2017 January to June

Wed, 4 Jan 2017

Starting from Powter How, the C group walked along the back road towards Thornthwaite and then took the forestry road to the Whinlatter Visitor Centre (closed for refurbishing but the café was open). The recent forestry work had opened up good glimpses down the valley to Seldom Seen and good views across to Skiddaw. Although it was bitterly cold out of the sunshine, the group found a delightfully sunny spot for the lunch break and after a quick look round at the centre, took a more circuitous route back down to Powter How.

Sun, 8 Jan 2017

The A group set off from Mungrisdale and made their way up the “nose” of Souther Fell in far better weather than expected, clear and bright, with some white clouds hanging lazily around the peak of Blencathra. Reaching Mousthwaite col, they turned down to the river which they followed up to the col below Foule Crag. From there Bannerdale Crags was soon reached and Bowscale Fell became the target for lunch. In spite of a walker having his coat temporarily caught under a rock that fell from the shelter, the group continued without further mishap down the east ridge, viewing Bowscale Tarn on the way and arriving at Mungrisdale after a walk of nine miles.

The B group met at the Moot Hall and set off for Bleaberry Fell. They went by Walla Crag and, remarkably, had it to themselves. The route to Bleaberry on the redesigned path was followed. On their return they diverted down the north side and followed the nascent Brockle Beck to rejoin their outward route.

Thur, 12 Jan 2017

In late afternoon, a combined A and B group braving a thin dusting of snow in chilly but dry conditions set out from Rosthwaite NT car park to climb Castle Crag by “head torch light”. They followed the Cumbria Way before ascending to the Crag summit using the eastern approach. Most walkers then used either poles or micro spikes to descend the loose rough track from the top. Crossing the River Derwent some used the stepping stones while others opted for the bridge. The evening was concluded with a sociable meal at the Mary Mount Hotel.

Wed, 18 Jan 2017

Braving the mist and cold wind, the A group met for a walk from Longlands, starting with a climb up to Longlands Fell. They followed the path from there to Little Sca Fell and Great Sca Fell and then descended to Meal Fell with its shelter which could have been a grouse butt originally, round and well built. A descent to Trusmadoor and a climb to Great Cockup completed the day’s Wainwrights and a pathless descent to a valley track concluded the walk with a crossing of the stream and a return to Longlands along the old mine track.

In dull January weather, the B group left the centre of Troutbeck village in good spirits, setting off towards the pretty 16th century church and briefly looking inside. After a short distance on the Garburn Road, they took the straight clear path to the base of Troutbeck Tongue. Continuing on this valley path alongside Hagg Gill, the gradual ascent of the Tongue was made from the north along the ridge into cloud, which dispersed on leaving the summit. After descending towards Troutbeck Park, the homeward route along Trout Beck was completed by an enjoyable visit to the Mortal Man.

Sun, 22 Jan 2017

The previous day was glorious but the vagaries of the English weather saw the A group meet at Grasmere on a gloomy murky morning, albeit dry and calm. They walked steadily up Far Easedale to the col below Calf Crag – unseen in the cloud. An hour of foggy navigation brought them to Codale Head with the next goal – Sergeant Man – invisible although only 300m away. During lunch below the summit, the cloud cleared to reveal the Langdales and later, en route to Blea Rigg, a view through swirling cloud of Codale Tarn. Irritatingly Blea Rigg, although clear as they approached, was back in cloud when the top was reached but Easdale Tarn was soon in view on the descent back to Grasmere.

From the Swinside Inn the B group walked along the road towards Catbells. They took the track to Skelgill farm and Yewthwaite mine crossing the beck without difficulty although the footbridge was broken. They continued under Lowthwaite Crags to the second footbridge over Newlands Beck. Now walking on the west bank there was a short detour to find a geocache near Goldscope mine. The walk then continued past Low House Farm and on the narrow road to Newlands church where the snowdrops were admired. Beyond Stair the river path was taken to Little Braithwaite Bridge and finally back to Swinside Inn.

A newly formed C* group set out for Sale Fell from the Pheasant Inn at Bassenthwaite Lake. They turned onto the fell near St Margaret’s church at Wythop and followed the path east, before curving south and then west to reach the summit. Extensive views to the Skiddaw group of fells, as well as Ling Fell to the west and Binsey and Criffell to the north were much enjoyed. The group then descended to the Wythop valley and inspected the ruins of the old church at the edge of Chapel Wood. They continued along the path round the fell before dropping down to the Pheasant Inn. Everyone enjoyed the gentle pace of this walk and there was time to stop and examine interesting bits of rock, fungi and other vegetation along the way.

