2019 July to December

Mon, 1 Jul 2019

Low level 6 mile evening walk from Keswick to Braithwaite and back for joint A and B groups: A gentle stroll across the fields and wobbly bridge to Braithwaite was extremely enjoyable. The group, as always, was well looked after for supper at the Royal Oak and then the treat of the night seeing 3 hares in the field closest to them, as they rambled back to Keswick with the sun setting behind Grisedale Pike.

Wed, 10 Jul 2019

The B Group set off through meadows before climbing in Dodd Wood emerging above the tree line amongst foxgloves to Ling How. The ascent was made up the North ridge of Ullock Pike on clear paths to the summit and along the ridge of Longside Edge. Visibility was good and continuing on to Carl Side, the group made their way down the long shaley path to White Stones then down to Long Doors. Wide forest paths alongside Skill Beck ended at Old Sawmill where refreshments were appreciated in sunshine. A short walk alongside Mirehouse and visit to St Begas Church completed the enjoyable day.

The C party set off from Binsey Lodge and climbed steadily to the summit of the fell. Skylarks were singing overhead, and Meadow Pipits were seen along the way. All the tops were visited, and a stop made in the sheltered side of the fell for refreshments, overlooking the Solway. The walkers then returned by the same route to the cars at the Lodge.

Sun, 14 Jul 2019

The ‘A’ group met at Troutbeck Church and proceeded to the top of the Garburn Pass and onto the Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick ridge, before the final pull up to Thornthwaite Crag for lunch.  Descent to Threshthwaite Mouth (as ever many swearing that it is the last time they’ll do it) before a left turn down the very quiet Troutbeck Valley.  A detour over a boggy section to climb Troutbeck Tongue before the valley walk (via Limefitt Park) back to the start.

The air was redolent with the scent of freshly-cut hay as the B-group embarked on their exploration of the lush Upper Kentmere Valley. Taking High Lane out of Kentmere, they cut across the lower slopes of Shipman Knotts and Kentmere Pike before climbing up Smallthwaite Knott for a bird’s-eye view of Kentmere Reservoir, cosily nestling at the foot of Lingmell End, Froswick and Ill Bell. They then descended down a fern-clad slope to the bottom of the valley before crossing the depleted River Kent. The return from the reservoir was dominated by Rainsborrow Crag rising up magnificently ahead, its lower slopes pockmarked with disused quarries. And down in the fields, farmers were busying themselves cutting the grass – a bucolic vista.

Mon, 22 Jul 2019

A good-sized combined A and B group enjoyed a 2 hour walk on a very pleasant July evening. The route first took them from Dacre to Pooley Bridge, skirting Dunmallard Hill. They then followed the River Eamont for a mile before crossing the A592 and taking to the fields down Dalemain. The wide farm track connecting Dalemain and Dacre completed the route, passing the Pele Tower as the village approached, but sadly not having enough time to visit the church.  The Herdwick Inn at Penruddock provided an after-walk meal.

Wed, 24 Jul 2019

With less-peopled routes to and from Coniston Old Man the goal, the A group started by taking the well-trodden route well into the Coppermines Valley and then huffing up a steep mining incline over to Levers Water. After paddling across the dam, they then tackled Brim Fell End for a direct route to the summit of Brim Fell and on to Coniston Old Man. In cloud by this time, they took a southerly descent route (stopping for lunch once “vision” was restored!) above the extensive mines in the Goat’s Water valley and down to Walna Scar Road. The return to Coniston was via Little Arrow, the old railway line and The Sun Inn!

Heatwave? What heatwave wondered the B-group eyeing the day’s first objective, Lank Rigg, swathed in thick cloud. The planned route, from Coldfell Road, would have traced Whoap Beck, but somebody succumbed to wishful thinking that, after the recent downpour, going over Whoap might be drier underfoot. If only! By the time the walkers ascended Lank Rigg, all boots were thoroughly soaked. Enveloped in impenetrable fog, they were propelled by hope that, by the time they reached Crag Fell, they might be rewarded with magnificent views of Ennerdale. Their hopes dashed, they squelched their way to Grike, where they finally caught a glimpse of the world emerging from the gloom. True to form, all agreed they’d had a marvellous day!

