Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley



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Time and place : Catbells Ridge, Newlands.

Occasion : An winter afternoon walk with Ann and the dogs, starting at 2.15 pm at Skelgill Fm.

Walk details : Up the western flank of Catbells to the summit, and back down the ridge. 2 miles. 1100 feet of ascent.

Weather : Frosty with clear blue skies all day. Sunset time a remarkably early 3.48 pm

Swinside Hill and Skiddaw from our starting point at Skelgill Farm,

on the road around the western side of Catbells.

A public footpath takes us above the intake wall and on to the fells.

Here at the gated road at the farm, with the distinctive outline of Causey Pike behind.

Early evening sun on the bracken gives a rich warm glow. The skies have been like this all day.

In the valley below, where the sun hasn't penetrated, a sharp ground frost has lingered and left white patches in the fields.

As we climb, the sun streams down Newlands valley.

It maintains its position between Hindscarth and Robinson, setting at about the same speed we are climbing.

The north western fells catch this evening light. Causey in the centre, with Sail and Eel Crags behind.

To their left the smaller Ard Crags, and to the right Grisedale and down to the outlines of Lords Seat and Barf.

We were not the only ones on the fells. An outline of a lone walker on the summit ahead of us,

Once we made the ridge here, we still had a few hundred more feet to climb to reach the top itself.

Ice crystals on the path.

The frosty conditions of the past few days have formed wonderful ice crystals in places.

Often our feet would crunch through the layers which had formed within the surface of the path.

Derwent Water in shadow but the high fells holding on to the last of the sun.


Robinson and the sunlight silhouetting the rocks on the last part of the ascent.


Ann with Eel Crags, Causey and Grisedale Pike behind, and myself with the Helvellyn Range behind, the ridge showing above the Watendlath fells.

Catbells lacks a summit cairn despite the number of visitors it has attracted over the years. Who needs one anyway ?

From the top a final panorama before the sunset. Click here or on the picture for the full image.

Vapour Trails.

A look back at Catbells summit.

Even Keswick has lost the sun now.

On cue the moon appears just to the right of Blencathra.

Close up of the same.


As we descended, the moon rose and the evening light changed.


Once clear of the slight haze, the clear moon was reflected in the full width of the lake.


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

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

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