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" Christmas and Boxing Day outings "

Date & start time:    25/26th December 2016.

Location of Start :   The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :         Crummock from Cinderdale and Askill Knott from Waterend.

Walk details :             Two local walks in view of the weather.

Highest point :          Mulled wine and mince pies on our return.

Walked with :             Our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                    Dull, damp and grey with occasional clear periods.  Windy.

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Two local walks which fitted in with the forecasted clear and dry spells in the weather. 

No white Christmas for us, more dull and grey but the biggest problem was the wind which rattled the rafters and the decorations.

It didn't stop some youngsters going for a Christmas dip however . . . read on . . .

The forecast for Helvellyn today was 5 degrees and winds up to 60 to 70 miles an hour or more.

Across here in the Buttermere Valley it is mild, but the cloud is down and whipping across the top of Whiteside opposite.

Grasmoor is likewise cloud-topped . . . what this doesn't show is the strong wind.

We parked at the layby just before the Cinderdale parking area and set off through the gate.

On the left through the gate is an old sheep fold known as Fletcher Fields.

Rannerdale was an option today but the strong wind would have taken the edge off the enjoyment.

As we parked there had been a chap who asked the way to Red Pike . . . we pointed him towards that cloud in the distance.

Rather him than me today . . . there are surely better days to go up high.

We chose the lakeside walk which includes the shelter of several sections of woodland.

Mellbreak on the other side of Crummock Water as seen through the water-side trees.

That white patch on the water was an indication of today's notable weather feature . . . the wind.

Overnight rain has filled the streams and becks making the paths slightly wetter than normal.

Our path heads through the gate and into another woodland . . .
. . . little grows under a thick cover of larch.

The green sign says 'keep to the path to protect the young trees' . . . that sign is a lot older than it looks.

Down at "Shark Bay" . . . though the log with the shark's fin is less obvious with slightly higher water in the lake today.

In the background another squall blows across the lake.

Low Ling and High Ling Crags . . . are over there somewhere.

A large squall picks up spray from the surface of the water.

. . . and takes it away down the lake.

The waves were much larger than normal . . . mind your feet.

Across the way two walkers brave the winds.

The trees by the Pump House take the full force of the squall.

The large house of Foulsyke can be seen through the poor weather at the foot of the lake.

Back with the standard lens as we approach the boat house . . . and there's a splash of colour on this grey day.

Two local families are starting a tradition of a Christmas dip in the lake . . . this is their second year for taking the plunge.

Once dressed and warm there was time for a family photo on their and my cameras . . . full marks for effort you lot !

[ Local people might recognise Mike and his colleague from the Cockermouth Rescue Team and their wives and families.]

As we return to the car the weather seems to improve slightly . . . it was drier but still very windy.

I wonder how far up Red Pike that guy managed to climb . . . even now Lingcomb Edge is still in cloud.

The squalls have gone as we clear the larch woods and head across the fields.

I always love this huge oak tree . . . but it is so large it is difficult to photograph the whole of the outline.

- - - o o o - - -

Back home at the end of our Christmas walk . . . "It was bracing at times" is the expression that comes to mind.

We'll settle back with a nice log fire and perhaps a glass of hot mulled wine.

Outside it is starting to get dark as the short day draws to an early close.

Looking at the stats . . . 15.8 degrees inside, a mild 11.5 outside and it's going to be a long evening if it is only 3.15 pm now.

Perhaps we might manage a second glass of Christmas cheer before we cook our evening meal.

- - - o o o - - -

On Boxing Day the wind has eased and the weather has improved as a result.

We opt for a walk up Askill Knott . . . parking at the grey phone box at the other end of Loweswater.

Water End Farm

After a short road walk our route heads up through the yard, following the track through the trees.

Rich brown coloured toadstools grow on a fallen stump in the hedgerow.

Looking out over the wire fence to the top end of the valley.

The Loweswater to Lamplugh road passes Fangs Brow Farm at the top of the rise,

and the bungalow on the left next to it glories in the name Valhalla  (the House of the Slain in Norse mythology).

A cheerful stream runs alongside the track on the way up.

We leave the trees and head up towards the open fell.

Today Red Pike is clear of cloud and a much more inviting prospect I would have thought.

The green but rutted track brought us up towards the old Mosser Road.

At its head we join the pot-holed road . . . unsuitable for motors as several people have found recently.

Through the gate and we are out onto the 'open access' land of Askill Knott.

Wartime drainage up here allowed basic cultivation but nowadays the fell has reverted back to poor sheep grazing.

Harry and Dylan sit for a moment and take in the view.

Ann sits a little higher, on the summit itself,

but the down side of such a position is the keen breeze, which is less strong but much colder today.

A last look down at William's sheep and Myresyke farmhouse below

and across to Loweswater and Holme Wood, the one shaped like a pheasant.

Our route took us back to the Mosser Road and then through the gate where the bridleway branches off to the right

in order to allow us to drop down to Askill Farm and the car waiting on the main road below.

A watery afternoon sun lights up the sky to the north west.

Stile or gate ?

Either way, the track leads us back down the fell side, here skirting above Askill Farm.

We would join the farm road half way down at its junction with the Miresyke driveway.

Safely down at road level once again . . . the cold, moist air has not dried the road in the time we've been away.

- - - o o o - - -

Two nice walks . . . we hope you enjoyed your Christmas too.

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Compact System Camera.

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

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Previous walk - 24th December 2016 - Season's Greetings

A previous time up here - 21st January 2015 - An Askill Knott Round

Next walk - 28th December 2016 - Great and Little Cockups