After hearing the weather forecast the C group decided to change their plans and walk closer to home, choosing the Bassenthwaite Woods for a pleasant stroll in an area more open than before due to recent tree felling.

Sun, 4 Aug 2019

Despite forecasts of thunderstorms, the day started bright and sunny.  The A group set off from Patterdale and climbed gently up by Grisedale Beck to Ruthwaite Climbing Hut.  The ground steepened as they headed up to find Hard Tarn, which is in a beautiful location.  There they followed a delightful scramble up to Nethermost Pike.  They were then in impressive scenery as they headed up to Helvellyn.  Clouds began to gather as they descended Swirrel Edge to Catstycam and, not wanting to hang around, they made good progress down to Red Tarn, Hole in the Wall and Grisedale Beck.  They made it to within the last kilometre of the walk when the rain began.

Six of the B Group set off from Braithwaite, ascending Barrow on a clear path to the summit.  The heather was in flower with a number of varieties of butterflies being spotted.  The views of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, Grisedale Pike and Causey Pike were admired.  Visibility was clear as the group continued on to Stile End and Outerside.  A view of the Force Crag Mine and its settling ponds was had on Outerside.  The final ascent was made to the pass between Sail and Causey Pike.  The group then descended down Rigg Beck into the Newlands Valley.  The return to Braithwaite was a little bit of road walking to Stair, then joining the Newlands Beck path into Braithwaite.

Wed, 7 Aug 2019

Setting off from Cow Bridge an A Group headed up the steep incline towards Caudale Moor and the Atkinson Memorial pausing briefly at the disused slate quarry on the way.  When almost down to the Kirkstone Pass Inn they stopped to chat to the B Group who were heading in the opposite direction.  Onwards then to the highest point of the day, Red Screes, before descending through a large, and totally unconcerned, herd of cows to Scandale Pass.  The last climb of the day took them to Little Hart Crag before the steep descent via High Hartsop Dodd back to the start.  (14.5km, 1100m)

The B group set off from Cow Bridge and walked along Brotherswater to Hartsop Hall.  A gentle ascent to the Kirk Stone – not much road noise due to lots of water in the becks.  The Kirkstone Pass road was crossed and there was a happy meeting with the A group on a reverse route including Red Screes.  A joint photo opp of course.  The path along the wall led to Caudale Moor and John Bell’s Banner.  The descent alongside Caudale Beck became very steep but spectacular and worth the pain to the knees.  Road walking was avoided by choosing a field path to the Brotherswater Inn where some members stopped for a drink.  The return journey followed the original route along Brotherswater.

Parking near the north-west end of Dodd Wood the C group arrived at the osprey viewpoint where the light was very good and through the telescope they saw the osprey in the nest quite clearly.  Returning through the wood to the car they then travelled along the Carlisle road to a lay-by before a short walk on a grassy path under Binsey towards Whittas Park.

Sun, 18 Aug 2019

An A group walk up on the Limestone Scars above Orton:  The proposed walk up High Street via rough Crag had to be cancelled due to high winds and driving rain, so they set out from the village of Orton just north of Tebay for a day’s walking on the Limestone pavements of Beacon Hill and Great Asby Scar.  Despite the often heavy showers and strong gusts the group managed to walk 11 miles through this geologically fascinating upland area passing on the way the Victorian monument on top of Beacon Hill and the Romano British settlement on Great Asby scar.  The day was rounded off with a pint in the village pub.

Wed, 21 Aug 2019

For the A group, times were the theme of this day.  Parking at Martindale new church the group of eight made the ascent of Hallin Fell and there caught a glimpse of a time of water, a time of fire, a time of faulting and folding and a time of ice all marked in the landscape spread before us.  Then coffee time at Sandwick and on to that key time – Lunchtime! taken on the summit of Place Fell before a time of hurried fumbling to don waterproofs under darkening skies.  Onward then in sharp, stinging showers to Bleaberry Knott before attaining the lower path circling Hallin Fell and thence to Howtown Hotel as it was by now time for tea!

