23rd February 2010
I stayed overnight in Keswick and was well placed for another Lakeland walk. I had intended to get up high, but there was an accident on St.Sunday Crag on the previous day and I thought it would be sensible for slightly tired legs to walk at lower levels. I decided to visit one of Lakeland's finest Jewels.....
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk
Plenty of choice for a shortish, lower level walk. I settled on a walk from Rosthwaite. Today I bought some provisions in Keswick, but I thought it would be a good idea to replace my Mars Bar in the rucksac, so I would buy one at the little shop in Rosthwaite. If it was still open!! Beware, the shop has closed, so visit Borrowdale with everything you need for your walk. Now I'm offering bigger pictures, please allow time for the full page to download and try F11 for a full screen view.
Start of the Walk
I parked at the NT car park in Rosthwaite, exchanged pleasantries with the NT salesman and joined the Cumbria Way over the bridge to Hazel Bank. The map says there is another bridge behind The Scafell Hotel, but I'm taking nothing for granted where bridges are concerned after the Little Braithwaite incident.
On the Cumbria Way
The Eagle-Eyed amongst you will spot a well-known fell beyond the sheepfold. The ground was frozen and walking easy.
Steep Path in the Woods
This is a tough climb, more so in the summer. My strategy was to climb 100 paces and then have a minute. Am I getting old?
Above the tree line now and really looking forward to the next bit. This is fellwalking par excellence and Dock Tarn is just around the corner.
Just as I'd hoped to find it. The main purpose of the visit was to see and enjoy the atmosphere around a frozen Dock Tarn. Perhaps you won't mind if show you one or two more photos ....
Dock Tarn from the south end.
In the past, I've always walked around the west side of the tarn, but with the tarn and the ground largely frozen, it was time for a walk on the east side and it was quite easy to get across the outflowing stream.
The boot prints are mine. I figured that there was no need to walk through the heather when the tarn was frozen and I'm such a fly-weight.
The other prints looked belonged to a small animal with padded feet, so you might assume a dog.
The last photo in this set from Dock Tarn. I debated walking across to the island, but thought better of it. I did, however continue to walk around the perimeter of the tarn on the ice. A great place to spend half an hour. The truth is I forgot the camera was on b/w setting.
It's strange to recall that I've visited Dock Tarn at least four times in the past, but never visited the summit of Great Crag. The reason for this lies in the fact that prior to 2007, I wasn't making any attempt to visit all the Lakeland summits, I was just enjoying the walks and tops were less important. I'm not sure what changed my mind, but I've had more available time in the last few years; targets and ambitions are good things to possess.
Watendlath Tarn comes into view
Another frozen Lakeland stream, the waters are flowing under the ice and heading for Watendlath Tarn.
Frozen Bowdergate Gill
This tortured stone is at the start of the ascent to Grange Fell from Watendlath.
Now some webpage authors will tell you the names of all the fells on view, but I'm doing you a favour, allowing you to take a look and try to work it out for yourselves.
Brund Fell Summit
I am a little confused by the situation on Grange Fell. Brund Fell and King's How (not in view) are far enough apart to warrant separate chapters in guidebooks, but the one I'm reading pairs them as two parts of Grange Fell.
King's How Summit
The stonework is not mine, but looks great with Skiddaw in the background. I'm glad I took the trouble to visit this top, it's quite different to Brund Fell and offers better views.
Spot The Jet
I heard a jet approaching from Thirlmere (?) and got the camera ready. When I pressed the shutter, I didn't know if the jet would be visible, but actually it is and it's in this picture, but will your monitor and eyes pick it out? Stick a pin in where you think the jet is and see if you've won a prize!
Bleaberry Fell, Walla Crag and Blencathra
Yesterday I was on Bleaberry Fell and walked down to Walla Crag. The musical notation remains on Blencathra and the weather has not been quite as bright as yesterday.
Back at the start in Rosthwaite
The Flock Inn
Walkers: Just Me
Time taken: 4hrs 40mins over a distance of approx 7 miles
Route: Rosthwaite, Cumbria Way, Steep Climb to Dock Tarn, Great Crag, Watendlath, Brund Fell, King's How, Borrowdale Road, Rosthwaite.
Weather and conditions: Hazy high clouds keeping the sunlight out, a little chilly on the tops.
Greetings Count: Low, I met one man heading the other way on Great Crag and a couple of interlopers in Watendlath, not fellwalkers by any means.
Richard's Refreshment Review: The Flock Inn, above. I called in and had a coffee. I suspect quite a few viewers are familiar with this place, but for those that aren't, it is a cozy little cafe with room for about 20 seated inside and more space outside. Good range of food and drinks on offer. NB This place is shut on Wednesdays. "Why?" I asked, and it's to do with staffing and "another cafe in Grange closes on Mondays", so a different day was chosen. Fair enough. They now stock a few provisions that are no longer available at the shop, now closed, Rosthwaite.
Accommodation Review: I stayed for one night at The Hedgehog Hill in Keswick. This place would have preferred to take bookings for two nights minimum, but were kind enough to allow me to book for one night. The bedroom was clean, tidy and comfortable and the breakfast was very good. There is no adjacent car parking, but that didn't particularly matter. I'd stay again.
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Until next time...
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©