Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley



Oak Cottage Home Page


Time and place : Wednesday 10th Sept 2003

Occasion : A walk on High and Low Rigg, St Johns in the Vale, with Ann and the dogs.

Walk details : 4 miles 1150 ft of ascent.

Weather : Sunny and warm afternoon.

This figure of eight course was undertaken with several ideas in mind. First the dogs needed a walk, we needed a walk and High Rigg is a nice place. I always remember Ann Bowker's picture of Tewet Tarn. Like many small tarns, they are difficult to place, but her picture had such nice reflections we said we would make a point of finding it one day. Today was that day.

After parking near Yew Tree farm, by the gate on the the road to St John's church to be precise, we walked back past this delightfully shaped building at end of the farm cottage, and headed for the footpath to Row End.

The Farm has one of the largest working stone barns I've seen for a while, complete with large barn door at first floor level.

In front of it was the Vale of St John's, and the secondary quarries of Threlkeld below Clough Head.

The walk first crosses the pastures of Row End which for us was an unusual terrain - flat and green.

Ahead was Blencathra, with three of its ridges, Blease, Gategill and Halls Fell.

Clough Head and the Wanthwaite Crags.


Tewet Tarn was every bit as beautiful as we had imagined - flat calm with not a ripple (till the dogs arrived).

Cloudy skies could not diminish the beauty of the western fells beyond.

To the north, reflections of Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw Little Man,


The middle of the walk took us to the church of St Johns in the Vale itself. I was always bemused as the church is not actually in the vale itself but on the high part of the road crossing between High and Low Rigg. I suppose if you include the valley around Dale Bottom then it is at least central to it's parish.

Inside and out, it is a delightful church, and still very much in use.

The old school however closed in the late fifties (?) and has since been converted to a Diocesan Youth Centre.

It is currently undergoing renovation, the small digger making severe alterations to the front door area !!

= = = 0 0 0 = = =

The second half of the walk had the ulterior motive of practicing a little navigation. You know, the sort of thing you have to do when the mist comes down and wished you'd tested yourself out a few weeks before !! We drew a route, which we attempted to follow. . . .Start at the church, follow the compass on bearing x degrees etc. to the tarn . . . . and so on . . .

The route was fine, the bearing pretty good, the compass worked, but the tarn didn't !!

The fine weather had had a detrimental effect, our landmark now sprouted grass instead of holding water.

On to the next - calculate and follow the bearing to the next (sort of) tarn

and on to a third, hidden on the hill top, overlooking Dodd Crag.


Despite thick bracken, we made progress along our designated route, and found ourselves on High Rigg's southern crags

with a wonderful view of the Helvellyn Ridge, Thirlmere and to the right, High Seat.


A close up of the lake with Steel Fell behind.

Our southernmost target achieved, we headed north along the high ground with views down into the valley

overlooking that farm and cottage beginning with the letter "F".


True to form, Holly found the one tarn with any appreciable amount of water.

On what was now quite a hot afternoon, she took advantage of its cooling powers,

but emerged more like a brown Walrus than a golden retriever.


High Rigg Summit itself now with glorious late afternoon sun, with the hills of Skiddaw and Blencathra ahead.

Tewet Tarn our first objective was now a small patch of blue far below us.

Back in the car it was just a small diversion to visit the Castlerigg Stone Circle before returning home.


Late entry . . . . Recent visitors to Oak Cottage . . .


We were delighted to see lots of good friends these last few days.

Sandra (Sanvellyn - who missed this photo) and Tony , Liz and John.

Sandra was however caught on camera at the Wainwright Meeting at Rheged the evening before !!!

Also from the Online Fellwalking Club Ron and Olwyn (Hannaford) who came Friday . . .

Not a fellwalker, but very much enjoying the fruits of the bird table, one of our local red squirrels.


Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed . . . with a map and compass.

Go to Top . . . Home page . . . Go To Archive 2003

© RmH . . . Email me here