Five B group members left Waterend on Loweswater, and crossed the fields towards Fangs Brow.  They turned sharply uphill to make the steep ascent to the Pile of Stones and continued across moorland to Burnbank Fell summit.  With views of the Solway and the higher Lakeland fells they continued, despite a strengthening wind, to reach the summit of Blake Fell.  As they walked, Sharp Knott and Carling Knott were viewed below them.  Due to the wind they made a brief stop at the summit before descending to Fothergill Head where a calm and picturesque descent was made to Highnook Beck before proceeding past the tarn to Watergate farm.  A pleasant walk along the shores of Loweswater brought them back to the starting point.

The C party set off from Caldbeck walking beside the Caldbeck river, on a linear walk to Hesket Newmarket.  The path climbed steadily into Parsons Park, where the sun had brought out many butterflies feeding on the Knapweed.  From there a decending route was taken through an ancient woodland, which led to the bridge over the river, and then onto Waters Meet.  This is a magical place where the Caldbeck joins the Caldew River.  A short stop was taken beside the water, then another woodland path was followed back to a car at Hesket Newmarket.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019

On a sunny Sunday 25th August an A group of 8 left Dungeon Ghyll and headed up to Stickle Tarn.  There being no takers for the Jack’s Rake option the group headed left past the tarn before traversing right to arrive at Pavey Ark.  After negotiating the bog to Thunacar Knott the group moved on to be greeted by swarms of flies on Harrison Stickle.  A breeze blew away sufficient of their relatives to allow lunch on Pike o’ Stickle.  The group walked on to Loft Crag and then Thorn Crag before descending past Dungeon Ghyll Force to the hospitality at the Stickle Barn.

Blue sky and balmy air greeted the B group as they left Fellside to walk up to High Pike.  Leaving the footpath above Ingray Gill they continued to Potts Gill Mine (barytes) and then followed the path leading to many fenced mine shafts.  They then took the path South of High Pike and left it to take the narrow track to their objective.  Conditions were almost perfect as they arrived at High Pike for lunch.  They then descended Northwards on a grassy footpath, crossed pathless springy turf and joined a good path above Hay Gill which took them down to Fellside.  The day concluded with lots of lively conversation over a welcome cup of tea at Caldbeck café.

Wed, 4 Sept 2019

With fingers and toes crossed against precipitation, the B-group headed for Staveley’s Barley Bridge, straddling the River Kent, where they marvelled at the roaring weir.  More oohs were elicited by Craggy Wood, a magnificent broad-leaf plantation covering the rocky slopes of Spy Crag.  Then down to Frost Hole, an enchanting olde-worlde farmhouse.  A further descent, now in the rain, led to the Dales Way, which conveyed them along the foaming river to Cowan Head, a complex of luxury apartments at odds with their bucolic setting.  Having executed a loop past the elevated Cragg Farm, the route returned to the river, crossed again at Hagg Foot.  The dense Beckmickle Wood then witnessed the return of the soggy but defiant party.

Sun, 8 Sept 2019

The A group started walking from Lanthwaite then followed the Gasgale Gill path alongside a roaring Liza Beck.  Several eroded sections of the path required careful footwork and full concentration, which efforts were rewarded further on by impressive waterfalls on the approach to Coledale Hause.  The group made their ascent to Grasmoor summit along the path above Dove Crags before continuing towards Wandope for lunch, where the distant Lakeland landscape could be seen clearly resulting in the inevitable fell identity discussions.  The group descended via Whiteless Pike and completed their circuit along Rannerdale then Crummock shoreline back to Lanthwaite Green.  (Distance 15 km, total ascent 929 m.)

Twelve B group members set off from Cauda Brow taking a grassy and lesser used trod towards Blake Fell.  Passing Kelton and Godwith Fells they soon reached the hause between Blake Fell and Gavel Fell.  The ground steepened before Blake Fell Summit was reached.  Only the briefest of stops was taken before the party moved on to Carling Knott where lunch was taken.  Then it was the return leg to the cars via High Pen and Low Pen and along the flank of Knock Murton.  The final act of the day was the short drive to the Shepherd’s Arms in Ennerdale Bridge where the home made biscuits and white chocolate sheep raised the blood sugar levels.

