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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Once around the lake and back for tea
(Or Dave gets in a flap) (Lake District)......  August 26th

 Family commitments and visitors have kept me away from my boots for two weeks but today the gadgies are back on the hills. Brian has suggested a circumnavigation of Derwent Water in the Lake District and the man on the TV promised a warm and sunny day so off we went. Five of the team; Brian, Harry, Dave, Ray,  and me, meeting at the Coffee Lounge in Keswick for morning tea or bacon sandwich. From base to Keswick: A69 west, M6 south, A66 west and there are several car parks to choose from. The first, on the left, is short term but on the right is a long term park, £7 for six hours, which we decided might be pushing it today, or £9 for twelve hours, OK for five sharing but a bit steep if you are on your own.
The whole walk is on OS OL4 The English Lakes North West Section
                         Another in my series "Car parks of the north west."
    The walk.
     Leaving the car park we headed north west up Keswick high street, passing the gear shops, cafes and a book shop. After about half a mile we spotted the gate to a footpath on the left hand side of the road, walked across fields before turning south west (mile 1) and crossing the River Derwent by the footbridge.
                      Skiddaw from the footpath to the footbridge.7
Once across the bridge we walked south along a street in Portinscale village. The marker on the left for the footpath is a bit difficult to spot but eventually we entered woodland at Ullock Moss and continued south along the Cumbrian Way/ Allerdale Ramble/Derwent Walk beneath Cat Bells, a very popular family walk in the Lakes. Steep but worth it for the views.
The path we followed was a good one, a short stretch shared with a road  before heading downhill to Manesty.
                            Follow the sign
             Derwentwater with Blencathra in the background
                      Manesty house, Cat Bells beyond.
Just beyond Manesty (Not to be confused with Mandalay in Daphne Du Mauriers "Rebecca") we turned north east (mile 5) and followed a footpath close to the south end of the lake, stopping in a shady spot for a Herbie Stop. Mrs A had sent some top class chocolate cake, the icing going deliciously soft in the warmth, and we shared almond slices and Rington's ginger biscuits.
             View from Herbie Spot (1)
                             Duckboards across the boggy area south of Derwent Water.
Lunch over we continued on our way east to the Borrowdale Road and turned right for a short distance to High Lodore BnB and café. (mile 6).
Here we made a slight error and headed south to Troutdale Cottages before realing the possibility of a mistake and retraced our steps to High Lodore. Behind the farm a steep path presented the first climb of the day. Look out for the path off to the right after a few hundred yards. The footpath, through woodland passes a waterfall (Not Lodore) and on the ridge we turned and headed north through Ashness Wood.
At one point the path joins the road down to Ashness Bridge where we made a second Herbie Spot, it was a hot day.
                                                  Ashness Wood
                                     Ashness Bridge.
Just beyond the bridge we took the footpath on the right for the second climb of the day. A good path took us across Falcon Crag to the wood at Walla Crag. From here we could see in the distance  the Castlerigg Stone Circle and decided to head for it. (Dave likes piles of stones)
Unfortunately, near Rakefoot Dave suffered a gear malfunction, the front of his sole became detached and floppy. Fortunately Ray had a spare pair of laces and Dave was able to make emergency repairs but we decided it would be sensible to return to Keswick by a shorter route.

                    Derwent Water from Falcon Crag
                                    Keswick and Skiddaw
                                  Emergency repair to Dave's boot
We stopped at a café in Springs Wood for a well deserved ice cream and then headed back into town, calling at Mickledore to thank them for the brilliant way they had organised our West Highland Way walk and to pick up a leaflet on the Rob Roy Way, a possibility for next year.
Changed we headed home, calling at The Elk in Whitfield but they had run out of real ale so we carried on to Carts Bog, a pub near Hexham which sold Secret Kingdom, it went down well.
This really is a good walk, two short steep climbs but generally easy going. It would be possible to cut it short at High Lodore and take a bus back to Keswick.


The Matrix MMXVI   WWWW
                                                                                   steps                miles
NAK                                                                         35813               12.43
Dave's 3D                                                                 28272                13.00
  "     USB                                                                 26706                12.64
   "     NAK                                                               26713                12.64

OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                 12.24
Brian                                                                                                    12.25

                         Contains OS data, copyright. Crown Copyright and Database right 2016