2021 January to June

Wed, 31 Mar 2021

Challenging – Mungrisedale Common.  What a glorious day for the first Club walks of 2021.  The Challenging walk started from Threlkeld and after passing the Blencathra Centre, headed up the Glenderaterra valley, turning right up the very pleasant Sinen Gill and on to the summit of Mungrisedale Common.  Unsurprisingly, it was uninhabited!  The group then sploshed over to the head of the Glenderamackin valley before ascending Bannerdale Crags where a very leisurely lunch was enjoyed in the beautiful weather and with the extensive view down Mungrisedale.  The steep descent over White Horse Bent to Scales followed by field paths south of the A66 took a happy bunch of walkers back to Threlkeld.

Moderate – Causey Pike.   Three separate small groups started from Braithwaite at differing times and spirits were high in warm and dry conditions.  Reaching Barrow Door via the Gill, Stile End and Outerside were climbed before crossing High Moss and then reaching the hause below Sail.  The scenic Scar Crags ridge beckoned and a leisurely pace was enjoyed before reaching Causey Pike summit.  After an extended lunch due to sun and company, the groups back-tracked a short distance along the ridge before descending to Barrow Door.  Some took an option to return over Barrow summit to lengthen the walk to complete a cheerful day back on the fells.  [6.5 miles; 2300 ft ascent.]

Easy – Around Threlkeld.  Starting from Threlkeld Bridge the group followed the old railway line towards Newsham, before heading towards Threlkeld village.  Footpaths were followed to gain the lower traversing path across the slope of Blease Fell.  They then passed through the Blencathra Centre and followed the footpath down to Derwent Folds, continuing down towards the river.  Climbing out of the valley, they proceeded downhill to join the refurbished railway path and returned to their cars.  The freedom to be out with others and the sunny weather was enjoyed immensely by all who participated.

Sun, 11 Apr 2021

Challenging – The Dodds.  The group met at High Row.  The sun shone as they enjoyed a gradual ascent to Great Dodd via Randerside.  A brief snow flurry and easy ground carried them on to Watson’s Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd, with the grandeur of Helvellyn inviting them to approach.  However Hart Side and Birkett Fell beckoned.  The day remained sunny and it was a joy to see Ullswater after descending by, then over, the wall and along Brown Hills, Swineside Knott and Common Fell.  From here Blake Sike led them easily down to Crookwath and the return to High Row.

Moderate – High Rigg.  On a very cold but sunny morning 17 Moderate group members met near Legburthwaite and as three separate groups they departed at intervals.  The steep climb soon warmed them and the scenery was breath-taking in the cold, sharp air.  They followed the undulations of the fell, passing small tarns, one with sprouting Bog Bean and one with frog spawn.  At the Youth Centre they turned left, following the track around the western side of the fell to Rough How Bridge, where there is an ancient pack horse bridge.  Continuing through Shoulthwaite Farm they followed the forest track alongside Shoulthwaite Moss.  They continued past Smaithwaite to Bridge End Farm, with its fields of delightful young lambs and also the end of the walk.

Easy – Rydal & Grasmere.  Setting out from a lay-by outside Grasmere, the group passed through the village and walked up the Red Bank road to access the path leading to the woods and thus onto Loughrigg Terrace.  Maintaining height, Rydal Cave was reached.  Descending towards the water and passing through more wood a bridge was crossed to reach the road.  A pleasant excursion into Dora’s Field with daffodils past their best and newly flowered bluebells brought them to Rydal Churchyard.  After lunch the Coffin Route from Rydal to Grasmere was followed past Dove Cottage and thus return to the cars, just as a flurry of snow commenced.

Wed, 20 Apr 2021

Challenging – Kirk Fell.  The group set off from Honister heading up to the Drum House and then out along Moses Trod before heading down Loft Beck.  Little or no rain for several days had left the beck low and the crossing to the footbridge over the River Liza was accomplished with dry feet.  After a steady climb up Sail Beck marvelling at the views down Ennerdale, the group reached Black Sail Pass from where the challenge of the day was the scramble up Kirkfell Crags and on to the summit.  The walk across the top and down the scree of Rib End brought them back to Moses Trod, past a completely dry Beckhead Tarn, and thence back down to Honister.  [13km; 900m of ascent.]