The C walkers took the bus to Scales before walking a little way on the grass verge beside the road to start, then the path leading downwards to the River Glenderamakin was taken.  A boggy section had to be avoided, then a good path along the river was reached.  A stop was made on a pile of warm slate, which had probably been left by previous flooding.  A flock of Swallows and Housemartins were flying near by, making use of a warm day, to feed up before leaving for warmer countries.  The path continued beside the river, then another path was taken towards Threlkeld to catch the bus back to Keswick.

Wed, 18 Sept 2019

For the A group the circular route started in Bowness Knott car park and followed the path alongside Ennerdale Water, past the youth hostel, and then up the track to Red Pike, from where views of 5 lakes was possible.  The path across the top over Starling Dodd and onto Great Borne was easy to follow.  Most walkers seemed to prefer the opposite direction, which did avoid the westerly winds.  The descent took them across to Herdus, then steeply down, through the bracken, alongside a small beck and eventually led to the road, which then took them back to the start.

The B group parked in the A591 lay-by close to Town Head, crossed the road to Ghyll Foot before climbing relentlessly first up the road and, after passing through the gate, up a clear path to the summit of Steel Fell.  From there a boggy path took them to Calf Crag where lunch was taken.  Thereafter they headed towards Gibson Knott and then took the zig-zag path below Helm Crag back eventually to the cars.  A very pleasant 7 mile walk in good weather.  Refreshments were taken at the Kings Head at Thirlspot.

The C walk set off from Isel bridge to climb Wainwright’s outlying fell, Watch Hill.  The path through the wood climbed steadily with signs of Autumn on each side, berries and lots of different fungi.  On reaching the ridge the lake district mountains came into view, so a stop was taken to appreciate the view.  A different path was taken for the decent zig zagging through the trees, and back to the cars at Isel bridge.

Sun, 22 Sept 2019

Despite a forecast of heavy rain showers, 5 A Group members set off from Loweswater following footpaths towards Fangs Brow and on to Burnbank.  The tops were clear ensuring great views on the way to Blake where coffee was enjoyed looking down onto Cogra Moss.  Gavel was next and then down to Flouten Tarn, over Flouten Cop following a clear path to Hen Comb.  The rain stopped and, whilst having lunch, a rainbow appeared.  A leisurely walk along Loweswater was followed by drinks at The Kirkstile Inn where the Brexit problems were sorted!

The B group set off from Threlkeld (7 walkers) in gentle rain.  Climbing steadily up Blease Fell the weather did not improve but morale was high and the group all made it to the top of Blease Fell in swirling cloud.  Some of the party returned to Blencathra Centre for lunch and the rest persevered up to the summit of Blencathra in wind and rain.  Gradually the weather improved and on the way down the valley below was visible.  Continuing the descent the groups met at the Blencathra centre and all walked to Threlkeld in good weather.  A visit to the Community centre in Threlkeld finished the walk with refreshments.

Wed, 2 Oct 2019

The A group parked at Roehead and walked over the footbridge at Pooley Bridge to catch the 508 bus to Hartsop.  They walked up the green trod to Gray Crag, where the coffee break was taken and then continued to Thornthwaite Crag and High Street.  From there they deviated towards the head of Riggindale Crag for the views over Haweswater.  The walk continued to Kidsty Pike, High Raise and lunch.  The rest of the walk to Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill and Arthur’s Pike was tedious but mitigated by the splendid, crystal clear views over and beyond the Lake District.  Refreshments were taken at the Castle Hotel: (22km, 6¾ hours, 940m ascent).

Setting of from Ambleside the B group headed up a short steep road towards a well-signed native woodland named Skelghyll.  The walkers enjoyed many stops to admire the clear views over Windermere and its adjacent fells, emerging above the tree line to continue along Robin Lane to Troutbeck.  The final ascent was made up Wansfell via Nanny lane and all enjoyed views towards Yoke and the coast.  The stepped descent toward Ambleside was taken and the 555 bus home to Keswick.

Starting at the Noble Knot car park in Whinlatter, the C group walkers followed the Masmill trail, reading the poetry on the posts along the way.  The good path led over a stream, and then to the carved slate seats and table.  This was ideal for the lunch stop with fantastic views to Skiddaw, Ullock Pike and Dodd Wood.  The return route along the Heavy Side trail, bordered the edge of the forest and in the shady parts many different fungi were growing.  The path then opened up and Keswick and Derwentwater could be seen in the valley below.  Descending back into the forest the car was soon reached at Noble Knot.

