Thursday 25 June 2015. The weather forecast for today was mixed and the cloud base was down to around 1,500ft, obscuring the summits of nearby Cat Bells and Causey Pike. With this in mind I decided to do an easy low level 6 mile walk with just 450ft of ascent.
Starting out from the caravan, I headed out to Portinscale and then to Ullock to pick up the path running alongside Newlands Beck. I stopped for a while to watch Sand Martins nesting in the opposite bank and a pair of Grey Wagtails catching flies above the stream. Soon after a light drizzle/rain began to fall and only stopped when I got back to Keswick.
My next stop was at the hamlet of Stair where the bridge over Newlands Beck was still being repaired. There doesn’t seem to have been any progress since Jacqui and I were here in March. A couple of walkers stopped their car near the closed bridge and were puzzling how to drive to Stoneycroft. I was able to tell them that they could divert through Little Town but that the bridge there was very narrow indeed.
From Stair I headed via Skelgill to the foot of Cat Bells. Not wanting to walk all the way back to Keswick on a route that I’d done many times, I had planned to catch the Derwent Water cruiser from Nichol End but discovered that I wasn’t far from Hawes End which would save me both time and distance.
I caught the boat from Hawes End to the landings at Keswick and was surprised when it failed to stop off at Nichol End on the way. It transpired that the water level of lake was too low to allow them to call in at Nichol End. I could have been waiting there even now and I’m glad that I changed my mind and went to Hawes End instead. The boat ride was only a mile or so but saved me nearly 3 miles of walking.
I’m still taking out my new Tab4 and Azuz tablets to track my routes. Interestingly, the Tab4, which was inside my backpack, perfectly tracked the course of the boat across the lake whereas the Azuz, which was hanging around my neck, drew a straight line between Hawes End to the Keswick landings.