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" Colourful Hope Beck Valley "
Date & start time: Sunday 27th August 2017, 4.30 pm.
Location of Start : Roadside above Hope Farm, Lorton, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 169 242 )
Places visited : The Hope Beck valley.
Walk details : 2.2 mls, 550 feet of ascent, a leisurely 1 hour 45 mins.
Highest point : The top sheepfold in the valley.
Walked with : Sherran and Bill, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast, the prospect of sun and rain in equal measure.
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We go in search of some heather in order to appreciate the change in the seasons.
Sherran and Bill join us for a walk up Hope Beck Valley where the purple heather lines the slopes of Hopegill Head and Whiteside.
All we need is a little sunshine to brighten the colours.
If you are joining in on this walk then you'll need to head over to the top road above Lorton Valley, the one with the gates.
If you are following your Satnav then it will probably send you that way to give you some extra physical exercise compared to normal roads !
We parked at the gravel quarry just after the first gate from the Loweswater end.
Hold your cursor over the right hand picture to cast your mind back.
That was back in early spring . . . now it's summer and the bracken has grown.
The beck still holds the same attraction for the dogs . . . irrespective of temperature.
Harry enjoying the pool . . . Dylan already in and out, ready and waiting for the next burst of activity.
That activity was to continue the walk up the valley, following the Hope Beck as it cascades down from the high fells.
Ahead the table mountain of Hopegill Head
below it the silvery slabs of rock on the steep face and purple heather on the lower slopes.
Into the heather as the path reaches the top of the major slope.
The heather lies in a band across the hill, determined no doubt by the ambient temperature across this section of the fell.
The shorn Herdwick mum and her dark offspring, searching for the sweeter grasses growing amongst the heather.
As we get close they move off to the other side of the stream.
Her summer lambs are starting to lose their "sunglass effect" from the colour around their eyes.
By the time we reach the main display of heather the sun was hidden again and the colour was rather subdued.
Still, the flowers were nice and close inspection brought more satisfaction.
As can be seen from those on the right, the main blooms were starting to fade . . . we are a week or two late in visiting the area.
Some of the individual plants had later blooms and were looking lovely.
They even colonised this tall stone to form a rock-garden away from the gaze of parting sheep.
Ahead the rest of our small band were waiting for the photographer.
More surprises around the next bend too.
At the head of the valley is an old sheepfold . . . an excellent place to stop, relax and admire the surroundings.
Beyond us and up a bit . . . Hopegill Head.
Ann chills out having found a comfy chair to sit on.
Can't stay all day as we had a late afternoon start . . . so time to head for home.
Always the way . . . as you leave, the sun comes out !
Time for a few duplicate photos on the way back . . . in order to take advantage of the sunlight.
Sherran's not so sure of this one by the look of it !
Dylan and Harry find a colourful patch of heather to contrast their golden colours.
The sunshine was very pleasant, but very brief . . . and the weather soon reverted to the overcast high cloud we had earlier.
I climbed up on a diagonal sheep track to try and capture the colourful scene which contrasted with slight murkiness of the Solway coast.
Back on track . . . down by the stream again.
Lower down we're back into the bracken.
A small stream claims the old path so a new one is being created slightly higher up.
The tadpoles have gone . . . as frogs they can escape from their watery nursery.
Leaving the walk we close the gate and leave the fell to the sheep.
That watery sky over Hopegill is more expressive here as we see dolphins swimming over Mellbreak.
By the time we reach an even better spot to stop, the dolphins had moved on, leaving wind dragons in their place.
There's rain in the air . . . who cares when there's tea in the teapot and logs ready in the fireplace.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . purple tinted spectacles.
Previous walk - 13th August 2017 - To Harry's Pool and Beyond
A previous time up here - 4th April 2017 - Hopegill's Dodd with Jo, Ian and Mike
Next walk - 30th August 2017 - Ling on Ling with Cathy