Sun, 13 Oct 2019

The B group crossed the western outflow of Buttermere which leads to Crummock Water by the new footbridge – recently restored after a long closure following damage by flooding.  An uneventful walk in very wet weather, the rain becoming heavier.  However the waterfalls were dramatic and the autumn colours impressive.  There was a coffee break at Hassness where the ghyll looked forbidding.  A worthwhile morning nevertheless.

Wed, 16 Oct 2019

The A Group (10 members) set off from Bowness Knot in the rain to climb Great Borne via Rake Beck.  Although the rain ceased the low cloud remained as they crossed to Starling Dodd and then on to Red Pike.  Brief glimpses of Crummock and Loweswater were revealed on the way.  A steep descent to Ennerdale brought them out of the mist and a pleasant walk in sunshine took them through a forest, passing ancient settlements, crossing swollen becks and back to the start.

A B party set out from Glencoyne Bay car park to ascend Sheffield Pike.  They followed the Ullswater shore path for a short way before turning into the Glencoyne valley on a pleasant path climbing gently through woods in beautiful autumn foliage, passing behind Seldom Seen (a row of old miners’ cottages), and emerging onto open fellside.  A gradual ascent took them to the col of Nick Head, where they turned east across boggy ground to reach the summit of Sheffield Pike.  Returning towards Nick Head, they turned south and descended into the Glenridding valley, passing through the disused workings of the Greenside mine, to regain the lake shore and return to the starting point.

Sun, 20 Oct 2019

The A group set off from Seathwaite having first solved the mystery of drumming sounds which turned out to be a tup head-butting a large box.  Soon turning off the main path, the group made their way alongside Hind Gill carefully stepping steeply towards Glaramara over the damp rocks.  After a rest on the summit they continued across to Allen Crags, pausing to admire a hidden tarn, as visibility improved revealing pockets of sunlit fells beneath moody skies towards the Langdales.  The group completed their circuit by descending on a grassy ridge above waterfalls and autumnal trees along Allen Gill.  (Distance: 11.61km; Total ascent: 828m.)

The B group ramblers met up at Honister National Trust car park, the weather forecast was correct in that a brisk northerly ensured that everyone wrapped up well for the first chilly hike of this autumn.  With the wind behind, they steeply ascended Grey Knots, on to Brandreth and then following the BPs to Green Gable, the panorama in the wonderfully clear air was superb.  Ennerdale, Borrowdale, Loweswater, the Isle of Man, Criffel, and the SW peninsula of Scotland, not to mention quite a few of the central and eastern Lake District tops, were all visible.  Descending along the old whiskey smuggling route of Moses Trod, they arrived back at Honister 5 hours after commencing the ramble.

Sun, 20 Oct 2019

The C walkers set off from Fleming Square in Maryport, and walked to the old Roman Fort.  A cool breeze was blowing from the sea, but fortunately the sun had a little warmth in it.  A good path led down to the promenade, where the Isle of Man and Criffel could be clearly seen.  On reaching the harbour, there were a flock of Red Shank feeding busily in the mud, as the incoming tide crept nearer.  A bench against a sheltering wall made a good lunch stop, then the walkers made their way back to the car.

Wed, 30 Oct 2019

Eleven A group walkers headed to the New Dungeon Ghyll in glorious weather for the best walk in the Langdales.  Leaving the NT car park they headed up towards Loft Crag and the Langdale Pikes before heading north to Thunacar Knott and High Raise where they then headed for Sergeant Man and Blea Rigg, descending onwards to Stickle Tarn and their start point some 5 hours later where they enjoyed a well earned coffee and tea.  For the technical they walked 9.88kms, a total elevation gain of 668 meters and some 19,981 steps.  A grand day out.

Due to there being no parking spaces at the Portinscale swing bridge, the C party set off from the Hobcarton Car Park and a good path on a forestry trail was followed.  The farmer had been gathering sheep from the high fell, Herdwicks probably.  The path climbed steadily through the trees, giving good views of Whinlatter Fell.  A short break was taken looking down into Hobcarton Gill, then the walkers made their way back to the car.

