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20th September Haweswater Drought 2021

Web site viewers Christine Goode, her husband Geoff and her brother Dave Whalley, enjoyed their visit to Haweswater during the drought.  Not only did they re-visit several times but they also send me some pictures of their visits to see the old flooded village.

     

15th September Loweswater's Matterhorn

A local walk, an occasional one for me but a first today for my walking partner Loes. Rather than walk the road between here and the Mosser Track we took advantage of two cars and used one to drive to the start, the second to fetch the first one later.

     

Mike and Sue and family are over from Tyne and Wear on the east coast and are staying in Borrowdale for a week.    They expressed a wish to climb Rannerdale Knotts so it would be churlish not to accompany them today.

     

5th September Honister and the Window

I had spotted a rock sculpture last year but was on a longer walk so didn't divert across to see it in detail.  This day I decided to take the dogs on a walk at the top of Honister to investigate what I had seen and hopefully get a few closer and better pictures.

     

This has been a busy year for my neighbour Martin. He and Shelagh moved up from the south of England late last year looking for a new life in their retirement.  Little did he expect to land in Cumbria and even less to embark on a new hobby of fellwalking.

     

Pete has just been reunited with a book on Lake District Scrambles from which he had been parted for several years. When I said it would be nice to meet up for a walk he dug out the book to find a far from normal route to reach the summit of this big 3000ft fell.

     

A mystery that has been in the back of my mind for a while was finally solved with a visit to Borrowdale (the central Lakes one) and a walk from Chapel Farm into the Combe Gill Valley.  Here my local guide and friend introduced me to the old Borrowdale Mill.

     

Loes you've met on previous walks.  She lives locally in St Bees. Her Dutch friend Frieke is over for a week's holiday and would like to see Loweswater, as she's heard a lot about it in her conversations.

     

The route this time, a climb of Whiteside up onto Hopegill Head, was requested by my daughter Paula, who is coming to Loweswater for a short visit. Martin and I had climbed them in February in winter conditions so this would be very different from then.

     

A nice simple mountain needs just a simple walk to be appreciated.   Today Binsey from Binsey Cottage gave us that, but the weather added a complication, unplanned when we started off.   We also had a deadline . . . afternoon tea on the Orient Express .

     

It has been a month of variable weather so I start with a picture of a valley rainbow and rather damp looking Scawgill Bridge.  We've had nice weather too and a walk over at Cogra Moss brings surprise path improvements to light.

     

With the prospect of a dry walk I've decided to extend my local dog exercise to include the far end of the Loweswater Valley where there are a number of farm names with the word "Place" in them.  My walk today incorporates a visit to all of them ... Going Places.

     

More trains cross our path but they are purely incidental to our walk from St Bees to Fleswick Bay on the west coast of Cumbria. Long time friend and resident of the village invited me over for a walk in her part of the woods, or rather, her part of the coast.

     

The " Train now Standing " has this week come to life after a protracted re-birth during this turbulent last eighteen months. Di and Simon Parums have drawn their commercial dreams, kicking and screaming into reality and this week have opened to the public.

     

Monday 19th July was the day myself and the family arranged as a "Farewell to Ann" day, where we scattered her ashes as requested on Rannerdale Knotts and held an afternoon garden party in her honour.  Family and friends sent me so many photos so I offer them here to tell the story of the day.

     

A lovely day, another gentle fell climb and an enjoyable crowd to be with.  Sadly the walk was brought about by the death of a friend and colleague with whom I worked for many years at the George Fishers outdoor shop in Keswick.

     

A lovely day, another gentle fell climb and an enjoyable crowd to be with.  Sadly the walk was brought about by the death of a friend and colleague with whom I worked for many years at the George Fishers outdoor shop in Keswick.

     

Over the last few years I've been working (seemingly very hard) on my "low maintenance" flower meadow.  This year at last it has reached the point where I feel happy that I have something really different from what was there when I started.

     

I made a bit of a mistake before the start of this walk, not believing the weather forecast ! At home it was overcast and cool so I emptied some of my water out of the hydration bottle in the rucksack so as to save weight, but that was slight regret to say the least !