Moderate – Rannerdale.  Two groups of six left Gatesgarth Farm, walking around Buttermere clockwise, leaving the main path just after Comb Beck to take the slightly more elevated and less frequented path.  Morning coffee was taken in Buttermere village, before meeting Crummock Water via the campsite.  A gentle ascent on the old coach road almost to Hause Point, then more steeply up the nose to Rannerdale Knotts.  This section was amazingly dry!  Lunch on high, followed by the ridge walk towards Low Bank, then dropping onto the wooded path by Mill Beck down into Buttermere.  Wilkinsyke Farm led the group back to the shore path to complete the circuit of Buttermere to return to the cars.  Mother Nature provided them with glorious dry, sunny weather.

Easy – Sale Fell.  The group set off for an easy walk on Sale Fell by taking the forest track from Routenbeck until they arrived on the open fellside.  They continued above Wythop valley and through Chapel Wood noting primroses, sorrel and violets before arriving at the ruins of Wythop old church.  The group continued until a clear path was taken to the summit of Sale Fell where lunch was taken in Spring sunshine.  The party returned down to complete the circuit of the fell and back to the cars through St Margaret’s churchyard.

Mon, 26 Apr 2021

Evening – Dock Tarn and Watendlath.  The ramblers set off at 5.00 pm for an evening walk from Rosthwaite.  Having just had two weeks of dry, sunny weather, the evening was overcast.  The group made their way along The Cumbria Way to just past Stonethwaite Bridge.  They ascended the steep stone steps to Lingy End and on to Dock Tarn.  The normally boggy terrain was dry and easy to negotiate.  From here it was a pleasant downhill descent to Watendlath where they paused by the tarn for refreshments.  The sun put in a brief appearance.  The final stretch over Puddingstone Bank to Rosthwaite was achieved just before dark.  It was the latest some people had been out since the last lockdown!

Sun, 2 May 2021

Challenging – Ashness Wood and beyond.  The group met at St John’s Church and walked along the path at the side of the Borrowdale Road to Great Wood and onto the path under Falcon Crag.  They dropped down to the Ashness Road and through the Barrow House hostel before climbing up through Lowcrag Wood to Surprise View and out of Ashness Wood onto the Watendlath road.  From Thwaite House they took a sheep track up to Thwaite Bank and over the stile onto Ashness Fell.  Several sheep tracks were followed to Skelly Crag and down to Ashness Farm.  The walk continued to Falcon Crag where lunch was taken looking over Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake before heading back to Keswick.  [15km].

Moderate – Carrock Fell and High Pike.  On a sunny clear day following 5 weeks of dry cold weather the group followed Rake Trod to join the steep scrambly gully leading to the sheepfold for coffee and then on to the summit of Carrock Fell with superb views.  An art feature was admired, local stones had been skilfully put together to form an archway.  The route leading to High Pike was unusually dry.  A chilly lunch was enjoyed on High Pike with extensive views of Southern Scotland including Merrick in the Galloway Hills.  The ridge route over West Fell was chosen for the descent rather than the mines valley giving easy walking and great views of the Pennines.  The sturdy black fell ponies were waiting to welcome them.

Easy – Alongside Crummock.  A group of 8 walkers set off from Lanthwaite Green car park, through Lanthwaite Wood above Crummock Water to Scale Hill Bridge.  They returned along the River Cocker to the western head of the lake for a coffee stop in the company of wild swimmers and spectacular views.  They continued along the shore to the sound of warblers to Cinderdale Common and on around the bluebells of Rannerdale which were just out enough to be really appreciated.  A female orange tip butterfly was seen along with a yellowhammer.  A lunch stop was taken while in the shelter of Cinderdale Beck followed by a walk back to the cars via a westerly path below Grasmoor.

Mon, 10 May 2021

Ann Bowker MBE Memorial Walk to Barrow and Braithwaite How – On a somewhat showery day Keswick Rambling Club celebrated the life of Ann Bowker MBE, who recently passed away, with a memorial walk to Barrow and Braithwaite How.  Ann, who lived in Portinscale, had been a dedicated and loyal member of the club for many years and is sorely missed.