Wed, 25 Jan 2017

Despite the forecast for gusts of 50mph winds, B group walkers bravely set off from Gatesgarth Farm, Buttermere, to climb Haystacks via Scarth Gap. They battled the wind that was being sucked through the Gap, to scramble up several rocky bands to the summit. Superb views were enjoyed with lunch at Innominate Tarn. Descent was by the side of several waterfalls to Warnscale Bottom with a quick visit to Warnscale bothy on the way. A challenging walk for some but an exhilarating and rewarding walk for all.

Parking along Bassenthwaite road, the C group followed the path across fields to St Bega’s Church and down to the lakeside in bright winter sunshine. A lovely display of snowdrops and aconites was an added pleasure along the path beside Mirehouse to the Dodd Wood centre where one of the woodland walking trails led to the cars.

Sun, 29 Jan 2017

A small A group assembled near Wanthwaite Bridge and walked up the Old Coach Road, beside the quarry and onto the fell side to ascend via Fisher’s Wife’s Rake. Hitting a few inches of snow on the open fell, Jim’s Fold was the venue for coffee. Walking east and off piste, the group picked up the “motorway” and plodded in mist up to Great Dodd for lunch in the summit shelter. With visibility improving they headed to Clough Head via Calfhow Pike and made a tricky, careful descent through Red Screes then off piste again to Threlkeld Knotts and glorious sunshine. It seemed appropriate to end a good day on the fells supporting Threlkeld Coffee Shop.

It was cold.  Cloud filled the Thirlmere valley as the B group started the walk to the summit of Great How. The path round the west flank of the fell was slippery under foot and freezing fog blanked out the view at the top. Descending, the walkers continued alongside the lake, up to Swirls and passed through the new tunnel under the A591. They crossed a footbridge to pick up a path above the Thirlmere Aqueduct. The sky cleared and a perfect rainbow showed the way back to Stanah and the Lodge In The Vale for welcome refreshments.

Wed, 1 Feb 2017

A large A group gathered in foul weather to walk from Dobgill car park towards the crags overlooking the Wythburn valley. The two view points of the Beacon and Nab Crags kept their secrets well hidden. The walk to Ullscarf was wet and bleak and the continuation towards Greenup Edge confirmed Wainwright’s summary of this ridge as the wettest in the Lake District. The descent towards Brownrigg Moss was uneventful until the group had to cross the small stream at the bottom, that had become a raging torrent; some waded across whilst some negotiated slippery rocks. The small ponds on the walk towards Steel Fell were now substantial tarns deserving of names. On the descent towards Steel End the clouds lifted to reveal views over Thirlmere and sunshine over Keswick.

Wed, 8 Feb 2017

The A group met at Powter How to walk to Cockermouth via Lord’s Seat. After a steep ascent to Barf by Beckstones Gill, there was an exhilarating tramp over boggy ground to Lord’s Seat and on to Broom Fell before descending to Widow Hause and its extensive tree felling operations. After the final ascent to Graystones, the group continued to Kirk Fell with fine views over Lorton Vale and lunch in warm sunshine, watching sheep and anticipating spring and lambing. From Harrot Hill Farm the route was on quiet roads to Southwaite Bridge then along the River Cocker and the abundance of snowdrops to Cockermouth where there was time for a café stop before the return bus to Powter How.

After taking the bus from Keswick to Seatoller, the B group set out on a lengthy but straight forward linear walk. From High Doat, the highest part of the walk, they crossed Scaleclose Gill to join the Allerdale Ramble footpath, descended past Castle Crag to Hollows Farm near Grange, then continued on the commonly known Terrace footpath above Manesty and down to Brandelhow. Following the footpath by the shores of Derwent Water and past Hawse End, the group arrived at the entrance of the Lingholm Estate where the smell of coffee in the new café and an inspection of the walled garden provided welcome respite and recharge for the remainder of the walk to Nichol End, then Portinscale and on the Howrah footpath, back to Keswick.

Starting at Threlkeld, the C group walked along the Wescoe road and on to Derwentfolds, enjoying the wide views across the valley to the south and west. They crossed the undamaged footbridge over Glenderaterra Beck and joined the old road through Brundholme Wood, then followed it past Windebrowe and down to Fitz Park.