     

Today I'm away from home territory at the invitation of Jane.  She suggested a walk in her part of the world so we head for a more urban environment with bags of history and a few surprises. Old buildings a plenty but nature and wildlife in the pictures too.

     

8th June 2021 Helvellyn via the Edges

My grandson is up for the week and he wanted to climb Helvellyn.  He's done it before from the Thirlmere side but really fancied the classic ascent via Striding Edge.  Poor weather in the morning delayed the start but it cleared to give us a perfect mountain day.

     

4th June 2021 The Whinlatter Fells

A leisurely stroll it seems but we still managed a respectable six and a half miles, 1500 ft of climbing and lunch out in the sunshine.  The three amigos set off to walk some, if not all, of the Whinlatter Fells on a lovely June day.

     

29th / 30th May Haystacks and a Swim

Rob and Jude are here for the weekend and we take the opportunity to visit a fell of their choice.  Our Route up Haystacks takes in the two bothies along the way.  The Sunday weather just cried out for a swim, a swim which which turned into another circular walk.

     

We feel like the famous four, survivors of the Online Fellwalking Club that disappeared into the ether when Yahoo pulled the plug. Today Peter, Jo, Neil and myself met up for a Lakeland walk in Langdale and where better to meet up but The Old Dungeon Ghyll.

     

23rd May - 6th June Local Days - End of May

A miscellany this time, reflecting the busy life of Loweswater, as seen from my personal perspective. I've been fortunate to have several major fell walks with other folk during this time, but these outings were great too, but in a subtly different way.

     

21st May 2021 - Loweswater Blue

May's combination of fine weather and rain has encouraged the growth of all the vegetation around, both in the garden, the fields and the woodland.  Consequently we are into the greens of summer, but in Holme Woods we still have the blues of late spring.

     

The grown ups in question are my older and younger brothers and their wives who are in The Lakes on holiday and who are both staying at Lorton's Wheatsheaf pub campsite. It is almost as if they have arranged to be here at the same time in order to catch up with life

     

I return to Rannerdale with Mike and Sue find the bluebells at their best.  We defer looking at them a short while as the lovely weather encourages us up onto Rannerdale Knotts first.  (This selection includes a few photos first shown on the 14th May page)

     

Two old pre-Ordnance Survey names came to light recently and they apply to today's photos with Hilary and David.We walked from home to the Mosser Road then up onto Darling Fell (Dick Knave) and then visit Low Fell (Dick Roger) and the Pine Tree.

     

Two walks both local, but they were as different as chalk and cheese. The first was a sunny day and found me enjoying the colour and scenes of the valley.  A second walk a few days later, the weather has changed and an idle thought took me higher, much higher.

     

13th May - High Rigg, Low Rigg

Today found Martin and I driving in the direction of Keswick for a walk on High Rigg.  I phoned my friends in St John's in the Vale and James was delighted to join Martin and I and act as local guide for this intriguing little Wainwright Fell.

     

27th April - 14th May - Rannerdale Bluebells

I go in search of the famous Rannerdale flowers as they are a spectacular sight when in full bloom, but it has been a cold, dry spring and they are late to the party. It took me four visits to see their purple splendour. Who knows, they may be better on a fifth visit ?

     

5th May 2021 - Round Crummock with Jane

The month of May brought a change to more moist and changeable weather. However it is still not warm and Tuesday 4th May even sent wintery showers that covered the tops with snow. However tomorrow forecasts good sunshine for a walk with my ex-colleague Jane.

     

Always a nice walk, it's circular in nature, has a good climb, a delightful ridge walk and a valley aspect to end.  Martin and I step out of the valley and head for Ennerdale, in particular Bowness Knott, though we'll not climb that today.

     

Last Week in April - Local walks and Visitors

The last week of April and I'm at home keeping busy. This set of photos shows the varied nature of the week, bearing in mind there's a dog walk every day, visitors are returning to the Lakes and gradually the warming weather is seeing off the last of the overnight frosts.