Sun, 3 Nov 2019

The A group made a direct ascent of Helm Crag from Lancrigg, then walked the ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag.  After lunch they continued past the head of Far Easdale to climb onto the ridge to overlook Codale Tarn.  Finally they climbed up to Tarn Crag before dropping down the ridge into Far Easdale and Grasmere. (11 km; 670 m)

Sun, 10 Nov 2019

On a beautiful autumn day, sunny but cold, 12 B group members left Burnbanks, via Naddle Farm, ascending to the moorlands above the treeline.  Two minutes’ silence was observed for Armistice Day, before descending to Swindale.  The road was icy in places, before the group crossed Swindale Beck and ascended the track below Trussgap Brow.  There are many old trees in this area and both they and the bracken were resplendent in their autumnal colours.  Passing Tailbert and Rayside, the group joined the Coast to Coast route on the return to Burnbanks.

Wed, 13 Nov 2019

From Whinlatter, the A group started off in an easterly direction along cycleroute 71.  After descending through the woods towards Spout force, the group then climbed up 280m to the summit of Greystones.  Once on the ridge, an undulating trek took in Widow Hause, Broom Fell and Lord’s Seat, where A group and B group met for a quick conflab.  The A’s then moved onto Barf, and after a brief discussion, a diversion to Whinlatter Fell was introduced into the route, but once Ullister top was reached, all 9 members unanimously decided to seek refreshments in the forestry commission cafe. (Wind LIGHT 5mph S Easterly. Temp 5C, weak hazy sun, Route 15km ascent).

Leaving Whinlatter visitor centre a B group took a marked forest track through the trees and eventually, after some turns, took a narrower path to the top of Seat How where there were clear views all around.  After a stop the group continued around Ullister Hill until the clear path was taken to the top of Lords Seat, where the A group arrived at the same time.  After a lunch stop the group continued on to join the path to complete the circuit of Ullister Hill before joining the way marked Two Gills Trail and returning back to the visitor centre and a welcome drink in Siskins café, where the two groups met up again.

Sun, 17 Nov 2019

The A group set off from Jockey Shield, descended to the River Gelt and contoured round Talkin Fell to the isolated shooting hut at the Gairs.  A short walk on the old mine tramway track brought them to the base of Brown Fell whence they ascended steeply onto the broad and boggy ridge and followed the fence leading to the summit of Cold Fell.  Unfortunately the cloud dropped onto the summit denying them extensive views across Hadrian’s wall towards southern Scotland.  They descended in a south westerly direction over Tarnmonath Fell to the bridge over Old Water.  There the track bifurcated, the right hand track descended into the Geltsdale Valley from whence it was a short walk to the cars.

On a cloudy, dull morning the B group left Lanthwaite Woods and crossed the outflow of Crummock Water, continuing along the lakeside path.  Low cloud patterns made for interesting photography, especially as these patterns were reflected perfectly in the lake.  Continuing along the lake shore in light rain the group turned west around Scale Knott, taking in the pleasant view of Scale Force.  Continuing up and round into Mosedale, the sky began to clear, the Mosedale Holly Tree came into view and the remainder of the walk was very pleasant with good views.

Wed, 27 Nov 2019

The A group started from Wythburn Church and climbed slowly to Helvellyn.  It was a clear, bright day with a spectacular cloud inversion over Thirlmere Dam.  The group continued to Whiteside when the fog descended and remained for the rest of the walk; Raise and then onto the Dodds, starting with Stybarrow Dodd’s three competing cairns.  By now the fog was very dense and the view restricted to a few metres.  Watson’s Dodd, Great Dodd and Calfhow Pike were passed.  The group headed towards the screes above the Threlkeld Knotts.  At this point the group divided, one section walked back to Keswick via St John’s in the Vale, the rest walked to Threlkeld via Newsham. (17.6km, 6 hours, 1170m ascent).

13 B walkers set off from Stainton on a calm and sunny winter morning, through woods and farmland of the Dalemain estate.  The coffee stop at Dacre church was accompanied by a short history of “the Dacre bears” and a visit to the grave of Willie Whitelaw MP.  Continuing on quiet country roads to Soulby and on to Dunmallard Hill for lunch and a progress report on the flood repairs to the road at Pooley Bridge.  It was then a short walk by the river crossing the fields past Dalemain House before a final sharp climb through the trees and back to Stainton village.