Sun, 12 Feb 2017

Setting off from Legburthwaite, the C* group walked with care on the icy path up Wren Crag and alongside Long Band to the stile. The air was very cold and the wind severe and the group hurried along the ups and downs to reach the summit of High Rigg. Some ventured onto the summit rocks, others staying just below for fear of being blown over. After this, it seemed easy walking down to St John’s in the Vale church, taking a small diversion on the way to view the memorial stone for “a young lad who loved these hills”. The group arrived at the church just as the congregation was emerging and were cordially invited to eat their packed lunches inside in the warmth. They returned to Legburthwaite on the path passing Low Bridge End Farm and were pleased to see the strong new bridge in place there.

Sun, 19 Feb 2017

Dent was the goal as the B group assembled at Wath Bridge outside Cleator Moor. Keeping the River Ehen on their right, they began an anti-clockwise circuit taking in the fell summit, Uldale, Kirk Beck and Nanny Catch Gate. The low cloud soon obliterated the route along the summit plateau, but spirits were high and the conversation animated. The highlight of the walk was a descent through a silent cloud wrapped forest. A visit to The Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale completed another good day out.

Wed, 22 Feb 2017

The B group met at the Thirlmere Dam Car Park to begin their walk towards the summits of Sippling Crag and Fisher Crag. After proceeding up a steep path towards Raven Crag they turned northwards towards Sippling Crag. After this summit, the walk advanced along a forestry track visiting Castle Crag hill fort before continuing by a deer fence and over open moorland to reach the summit of Fisher Crag. It was then time to return to the cars via a forest bothy and a pleasant walk on the newly refurbished lakeside path.

After parking near Hawes End, the C group took the scenic path along Cat Bells terrace – sheltered from the wind for most of the way – before dropping down to Derwent Water at Brandlehow Bay. The return route was by the lakeside and on to Lingholm Kitchen for welcome refreshments.

Wed, 1 Mar 2017

The A group parked in Glenridding and walked up Grisedale in showery weather.  Caution prevailed and they did not attempt the planned climb from Ruthwaite Lodge to Dollywaggon Pike via The Tongue but decided on the less challenging route from Grisedale Tarn.  The drizzle turned to snow above 700m and views on the ridge from Dollywaggon Pike to Nethermost Pike were poor with navigation in white-out difficult. However, it was very enjoyable walking in the soft snow to Helvellyn and onto Whiteside Bank before descending via the pony track to Glenridding and the Travellers Rest for well-earned refreshment after a twelve mile walk.

Sun, 5 Mar 2017

Setting off from the Old Dungeon Ghyll, the A group headed back along the Langdale valley before turning up the steep path to Loft Crag.  Just as they reached the summit the early morning mist and cloud evaporated giving them a picturesque view of the Langdale valley, the surrounding fells and tarns.  After summiting Pike of Stickle, the walkers proceeded over Martcrag Moor to Stake Pass and then turned to Rosset Pike.  On the return down Mickleden, they visited the Pack Woman’s grave, before a well-deserved round of refreshments at the hotel.

Starting from near the Kinniside Stone Circle above Ennerdale Bridge, the B group walked up the track to the Old Mine Road where a break was taken.  The weather, despite gloomy forecasts, was astonishingly benign and the group set off up to Grike and then on to Crag Fell, returning via the Old Mine Road.  A deviation from the route led the group to the Stone Circle before returning to the cars.

The C* walk started from Great Wood car park and proceeded up the spectacular Cat Gill and then onto Bleaberry Fell.  They arrived at High Seat after wading through some very boggy ground but enjoyed the sun and the views.  Taking the path down to Ashness Bridge the group continued to Falcon Crag and back to the cars.

Wed, 8 Mar 2017

A large A group parked at Little Town to ascend Robinson via High Snab Bank and Blea Crags.  The force of the wind was felt early in the walk but the group continued to Hindscarth and Dale Head, appreciating the sun and views.  After descending to Dalehead Tarn, they regained high ground via High Spy and Maiden Moor before descending finally from Bull Crag via Yewthwaite Comb and the mine path back to Little Town.

The B group set off from Lanthwaite Green for Whiteless Pike, walking up Rannerdale to turn left and climb to Whiteless Breast.  In an increasingly strong wind it was decided to abandon the final rocky and exposed climb to the summit.  After returning to Buttermere village, the return walk was extended along the shores of Crummock Water enjoying lovely views and welcome spring sunshine.

