Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Viva les Vegans... (Lake district) May 29*
Friday May 26th was a hot day in the Lake District as you will know if you looked at "The Lake Country is a glorious region". Monday, May 29th, being a bank holiday in the UK was cold and wet, with a strong wind on the hill tops.
Today Dave and I have been invited to join my daughter Kate's small group of friends for a walk up Great End from Seathwaite  (Field of rushes) at the bottom end of Borrowdale in Cumbria which legend says is the wettest place in England if not the UK.
To get to Seathwaite take A69 west to Carlisle, M6 south to Penrith, A66 west to just past Keswick and follow the road signs for Borrowdale. Just before Seatoller turn left by the yurts and drive as far as you can to the farm at Seathwaite. For years walkers have parked here on the side of the road but the farmer has put boulders on the edges of the road near his farm. There is a car park for £3 a day or the side of the road some way back from the farm. It is a popular starting place, get there early.
The walk is designed to cross over two OS maps and they are OS 4 English Lakes North West section and OL 6 English Lakes South West section. Photocopy and laminate, it keeps it dry.
The farm is at NY 236124, approximately.
Kate Dave and I met the other walkers at the farm and made introductions; her friends were another Kate (qualifies as a gadgette), Marcia and her husband to be Ian and Michael from the Republic of Ireland.
               This week's fuzzy car park. Camera accidently in macro mode.
                       Off we go through the farmyard.
The good thing about this walk is that you get a good flattish walk in before you start climbing. It was raining as we set off but full of enthusiasm we walked the path to Stockley Bridge, crossed the stream, went through the gate and turned left for Grains Gill.
            Stockley Bridge, still in macro mode.
Grains Gill is a long but steady pull uphill alongside the stream. It crosses a neat footbridge and then climbs steeply before morphing into Ruddy Gill, dipping down to a ford and continuing uphill on more open ground to a cairn.

                               It was a cloudy day, not a sun was in the sky
At Esk Hause we turned west, following one of the popular routes to Scafell Pike, several other groups were also on the path, including families with young children. Nice to see them out.
Close to Calf Cove (hard to say how close, the cloud was so low) We called a Herbie Spot and huddled down behind the walls of a cross shaped shelter.

                            The weather did not dampen appetites
Not being a gadgie walk there was no exchange of goodies, perhaps these people need teaching.....
It was getting cold and, being higher up the wind was cold so after eating we continued our trek to the top of Great End. On a normal day the views from the top are well worth the effort made climbing there but visibility was limited. I felt some concern for the family heading for the face of Great End which is very steep, but they must have survived. Not having a panorama to admire we turned back, following the cairned route to our dining room and headed back to Esk Hause. Here we turned north west and headed down the valley to Sty Head, passing Sprinkling Tarn on the way.
            Misty Sprinkling Tarn, wettest place in England.
Approaching Sty Head Tarn the cloud began to lift, slowly, as it always does towards the end of a wet walk, and the surrounding mountains gradually came into view.
                                                         Sty Head Tarn, the path down is visible on the far side.
Rounding the end of the tarn we followed the footpath, crossing a footbridge and walking down Sty Head Gill back to Stockley Bridge and then back to the cars.
Before going our separate ways we enjoyed some chocolate brownies Rich cake and richly deserved. A good walk in spite of the weather.


                                                                                   steps                     miles
NAK                                                                        26140                     10.1
iPhone                                                                      26875                       9.4
Dave's 3D                                                                 29851                     12.24 (?????????)
  ""       USB                                                             24211                      10.69
  ""    NAK                                                               23431                      10.35
Kate's iPhone                                                           26394                      10.6
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                      9.8
*  The group we joined were all members of the North East Vegan and Vegetarian Society. I enjoyed their company very much and may go along with them again.
My wife is a third generation vegetarian and our daughters became vegetarians, having been brought up as normal fish finger eating seventies kids. Occasionally journalists have a pop at vegetarians and vegans, they should meet this charming group.
The Gallery. The first ones courtesy of

