Sunday 9 April 2017. The weather this weekend has been just perfect for walking and it is more than frustrating that my poor health hasn’t allowed me to take full advantage of it. My cold wasn’t much better yesterday so I took a day off. The cold was much improved today but I’m still getting a few twinges of knee pain. It was just too nice to stay indoors and rather than fighting with the Easter school holiday crowds, I decided to do a short 3.4 mile walk with just 250ft of ascent directly from my caravan.
The route took me down Long Ashes Lane towards the A591. I then turned right to follow a footpath through the woods on Rather Heath and past the tarn. A short section of road followed before crossing numerous fields to get back to the caravan site. It wasn’t very long but did a least get me out for a while.
This has been an odd holiday. I set off from home 3 weeks ago doubting that I would be able to do any walking at all. Some of my walks were very painful but this eased as the days passed by. I eventually managed 10 walks totalling 70 miles. The longest was 9 miles on Winder and the shortest was just 3 miles on the aborted attempt on High Cup Nick. Just as the knee pain was subsiding I was struck down by a cold (man flu) which left me drained of energy and panting on the smallest of hills. I hope to quickly put this behind me as I have a lot of walking planned for the whole of May.
Caravan Site – walk route
Friday 7 April 2017. I met Jacqui again today for our final walk together on this holiday. Whilst I stayed in the caravan yesterday, nursing my cold, Jacqui made it to the top of High Cup Nick on her own: well done!
I still wasn’t feeling 100% so we opted for a fairly easy walk of only 6.4 miles with a total ascent of 840ft. This walk ticked a couple of boxes for me as I’ve never visited Cartmel before and the village is the home of Sticky Toffee Pudding. We parked at the race course and made our way north. The first insignificant rise had me panting and out of breath as my cold took hold of me again. A very steady pace was maintained stopping for coffee just past Over Ridge and again for lunch at the trig point on How Barrow (560ft). From here we had good views across to Ulverston, over Morcambe Bay and towards Coniston Old Man 11 miles away. We could even see Ingleborough 25 miles away.
Our descent took us across fields recently top dressed with lime turning our boots from brown to white. I hope that it will wash off. After the walk we had a wander around Cartmel village to find the Sticky Toffee Pudding shop and stock up for tea.
Cartmel – walk route
Wednesday 5 April 2017. My knee is still nagging me but it wasn’t this that got the better of me today. I’ve been developing a cold for the last couple of days and it gave me a very disturbed night’s sleep, waking frequently with coughing spasms and being unable to breathe properly. I thought that a day out in the fresh air might make it better so I met Jacqui at Old Tebay for the drive to Dufton with the intention of doing High Cup Nick.
It was a cold day, or was it just me, as we set off from Dufton on the Pennine Way up towards High Cup Nick. I was struggling from the start with low energy levels and an inability to get enough air into my lungs. We had an early coffee stop and after walking only 1.5 miles with 600ft of ascent, I had to accept that I wasn’t going to make it to the top today. Jacqui was very understanding and, as I need to take a day off tomorrow, she will most probably return to do High Cup Nick on her own. Rather than driving back directly to Old Tebay, we made a detour for tea in Kirkby Stephen.
Hopefully 24 hours rest and Lemsip etc. will bring about an improvement in my cold and we can resume walking on Friday with a gentle stroll around Cartmel and the purchase of some Sticky Toffee Pudding. I only took one picture of some lambs and those of High Cup Nick were taken on a visit last September.
(Not) High Cup Nick – walk route
Tuesday 4 April 2017. I drove across to Sedbergh this morning to join with Jacqui on a walk up the Howgills. I last did this route with Karen in September 2013. Leaving the HF house, Thorns Hall, we had a stiff climb of 1,100ft in the first 2 miles to the summit of Winder (1,551ft). It was blowing gale on the way up and we took shelter on the leeward side of the hill for our coffee stop. This was the highest point of the walk and in the next 2 miles we lost all of the height gained as we descended for lunch overlooking the Lune Viaduct. It was a lovely spring-like day in the valleys bottom and we were entertained by gambling new-born lambs.
After lunch we followed the route of the Dales Way, first alongside the River Lune and then the River Rawthey all the way back to Sedbergh. It had turned into a very warm afternoon and my post-walk pint of Lime & Lemonade was much-needed. For the second day in a row I had walked myself almost to the point of exhaustion. The route was 9 miles with a total ascent of 1,600ft.
Winder – walk route
Monday 3 April 2017. Jacqui joined me today and will be walking with me for the next 4 days; staying at HF Sedbergh. We met at Sizergh Castle for the short drive to Staveley. I’d done a version of this walk before so was familiar with the route. Most of the climbing was in the first couple of miles making for a tough start.
I thought that I’d taken a picture of Potter Tarn but apparently not as it wasn’t on my SD card. Not a problem as one tarn looks pretty much like the rest. The out and back leg to Gurnal Dubs took us to the highest point of the walk at just under 1,000ft asl. From here it was all downhill to the banks of the River Kent. I had hoped to cross on a footbridge at Hagg Foot but it had been washed away. This meant a 2 mile detour to Bowston. We tried to take a short cut through the private apartment complex at Cowan Head but, despite sneaking in through the back, we couldn’t make our escape through the locked security gates at the front.
We followed the route of the Dales Way back into Staveley finishing with a tiring walk along the roads and pavements of the village. The walk was 8.33 miles with a total ascent of 1,250ft.
Staveley & Potter Tarn – walk route
Tuesday 28 March 2017. Yesterday was a transfer day as I moved sites from Austwick to Windermere so no walking. Today I met up with John Horner, a former work colleague for a walk on part of the Kentmere Horseshoe. The full circuit is an extremely challenging walk and when I tried to do it a couple of years ago, I had to bale out as I just couldn’t face the climb up to Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike. So today it was a resumption of unfinished business.
It was a 6 mile drive down a narrow single track road to get to the start of the walk at the end of Longsleddale. Thankfully, I only met 2 cars on the drive in and 1 on the way out; all of them near small passing laybys. We steadily climbed the first 1,500ft as we made our way up Gatescarth Pass. On the way we passed some lovely waterfalls on the River Sprint.
Turning off the Gatescarth Pass the climbing began in earnest as we made our way up past the snow-line to Harter Fell, the 1st Wainwright of the day at 2,552ft. From here we had good views down Haweswater and stopped for lunch overlooking Small Water and High Street. As we made our way to the 2nd Wainwright, Kentmere Pike (2,395ft), we had just had a conversation about the reliability of smart phones as navigation aids when I got a text message from BT welcoming me to Guernsey? I’m glad I knew where I was, even if BT didn’t!
More ups and downs brought us to our 3rd and final Wainwright, Shipman Knotts (1,926ft). By now my knee was beginning to ache and I almost bypassed Shipman Knotts as I was unsure if it featured on Wainwright’s list. It had been a beautiful if hazy morning requiring the application of suncream but it steadily clouded over and light rain fell for the last mile. The first uphill half of the walk was wonderful but the trudge over snow and boggy ground from Harter Fell to Shipman Knotts was less enjoyable. The western part of the Kentmere Horseshoe is much better and I doubt that I’ll be visiting the eastern section again. The walk was 8.1 miles with a total ascent of 2,400ft.
Kentmere Pike – walk route