The C group had a lovely spring day for a walk round Buttermere.  From the village the rocky path led to a tunnel which was built in the 19th century to keep the workers from Hassness House busy during the winter months.  Gatesgarth Farm was reached, with clear views to Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks.  On the much better path, the group reached Comb Beck – in full spate – and were soon back to Buttermere village.

Sun, 12 Mar 2017

An unexpected blue sky in Patterdale encouraged the A group to make a brisk start to Side Farm, along the track through Rooking and Crookabeck and then across the A592 to continue into Deepdale.  They passed some attractive designer lambs before taking the route up towards Latterhaw Crag and Lord’s Seat.  A pleasant scramble in cloud took the group to Gavel Pike and on to St. Sunday Crag.  During the descent the cloud quickly broke up revealing Ullswater in all its splendour.  The next objective, Birks, was soon reached and there followed a steep grassy descent to pick up the pleasing ridge leading to Arnison Crag.  The final descent led to the Patterdale Hotel.

A small C* group set out from Water End, Loweswater to climb the steep slopes of Darling Fell.  The wind was fierce and the views limited because of lowering cloud and the start of some quite heavy rain.  Luckily this eased off as the group continued to the top of Low Fell and brief glimpses of the well-known and beautiful views were enjoyed.  A sheltered spot was found for lunch before the descent down the steep slopes of Low Fell to Crabtree Beck.  The beck was crossed and the path taken round the south-western side of Darling Fell leading back to Water End.

Sun, 26 Mar 2017

On a sunny and warm day with excellent visibility and snow on the fells, a small A group started from Mungrisdale to climb Blencathra via Souter Fell and Scales Tarn.  The tarn was a popular spot and the beauty of the snow covered fells magnificently reflected in it.  Part of the group continued via Sharp Edge and the other part followed the path around and over Tarn Crags, meeting up just before the summit.  The descent was via Foule Crag, continuing to Bannerdale Crags where the view was stunning – the snow and sun helping to emphasise the ridges and crags of Blencathra and giving an alpine feeling to the vistas in all directions.  From there, the group returned to Mungrisedale and refreshments at the Mill Inn.

The B group met at Setmurthy and climbed up through the woods, emerging into open fields at the top of Watch Hill, where they stood in warm sunshine enjoying the sight of snow on the higher fells.  They walked down the ridge towards Cockermouth, pausing to watch some new-born lambs, and then made their way through sometimes muddy fields to the modest summit of Slate Fell, with its small hidden tarn.  Descending, they turned south and east, drawing a loop through the area to the south of Embleton by way of various paths and lanes.  After passing through the pretty village of Wythop Mill they re-crossed the A66 and turned uphill, joining a pleasant path that ascends through woodland to Seathwaite How on the edge of the old quarry.  A short walk across fields took them back to the starting point.

Beginning in Rosthwaite, the C* group crossed several fields to the Youth Hostel noting the glacial activity in the area.  After a pleasant walk through Johnny Wood the path taken went up High Doat and onto Castle Crag for a lunch stop.  Backtracking a little, a grassy path came to Scaleclose Force and its spectacular waterfall swollen by the amount of rain that had fallen.  Walking through the coppice and back into Johnny Wood, a turn left came to the New Bridge and back to Rosthwaite.

Wed, 29 Mar 2017

On a rainy morning and with a worsening weather forecast, the A group confidently left Dockray knowing a variety of walks was available to them.  They followed the Pounder Sike to Round How where they had clear vistas down Ullswater.  With brightening skies, they walked on the single track high above the Glencoyne valley, under Scot Crag and across Deepdale Slack waterfall then descended towards Nick Head turning east to summit Sheffield Pike and passing an iron post inscribed ‘H’ and ‘M’.  Dated 1912, this was erected to mark boundaries between the Howard estate of Greystoke and the Marshall estate of Patterdale.  Due to the increased wind gusts the group did not descend via Heron Pike but took a safer route below Black Crags to join the Ullswater Way and return to Dockray along Aira Force with its spectacular, cascading waterfalls.

