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" Grange To Watendlath with Trevor & Gill "

Date & start time:   Monday  11th July 2016,  1 pm start after an early lunch.

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

Places visited :       Grange, High Lodore, Watendlath, Lodore Falls and back via Chinese bridge.

Walk details :           2.8 mls, 520 feet of ascent,    hour   mins.

Highest point :        Uphill all the way to Watendlath.

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

Weather :                  Overcast with one very slight shower.  Warm.

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Long standing arrangements for walks often come unstuck due to poor weather

but despite today's walk being arranged some time ago today's rather overcast skies were no problem

and we had a great linear walk with Trevor and Gill . . . and "Finlay of Borrowdale".

It has been a beautiful week and though we don't record all our walks I did have the phone on me this day

and managed this photo of the Low Fell ponies who came over to see Harry and Dylan having their photo taken in the sunshine.

Once the picture was taken all four animals jumped . . . as the dogs moved quickly my way

and the horses reacted by stepping quickly back the other.

- - - - o o o - - -

Grange Bridge with Ann and Gill . . . with Dylan and Finlay.

As Harry is a little slower at the moment we had a group discussion . . . and decided to park one car at Watendlath

and then I dropped Trevor and Harry at High Lodore cafe on the way back to Grange, thus avoiding a mile of road walk for Harry.

Once back, the ladies and I set off to find Trevor and continue the walk as planned.

[ Photo by Trevor and Gill ]

Though today was a little cooler the temperatures in Grange have been mediterranean recently,

such that Trevor and Gill were able to take this photo of a lizard sunning itself on their house wall.

- - - o o o - - -

In contrast, last night's rain had raised the water level slightly . . .

. . . and the river was just at path level as we walked down the valley towards Lodore.

This week's competition . . . " Name that Sheep "


No prizes (sorry)


Answer . . .


With the lack of wool after his summer sheering

this must be " Shaun"

High Lodore Cafe is full of visitors including (I guess) a D.of E. walking group, by the look of the backpacks and covers.

Trevor and Harry had survived the twenty minute wait and so now we are together as a party of seven once again.

Taking the path behind the cafe we start the climb up behind Shepherds Crag.

This is the view down to the River Derwent close to where it enters Derwent Water.

At the top of the main climb we enter the valley of the Watendlath Beck.

Looking down stream we can see the river disappearing through the trees towards the main Lodore Falls.

Looking upstream there area series of smaller waterfalls . . .
 . . . with the river a brown peaty colour due to the overnight rain.

The same section looks quite different when seen from above.

Interestingly the bare rock on the left of the gap was scoured clean by the winter floods . . . yes Gill tells us, the water level did get that high .

Three water dogs . . . Finlay is even more enthusiastic than our two.

At the head of the woodland, the bridge has been repaired after storm damage.

It can take you over to the valley road but we'll stay this side and walk the length of the valley from here to Watendlath.

A large Scout Camp has been set up on the farm field on the other side.

We stopped counting after reaching a hundred tents of various shapes and styles.

The path ahead is not without its potential hazards . . . there are two large belted Galloway cattle and a calf.

Fortunately this breed is very docile and when approached slowly they moved aside and let us past.

Gill walking the valley path in the weak sunshine of this rather overcast day.

- - - o o o - - -


Just had to take a photo of this tree planting . . .

After what looks like many years out in the open

the plastic sleeve has started to bio-degrade

(but ever so slowly)


The tree that was planted inside has grown

as a tall spindly sapling

(not the most attractive)


The barbed wire has helped protect the pole

and is currently keeping the sapling close to the pole.

Most of the leaves have been nibbled off anyway.


Would you call this a success or not ?


- - - - o o o - - -


A little further up the valley and the weather has taken a slight dive . . . Ann protects herself against the drizzle.

. . . but the rain came to nothing and soon hoods were down again.

Almost twins . . . Finlay and Dylan . . . just six months separate them in age . . . hardly any difference now.

- - - o o o - - -


They stand on the rock and wait


. . . while Harry strolls along

steadily walking up the valley path,

the old man not rushing around like a mad young thing.


- - - o o o - - -

Nearing the village of Watendlath now and there's a rocky rise in the valley floor.

With the change of slope comes a delightful cataract of waterfalls.

The lower falls are an absolute delight . . .
. . . but they don't even qualify for a name on the map.

