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Date & start time: Easter Monday 13th April 2009. 5.55 pm start.
Location of Start : Honister Slate Mines, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 225 135 )
Places visited : A flight over the northern Lakes from Honister to Ullswater and back.
Flight details : 48 miles, airborne for 20 mins with one stop along the way.
Highest point : Max altitude 2650 ft over Watson Dodd on Helvellyn.
Flew with : Ann, Jo, John and our pilot Mark Weir.
Weather : Fine and dry but a slight late afternoon haze.
Anniversary flowers courtesy of Jo, John and Hilton
As a surprise Anniversary present for Ann after our thirty years together . . .
Well what do you give a girl that has achieved her ambitions of four children, two retriever dogs and a home in the Lakes . . .
It's got to be something a bit different and something a bit special !
How about a "Grand Tour of the Northern Lakes" courtesy of Mr Mark Weir of Honister.
As a special request Mark, who we had met through our visits to Honister and our OFC mine tour weekend a while ago, agreed to
take us on a flight around our part of the northern Lakes. A fine day was chosen and four of us met up at Honister at the selected time.
Myself and Ann, John and Jo pose for a photo call.
Take off . . . and we circle around the mine, climbing as we went.
Up over Fleetwith, climbing fast above the mine track and the start of the Via Ferrata.
Flying over Dubbs, Buttermere suddenly comes into view.
The fields and village of Buttermere in the afternoon sunshine.
Often seen from just a few hundred feet lower, Ling Crags and Rannerdale Knotts on Crummock.
The heather covered northern summit of Mellbreak.
How easy to get here . . . how long does it take us normally !
Flying over the edge, the ground suddenly opens up as we clear the northern face.
The round field of Peel Island and the Buttermere valley laid out below us.
Must remember to look out of the other window . . .
Moving quickly on we fine ourselves climbing over Dodd past Hopegill Head.
The quiet Hopegill Valley, a favourite local walk, with Ladyside Pike and Hopegill at it's head.
Familiar Grisedale Pike from somewhere over Whinlatter.
A change of scenery now as we fly high above Braithwaite.
Below are the Coledale Inn, the Royal Oak and the Scotgate camping site.
Flying high above the A66 we get superb views of Derwent Water and Portinscale.
The Caravan and Camping Club site is busy this weekend.
to the left are the boat landings and the Heads of Keswick.
Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell form the backdrop to this view of Keswick.
It's six o'clock and the folk will be leaving Fishers at the end of a busy day.
The A66 flyover and directly below us, the Calvert Trust stables and several of the horses in the field with the red tree.
Thirlmere in the distance and High Rigg with the Church of St Johns in the Vale below.
We fly down the valley and over Fornside.
John's cottage is down below us (by the long white farm building) and our favourite Low Bridgend Farm Tearoom on this side of the river.
Half way through the flight and we circle over Watermillock and the Quiet Site to see Jo's caravan.
That's a happy Jo by the way !
The road and the curved farm track up Little Mell Fell from Foxhill Farm.
Back over Castle Crag and the Thirlmere Green houses in St Johns in the Vale.
Great How and Thirlmere as we cross the A591.
Reflections on the cockpit glass as we fly high over Watendlath.
Into the late afternoon sun, climbing back up Honister Valley.
Back to our starting point, Mark circles round ready for landing.
Just our cars left in the car park now at the end of the day.
A safe landing after a smooth flight.
A big thanks to Mark for his offer of a trip round to celebrate our special day.
I think he'll get home for supper quicker than we will.
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Afterwards, in fact the following evening, we all got dressed up and celebrated again at Quince and Medlar in Cockermouth.
Altogether a rather nice Anniversary weekend.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . steady on . . . I don't want to get all slushy at this point.
For the view from John's seat . . . click here
or here to link to the Honister Slate Mine