Keswick Holiday

Sunday 25 June 2017. I’m home a day early as I wanted to avoid Monday traffic congestion on the A66 and A1. This was a holiday of two halves. The first half was good, the second half less so. As already reported, I walked with Jacqui on 3 consecutive days. Whilst me knee held up, it didn’t enjoy the downhill bits and after the last 9 mile walk I just about seized up.

I took a couple of days rest at the end of the first week hoping that the knee would get better. It didn’t and then a heat wave struck making walking even less pleasurable. I did manage one more respectable walk but gave in after a couple of miles on another walk in the heat of Borrowdale. I killed time until yesterday which was the day of the 10in10 and 5in5 charity challenge walks. I had entered the easier 5in5 which was 10 miles with 4,000ft of ascent. Needless to say I couldn’t start but went along to the finish at the Swinside Inn, just outside of Portinscale, to cheer in the finishers. I took a lot of photographs and, if you want to see more, then follow this link

I’ve had a sore knee for 4 months now. I’ve seen my GP, had an x-ray and visited 2 separate physiotherapists. All to no avail and whilst I haven’t done much walking of late, I’ve decided to reduce this even further by cancelling my planned August holiday in Cheddar. This will give me 6 weeks at home to rest up and hopefully feel better for my final summer holiday in September at Henley-on-Thames. I’m still going off to Youlgreave next month when I might meet up with Jacqui for a weekend walk.


Wednesday Wander

Wednesday 21 June 2017. There was a heavy shower first thing this morning and thunderstorms are forecast later. With this in mind, I didn’t want to do anything too taxing so I took myself off  to the The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden just outside Portinscale. I had a coffee and a bacon sandwich, after which I thought about going for a short walk. It was hot, humid and sticky so plans were readily revised in favour of doing nothing.

I had seen on Facebook that Max & Paddy frequented the Lingholm Kitchen and luckily they were there this morning. I couldn’t resist going over to say “hello” to their very understanding owners.

Just one final thing. My nose has broken out in cold sores which now seems to happen every summer. As I carry Zovirax with me, I was able to treat this before it became too painful.

max and paddyDSC_3336DSC_3333

In search of shade

Monday 19 June 2017. I had a very odd and brief walk this morning. I knew that I wanted to keep out of the sun as much as I could and that a walk from Seatoller to Grange in Borrowdale would meet this need. I couldn’t use my bus pass on the 09:20 from Keswick and the 10:20 would probably be rammed with pensioners and would result in a delayed start to my walk.

The only sensible option was to drive the 8 miles to Seatoller, park the car there and then catch the bus back after my walk. The National Trust are rolling out new parking meters which require their members to scan a QR code on their membership card and to obtain a parking ticket. The windscreen sticker will soon become obsolete. My NT Scotland card doesn’t have a QR code but NT England have confirmed that the windscreen sticker, which is valid until March 2018, will suffice.

My route took me behind the Glaramara outdoor centre to follow the River Derwent to the Borrowdale Youth Hostel where I sat on a bench for a rest. I’d only walked three-quarters of a mile and wasn’t feeling very energetic. My knee was troubling more than usual today. The New Bridge over the River Derwent was something of a decision point. I still had a couple of miles to go to reach Grange but the bus was less than an hour away. Should I push on to Grange with a chance of missing the bus and waiting for an hour for the next one, or should I cut it short and go into Rosthwaite for a cup of tea whilst killing forty minutes or so waiting for the bus. The latter option won out which meant that today’s walk was just over 2 miles with a total ascent of 350ft.

Seatoller – walk route



Sunday 18 June 2017. After 2 days rest I thought that I should resume walking although the temperatures yesterday and today were stupidly hot and hardly conducive to physical exercise. Wanting to avoid the mid-day heat I made an early (08:10) start to today’s walk, setting off from the bouncy bridge over the River Derwent at Portinscale and following the river north to Dancing Gate. It is haymaking time in the lakes and the fields were strewn with piles of drying grass. The whole of the Coledale Horseshoe was in view from Causey Pike round to Grisdale Pike. in the opposite direction there were great views of Skiddaw.

Crossing the A591, I made my way through Millbeck before the briefest of stops in Applethwiate. The last leg of the walk took me back across the A591 and A66 to pass around Keswick school and back to the car which had been parked in the shade, making for a comfortable drive back into Keswick. The walk was just 5.5 miles with a total ascent of 500ft.

I had thought about doing a section of the Ullswater Way tomorrow but will have to wait to see if it cools down a little as the bus that I need to use doesn’t leave until 10:15 which means that I will be walking in the hottest part of the day.