     

After Easter the sunshine and dry conditions continue and fellwalking is a delight.  Ian is staying over for his work at Seascale and finds time off in order to walk the fells.  We chose an old favourite, but stick to a short ascent in order to add a second in the day.

     

Gowbarrow is a delightful stand-alone fell overlooking Ullswater and today I have the chance to walk it with Jo as she is now able to visit the Lakes once again and stay at her own caravan/ chalet overnight.The sunny weather continues even if it is rather hazy today.

     

The forecast is for changeable weather which could mean sunshine or snow.  Cold winds and squally showers from the north east  means predicting the weather today is a lottery, especially as each Lakeland valley is different.  We head out for Causey Pike.
     

My eldest daughter Cathy and partner Mark are here and are able to enjoy the continuing sunshine that the Lakes has on offer this Easter.  She also wants to strike out and climb some high fells so we start at Whinlatter and then walk back on a linear route to home.
     

In this Easter time of fine weather and fellwalking comes a very different day when I find myself down in the south of the county.  In between commitments and appointments I have chance to enjoy a walk and visit a few places steeped in history.
     

Jenna, Matt and Abi expressed a desire to climb one more fell before they left for home.  They weren't quite up for "Mellbreak before Breakfast" but they felt it was possible to climb it before lunch. A quick walk can be extended depending on circumstances.
     

In the midst of all the sunny Easter weather there was actually an overcast and rather cool day that bucked the trend.  No problem, the time and weather were eminently suitable to complete a project that Jenna had been thinking about for some time.

     

For a third day we hit the high fells and though tired at the end of the day I actually think I'm getting fitter !  Blencathra's not one of the big three but it's not far off and with Sharp Edge to climb this is a fell with a serious side.

     

The weather though cold, has clear blue skies and the strong sunshine adds just the right amount of warmth to make fell walking a real pleasure.  The visibility and the views are great so we head off up a "great" mountain to appreciate all there is on offer.

     

1st April - The High Stile Ridge

With Easter upon us and lock-down easing, my daughter and grand daughter are over as part of my family bubble, looking after my every need and also dragging me out for walks. I have to get the boots out of the cupboard for a return to the high fells today.

     

30th March - Route-66 to Sale Fell

Time out of the valley as I spread my wings and travel the Wythop Valley and Brumston Bridge. Sale Fell is one of the more northern of the Wainwright fells and nestles in the corner at the top of Bass Lake where the A66 roadway curves around the fell.

     

Such a lovely morning but a busy afternoon in prospect so the dogs are surprised when the leads and whistle are taken off the hook early in the day ! Chance for the three of us to enjoy a warm and local morning walk after the cold weather of recent days

     

Friday 26th was a mixed sort of day weather wise. Overnight rain had left snow on the tops but the sun was trying to show its face.   Spring has sprung but don't forget your raincoat as they say . . . however today you could get away with just a warm windproof.

     

The forecast was better than the last few days, higher cloud, lighter winds, warmer temperatures.  In the event, the altitude of the high fells reduced all the positives down but we still ended up with a good walk despite the wind, the cold and rain at the end !

     

It was a lovely afternoon and eminently suitable for a walk.  After a busy morning there was still time to give the dogs a couple of miles of exercise and for me, maybe them too, to enjoy the wider views that the valley has to offer.

     

When Martin first moved to the valley and talked about climbing the fells, Grasmoor was his first choice of something to climb.  It was winter then but today the weather promises to be kinder and more suited to our fellwalking capabilities.

     

27th February - Hen Comb - 'Dressed Crab'

It was a lovely sunny morning as I pottered around the house and garden, but I decided the day was too good to spend on routine jobs.  Domesticity was swapped for walking boots, dog beds for dog collars and camera in hand we were off up our local fell.

     

21st February - Haystacks via Moses Trod

The weather has turned full season as the Keswick sunshine gave way to a mini easterly freeze and then back to mild weather. Martin has read a lot about Haystacks so it seemed a good day to combine with him and explore the area and visit some of the sights.

