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" Castle Crag for Remembrance 2022 "

Date & start time:      Sunday 13th November 2022.  9.30 am start.

Location of Start :     The village car park, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 258 148).

Places visited :          Rosthwaite, New Bridge, Castle Crag, back via the riverside path.

Walk details :              3.9 miles, 775ft of ascent, 4 hours 30 mins including the ceremony.

Highest point :           Castle Crag, 951ft - 290m.

Walked with :              Jo, Neil, Anne, Andrew, Loes, myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies, unseasonably warm and dry.


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November has crept around and it is time for a classic walk up to Castle Crag for the Remembrance Service at the war memorial at the top. 

We meet up with friends and it feels like the years have rolled back and nothing has changed.

However, as well as the two World Wars we also remember the conflicts since,

and are reminded of the recent death of our own Queen Elizabeth and the still turbulent times with the current war in Ukraine.

A bright start for Remembrance Sunday after a very wet week or two of rain and blustery winds.

It is unseasonably warm with a car outside temperature showing today as in the high teens.

I pack the waterproof but then change my mind and replace it with a light wind-proof jacket . . . even that stayed in the bag all day.

Can't pass the Buttermere Pines without taking a photo.

The equinox is passed, the clocks have gone back and we get low sun down the valley even at 8.45 am.

There's a good crowd of cars parking at Honister for the Gable Remembrance event.

but a member of the staff there guessed there were about a quarter less people than normal compared to other busy years.

I met up with Jo, Neil, Anne and Andrew Leaney and Syd Cornwell in the car park.

Loes and I were fortunate at 9.30am to get one of the last places in the car park.

It could take an hour to get to the top, so after saying hello to Syd who wanted to meet everyone we set off past the Flock Inn and down the farm lane. 

He would be going to a Keswick event for 11am today, but has left me a cross to carry to the summit.

A big , red shiny tractor towered over the gateway.

It must be difficult to drive and park some of these new style tractors on the smaller rural farms here in Cumbria.

The object of desire in the distance . . . as Castle Crag now stands clear of the Maiden Moor ridge behind.

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The stepping stones across the River Derwent

look decidedly difficult to cross.


I presume the floods and the movement of

the stones and gravel in the river

have built up behind the steps

and now they appear to be covered most of the time.

They would be particularly slippery.



Today the water levels seem down after recent floods

but I still wouldn't like to attempt a crossing.



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We'll use "New Bridge" just a short way down the lane.

Today's small crowd, Neil, Loes, Jo, Anne and Andrew.
After a short riverside section, the only way is up.

With the increase in altitude we begin to appreciate the long distance views this fine Autumn morning.

The slate quarry comes into view as we reach the top of the main climb.

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With the poor weather of late the bracken has turned colour,

the one time of year that it looks vaguely attractive.


 Before we gain the final path to the summit

there's a tall ladder style for everyone to negotiate.


The dogs scramble over

and Anne makes easy work of it.


The little lad following her over

is a little wide-eyed at the thought of the drop on this side.



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The beautiful sunshine makes the larch trees glow yellow against the blue skies.

Loes, who is only four weeks post-op elects not to do the final climb up the slate path

and will wait here at the foot of the slate for our return.

She'll have plenty of folk to talk to as they all pass on their way up.
The slate tip has a well defined but tricky path.

Above is the slate quarry that generated all the waste.

Traditionally full of stone castles and carvings, the quieter covid years has seen them decline, as few folk stop to build or repair them.

The seat at the entrance has collapsed . . .
. . . but there was a neat shelter further up into the quarry.

We reach the summit where there's the Memorial Plaque to those of the Borrowdale Valley who fell in the First World War.

The summit sits above the plaque and from there we get a fine view down Borrowdale today.

to the north is Derwent Water, Keswick, Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Folk are beginning to arrive for the eleven o'clock Remembrance.

That's good, Dylan and Dougal are still sitting quietly while I've climbed to the top.

Looking south to the high fells and in particular the cloud free Great Gable

where many will be gathering as we are here.

A second visit to the top a short while later as the crowd builds . . . I counted over 100 and there's still quarter of an hour to go.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger version of this picture.

On my return, many more crosses and a wreath have been placed around the memorial.

The top one was to Joseph Beck of Loweswater, son of our village blacksmith at that time.

Miles Jessop, a lay preacher from Borrowdale welcomes everyone to the Crag

and gives a short talk about the occasion, reading the names of the men of the valley who feature on the plaque

and mentioning the conflicts that still rage in the world today.

We all observe the 11 o'clock, two minutes silence . . . even the many dogs that have made it to the top today.

Afterwards Joanne and Margaret each read a War Poem from that dark time in history.

The first was one about the El Alamein conflict in Africa and a second more recognisable one from the French conflict,

which includes the classic lines about "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them"."

After the brief but meaningful ceremony there was time to chat.

Jo's picture taken with better light.

Not to be outdone, Neil also took a photo which he has passed to me today . . . this one shows Jo of course rather than him.

Time to be heading back down, once the queue of people had cleared the summit.

Loes is down there waving but the raised arm was difficult to see amongst all the people.

She spotted me starting the descent with Dougal.
Loes leading the way down to the Broadslack Gill path below.

The classic view north towards Skiddaw.

This was the first time we noticed a cool breeze, as a cooler wind rose slightly and funneled down the shaded valley.

Making our way down to the River Derwent, there's still plenty of signs of the rain that fell this last week.

Bright autumnal colour contrasts down by the main river.

Rather than head left to Grange as in previous years we turn right and take the river path back towards Rosthwaite.

It's almost warm enough for a swim ??

You thought I was joking . . . check out this and the previous picture to see these two ladies enjoying what must be a cool dip.

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The riverside path twists and turn,

rises and falls, as it makes its way

under Castle Crag.



Few people visible on the summit now

as a lone vapour trail from a passing aircraft

cuts a white streak across the blue skies.



- - - o o o - - -

We leave the woods behind and pass one of many coppiced Ash trees.

The re-growth on these trees provided useful straight sticks for fencing in the early days of farming in the valley.

A strong sun continues to shine down, illuminating Dougal's fan tail

and allowing the temperature today to rise to a balmy 19 degrees.

'Rounding the circle' as we look back on our ascent route, up through the trees beyond the wall.

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My two companions

are waiting on the bridge


as we all head back towards the village



- - - o o o - - -

- - - o o o - - -


Thanks as always Roger

for sharing your photos

.... and prompting our memories.


I send this picture of my favourite walking companions

in one of our favourite places.


Dave Miller in snow-covered Saskatchewan.


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. . . and so to the last part of the walk.

A new paved section was laid here several year ago now following a big flood that washed away the surface.

It certainly makes walking this track a lot easier that in days of old.

Back at the farm the sheep have been gathered for some reason.

It could be for sending to market, for checking after tupping, or just for moving them across to other pastures.

There's no-one about to ask.

No need to ask here . . . we checked they would be open before we started the walk.

A light lunch in the garden went down really well after our 2022 Remembrance Walk to Castle Crag.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . the company of old friends.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 12th November - Fangs Brow to the Gate

A previous time up here - 14th November -  Castle Crag For Remembrance 2021

Click here to view Andrew Leaney's pictures of the day

Next walk - 15th November - Cockermouth Riverside

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