Saturday, 14 May 2016

A walk in Newlands with Heather and Buttons... May 13th.(Lake District)
  The forecast for Friday was promising, cold and damp on the east side of the north where we live but warm and sunny with a breeze on the west, the Lake District, site of today's walk.
There are only four out today, holidays and family keeping some away. We four are John Ha., Dave, Harry and me and we are off to walk the Newlands round, or a part of it at least. To get to the starting point take the A69 west, M6 south, A66 west beyond Keswick, turn left through Portinscale and follow the narrow road towards Skelgill. There is a parking area off the road with room for about ten cars.
The map to use is OS OL 4 The English Lakes NW section and at least a laminated section is advisable. The car park is at NY 245211, approx..
This week's car park, worth ten points in the Ian Allen car park spotters guide, northern edition.
The walk:
Leaving the car park and heading south there are two paths, on the left the route climbs to the top of Cat Bells, a family favourite according to curmudgeonly Wainwright. It offers a good view of Derwent Water, Keswick, Skiddaw and lots of other bumps. Lonely Dave took this route. We other three decided to cut out Cat Bells and take the more gentle path that goes alongside Cat bells before turning east and climbing steadily to the saddle between CB and Maiden Moor. Once on the saddle we turned south and caught up with Dave and continued south along the Maiden Moor ridge. At one point we dropped down a few feet and facing west called a Herbie Spot, out of the breeze and with a good Lake District view. We had come about four miles.
                                           Skiddaw from our starting point
                                  Lunchtime view
                       Derwent Water, Keswick, Skiddaw, Blencathra
Only four out today so treats were limited, ginger chocolate, lemon biscuits and some toffee flavoured Bakewell tarts.
  As we packed to leave a voice called "Excuse me gentlemen, could you help me please?" It was Heather and her dog Buttons (labradoodle?) She explained she had set out to do a walk but had left her map in the car. As we all carry maps I offered her my photocopied sheet . She was very impressed with it, unlike some I know. However as she was doing the same walk as us she asked if she could just come along. Not a problem we chorused. And so the six of us continued on our way.
 Heather is a lovely lady. Recently bereaved she was doing a walk she had done previously with her husband. We all chatted on the rest of the walk, exchanging the usual gems about children grandchildren, jobs and walks. Heather had been a solicitor and a business woman. Buttons was well behaved and returned to her boss when sheep were around to be put on a lead.
At Wilson's Bield the footpath heads downhill before turning north west ish down to the Newlands Valley. It is initially a steep descent, rocky path with elbow breaking tendencies and needs care. There are several old  workings, left from the days when lead was mined here. And there were several impressive roche moutonnees to admire. Even better were the waterfalls and streams along the way, the gorse in bloom and the Herdwick Lambs  doing what they do.
                                               Buttons and a pool.
                  John, me, Dave and Harry on the top of High Spy, more of a plateau than a peak
               Me, with Heather probably discussing Wittgenstein. Don't like the pose but my wife thinks I look like a WW2 German soldier plane spotting!
Eventually the valley flattens out and we reached Little Town, a very appropriate name. From here the footpath goes across fields to Skelgill and back to the car park.
At Little Town we said our farewells. Heather and Buttons were off to their holiday cottage and we were off home, via a pub of course. Heather insisted that having had such a pleasant walk with us and much conversation  on a whole range of topics she would like to buy us a drink. After much persuasion we accepted her gift, promising to drink her health on the way home.
This is a beautiful walk, worthy of The Times. The scenery is worth the effort, especially in spring.
We stopped at The Shepherds in Langwathby which offered Tirrils Eden Valley Ales and a pint dedicated to the old curmudgeon himself, Alfred Wainright. It was very good. And we kept our promise.
                Good health Heather, and many more walks.
The Matrix MMXVI Q
                                                                                     steps                         miles

LIDL3D                                                                         21489                        10.4
NAK                                                                               27713                       10.47
Dave's 3D                                                                      23070                        9.92
  "    USB                                                                       21283                        9.40
  "    NAK                                                                      20938                        9.25

OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                            8.4
eTreX                              4 hours walking 1hour 30 minutes talking             8.4

Not the best of maps.
Contains OS Data copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2016

And finally fiveshots from Harry, an excellent photographer.