The leader of the walk told The Keswick Reminder that:  “Ann joined Keswick Rambling Club in 1989 with her husband Rowland and played an active role with the club until recent years.  She was Ramble Secretary for 12 years until 2011 and her photography during these walks was well known.  She posted these pictures on her website “Mad about Mountains” and also pictures from work parties with the Lake District National Park and her personal walks.  She was awarded an MBE for services to Cumbrian Tourism.

Ann had climbed all the Munros, Corbetts and Grahams, over 1551 Marilyns and many major summits overseas including Mount Fuji, Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc.  She along with Rowland her husband had visited in the region of 200 countries.

Her favourite fell was Skiddaw but Barrow was chosen to make the walk accessible to more walkers.  It also included Braithwaite How which she regularly climbed on poor weather days to get pictures for her website.

We were delighted that Martin Bowker, her son, was able to join the walk.  The group set off from Braithwaite after the leader related a few memories of Ann from teaching in the Computing Department at Nottingham Trent University.  We climbed to Barrow Door and then on to Barrow summit, before stopping for lunch on the way down.  On this section we had views of Skiddaw.  After passing through Braithwaite and over the footbridge, we climbed Braithwaite How which gave good views of Bassenthwaite Lake and Keswick.  This was a new summit for several of the walkers.

At convenient points during the walk many of Ann’s exploits were mentioned and two of her poems were read”.

Wed, 12 May 2021

Challenging – Dale Head.  At its meeting place, the group was greeted by a party of local llamas.  The ramble started along the valley crossing Newlands Beck to join the path up Scope End, High Crags and on to Hindscarth.  Visibility was good as the group made their way along Hindscarth Edge towards Dale Head, appreciating views of mountains which had been unreachable by so many during lockdown.  The group carefully descended the stony path to Dalehead Tarn before turning upwards to reach High Spy.  A break was taken overlooking Newlands Valley before the group continued across Maiden Moor and returned to Little Town.  [Distance: 14.5 km; Total ascent: 1,082 m]

Moderate – Watch Hill.  The group set out from the minor road that passes Setmurthy Woods.  They followed the road east and turned up a track towards Elva Hill.  Descending northwards, they joined a footpath that skirted a wood and then crossed a pleasant area of heathland.  They followed a bridleway heading southwest along the edge of Hill’s Wood, emerging into the open near the summit of Watch Hill.  Continuing downhill towards Cockermouth, they crossed a road and took a path through Brick Kiln Wood, along the flank of Slate Fell, eventually descending to another road.  Skirting the nameless hill on which Cockermouth golf course is located, they walked up a lane to regain their starting point.

Easy – Under Burnbank Fell.  The group left the car park near Waterend to start their walk making their way up to Hudson Place for a first view stop down Loweswater.  They made their way down the path towards the Lake and into Holme Wood.  Skirting the path along Loweswater there was a lot to see and hear with various flora and fabulous bird song.  Then to Maggies Bridge and a leisurely climb up onto Under Burnbank Fell terrace, stopping at Holme Beck for lunch, continuing on the path until the group reached the point to turn off towards Jenkinson Place and then back to the car park.  The weather remained good apart from a shower towards the end of the walk.

Sun, 23 May 2021

Moderate – Latrigg and Threlkeld.  This group of 7 people, knowing that the weather was too wet, windy and cold for ascending Blencathra, met at Spooney Green Lane at 9.30am and walked in wind and rain up Latrigg.  Walking along the ridge they descended to the road and walked along it for a short while before descending to cross the beck near Derwent Folds.  They then made a short ascent to the Blencathra Centre and had lunch in the sensory garden – somehow avoiding rain.  Using footpaths along a wall they walked to Blease Lane and into Threlkeld and then on the railway path back to Keswick arriving back at 2.30pm relatively dry.

Wed, 2 Jun 2021

Challenging Group – Grasmoor.  On a hot day a group of seven set off from Cinderdale Common winding up to the viewpoint at Lad Hows.  Thirty to forty minutes of slog up the ridge terminated with relief at gaining the grass and moor of Grasmoor, from which point a visual check of the cars in the car park was available.  The group strolled across to Wandope, where the strengthening wind prevented it dangling its legs over the edge with a view to the East.  Heading for Third Gill Head Man the group then descended the ridge over Whiteless Pike before ambling through Rannerdale buttercups to the start.