Saturday, 27 May 2017

 The Lake Country is a glorious region...May26
So said Charlotte Bronte so it must be true.
The local weather man has promised a hot day in the north of  England and we have opted to head for the Lake District to walk up Helvellyn, third of the four highest bumps in Cumbria(Helvellyn =Norse for pale yellow mountain, possibly) There are six of us, Brian, Ray, Harry, Dave, Ben and me.
As it is a two car job we met in the first  Keswick car park you come to (£1.50 for an hour) and had tea/coffee/ bacon sandwich in The Coffee Lounge.
                          Keswick car park. In the background is the old police station and magistrates court, complete with cells. It is now a Wetherspoons
Breakfast over we headed down the road to Windermere and pulled in to a lay by near Stanah. Usual we start this walk from here but today we decided to catch the Arriva 555 bus to The Travellers Rest, just outside Grasmere, thus having a true gadgie walk using bus passes.
                Two car parks today, this one is free.
Almost all the walk is covered by OS OL 5, English Lakes, North Eastern Area and the lay by is at NY336087
Having made a slight error to start with by taking the wrong path we corrected ourselves and followed the steep path up Tongue Gill. At one point we met a Welsh Canadian couple which pleased me immensely. One of the quiz questions in the pub last week was "How many points on the Canadian Maple Leaf on the flag. " We got it wrong, saying 5 but now I know it is 11, I counted them on the ladies T shirt.
This route is fairly steep but steady and eventually we arrived at Grisedale Hause giving us the first view of Grisedale Tarn below. Although we had not come far we called a Herbie Spot overlooking the tarn and giving us a good view of the zig zag path that would take us up Dollywagon Pike. We shared Ben's ginger biscuits, Yorkshire flapjacks, Brownies from and chocolate cake from Mrs A.
             View from Herbie Spot. You can just make out the zig zag path on Dollywagon Pike.
Lunch over we walked round the end of the tarn and started the long but steady plod up the next bump on our day out. The zig zag makes it easier but it was tough in the heat.
Once on the top we had another short break. I looked south at Morecambe Bay and observed I could no longer wave to my mum. Brian said "Of course you can," lay back and waved at the blue skies. Touching!
From Dollywagon we continued north  to Nethermost Pike and then on to the cross shaped shelter on the top of Helvellyn itself. Always a popular walk, there were quite a few people around, some taking selfies, some on mountain bikes.
 Memorial to a man who landed a plane on Helvellyn
                             Admiring the view from Nethermost Pike
Harry tells us he has read a biography of Neville Shute. Brian said Nevilles' dad was in the Paras.
Rested, and it was hot even with the southerly breeze on our backs, we continued on what Ray claimed were the last three bumps on the route, Lower Man, Whiteside and Raise. On the way we admired Striding Edge, Swirral Edge and Red Tarn below the main mountain.
                 Striding Edge, looking benign. It is quite tough if you follow the pinnacles
                                                       Red Tarn

                        Swirral Edge and Catstyecam beyond, lovely children's conical hill
Beyond Raise, at Sticks Pass we turned west across the grass before hitting the path down to the cars. The path becomes very steep towards the end and I must admit to being very tired, and dehydrated in spite of the extra water I had carried. I think the rest of the gang were suffering a little too. At one point the breeze vanished and Harry and I decided the temperature had reached at least 30C, no wonder we needed extra water.
Welcome waterfall near Stybeck Farm at the end of our walk.
To rehydrate we went to The King's Head hotel a few miles south. It had several beers on offer, Jennings, Banks and Marstons but I opted for a dehydrating pint of soda and lime with ice, even if I wasn't driving.
                     Kings Head Hotel. The sign has a picture of Charles I
On the way home we called in at the now familiar Carts Bog pub which dispensed some fine tasting Wylam Ale, very hoppy.
This is a cracking walk but it was a hard day's trek, mainly because of the heat or  am I getting old?

The Matrix MMXVII QQ                 
                                                                                    steps                    miles
NAK                                                                           28827                    10.0
iPhone                                                                         25786                    10
OUTDOO GPS                                                                                        9.8 and a total climb of 3136 ft
Dave's 3D                                                                   24635                    9.33
""" USB                                                                      22847                    9.38
""""NAK                                                                     22891                    9.39
Brian                                                                                                          10?

Contain OS data,copyright Crown copyright and database right 2017

Gallery   It was a sunny day