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" We Wander to Wonder - in Borrowdale "

Date & start time:      18th May 2022.   2pm start.

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

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

Walk details :                2 miles, approx 400 ft of undulations, a liesurely 1 hour 45 minutes walk.

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

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

Weather :                       Fine and dry.


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


This is a walk we've done before but in rather different circumstances

as Gill, Loes and I have all had to cope with the loss of our partners in the last year or so.

However, the walk is a good one, the dogs need the exercise, and the same applies to us of course.

It is chance to maintain long standing friendships and to revisit familiar places.

It is also chance to introduce Loes to an area she doesn't know in quite so much detail as our "local guide".

- - - o o o - - -

First a quick look back a day or so at the Loweswater Valley

when we had a glorious sunset which spread such warm light across the fells.

I enjoyed it from the garden . . . but my neighbour Zoe thought to grab her camera and send me the image the next day.

Sunset over the Buttermere Fells . . . by Zoe from Moss Cottage.

- - - o o o - - -

And so to our walk in Borrowdale . . .

The name of today's walk was inspired by a local photographic guide book, but I wasn't to know that till later in the walk.

My walking companions today, Loes and Gill, plus Dylan, Dougal and 'Finlay of Borrowdale'.

We started from the Methodist Church, next to the iconic double-arched bridge at Grange (in Borrowdale).

Looking back up river at the bridge soon after the start of the walk.

As we round the base of Grange Crags we take a right turn and walk up past the Leathes Head Hotel

In the woods, the ancient skeleton of what was probably one of their old greenhouses.

May in Borrowdale and the bluebells are still in bloom, under the shade of the trees.

A pollarded Ash tree on the boundary of the farm fields at the entrance to hidden Troutdale.

The wooded fellside opposite is Shepherds Crags, famed for its local rock climbing routes.

As we enter the valley itself, another popular climbing area known as the Troutdale Pinnacle, stands clear of the trees.

10,000 years ago these valleys would have been deepened by the glaciers, leaving these vertical rock sides that climbers can now climb on.

A local resident found this new horse chestnut seedling growing at a time when the early pandemic was causing such loss and grief.

To protect this 'new life' from being grazed away by the local deer, he erected a fence and subsequently made a wooden plaque as a sign of hope.

Troutdale presumably received its name from the trout that swam in its small river.

In 1860 a Doctor Parnaby conceived the idea of raising the young fish to re-stock rivers and lakes of some of the great estates.

The concept of fish-farming was born and this is regarded as the first commercial fish-farm in Britain.

(See the information in my previous report from this area.  The link can be found at the base of this page)

There are several lined troughs or fish tanks clearly identifiable on the opposite side of the valley.

A water leat would have fed across from the stream to provide them with clean running water.

Another patch of bluebells adding colour to this view of Carlside, Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man.

After showing Loes the old tanks, we cross back over the stream.
A tree creeper challenges me to get a closer view . . . I fail badly.

People and dogs are much easier to photograph . . . they don't move so fast !

Our walk now heads up onto the higher ground of Grange Crags.
This looks to be a blue lousewort plant half-hidden in the grass.

There's a chance it could be a simple violet of course.

The wider view as we make our way up towards the high ground of Grange Crags.

From the top we look down over those 'Grange crags' to the village below.

Gill and Dylan, Loes and Finlay stop for a summit photo.

Dougal didn't seem to want to be in the picture for some reason . . . oh yes . . . there were other people to talk to !!

We met this couple on the top who were walking, book in hand.

Gill recognised the publication as a photo guide-book written by a local author, her neighbour Dave Woodthorpe.

Much discussion ended with a photo of the the two of them and a plug for this local publication (well I went back and bought one anyway).

There's a fine view of Castle Crag from up here.

In fact there's a fine view of the Jaws of Borrowdale.

In fact there's an even nice view all round from this lovely, low level vantage point.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

We retraced our steps but this time headed for home via the mighty ladder stile next to the tree.

The wall must be nearly six feet high so getting the dogs over was a logistical challenge.

Still we made it and everyone was over safely and we heading downhill once more.

May sees the seasonal May Blossom . . . of the hawthorn in full flower.

On the way down there's a low lying, boggy area . . . I seem to be missing a dog ?

The monster from the deep emerges, wetter than he thought.
Still, he put most of the water back before moving on.
Back down to the sound of occasional passing cars . . .
. . . and the gate out onto the Borrowdale Road.

A right turn at the gate and we head back down the road to the bridge at Grange.

Under the second arch there's a deep pool . . . perfect for cleaning dirty dogs.

" Spin dry mode ".

The Methodist Church at Grange . . . which holds an exhibition and craft sale on 'non-working' days.

- - - o o o - - -

In this local book, David Woodthorpe extended the walk down to the shores of Derwent Water

and back along the boardwalk, a round he does most days of the week.

Today Gill, Loes and I have just done part of that walk, here in Wainwright's "most beautiful square mile" in the Lake District.

- - - o o o - - -

Back home and Gill plugs in her magic dog-drier . . . like a high power Henry only it blows a jet of air, not sucks it in.

It doesn't so much as dry hair but just blows the water out of it, leaving Finlay and later my two, clean and dry once more.

- - - o o o - - -


The book, A Wander to Wonder (a short walk in Borrowdale)

written by Gill's neighbour David Woodthorpe,

is available in the Methodist Church

along with cards by local artists (Gill and others).

The Church also has an interesting and on-going display of "The Borrowdale Story"

in words and pictures.

Copies are available via myself if you can't make it to the exhibition . . . please email me.


- - - o o o - - -

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 . . . a copy of a local book which both informs and entertains.

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

Previous walk - 15th May 2022 - Great Mell Fell with John

A previous time up here - 30th April 2019 - Troutdale with Trevor & Gill

Next walk - 28th May 2022 - A Caldbeck Round with Loes & Sheila