Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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"Not the Wainwright Walk"

Today we had planned a guided walk to Haystacks and Innominate tarn at the head of the Buttermere Valley.

Following a suggestion at the Wainwright Society AGM we, along with several others, volunteered to lead fellow society members who expressed a desire to visit significant places that were relevant to AW himself. Haystacks is the final resting place where his ashes were scattered in 1991.

At 8am we phoned the Lakes Weatherline (01-768-775757) and decided that today was not going to be a good day . . .

The forecast, confirmed by looking out of the window, was for strong westerly winds, 5deg temperatures on the fells effectively dropping to -1deg due to the wind-chill effect . . . a low cloud base and visibility less than 100m in hill fog !

Plan B was a bonus lie-in, do a few jobs within the house and wait for the weather to improve.

This morning was not going to be a grass cutting morning either !

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Red Squirrels on the On-line Fellwalking club so I kept an eye out for our local residents here in Loweswater, and once the bird table had been refilled he / she arrived for a late breakfast.

The native reds are unfortunately and endangered species in Britain, being pushed out by the more successful greys who compete for their food, but who also tend to carry the parvo virus which is fatal to the reds.

Pine forests are preferred habitat for the reds and a policy of protection is in place to support the dwindling population.

(For more details click on Red Squirrel Northern England page )

Late breakfast on the bird table roof.

Following our morning visit by the squirrel and a sort of working lunch, David and Jennifer arrived for a walk locally, to take advantage of the change in the weather.

Time :Sat 3rd July 2004 3pm start.

Place : Fellbarrow and Low Fell, Cumbria. Uk.

Occasion : A walk with David and Jennifer Hall, Ann and the dogs.

Walk details :A linear walk from Thackthwaite back to the cottage. 3.9 miles, 3hrs 6mins* 1400 ft of ascent.

Weather : A breezy but sunny afternoon after a very wet morning.

* timing from the Gps (I'm not normally that exact)

Map courtesy of Anquet Maps

Thackthwaite Village

No mention of what speed other squirrels must travel at !!


We parked at Thackthwaite and headed up past Galloway Farm onto the lower slopes of the delightfully named Sourfoot Fell.

This must have been an old mining road or even an old coffin route as it is well defined, at least up onto the ridge, and has an excellent graded climb and wide track even through the zig-zag section around the back of the fell.

There is no great evidence on mine workings up here, though there is a history of lead mining in the valley in the distant past. The track, which is still a right of way leads towards the Mosser Road on Darling Fell and possibly therefore the old Mosser Church on the other side.

But then it could have been the farmers access to the hill.

I'll let you make your own mind up.


Clouds still scurry over Buttermere but now they are fluffy and white not grey and stormy.

Rannerdale, Haystacks and Gable are framed between the Foxgloves, Grasmoor still has its head in the clouds.

Ann and stile - the dogs appreciated the lift up section so as not to have to climb the fence.

Why can't all stiles be built something like this ?

Group photo.

Ann, Jennifer and David and a very bent gate on the fell side track above the village.

Round the corner and a diversion to the right took us up towards the ridge of Fellbarrow.


Looking back towards Whin Beck Valley and the fells of Lords Seat, Broom and Graystones where we walked a few weeks ago when we were last out with David and Jennifer.

The last steeper section alongside the fence towards the summit.

In the background the clouds were clearing from the high fells as the afternoon progressed.

The best of the weather was to the west, and here the views were clear and uninterrupted across the Solway to Scotland.

Holly and Harry play-fighting at the summit cairn, waiting for us to catch up.

Back now, retracing our steps, then along the ridge of Low fell past Watching Crag and Raven Crag.

Grasmoor is now clear of cloud and Crummock is no doubt filling rapidly after the rain. It has been quite low of late.

Low Fell's lower south eastern summit viewpoint,

and time to find a spot out of the strong breeze to enjoy the view.

The end of Low Fell is steep whichever side you descend as can be seen by the angle of the grass in this picture.

Just below is the unusual round dry-stone sheep fold marked as a bield on the 1:25k map. Perhaps this could qualify as the best view from a sheep fold in the whole Lakes.

The lone pine on the side of Low Fell above Foulsyke.

The two hills are Melbreak and Hen Comb with Starling Dodd and Great Bourne away in the distance.

For those with an agricultural, political or environments interest, the change of vegetation here is as a result of spraying the bracken at the end of last year.

The farmers can get ESA grants to kill of the invasive ferns and allow the grass to re-establish itself, thus allowing the sheep to graze and the other plants and flowers to return.

The dividing line between one area and the other was quite distinct.


Back home across the fields.

Harry has grown a lot in the last few months, but so have the lambs. Each take an inquisitive look at the other.

Harry is the one on the left by the way !

Evening Shot - Rainbow Sunset.

Today was a day of several seasons.

It started with high winds, low loud and rainfall to challenge the newest of waterproofs.

After lunch it was like a spring day, and later a quiet summer afternoon with just a mild breeze. I even managed to cut the lawn.

The sunset was a pink glow with the last of the cloud moving away to the east.

All was not settled though as a watery western sky brought enough moisture in the air to hurry away the garden tools and to give this delightful if subtle rainbow at the end of the day.


(A spot-the Loweswater-Puffins picture)

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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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