Applethwaite – walk route


Ings to Kentmere

Thursday 16 June 2017. I met Jacqui again at Ings where we parked the cars to start a walk to Kentmere and back. I did this walk a few years ago and knew that there wouldn’t be too many steep ups and downs. After a short stretch of minor road walking we were soon out in the south lakeland countryside following a well-defined bridleway leading us to Kentmere. This must be a popular mountain bike route as we were passed by 3 groups of riders.

The walk was slightly extended to take in the hamlet/village of Kentmere where we sat on a bench in front of the church whilst having lunch. The return route wasn’t quite so picturesque with tree cover for part of the way. There was a sting in the tail towards the end with a climb over Hugill Fell and a very rocky and uneven bridleway on the way down. The walk was 9.2 miles with a total ascent of 1,300ft.

We had a late lunch at the Watermill pub in Ings. As I get older I’ve become accustomed to stiffening up after a walk but today was on an entirely different level as I hobbled back to the car. My knee hadn’t been too painful during the walk and I thought that it was getting better. But, on getting back to my caravan, I discovered that my knee was badly swollen with fluid. I had already decided to take a couple of days off from walking so it will be RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation) plus Ibuprofen for me in the hope that I can resume easy walking next week.

Kentmere – walk route



Around Lingmoor Fell

Wednesday 14 June 2017. Jacqui was with me again today as we drove into Great Langdale for a walk around Lingmoor Fell. This was based on a HF route that I did a few years back but this time I opted not to go to the top of the fell although our route took us to just 200ft below the highest point on the fell. Starting from the NT car park at the New Dungeon Ghyll we had a climb of 350ft to the road close to Side Pike. From here the going became easier as we made our way down to Blea Tarn for coffee.

I had told Jacqui that the next section of the route was a contouring path around the southern side of the fell. What I hadn’t factored in was the steep 650ft climb up to just below Brown How. I needed quite a few rest stops on this climb which featured countless false summits. Both of us were glad to reach the top. The contouring path was eventually reached and once again provided easy walking. We stopped for lunch near to an old quarry building from where we could see Weatherlam, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and even Scafell Pike.

We then headed downhill towards Elterwater and back into Great Langdale. The last leg of the walk towards Baysbrown and Oak Howe seemed to drag but I think this was because we were both getting tired by now. It was a relief to get back to the car and to visit the nearby pub for a quenching drink. We met two guys walking on Troutbeck Tongue yesterday and couldn’t believe it when we bumped into them again today whilst enjoying a post-walk drink. What are the odds for this? It had been an odd day weatherwise with morning mist clearing from the hilltops to give way to warm and humid sunshine. The walk was 7.4 miles with just under 2,000ft of ascent.

We had a slow drive out of Great Langdale as we had to follow a large bus as far as Ambleside. Back at Ings we called in to the Watermill pub for a well deserved meal. We had enjoyed the food there yesterday and today’s meal was just a good. No doubt we’ll call in again tomorrow.

Around Lingmoor Fell – walk route


Troutbeck Tongue

Tuesday 13 June 2017. I met with Jacqui today for a walk around the Troutbeck valley. The hills were shrouded in cloud so a low-level walk seemed ideal and wouldn’t put too much strain on my knee. Parking next to Trout Beck at Church Bridge we had a stiff uphill start to reach Troutbeck village. Our route then took us through Town Head and along lanes to cross over the beck once again near Troutbeck Park. Troutbeck Tongue was now in sight but a coffee stop was needed before making the climb of 500ft to the summit.

The Tongue was one of my unclimbed “Wainwrights” so I kept this in mind as we made our way steeply to the top at 1,194ft. This is the eighth lowest of the Wainwrights. We met a handful of walkers near the top all of whom were coming the opposite way as this was an easier approach. I was glad that we were doing it the opposite way to them as the descent was more gentle and easier on the knees.

We crossed back across the stream for the return route which took us through Limefitt Park which is now given over entirely to static caravans/cabins although I stayed there with my motorhome in 2008. The walk was 8.5 miles with a total ascent of just under 1,500ft.

My drive back to Keswick was delayed by a car crash on the A591 which resulted in a temporary road closure. The only sensible alternative route was to go over the Kirkstone Pass to Glenridding but this would have added 26 miles to my journey on not very good roads. I decided to sit it out with a soft drink in a Grasmere pub. Buses were being held in Grasmere and their drivers had no information on when the road might open again. At 6pm I decided to see if the road had been re-opened. Thankfully it had and I was able to get back to Keswick by 6:30pm.

Troutbeck Tongue – walk route