Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

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





Date : Thursday 29th December, 2005. 10.30 am start.

Location : Ullock Pike Long Side and Carlside, Cumbria, Uk.

Occasion : Ann and I walked with six others from the Online Fellwalking Club; Anne and Andrew, Ian, David, John P, and Jo.

Walk details : 6 miles. 2450 ft of ascent, 4.5 hrs including one stop.

Weather : Cold frosty,sunny start, but with gathering cloud towards the end. A Biting wind adding wind chill to the minus temperatures.

( Reindeer courtesy of Chris Logan in Canada)

Barf, with Mire house in the centre, across the frozen fields.

We parked in the lay by next to the Mire house Tearooms on the back road between Dodd Woods and Bassenthwaite Lake. This allowed us to plan a circular walk up the ridge of Ullock Pike, onto Long Side Edge and Carlside and to return via the forest tracks of Dodd Wood.

John and Jo parked the next lay by up !!

(the phone calls and planning nearly worked ok - at least we got the same road and the same time)

Walking along the roadside forest path towards Ravenstone to met Jo and John.

The morning was sunny with blue skies, but the forecast was for snow clouds from the west. The temperature was below freezing and the slight breeze down here was an indication of colder times ahead once we started up the fell.

Click here or on the photo for a fuller panorama

Our group now at the full compliment of eight.

Ann, Anne L, Ian, Jo, Andrew L, John, David and myself (behind the lens)

plus the four dogs, Jodie and Megan (Jo's) Harry and Bethan (our's) who were also out of shot.

Skiddaw in all its raw beauty as we topped the rise and started our climb up Ullock Pike. The skies were blue but the frosty tops indicated the true minus temperature up there.

The wind was strong at times, and although it did not impede our progress, the effect of the wind chill dropped the apparent temperature even further.

Time for winter gloves, extra layers and the face protection afforded by scarf or Buff. Even David put on a hat and coat !

Climbing Ullock Pike

It was about here that I noticed that my water hose had frozen, and drinks were served "with ice" even after I had thawed the bite valve and the top two inches of the tube. The answer was to blow air back into the tube once I had finished in order to return the remaining water to the protection of the rucksack.

Proof, if any were needed, that the temperature was certainly well below freezing.

Long Side Edge from near the summit of Ullock Pike.

Notice the cloud gathering over Skiddaw and the colour of the sky which was changing perceptibly as we walked along.

Derwent Water and the Central Fells with Dodd in the foreground.


Ann walking Long Side Edge.

Skiddaw South Summit and Little Man beyond.

Ian, and David in winter gear, on Long Side Summit.

The exposed tops were no place to linger in the stiff breeze.

Carlside Tarn and the path up Skiddaw
Looking down on Carsleddam and Derwent Water

. . . from our third summit of Carlside.

Here we parted company, for an hour or so, with David and Andrew who opted to go up to Skiddaw itself.

The rest of us headed south down the Carlside path, back to the valley via White Stones.

A very cold looking Skiddaw Little Man.

There were plenty of people about today, both on our path and up, on the tops where Andrew and David were heading.

All of them no doubt were taking the opportunity to experience the cool winter walking conditions.

Distant Helvellyn.

Little Man looked cold, but Helvellyn looked even colder !

A fine panorama of Derwent Water, Keswick and the Central and Western Fells as we descended Carlside.

The clear part of the lake was almost certainly iced over.

The North Western Fells and our lunch spot, sheltering in the relative calm behind White Stones outcrop.

Beyond was Causey Pike, Sail and Eel Crag, with Hopegill and Grisedale Pike the high ground on the right.

Click here or on the photo for a fuller panorama of the view from Helvellyn round to Grisedale.

Dropping down to Long Dors. the hause between Carlside and Dodd.

Our route down followed the lower left forestry track, down and around the front of Dodd Woods.

A late afternoon and very watery sun making a brief re-appearance below the clouds.


The head of Bassenthwaite Lake, looking over to Barf as we had done earlier.

The edges of the lake were white with ice where the shallow water had frozen.

Walking back to down towards Mire house.


The remaining members of the group on the Mirehouse Tearooms bridge, as we returned to the cars.

Time to collect the two lads from the end of their extended walk.

Final rendezvous - the Coledale Inn in Braithwaite for a beer and / or a fine cup of hot chocolate.


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 large amounts of windproof gear !

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.

Have a great New Year.

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