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" A Troutdale Ramble with Trevor & Gill "

Date & start time:    Tuesday 30th April, 2019.   2 pm start.

Location of Start :   The bridge at Grange in Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 254 174 )

Places visited :         Troutdale Cottages, Grange Crags, Cummacatta Woods, Grange.

Walk details :             2.3 miles, approx 400 ft of undulations, a liesurely 2 hours 5 mins.

Highest point :          Grange Crags, 630ft - 194m.

Walked with :             Trevor and Gill, Ann and the dogs, Finlay, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Overcast and dry though hazy long distance.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


We really enjoyed a visit over to Borrowdale this afternoon with Trevor and Gill and Dylan's best mate, Finlay of Borrowdale. 

It is always a challenge to find a new local walk but they came up trumps for us by walking a valley they knew well but one which was new to us.

Today's walk was in Troutdale, which amongst claims to fame, gave its name to the famous local rock climb, The Troutdale Pinnacle.

We met up with Trevor, Gill and Finlay after lunch on Tuesday.

After a crazy session where the dogs raced about madly like long lost friends,

they finally calmed down enough to go for sensible walk.

Grange Bridge . . . or half of it at least . . . with Castle Crag behind.

Who said the dogs had calmed down ?

Down on the river gravel they had another mad session, this time in and out of the water.

A recent rock fall from Grange Crags has been cleared from the road

and the ladies and gents from the National Trust repair team are fixing the fence that was damaged yesterday.

We take the driveway to the right  . . .
. . . and head over to Troutdale.

The lane serves the famous Leathes Head Hotel which has a reputation for good food and lovely accommodation

and was winner of the "UK Small Hotel of the Year Award" in 2016.

Beyond the hotel and the valley cottages we enter the hidden valley of Troutdale.

It is a quiet valley with no road and currently no sheep, so as to encourage the natural wildlife and vegetation to prosper.

Gill took me over to see this stone lined series of troughs or basins on the far side, beyond the stream.

It's purpose was not evident and its history not revealed on any visitor notice or sign board, but the layout looked familiar.

- - - o o o - - -

Further up towards the stream was more evidence

of old troughs or pools that suggested a fish farm.


When we arrive home that evening

Gill sent me a link to the back-story.


It was the site of

the world's first commercial fish hatchery


" 1860 a Dr Parnaby,
who lived opposite the Borrowdale Hotel,
conceived the idea of raising young fish to
sell to people who wanted to re-stock rivers
and lakes. It was a great success and rearing
sheds soon filled the little valley."

He was also the first person to prove that salmon

returned to the river of their birth.


Read the full story in the Borrowdale Valley Newsletter


- - - o o o - - -

The valley is really quiet . . . surprisingly as it is so close to one of Lakeland's tourist hot spots.

We start to walk up Grange Crags from behind . . . and Gill spots something . . .

Was it the Greylag Geese flying by ?

No . . . it was climbers on the Troutdale Pinnacle.
Can you see them in close up . . . we spotted three.

Hold your cursor over the right hand picture to obtain a clue.

On around the sheep tracks, or rather the deer tracks, that skirts round the summit.

The view includes Shepherd's Crags, Walla Crag, Keswick and of course Derwent Water.

Along the way we met up with a local personality who was checking the fell to ensure the lack of sheep (some of his brother's farm sheep were missing).

It was Billy Bland ace fell runner and long time holder (1982 to 2018) of the Bob Graham Fell Running record,

arguably the best long-distance fell runner in the history of the sport.   Great to meet and chat to you Billy.

Our walk continued on to the high ground where, despite its diminutive height, we had great views of the fells.

The dogs pose in front of the main one . . . the view towards Caste Crag and the Upper Borrowdale Valley.

Zooming in, all the way up to Great End and Scafell Pike, the highest summit in England.

- - - o o o - - -



Closer at hand was the village of Grange

far below us.


Before packing the big lens away

I looked down on the bridge

and Trevor and Gill's house far below.



The Riverside Cafe is currently closed

but the cafe further into the village,

( with the slate verandah and outside tables )

seems to be doing good business.



- - - o o o - - -

For the wider viewpoint do check out these two photos . . .

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama up the valley.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama north towards Derwent Water.

Where shall we go now ?

The answer when you are at a summit is . . . down !

Strands of course deer hair on the ground.
The path to Kings How starts at 'Brock Bield'
Talking of badgers, there were signs of badger sets . . .
. . . and badger latrines in various places along the walk.
Purple violets . . .
Fox gloves and the delicate yellow Climbing Corydalis.

An erratic boulder on the high ground with Kings How behind, as we do a final up and over, back to the road.

There was a lovely selection of trees from this Birch . . .
. . . to this elderly but vibrant Crab Apple.

- - - o o o - - -

Approaching Grange Bridge once more.

Alongside the road Trevor pointed out a footpath that had little or no human relevance . . .

This was a favourite crossing point . . .
of the valley's Red and Roe deer (see hoof-prints)
. . . due to the lure of the grass in the meadows.

There is a controversial culling scheme in the valley at present, much too complex to explain in detail here.

- - - o o o - - -


More or less the end of the walk

as we cross back over Grange Bridge.


Time to give the dogs another play in the river

to clean their muddy paws.


- - - o o o - - -

Dougal . . . last one out of the water.

- - - o o o - - -

Gill has helped out at the Borrowdale Story Exhibition in the Grange Methodist Church.

We call in to see the displays.

There is also the opportunity to buy Gill's cards . . . and craft and artwork from other crafts people in the valley.

The Seatoller Floods in pictures.
Vivian Fisher, a local character.
Silver and brass ware made in the village.

This is the briefest sample of some of the displays.

This exhibition has been created by the valley folk and certainly worth an hour of your time if you are in the area.

- - - o o o - - -

Post-walk refreshment was courtesy of Trevor and Gill . . . and it was warm enough to sit out in their wonderful garden.

- - - o o o - - -

After drying the dogs, visiting the exhibition, admiring Trevor and Gill's wooden sculpture and chatting over a very pleasant evening meal

we said our goodbyes, packed our two dogs in the car (remembering not to take Finlay)

and headed home over Honister Pass.

A long standing globe artwork outside Honister Mine . . .
. . . has been augmented by this remarkable slate bike.

These two last photos brought our day to a close.

- - - 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 . . . local knowledge to extend to others.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 29th April - Bowscale Tarn with Jo

A previous time up here - 4th February 2015 - Kings How and Jopplety How

Next walk - 3rd May - The Rannerdale Bluebells 2019

[ Many thanks to Gill for help in identification of the yellow Climbing Corydalis flower]