The middle falls were running peaty brown.

The bridge at Watendlath was victim of the winter floods.

A wooden tree-trunk footbridge has been built alongside for everyone to use for now.

- - - o o o - - -



Scaffolding around the bridge

is currently holding the stonework together.



If you look closely there's a great big crack

where the stonework under the parapet has sagged.



Obviously the foundations of the bridge on the left hand side

have been undermined but

I've not heard about any plans to fix it yet.



- - - o o o - - -

Safely across on the wooden bridge and walking towards the tarn.

The net keeps the fish in the lake . . .
. . . the boats are for fishermen to hire.

The fisheries have been run for years by the farmer Stan Edmunson of Seathwaite and he has an article in last month's Cumbria Magazine

Apparently he used to stock the lake with trout hatched in Seathwaite but now uses Scottish fry.

The hatcheries near the farm in Borrowdale still exist but are not presently in use.

We've arrived at the right place then . . . now to find the cafe for a tea and flapjack perhaps ?

" Please close the gate " . . . "Please open the cafe" would be more like it.

After all there's still plenty of folk about !

It is going to be 'Plan B' then . . . good job Gill baked a cake just in case.

- - - o o o - - -

Having walked all the way up from High Lodore we felt this would be far enough for Harry

so we packed everyone in the car, left earlier in the car park, and drove home to Grange.

- - - o o o - - -


Having seen the river slightly in spate on the walk up the valley

I expressed a wish to visit the main Lodore falls on the way back.


We drove down to the Borrowdale road via Ashness Bridge

and stopped at the Lodore Hotel, planning to use the short path

round the back of the hotel to see the main falls.


- - - o o o o - - -

Well . . . another victim of the floods . . . and the closed-off foot bridge has no alternative alongside this time.

Trevor offers to join me on a fifteen minute walk diversion to see the falls

which also meant Dylan and Finlay got a bonus walk at the end of the day.

Ann and Gill continue on in the car . . . hope they don't eat all the cake before we get back !

The old bridge within the grounds of the hotel.

We must walk another five minutes up the road to reach the footpath to the falls.

A " Money Tree" . . . people with money to spare (not me) have made a wish as they bash coins into the old tree trunk.

This tree has also spawned some rock art . . .
. . . as others have made small piles of stones along its length.

The footbridge behind the pub was the one we had intended to use

but the masonry support on the far side has been damaged and the bridge is regarded as unsafe.

The waterfall from the 'viewing' seat . . .
. . . but the view is better without the big tree !
By walking down onto the rather slippery rocks . . .
. . . you get a better feel for the power of the falls today.

- - - o o o - - -


As our lift had already returned home to Grange

Trevor and I continued on the scenic return route

via Chinese Bridge.



That would take us across the river

and away from the busier Borrowdale Road

on our return walk.



- - - o o o - - -

There's a dead tree stuck around one of the pillars which it would be a good idea to remove.

Looking back at Shepherds Crag . . . our initial walk took us up the footpath to the dip in the trees on the right hand side.

Over the bridge . . .
Watching the river 'slowly slipping away'

The Christopher Robin engraving, an quotation from A.A. Milne on the start of the bridge, is getting rather worn and hidden by mud

but if you did stop and clean it up it would read :

Christopher Robin thought that if he stood on the bottom rail of the bridge and leant over

and watched the river slowly slipping away beneath him then he would suddenly know everything there was to be known.

Mmmm . . . always a possibility !

The view of Skiddaw across Derwent Water from the board walk.

Great Bay at this end of the lake.

One more short section of board walk took us across towards the Manesty road.

Manesty Holiday Cottages

The house has a great little on-line weather station and webcam.

One of the gardens on the way down has a bush shaped a bit like a crocodile.

From here it is only a short stroll to that reserve teapot.

- - - o o o - - -

After his busy day out Harry bags prime position

and Finlay has to defer to age . . . being demoted to his pink dog rug alongside his bed instead.

After a lovely evening and a gourmet dinner it was time to head back over Honister,

catching the last of the sunset over Buttermere at about half past nine in the evening.

Another great day out with " Finlay of Borrowdale " (says Dylan) and ourselves with Trevor and Gill (says us).

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

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

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A previous time up here - 4th October 2014 - Laudable Lodore

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