Following the suspension of walks due to the lockdown, the club decided to make a cautious return to walking the fells. As a trial the walks reported below were undertaken with new rules aimed at protecting members and the general public alike. For the trial, walks started from Keswick town locations, split into groups of a maximum of 6 people, and maintained social distancing at all times. Finally, where members needed transport to the start locations, car sharing was not allowed. The trial was considered to be a success and the experience so far indicates that walks a short distance away from Keswick may be worth trying next.
Wed, 22 July 2020
The A group met at St John’s Church at 9.30 am, walked up through Spring Wood, crossed the fields to the A591, crossed the fields past Sykes Farm to reach St John’s in the Vale Church. From there they dropped down to Bridge Farm and over the bridge to the Old Coach Road. They climbed through old mine workings to Wanthwaite Bank into low cloud, reached the high Fells along the terrace path and then climbed to Clough Head. They descended through White Pike out of the cloud to the Old Coach Road and walked to Threlkeld via Newsham House. They walked along the road to Wescoe, Derwent Folds and returned to Keswick via Brundholme Wood. (21.2km, 5¾ hours, 1000m ascent.)
The B group set off from Portinscale suspension bridge, going through Ullock and Little Braithwaite on the way to Coledale and Barrow Door passing Stile End on the right. From there it was a simple walk, unfortunately with drizzle all the way, to the top of Barrow and returning via Ullock to a welcome coffee outside at The Chalet in Portinscale.
Sun, 2 Aug 2020
The A group was split into two groups of six. The groups set off independently to walk up Spooney Green Lane and along the Cumbria Way to ascend Lonscale Fell. Heavy showers persisted for the steep ascent, slightly dampening the mood. However on reaching the summit the rain eased and a rainbow appeared which restored everyones spirits. They traversed along Burnt Horse Ridge to rejoin the Cumbria Way. The sun had now come out and after crossing the Glendaterra, they enjoyed a pleasant walk following the beck on the west side to Derwentfolds. They returned to Keswick through Brundholme Woods. (11 miles and 871m ascent.)
Leaving from Eleven Trees, the B walkers in 2 small groups made their way up past the stone circle and then across fields through High Nest before crossing Naddle Beck. Ascending to the path bisecting Low and High Rigg and then continuing through bracken to the summit of High Rigg. Grassy slopes and wet conditions took the group down to the St Johns in the Vale church. From the church across Low Rigg to Tewet Tarn, sunny skies were appreciated during the leisurely amble back along quiet roads and fields alongside a secluded nature reserve back to the start.
Wed, 12 Aug 2020
The A group left Keswick along Borrowdale Road towards Great Wood where they joined the terrace path below Walla Crag. On reaching Ashness Bridge they headed up High Strutta, pausing to cool off by Ashness Gill then continuing upwards in search of a coffee stop with some fresher air and a panorama of the fells across Derwentwater. A peaceful stroll to High Seat followed with few other walkers in the vicinity. Now it was time to concentrate on avoiding any boggy areas towards Bleaberry Fell. Unusually, the breeziest spot was the chosen lunch location, which had the added bonus of commanding views towards Blencathra. A quiet return to Keswick was accomplished before the forecast rain arrived. (15.72 km; Total ascent: 743 m.)
On the hottest day of the year 2 B groups of 5 set off from the centre of Keswick. The first target was the top of Walla Crag which was reached 50 minutes into the walk. A well-earned coffee stop ensued with a spectacular view from above Derwentwater. From there they climbed to the top of Bleaberry Fell where a welcome cooling breeze awaited, together with lunch. From thence they descended to Ashness Bridge, returning to Keswick via Great Wood accompanied by the ominous sound of a thunderstorm.
A small C party set off from Binsey Lodge, to make the short ascent to the top. It was a hot sunny morning, but a gentle breeze helped. On reaching the top, a short stop was taken amongst the purple heather. Then the party returned to the cars by the same path.