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" Walla Crag and Bleaberry "
Date & start time: Friday 5th August 2016, 3.15 pm start.
Location of Start : Rakefoot Farm above Keswick, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 283 222 )
Places visited : Rakefoot, Walla Crag, Brown Knotts and Bleaberry Fell.
Walk details : 5 miles, 2050 feet of ascent, 3 hour 25 mins.
Highest point : Bleaberry Fell, 1,932ft - 590m
Walked with : Ann, Jo and our dogs, Harry and Dylan and Amber.
Weather : A lovely walking day with sunshine and high cloud. Cool breeze on the top.
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We meet up with Jo for a slightly longer walk, planned so that it doesn't include too much climbing.
The Walla Crag walk idea gets extended as it is a nice afternoon and Harry is coping well.
Our afternoon ends up including a 2nd Wainwright summit, that of Bleaberry Fell
before we adjourn for some well-earned evening refreshments at the Pheasant Inn in Keswick.
The signpost at the end of the road at Rakefoot Farm, Castlerigg.
Jo had parked in Great Wood and walked up through the trees and appeared from the one direction not shown on the sign.
Three and three dogs on the walk today as we set off across the bridge and up the track towards Walla Crag.
After a recent foot infection Harry seems fit again, though his walking is now a little restricted by his advancing years.
Clearing the trees and we get a nice view across to Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake.
A wider view back as we pass through the gate and start up the open fell side.
The view now includes Blencathra on the right hand side.
In the distance is Bleaberry Fell, looking delightful in its early season heather.
Our first summit was over the wall.
The slightly rickety stile has a dog gate alongside which makes life easier.
Over the wall our first encounter of the purple kind.
The nominal summit of Walla Crag is back here . . . but everyone goes over to the edge to enjoy the view.
Looking around we can see Keswick below and the Skiddaw Massif beyond.
There are seven Wainwright summits over there, eight if you include Bakestall out of sight on the other side of Skiddaw summit.
Looking down on Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.
The island with the house is Derwent Island and is occasionally open to the public . . . check here
Almost a shame to put words here as this and the next photo almost join up vertically,
but that's Lingholm House, recently opened after major refurbishment and recommended by all who visit.
It has a new tearoom overlooking the rebuilt walled gardens that featured in the Beatrix Potter stories.
Down at the base of Walla Crag is Calfclose Bay and the Split Rock at the water's edge
commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the National Trust.
I quite liked the artwork formed by the harvesting of the hay crop in the adjacent field.
Time to sit and look at the view . . .
However if we move on we can extend the walk along the gravel path towards Bleaberry Fell.
The weather is fine and settled so the afternoon can continue for as long as we want today.
Jo admiring the heather at the back of Walla Crag.
It is not exactly natural and it's rather wider than it need be . . .
but it has cured the problems of erosion and muddiness through the wetter section of this walk.
Ann looking back once we were back on the old path.
As we gradually climbed up past Brown Knotts we reach the area where the heather begins to flourish.
A quick stop to let folk have a little rest.
A view over the side of the green fields of the Borrowdale Valley.
The landscape has changed colour now
as we make our way up to the large cairn up the top that has been encouraging us upward.
Time for a breather and a look across to Clough Head and the Pennines away to the east.
Don't think this is the top . . . it is but a false summit and there's more to climb ahead.
A couple of undulations and another cairn comes into view.
This teases us too as there is yet one more gentle climb till the summit is ours.
The true summit and a fine wind shelter to protect from the strong north westerly breeze.
Interestingly the large summit cairn which used to accompany the shelter has been dismantled (sometime between 2006 and 2008).
While we were there we walked along to one last cairn and enjoyed the uninterrupted view across to High Seat.
The ridge extends on to High Tove and ultimately Ullscarf, but not for us today.
We stroll back to the shelter to enjoy the view.
Into the summit shelter for a respite from the wind and some light refreshments.
Hold your cursor over the picture to see how Amber reacts when I offer Dylan a treat.
" If you've stopped spoiling that young dog . . . it's time to go ! "
Heather growing alongside the path as we start our descent from the hill.
With a brief snatch of direct sun the colours really show up.
Close up of the new purple blooms.
The same view in reverse as we walk back down the track.
Looking back as an international flight uses the top of Bleaberry as a take-off point for America.
The sheepfold alongside Brown Knotts.
Big skies . . . with a thicker cloud obscuring the direct sun for a while.
- - - o o o - - -
Soon Jo would disappear down Cat Gill to her car and we continued on our original route past Walla Crag.
Sunshine on Castlerigg fields but that shadow leaves Blencathra in the cold.
Zooming in on the stone circle at Castlerigg.
Down the green track back to Rakefoot, a last look at Bleaberry Fell.
It is the start of the summer holidays and the last few days of the Keswick Convention
so the traditional campsites are once again filling up with summer visitors.
- - 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 . . . no firm plans in mind.
Previous walk - 1st August 2016 - Fangs Brow Walk to the Chair
A previous time up here - 6th June 2003 Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell
Next walk - 8th August 2016 - Round Mellbreak with Jack & Catherine