Wed, 5 Apr 2017

The A group set out from Lanthwaite Green looking forward to a lesser used route to Whiteside via the attractive environs of Cold Gill and the steep climb to Penn and onwards to Whiteside. The cloud had risen off the tops to celebrate our arrival and the sight of the surrounding crags was reward enough for the toil. The lively ridge walk to Hopegill Head then descent to Coledale Hause found the group ready for lunch overlooking Gasgale Gill. A minority decided to visit Wandope whilst the majority continued towards a windy Whiteless Pike taking time to enjoy the vista. Having descended, the group enjoyed the shelter of Rannerdale Knotts and a pleasant interlude by Squat Beck, before taking the final waterside path along Crummock Water to return to Lanthwaite Green.

On a bracing morning, the B group departed from Broughton-in-Furness to explore the remote Woodland valley, said to be characterised by the absence of mankind and an abundance of flora and fauna. The 360-degree panorama from the modest but strategically-positioned elevation of Thornthwaite Latter Rigg encompassed Duddon Sands, Kirkby Moor, Great Burney, Blawith Knott, Woodland Fell, Coniston Old Man and its satellites, Caw, Dunnerdale Fells, Buck Barrow and Black Combe. The group then walked through the picturesque hamlet of Woodland before traversing the lower slope of Blawith Knott along a fine bridleway. Back down in the valley, they stopped off at Woodland Church and then meandered towards a comfortable path leading back to Broughton-in-Furness along the disused railway line.

Sun, 9 Apr 2017

On a beautiful spring morning the A group made an early start to ensure parking places at Cow Bridge. Taking the path along the shore of Brothers Water and passing Hartsop Hall, they continued up the steep path of High Hartsop Dodd. Continuing on to the beautiful crags of Little Hart Crag with glimpses of Windermere, they then crossed Bakestones Moss and ascended Dove Crag to join a short section of the Fairfield Round to the top of Hart Crag, a westerly wind with them the whole way. They descended north east along the ridge to Hartsop above How and beyond to meet the road and a delightful roadside path back to the cars; a wonderful day walking had by all.

The B Group set off on a pleasant April day from the Park Brow car park and took the footpath above Glencoyne Park with Ullswater below. After going through a gate in the wall they continued in a westerly direction below Brown Hills before climbing to Birkett Fell and then Hart Side. Birkett Fell is not a “Wainwright” but is a “Birkett” although it is named after Lord Birkett, who campaigned against Ullswater being converted into a reservoir, rather than the mountaineer. Coming down involved passing Birkett Fell again before heading for Dowthwaitehead, Crookwath, and Lucy’s Wood then crossing the road in Dockray and following Aira Beck to High Force and the car park.

Wed, 19 Apr 2017

After miraculously managing to park 7 cars at Burnbanks, a large B group tackled the Naddle round. A short stretch of woodland and road brought the group to Naddle Farm where they then followed the Swindale bridleway to gain access to the first peaks of Harper Hills, Powley’s Hill and Hare Shaw. A descent into the valley and a little more climbing took them over the “return” tops of Naddle High Forest, Wallow Crag and Hugh’s Laithes Pike with its almost aerial view of the Haweswater dam. A pleasant descent back to the farm and some retracing of steps ended the walk, although the day concluded in the sunshine outside The Punchbowl inn in Askham!

After parking at the northern end of Dodd Wood, a short walk across fields towards Scarness took the C group to Bassenthwaite Lake and St Bega’s church. Primroses and violets bordered the route to Dodd Wood Centre from where one of the woodland trails completed the circle back to the cars.

Sun, 23 Apr 2017

In perfect weather, the A group made the steep climb from Wasdale Head up the nose of Kirk Fell – the steepest in Lakeland according to Wainwright. After walking on grass then the more challenging scree, they were rewarded with superb views from the summit. Their route took them down to Beck Head and then on to Great Gable before descending to the stretcher box at Sty Head. The path down the valley with awe inspiring crags on each side gave glorious views out to the coast. Welcome refreshment at Wasdale Head Inn overlooking the beck gave an idyllic end to the walk – spring sunshine, trees coming into leaf and lively black herdwick lambs.

The B group set off in brilliant sunshine from the New Dungeon Ghyll car park to climb Pike of Blisco. The route took them steeply up the side of Redacre Gill to the summit plateau where a few short scrambles were enjoyed to reach the actual summit. The group took in the spectacular scenery – clear blue skies meant superb views of the Lake District in all directions. They descended to Red Tarn, down to Oxendale and back along the beck to the New Dungeon Ghyll where drinks and craic were enjoyed. A really ‘good to be alive’ day!

