Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Date : Sunday 20th February 2005

Occasion : A walk with Ann and the dogs to the south western side of the Lakes.

Location : Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell in Wasdale.

Walk details : 5 miles, 2400 ft of ascent. 4.5 hrs

Weather : Bright sunshine but wintry cold. A steady north easterly keeping us on our toes.


We returned to repeat a walk done last year in beautiful conditions.

This sort of decision is always a dilemma because the weather the second or third time may not be as spectacular, or the route not as exciting. Nevertheless it's a good walk on any occasion so off we went.

Then you get the in-car discussions about where to park, which way round to walk the route. Anyway the committee finally decided to park below Buckbarrow and walk back up the road to climb from Harrow Head Farm. From there it would be a clockwise route around the three peaks and a short road walk at the end.

As we got out of the car we saw this . . . a route up the front of Buckbarrow . . . straight up . . . in your face !

Why not ?

Avoiding the obvious scree we zig-zagged up in a delightful climb and out onto the top of the crag without actually resorting to a scramble at all.

Provided you've not got a full belly from just having breakfast at the Wasdale Inn (we hadn't) it's a fine way up.

( After we left the car and started climbing the cloud moved away and the full face was in bright sunshine. Just my photographic luck)

As we started the climb our eyes were often drawn to the view of the Scafells to our right.

A thin dusting of snow covered the tops. The forecast had predicted a stiff north easterly breeze and a wind-chill well below freezing on these high fells.

The views of Wast Water improved as we climbed.

Here Ann looking down on the delightfully named Tosh Tarn.

Buckbarrow western summit - the one with the best views.

Our choice of walk was spot on today and the climbing was delightful.


We explored the three cairns on Buckbarrow and enjoyed the great views of Wast Water, the Screes and the Scafells.

Then we set off across the boggy ground to ascend Seatallan, only it wasn't boggy as the ground was frozen with a thin covering of frozen snow between the tufts of grass.

It made the "going good" and the dogs enjoyed ice
skating on the frozen puddles !

Here a trickle of water had turned an ordinary rock crag into a delightful ice stalactite.



Crossing the frozen ground towards Seatallan.

I saw just three other people in the distance on this part of the walk and four at Greendale Tarn.

Not exactly crowded for a Sunday.

Summit bagged and time for lunch in the wind shelter set back from the trig point.

The large pile of stones is reputedly an ancient British burial tumulus but it has been adapted slightly to give a cozy shelter from the brisk wind, plenty large enough for two people and two dogs - even three people if you ask nicely John !

As we set off the sunshine was illuminating Great Gable beautifully whilst Yewbarrow in the foreground was in shadow.

Such is the beauty of the Lakes on days like this.

Greendale Tarn and Middle Fell

The easier route to Middle Fell is to head slightly north from Seatallan summit, off the back of the fell and skirt round on the easier slope. But not for us ! Ann headed directly east off the steeper side but with care and judicious use of the trekking pole to ensure balance we made it down the slope successfully and relatively easily, directly to the hause and over to Middle Fell.

Climbing the easy ascent of Middle Fell. In the background is Haycock.

Click here or on image for a full panorama

The homeward leg down from Middle Fell summit

with great views of Illgill Head and the Wasdale Screes.

The afternoon light added colour to these already colourful holly trees

standing out in front of the darker fells and northeasterly sky.

The bracken has its brown winter hue enhanced by the last of the afternoon sun.


The sun faded behind the high cloud out to the west, any heat from it had gone,

and the classic view of Wasdale Head and its three peaks was starting to look cold in the evening breeze.


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 pint and a little live music in the Screes Hotel, Nether Wasdale.

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