Lake District Weekend - 04/05/19 - 06/05/19

Posted 6/5/2019

Over the Bank Holiday weekend Dearne Valley Walking Group visited the Lake District as a group of 14 of us descended on Keswick to tackle three days of walking, including an ascent of three ‘Wainwrights’ - Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy.

Several of our party arrived on the Friday, enjoying a meal at the Royal Oak that evening before meeting up with the rest of the group on Saturday morning at the Theatre By The Lake for a 9.7 mile circuit of Derwentwater.

The route took us past the jetties and on to Friar’s Crag before going around the Shoreline of Calfclose Bay and Barrow Bay where we had only a narrow rocky walkway to follow in several places. We’d not gone far before Jasper (the dog) appeared from one of his many short jaunts carrying an old camera case, followed not long afterwards by some old underwear – which left us wondering what he would appear with next!

We emerged at Kettlewell Car Park to walk around the edge of the woodland as far as the Lodore Falls Hotel where it would have been rude not to partake in late morning liquid refreshments.

After leaving the hotel we quickly rounded the southern part of the lake, crossing marshland via a series of boardwalks to then cross Manesty Park and then follow the shoreline round Brandelhow Park. Here we took our lunch break before continuing past Hawse End to Nichol End where we stopped for a coffee whilst debating over whether to be tempted by some enormous scones and various types of cake.

We continued along the Cumbria Way, through Portinscale, over a narrow suspension bridge and back into Keswick where we retired to The Wainwright pub for post walk drinks.

That evening we all met at the Sultan of Keswick for a delicious Indian meal – followed naturally by a few drinks for most of our party, although a few ‘lightweights’ were notable by their absence, preferring an early night instead!

Sunday morning saw 12 of our group meet at the Keswick Launch ticket office to take the 9.45am launch to Hawse End for our ascent of Cat Bells. The views all around were breathtaking as we made good progress to reach the summit in an hour, although Audrey Brownridge was indebted to her Knight in Shining Armour, Russ Yapp, who rescued her as she got stuck on one of the short scrambles on the ascent

From here we dropped down passed Hause Gate to make a gradual climb onto Maiden Moor and then on to the 653m high summit of High Spy where we stopped for lunch. We descended High Spy towards Dalehead tarn but veered down left to descend steeply through the former Rigghead Slate Quarries which was very tricky underfoot. We then followed a path alongside Broadslack Gill to reach Grange. Unfortunately, having to press on to ensure we made it back to Haws End for the last boat back to Keswick prevented us from stopping at the tea rooms so we continued along the road to Manesty Cottages.

Here, to the dismay of our now weary group, our route took us left off the road back up hill rather more steeply than anticipated before levelling out to give great views across the lake and then slowly descended back to meet the road a mile further on. With time pressing on we then opted to continue along the road for the final stretch back to Hawse End to arrive with 25 minutes to spare before our launch was due. This was just enough time for some of our party to take advantage of a nearby ice cream van.

On returning to Keswick we again visited The Wainwright for our post walk drinks with some of us then enjoying Tapas at Bar Es whilst others opted for a fish & chip supper.

With some walkers having now departed for home the final day of our walk saw a group of 7 meet at the Moot Hall in Keswick for a 4.9 mile walk to Castlerigg Stone Circle. The route took us via the former railway line where the station building is now part of a hotel.

After admiring the stone circle which is set in a dramatic location and is thought to date back to 3000BC we returned via scenic paths past Castlerigg to our start point (naturally stopping off at the café at Springs farm along the way) to then go our separate ways.

Well done to everyone who took part in the excellent walks over the weekend and thanks very much for your attendance. There was a variance in length and difficulty of the walks with Sunday’s extremely taxing but rewarding walk seeing us make a total ascent of 1043 metres. A big thanks also to Andrea Turner who did an excellent job with the social arrangements.

Finally, congratulations go out to Julie Gray, Stuart Cliff and Shelly Summerell who have all now passed 100 miles walked in the current season and to Steve Pennock who has passed 200 miles walked this season and congratulations also to Audrey Brownridge who has now walked over 400 miles in total with the group.