The C party had a short walk through Fawepark woods, towards Derwentwater.  The path skirted round Lingholme Gardens, where a flock of Lamas were an unusual sight grazing in the morning sunshine.  Walking steadily downhill the lake shore was soon reached.  The water was flat calm, only disturbed by swans, geese and ducks.  The return route took in Hawes End boat landings, and then climbed back to the original path.

Sun, 1 Dec 2019

What a fabulous winter morning for the fells; clear skies in subzero temperatures albeit this meant icy paths – and a few tumbles!  Rising out of the shade and into the sunshine, Ambleside and Windermere looked terrific as the A group started their ascent of Wansfell Pike.  Luckily the route then along the ridge to Wansfell, down and into the little-visited valley of Woundale and up through a disused mine to the top of St Raven’s Edge kept the group in the sun for most of the time, and this continued as they passed by the Kirkstone Pass Inn and headed off down the infant Stock Gyhll back to Ambleside.

On a glorious crisp winter’s day the B group rode the Borrowdale bus to Seatoller to explore a series of elevated fellside paths.  After a short ascent up the old mine road the Honister-Grange bridleway was followed with superb views over Rosthwaite and upper Borrowdale.  The walk then continued via Hollows Farm to Peace How and more aerial views, this time of Grange, and then on to Manesty to ascend to the Cat Bells terrace path for the final delight of the day with extensive views over Derwent Water and the northern fells.  The walk then continued on to Keswick via Lingholm and Portinscale.

Wed, 11 Dec 2019

This was the day of the club’s Christmas Lunch preceded by walks by the A & B groups:

The A group gathered at the Ravenstone Manor Hotel and after some deliberation about the potential wintry weather conditions, decided to stick to “Plan A” and venture upwards onto the Ullock Pike ridge, walking onwards over Longside Edge and Carl Side before descending via White Stones and clambering through recently fallen trees along the topside of Longside Wood back to the hotel.  With virtually no rain or snow, clear conditions and non-troublesome wind it proved to be an exhilarating pre-lunch walk.

A large B group set off near the Ravenstone Manor climbing steeply in woods emerging above the tree line out into the open fell.  Continuing north along the lower slopes of Watches, the group turned towards the higher ridge with clear views of Ullock Pike and Back o’Skiddaw.  Then walking along to Ling How before descending back down to the woods.  After a sheltered break for coffee an easy walk down the Rabbit Warren led to a lower path before crossing the road to Mirehouse.  A short walk on wide tracks alongside Mirehouse and across fields past St Begas Church, then through meadows back to the Hotel where our Christmas lunch was enjoyed with many of our Club members.

Sun, 15 Dec 2019

The A walkers, following a change of plan due to the forecast, met at Braithwaite.  The group set off towards Barrow in lively mood, looking forward to experiencing the first good snowfall of this winter.  Children on sledges were already enjoying the slopes.  As progress was made up the ridge, the forecast strong wind made itself felt and at the summit with spindrift stinging and wind speed increasing it was decided that this would be our highest point of the day.  The blue skies were increasing as the group descended to continue around Outerside enjoying the deep snow, and downwards eventually to cross the beck to Force Crag mine and join the track for an easy return to Braithwaite.

12 B walkers set off from Uzzicar on a winter wonderland morning to walk a circuit of Newlands Valley via Skelgill, Littletown, Goldscope and Rigg Beck.  A most delightful day helped along by anecdotes of local folk past and present.  An ideal walk for the time of year thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Sun, 29 Dec 2019

The cloud was low and Derwentwater was choppy as the group left Keswick to drive to St Johns in the Vale.  They started from the Lodge in the Vale, taking a field path to cross the A591 proceeding towards the dam.  Leaving the road, it was a steady climb through the wood alongside Thirlmere to the summit of Great How.  After a brief stop, the party descended out of the strong wind and carried onward and upward to Swirls.  The sun came out as the walkers took the balcony path above the aqueduct to return to Stannah.  Eleven intrepid souls had completed the last club walk of 2019. Great.