     

12-14th February - 'Fire and Ice' in Loweswater

It has been an interesting couple of days here in Loweswater. We haven't had as much snow here on the west coast, compared to the Scotland, the Pennines and the eastern side of Britain.  It has been sub-zero however and that has brought its own delights.

     

Despite having retired from George Fishers five years ago (!) I still keep in touch with colleagues and recently Julie contacted me to see if I fancied a walk.  The forecast for the day was fine and a plan was put in place . . . for a full circuit of Derwent water.

     

10th February - Pure Whiteside with Martin

After his recent success of climbing Mellbreak, Martin ventured out onto Hen Comb and wanted to do Low Fell, the one he sees from his back door.  However I felt the weather and snow conditions were suitable for a slightly more adventurous outing together.

     

A second walk out with my daughter and Granddaughter this week. Abi's school had a "parents Evening" held through the medium of Zoom but as they found it generally slower, they started 'conversations' with parents during the afternoon.  Consequently Abi is having a "half day" off schooling . . . she's free from midday !

     

Mt daughter Paula is up for a few days.  She has been totally isolating at home and felt safe to reconvene the family bubble.  My granddaughter Abi has brought her laptop with her so that she continue 'home-schooling-with-a-view' from the pod in the garden.

     

I've been retired from George Fishers some time now but delightfully I'm still in touch with ex-colleagues.  Jane, who had been furloughed last year has also decided to retire. She contacted me recently and together we decided on an outing to Rannerdale Knotts,

     

It's Sunday and there's me having a quiet day after yesterday's walk, doing some outstanding paperwork. At 12.30 the dogs nudge me into making them lunch, well, fetching them a couple of Bonio biscuits from the tin. After my lunch they nudge me again, they didn't quite bring me their dog leads, but certainly hinted at a walk.

     

I have new neighbours who are long term renting the Vicarage here in Loweswater.  They have never lived in the Lakes before and are delighted with the area and the view from their door. Martin said he would love to climb the fells but didn't know where to start.

     

When it rains like it did last night two thoughts follow. " Will it ever stop and what will the ground be like."  Still, the dogs tell me they need their daily walk so we head off for the high ground along the tracks that hopefully will be less muddy than the fields.

     

Peter, a fellow online-walker fancied a walk up onto my local Low Fell, which is conveniently below the cloud base today.To avoid sharing a car to Thackthwaite we decide to walk today from the door of the house here in Loweswater.

     

Friday 15th January dawned bright and frosty.  I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window even before the sun rose, just as the colour started to fill the sky. Early? Not really, it was about eight o'clock . . . the dogs needed to go out into the garden !

     

12-14th January - Ling Fell and Shopping

The snow was spectacular while it lasted but the Latrigg walk hinted as the start of a change in the weather.  The last few days have been really gone downhill, turning to wet and soggy for the day I escaped the valley once more, but this time in search of food.

     

We're allowed to meet up with one other person for our daily exercise so as my grandson is up here on work we meet in Keswick and enjoy a classic walk in the snow.  Plenty of people about but lots of space so that's okay and the dogs can enjoy a good run too.

     

After the wonderland morning the dogs and I returned home for some lunch. Looking out of the window the sunshine was holding and the thermometer showed it was still freezing out there. Time for a second walk, perhaps up the hill to look at Loweswater itself ?

     

The overnight forecast was for snow sweeping down the country, coating the Pennines and the high fells with snow. There was a good chance of good snow in the valleys too but no guarantees so opening the window first thing was to be a real unknown . . .

     

6th January - Hen Comb in the Snow

Back home after a family Christmas and there's plenty to do unfortunately, but the weather takes a turn for the better and after an early lunch the dogs and I make a break for the snow.  There's a light covering and it is crisp due to the overnight freezing conditions.

     

A big thanks all who bought a copy from us, to Lee and Arwen of Lorton Village Shop and to the local hotels and guest houses who also kindly stocked the calendars on the run up to Christmas this year.  The record results are now confirmed for our 2021 Edition.

     

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