                       Brothers Water, centre right
                                          View from Thornthwaite. Like the walk last week the views are worth the effort. From The beacon we could see hills around us, distant Ingleborough, Morecambe Bay and the nuclear power stations at Heysham. I would have waved to my mum a year ago.
                    Looking down on Hayeswater
                        A glimpse of Ullswater

Human interest for Kathy from Goole and Sue from Forest Hall. (Sorry about the South Shields bit, not that I have anything against South Shields, great curry houses)

having rested and eaten we turned north east onto High Street, so called because it has a Roman Road. The road went from Ambleside to Penrith but some feel it was  not really Roman. What do I know?
                     Who else would build it? Sinister, dexter, sinister dexter you can hear!
  Once upon a time though  horse races and a fair were held up here, hence the name Racecourse Hill. Leaving the Roman Road we continued on a good path to the Knott, all the time looking down on Hayeswater and Haweswater to the east. Haweswater is a reservoir, for years a golden eagle lived nearby but it died, presumably as it hasn't been seen for some time.

                                           Hayeswater and Hummocky Doldrums
From the Knott the path turns north west passes Saturna Crag and rounds Angle Tarn.
Angle Tarn. Note the island has trees. This is because deer can't swim.
The footpath wanders through Angletarn Pike and starts the downhill section of the walk. Not too steep but the gravelled path can be a bit tricky, sometimes the stones act like marbles underfoot. At a flat open piece of ground, very suitable for camping, the path turns through 180degrees and heads downhill to Dubhow where it joins a farm track.
                                   Waterfall near Dubhow.
The track leads back to the narrow road to Hartsop, car park, shoes and a rest. We drove all the way back to Carts Bog in near Hexham for a drink. More restaurant than pub we were made welcome and enjoyed Corby Blonde and /or Corby Ale from the Cumberland brewery.
Harry won the chip shop challenge, he's very good at it, perhaps he has a silent mobile phone and calls ahead.

The Matrix MMXV   SS
                                                                            steps                          miles
LIDL3D                                                               28556                       8.21
Dave's LIDL3D                                                   25694                       10.02
Dave's USB                                                         24353                        9.60
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                  9.99
         Contains OS Data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2015