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" Martindale for the Deer Rut "

Date & start time: Monday 12th October 2015,1.30 pm start.

Location of Start : The end of the road, Bannerdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 433 165 )

Places visited : Dale Head Farm, Heck Crag, Angle Tarn, Beda Fell Knott and back.

Walk details :   4 mls,  1200 feet of ascent, 3 hour 20 mins including lunch.

Highest point : Heckbeck Head 1900 ft - 585 m.

Walked with : Trevor and Gill, Ann and our dogs, Finlay (of Borrowdale) Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Sunny with summer clouds blowing through at times on a strong breeze.

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Today we're in Martindale at the invitation and suggestion of Trevor and Gill . . . and Finlay of Borrowdale.

They suggested driving over to Pooley Bridge and then down the southern shores of Ullswater to see the deer

and hopefully listen to the sounds of the Autumn deer rut in the valleys around Martindale.

We would combine it with a nice walk up Bannerdale and across to Angle Tarn before returning to the car some three and a half hours later.

Our route, as seen in the top map, is the shorter round-trip on the left hand paths as recommended by the local information board.

We parked the car at the end of the valley road on what was a lovely day for a walk . . . complete with blue skies and fluffy clouds.

As we were about to leave, two 'cam followers also parked their car, but sorry, my memory fails me when I came to remembering names.

[ If you recognise yourself please do get in touch.]

We start our walk and reach the open fell through the gate next to the front of the farm.

Dale Head is now no longer a working farm but the main house seems in good condition.

It is possibly owned by a club or a commercial company.

Our fellow walkers Trevor and Gill chat with Ann as we walk up from the old farm.

The valley of Bannerdale ahead.

Already we could hear the sounds of the rut . . . a sort of plaintiff "cow's moo"

but with perhaps a Scottish or Scandinavian accent, combined with those sort of extended whale sounds from the deep oceans.

Click here to listen to our rather dodgy recording. 

(Close the newly opened window once done)

The red topped bungalow and former shooting lodge of the Dalemain Estate.

It was constructed in 1910 by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale for a deer shooting visit by the German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1910.

Today The Bungalow is used as self-catering accommodation which houses 12 people . . . the Dalemain web site.

We met another couple who were also in the valley at this special time of year.

They had a large, black dog and together he, Finlay and Dylan had a whale of a time.  Harry passed on such furious activity.

A fine Bernese Mountain Dog I believe.

A late morning start meant lunch was called for early in the walk.

Our lunch spot coincided with a comfortable grassy knoll with a view of the valley over the field wall.

Across the way we could see the deer on the lower slopes of the Nab.

A larger herd occupied an open area in the bottom of the valley . . . overseen by their protective stag.

He moved about, checking "his ladies" and chasing off any male intruders.

With the sounds of calling stags echoing around the valley

we start to head up on a diagonal path that would take up up towards Buck Crags and Satura Crags.

High on the fellside above us there were more deer . . . this stag keeping a wary eye on us as we passed.

The strong breeze meant that the clouds were moving fast . . . and the dappled shadows criss-crossed the valley quite frequently.

We were now walking in the shadow that was formed by the side of the fell we were actually climbing.

It was never going to roll back and so the temperature has dropped several degrees.

Coats were back on despite the extra warmth created by the effort of the climb.

Trevor leads out into the sunshine once more.

Ann says goodbye to the valley and to her wall-shadow as we top out near Brock Crags.

Over the brow of the hill and the scenery changes dramatically.

We are looking down on one of the prettiest tarns in the Lake District . . . on one of the sunniest days.

Angle Tarn with its islands and promontories reflects the sunshine and the blue of the sky.

Unfortunately any reflections were rippled away by the breeze.

I pause to catch a photo of our three dogs together on the rock . . .
. . . Finlay, Harry and Dylan on the top.

They didn't stay still for long however . . . one click of the shutter and Dylan was off.

"Photo of the day" is of Dylan as he literally sprung from a sitting position up and over the other two.

Congratulations this time to Gill for capturing the action and sharing it with us for the site.

We take the path up towards Angle Tarn Pikes and get a fine view back

which includes Gray Crag, Hartsop Dodd, Caudale Moor and round to Red Screes and Middle Dodd.

Taking the path that follows the valley edge to the left rather than climb to the summit to the right.

Our view now extends to High Street on the left and across to High Hartsop Dodd and Dove Crag on the right.

There's a beautifully clear view down to Glenridding and the fells at the head of Ullswater.

Zooming in on the distant outlines of Helvellyn and Catstycam.

I had to wait a short while for this photo in order for the sun to highlight Striding Edge on the left.

Around the head of Bannerdale and we follow the path along the high level ridge.

At the old sheiling the path splits and we start our descent back into the valley.

The rounded fell opposite is The Nab, open now to walkers following the countryside Rights of Way Act,

but visitors are still not encouraged by the Dalemain Estate.  The main path is in from the right along the high ridge line.

Back into the valley and we can hear . . . and see . . . the deer once again.

Although it is nice to be in the valley, the animals are still a fair way away and a bigger lens would have been nice.

As the shadows encroach on the valley

we notice that the deer herd has moved up, re-grouping in the sunshine on the elevated sides of the fell.

Only a short distance now and we'll be back at the car at the end of this rather vocal autumnal walk.

- - - o o o - - -

After travelling back with Trevor and Gill we adjourned to the Riverside Bar  in the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite

for a spot of re-hydration and a traditional pub evening meal . . . the end of a fine day out in the Lakes.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a secondary reason for a walk . . . that becomes the primary one.

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Previous event - 10th October 2015 - The Wasdale Show - 2015 -

A previous time up here - 15th July 2015 - Angle Tarn Pikes with Jo

Next walk - 17th October 2015 - Mark's 214 on Fleetwith Pike