Starting from the lower Aira Force car park the C* group walked up the left side of the falls taking in the scenery as they went. Crossing the bridge they proceeded towards Dockray, before turning right to follow the wall climbing steeply upwards. On reaching the summit of Gowbarrow, the group surveyed the panorama before setting off downward overlooking Ullswater and magnificent views. A pleasurable outing was completed with drinks in the sun at the cafe.

Wed, 3 May 2017

An A group set off from Mardale Head on a sunny, blustery day. They headed up to Blea Water before crossing the outflow and following the ridge towards Piot Crag. After a short scramble the ridge soon led to the summit of Mardale Ill Bell. At times the strong wind made it difficult to keep a sound footing but Harter Fell summit soon followed. Crossing Gatesgarth Pass the group ascended the grassy slope to Branstree and on to Selside and beyond to the Old Corpse Road. Wind proofs returned to rucksacks by the time they were down to Haweswater and following the pretty lakeside path back to the start.

There were white horses on Ullswater as the eager B group walkers looked out from Glenridding jetty. The steamer might not sail! Strong coffee was consumed while they waited but at noon they disembarked safely at Howtown and were soon eating lunch in a sheltered spot in bright sunshine beneath the summit of Hallin Fell. The group then descended to Sandwick Beck to join the lakeside path. A roe deer was spotted and the call of a cuckoo noted. Following the undulating path, they bore left before Silver Crag and took the high route to Patterdale. Then, dropping down steeply to Goldrill Bridge, they walked through Peter’s Field back to the starting point.

The C group met at Brumston Bridge for their walk to Sale Fell. They followed paths around the foot of the fell trying to avoid the force of the wind whilst enjoying clear views and all that spring had to offer in the valleys.

Sun, 7 May 2017

An A group left Seathwaite to scramble up the north side of Taylorgill Force to Styhead Tarn. They continued up the Band before mountaineering their way up the front of Great End to the north-west cairn. After viewing the various gullies, lunch was taken on the sunny wind-free summit. The group then descended to Allen Crags and took a route down the side above Grains Gill to the arête and plunge pool before returning to Seathwaite via Stockley Bridge.

With the B group having set off from the bluebell-adorned western shore of Windermere just over a mile south of Wray Castle, the only way was up as they ascended towards the charming hamlet of High Wray. They then meandered along the bridleways and footpaths of the partially afforested upland rising between Esthwaite Water and Windermere, which, by virtue of its elevated position, rewarded them with an impressive panorama. The lunch atop High Blind How, the highest point of Claife Heights, was a leisurely affair, glorious sunshine amplifying the beauty of the area once beloved by Beatrix Potter. Another pleasant bridleway led them downwards to Belle Grange and, beyond it, to the starting point by the lakeshore.

On a gloriously sunny and calm morning, the C* group set out from Scale Hill and walked to Crummock Water. The path went through the woods above the lakeshore and was followed until a left fork was taken towards Cinderdale. Soon the mass of bluebells below Rannerdale Knotts came into view, a beautiful sight which would be seen again from the top of the Knotts. As the ridge was reached, a brisk wind cooled the air but a sheltered hollow was found in which to enjoy lunch. The steep and stony path down the western end of Rannerdale Knotts was negotiated with care and the route back to Scale Hill through Lanthwaite Wood brought a very pleasant walk to an end.

Wed, 10 May 2017

This was the Club’s annual coach outing – this year to Wensleydale – and the weather was glorious. The A group started out from Bainbridge and walked up to the lake of Semerwater alongside the River Bain. After lunch with an extensive view of Raydale they called at the ruins of Stalling Busk church and passed through the hamlet of Marsett before the climb up to Cam High Road. It was then “downhill all the way” to the village of Burtersett and a delightful flat walk through fields back to Hawes. The B group also started at Bainbridge, alongside the River Ure and on to Askrigg where they followed the path above Mill Gill lined with wild garlic. They emerged from the shade of the trees to distant views of Addlebrough and scattered stone barns before meeting a lane crossing over Sargill Beck and several pretty cottages. Steady progress was made across walled fields of lambs and swooping curlews, as the group negotiated numerous stone squeezer stiles with gates. They visited Hardraw Force before making their way to Hawes. After leaving the bus at Hawes the C* group went to St. Margaret’s Church and crossed the fields to Wensleydale Creamery for a morning coffee. Refreshed they crossed fields passing disused barns to Thorney Mire House and Appersett Viaduct where they saw the recently restored lime kiln. Moving on, the bluebell wood showed no sign of bluebells but brought them to Hardraw Force. They returned to Hawes by the Pennine Way. The C group climbed steadily from Hawes towards Sedbusk. Lunch was taken here on the village green after which many stiles took the walkers past stone barns to Simon Stone, and then to Hardraw Force. A stroll over fields led to the river Ure, where mallard ducks, wagtails and an oyster catcher were seen, before a gentle walk back to the Hawes.

