Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
Oak Cottage homepage.





Date : 25th December, Christmas Day 2005. 10am start.

Location : Harter Fell and Hardknott in Eskdale, Cumbria, Uk.

Occasion : A walk with David, Jennifer, Ann and the dogs to celebrate Christmas in the Lakes.

Walk details : 4.25 miles. 2000 ft of ascent, a leisurely 4.75 hrs including two stops.

Weather : Cold frosty start, beautifully sunny calm day with gathering cloud towards the end.

( Reindeer courtesy of Chris Logan in Canada)


An early awake on Christmas Day

Sunrise saw mist on the lake and frost on the Puffins

Frost on the fields and beautiful sun on Bowfell and the Crinkles.

as we met up with David and Jennifer at Brotherilkeld at the head of the valley road in Eskdale.

The road from here goes up and over Hardknott Pass
though today it may be a bit slippery !

Our small party at Jubilee Bridge.

It seems old enough to be Victoria's Jubilee rather than Elizabeth II's.

Fine views back as we climb out of the valley.

The panorama includes Scafell and Slight Side, Scafell Pike, Ill Crag, Esk Pike, Bowfell (the pointed one), Crinkle Crags and Hardknott to the left.



Below us the farm with the unusual name of Wha House sits in the cold fields where the sun has not yet penetrated.

The smoke from its chimney drifts gently sideways in the cool valley air.






Out of the valley and into the sun

warm enough to go shirt-sleeved.

This last small cairn marks the way to the top of Harter Fell.


Harter has a rocky summit involving a slight scramble to reach the top.

Ann stands on the highest of the tops and waves to the world - another tick on her wish list - Christmas Day on the fells.


What a view ! Harter may not be the highest, but does command a fine view of the area.

Click here or on picture for a fuller panorama

The view south over Harter's fourth summit crag.

More cloud to the south but the Yorkshire Hills were enjoying plenty of sunshine.

The summit trig point and the western view

across to Devoke Water and the coast. A slight sea mist hid the Isle of Man from our view until later.

Dappled light and shade on the Scafells

from the trig point on Harter Fell.

Christmas Lunch

Mediterranean Roast Veg sandwiches and Mince pies.

Not exactly crowded

There were more sheep than people on the tops today.

Their Christmas entertainment was watching the dogs go by near the top, even climbing a rock lower down for a better view.

Opposite Seathwaite Tarn, dark and mirror like, reflects the crags of the Coniston Fells.


Our route now took us north from the summit towards Hardknott Pass

taking a rather damp route along the top tree line of the Dunnerdale Forest plantation.

Excuse me but I was trying to cross this stile

before you even arrived.


Give us a hand !


The walk from Harter brings you out on the motor road of Hardknott Pass.

It was icy early on but the heat of the sun has melted away any problems.

Taking a path to the right of the road we crossed onto this wide patch of almost level ground.


It is thought to be the parade ground, cleared and used at the time of the Roman occupation.

It would certainly have been useful as an additional camping area for garrisoned troops or to parade their military strength in times gone by.

The fort itself is in a remarkable state of preservation

with a complete, if rather low, perimeter wall and foundations of corner guardhouses on the wall, the Granaries, accommodation blocks and the Commandant's house.

Click here or here for a more technical description and more photos.

Scafell to Bowfell

A view from the Fort.

Scafell Pike through the northern gateway

with the late afternoon sun.

Afternoon tea and Christmas Cake in the Guardroom - what a great end to a fine day.


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 four of Mrs Hall's Mince Pies and the sounds of a Lakeland Christmas.

May I thank all of you who has contacted me through the year, and who have sent messages and emails to me about this site.

Your kind comments have added to the satisfaction that I have personally gained from recording our walks

and other occasional events whilst living here in Cumbria.         Thanks again to you all, and see you in 2006, if not before.

Go to Top . . . Home page . . . Go To Archive 2005 . . . Go to David's Site

© RmH . . . Email me here