Wed, 17 May 2017

The A group met at Cinderdale Common and followed the path to Grasmoor via Lad Hows. They paused below the top to enjoy the views across Buttermere, Crummock Water and beyond and after a short stop on Grasmoor they made their way around the edges to look over the side of Dove Crags and across towards Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike. Crag Hill was the next top then onwards to Sail and, after 17 bends in the zigzag path down, the route turned back towards Buttermere, past Addacomb Beck and Third Gill, and around Whiteless Breast. It then picked up the path through High Rannerdale along the beck to see the bluebells – probably past their best but still wonderful.

The B group set off from the layby near the Ravenstone hotel to ascend the ridge to Carl Side. They climbed steeply out of the forest and on to The Edge – luckily clear of cloud. Ullock Pike was the first peak of the day followed by a superb mile of high level ridge walking along Longside to the grassy summit of Carl Side. A steep descent via White Stones led the group to the Dodd Wood col where they followed the forest road to the RSPB osprey viewpoint. After peering into the telescopes to see the nest across Bassenthwaite Lake, they descended to the café for a welcome stop. A pleasant walk through the grounds of Mirehouse to the lovely church of St Bega’s on the shores of the lake followed and after viewing the church, the group made their way across the fields to the cars.

The C group’s walk was to Rannerdale to see the bluebells. Walking along both sides of the valley, they saw the spread of the bluebells up the slopes of the fells – a beautiful display gradually increasing each year. Leaving the bluebells, the group crossed to the shore of Crummock for a short lakeside walk.

Sun, 21 May 2017

The aim of the walk had been High Stile via Sheepbone Rake but with the rain pouring down a small A group set off from the village of Buttermere wondering how far they would go. At the Gatesgarth end of Buttermere the rain had stopped and after Warnscale the direct route was taken to Gamlin End where, as soon as noses rose above the parapet, the wind hit. Thinking the wind was manageable, although occasionally having to grab for steadying rocks as gusts took hold, the group reached High Crag. The wind remained a problem all the way over High Stile and beyond Red Pike where the rather rough Lincomb Edge path was taken to Scale Force. The return to Buttermere village was in beautiful sunshine, sheltered from wind and surrounded by bluebells – perfect.

The B group left Seatoller, and despite the rain began the walk up the old Honister pass track above Hause Gill. The group was in high spirits as the rain stopped and they successfully crossed the beck before climbing the steep fellside towards the ridge above Lowbank Crags. A welcome sheepfold offered some shelter for a short rest before they continued towards Raven Crag and Grey Knotts. The group was able to enjoy a wonderful panorama of the surrounding high fells and were facing directly up Grains Gill. The summit of Grey Knotts was reached and the ultimate goal, Brandreth, was in sight. After an easy walk across to the Brandreth cairn, the route continued to Honister Hause and the old Honister track to return to Seatoller.

Thur, 25 May 2017

The X4 bus from Keswick to Threlkeld took the B group to the start of an evening walk. Leaving the village by the Kilnhow Beck, they walked up to the wall at the foot of Blease Fell, following it to the road that led them to the Blencathra Centre. Field paths took them to Derwent Folds before they crossed the Glenderaterra Beck and headed steadily uphill to Latrigg. Here they lingered long to admire the views bathed in evening light before the downhill to Keswick and refreshments in the town.

Wed, 31 May 2017

From the old church of St Martin in Martindale, their destination High Raise, the A group walked up the valley to Dale Head before following a narrow path below Heck Crag taking them to Angle Tarn. From there they headed for Rest Dodd and the spur route across to The Nab. Re-ascent of Rest Dodd was followed by ascent of The Knott – the last steep climb of the day. The path to Rampsgill Head was easier and the group continued to Kidsty Pike and its views in to Riggindale before turning for High Raise. From there, they followed the route along the ridge before taking a downward narrow path leading to the flanks of Pikeawassa and on to the old church.

On a glorious sunny morning the B group set out from Braithwaite, up the lane and through the farmyard to ascend the Barrow ridge. At the summit of the fell (the first of five) the party stopped for refreshments before dropping down to Barrow Door then up to Stile End. Taking the path through the heather, they climbed up steeply to Outerside summit. Here hints were made about lunch, but the leader pushed on across High Moss and up to Sail Hause, where lunch was a welcome reward. The Scar Crags ridge was greatly enjoyed and summiting Causey Pike, the fifth peak, completed a good day.

The C group set off to explore Eycott Hill, on a hot sunny morning. They climbed to a view point, where Blencathra could be clearly seen. A meandering route over heather and some bog led the walkers to the top of the extinct volcano where a short stop was made. A buzzard could be seen floating on the thermals, also skylarks were singing and meadow pipits were feeding their young. The same route was taken back to the cars, with many interesting wild flowers to examine along the way.

Sun, 4 Jun 2017

There were delights at every turn on the Whitbarrow walk, which the B group embarked on at Mill Side, north of Morecombe Bay. A surprisingly easy climb up an imaginatively zig-zagged path led them to the southern tip of the magnificent limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow Scar, its summit plateau having been designated a nature reserve and an SSSI owing to the richness of its fauna and flora. Traversing the finest part of the four-mile-long crest soaring above the Winster Valley, they enjoyed a 360-degree panorama before descending into the lush valley below, adorned with the imposing Witherslack Hall. From there, a woodland bridleway led them to Witherslack, whose minor roads provided a convenient passage to its outpost Mill Side.

Wed, 14 Jun 2017

The A group parked at “Mag’s Howe” in the Green Quarter at Kentmere. With cloud still clinging to the tops, they followed the bridleway north up the Kentmere valley, climbing up above the reservoir before – 4 miles later – arriving at Nan Bield Pass in clear conditions. Turning right for Harter Fell, they had lunch just below the summit and then walked down the eastern half of the Kentmere round, adding in Goat Scar for good measure. On reaching the Sadgill/Kentmere bridleway, they crossed to a contouring footpath which eventually descended direct into Green Quarter, where tea on the “Mag’s Howe” terrace ended a superb day.

The B group set off from Spout Force car park for a high level circuit of the valley. After a short walk on a forest track they climbed up through Aiken Plantation to reach Brown How and then Whinlatter Top. They continued along the ridge to Tarbarrell Moss, Lord’s Seat and Broom Fell before descending to Widow Hause. Even though the forest here had been cut down recently, they had no trouble accessing the path below from where they walked back to the cars. It was a very pleasant walking day with good visibility showing Lakeland at its best.

Sun, 18 Jun 2017

The A group began with a level walk from Stonethwaite to Seathwaite where a member pointed out some interesting rock formations alongside the Allerdale Ramble. On reaching Hind Gill the group took the steep path and short scramble to the top of Glaramara. Surrounded by fell views, they made their way to Allen Crags passing several tarns along the way. Next the route turned south east to Angle Tarn then away from the main path towards Stake Pass before descending into Langstrath. Returning to Stonethwaite along the valley, the group paused for a while to observe youngsters having fun diving into the pool at Blackmoss Pot.

On a glorious Sunday morning the B group parked a mile east of Kirkland and walked over Low and High Penn to the summit of Blake Fell. Whilst there, with glorious views all round, they took a few minutes to remember their friend Kathleen, who had often walked with the group. From there the path to Carling Knott was taken, followed by a boggy crossing to the path ascending Burnbank Fell. After returning downhill they contoured to the col beneath Sharp Knott, and then continued downhill on forest tracks towards Cogra Moss. Crossing the dam, the group walked alongside the lake to the Donkey Trod which took them uphill before returning to the cars.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017

Despite the forecast for rain, a small A/B group set out on an evening walk from Lanthwaite Wood car park. They started through the woods and alongside Crummock Water then headed towards Cinderdale Common and Rannerdale Bridge. After crossing the footbridge and skirting around the foot of Rannerdale Knotts towards Hause Point, the group headed towards Buttermere picking up the path alongside Mill Beck. In Buttermere they followed the path across to Scale Bridge and alongside Buttermere Dubs towards Crummock Water. By now the promised rain had started but only very lightly. The route continued around the bottom of Scale Knott and into Mosedale along the base of Melbreak before arriving at the Kirkstile Inn on the way back to the cars. A refreshment stop for all!