Moderate Group – Grange Fell.  On a very warm day the Moderate Group met at the Bowder Stone car park in Borrowdale.  A rough path was taken to Brock Bield for the steep ascent to Long Moss with woodland offering welcome shade.  The summit of King’s How was then climbed and after dropping back to Long Moss the second objective – the contorted top of Brund Fell – was reached via fellside paths.  Descending to Puddingstone Bank the popular Rosthwaite bridleway was taken down to Hazel Bank.  Unmarked paths at the foot of Frith Wood and parallel to the roadside were then used to reach the Bowder Stone and the car park.

Easy Group – Lodore Falls.  The Easy walk turned into something of a nature ramble with birds, flowers, insects and not forgetting humans enjoying the early summer sunshine.  Setting off from the car park, cuckoos accompanied the group through Great Wood onto the lower Falcon Crag path.  At High Lodore the rocky path up through Mossmire Coppice was delightful with carpets of bluebells, a clearly happy chiffchaff and several northern wood ant nests alive with busy worker ants.  Not surprisingly Watendlath Beck was low but no one seemed to care as they enjoyed the lunchtime sun by its banks.  Plenty of humans were milling around Surprise View as the group descended over Ashness Bridge and back along the road to the car park.

Sun, 13 Jun 2021

Challenging Group – Fairfield.  Wearing shorts and bearing water for the promised heat a group of six passed Rydal Hall on its way up Nab Scar after which cloud set in for the next four hours.  Apparently, the group traversed Heron Pike and Great Rigg to arrive on Fairfield.  All ‘delightful prospects’ being absent, the group then seemingly made its way to Hart and Dove crags and High Pike, after which a semblance of landscape appeared.  After Low Pike the group descended to Low Sweden Bridge, thence thankfully to the tea shop at Rydal Hall and the cars.

Moderate Group – Low Fell.  The Moderate Group set off from Lanthwaite Wood car park (bottom of Scale Hill) to traverse Low Fell.  A short walk along the road to the footpath to Foulsyke and from there the path through the woods and across the fellside to the drovers road up from Thackthwaite.  A slow ascent to Low Fell’s undulating ridge with its magnificent views of Lakelands’ fells and of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater.  The steep descent to Crabtree Beck and the terrace path with its lone pine took the group back and around to the outward path before a stop on the return to admire the beautiful and varied garden at Foulsyke.  A very sociable walk enjoying perfect weather conditions.

Sun, 20 Jun 2021

Challenging Group – Seatallan.  At the entrance to Wasdale, Seatallan is one of the quieter Lakeland mountains.  Six members of the Challenging Group set off from Greenhead cottages.  The first climb of the day was up Middle Fell which has a nice rocky ridge up to the summit.  They then descended to the boggy col between Middle Fell and Seatallan.  The climb to the summit was steep but once there the group was rewarded with tremendous views down Wasdale to the giants that ring the valley head, Scafell Pike, Scafell, Great Gable and Pillar.  The final fell of the day was Buckbarrow, well known to rock-climbers, before descending via Greendale Gill back to the cars.  (3 Wainwrights 8 miles, and 2500ft of ascent.)

Moderate Group – Sale and Ling Fells.  On the fine morning a group of five members met near the Pheasant Inn at Embleton for a Moderate Group walk on Sale and Ling Fells.  Following footpaths and forest tracks, they walked up through Wythop Woods before emerging onto open fellside, where an undulating path led them to the summit of Sale Fell.  They descended into the peaceful Wythop valley, crossed Brumston Bridge and followed the old coffin route along the northern flank of Ling Fell, then turned up the slope to gain the summit, where they enjoyed lunch in the sunshine.  They returned to Brumston Bridge and turned east, passing through the beautiful Chapel Wood, finally re-entering Wythop Woods and descending to their starting point.

Easy Group – Grisedale Beck from Patterdale.  The Easy Group of seven set off from Patterdale along the ‘valley of the pigs’ on a day of warm sunshine which was contrary to an earlier forecast of heavy rain.  The apex of the walk and coffee was taken below Eagle Crag where Grisedale Beck was crossed; no visit to Grisedale Tarn today.  The return with Place Fell in full view took them finally to visit Lanty’s Tarn for lunch accompanied by many blue, green and red damsel flies flying above its tranquil waters.  A lovely leisurely walk in the heart of superb mountain scenery.

Wed, 30 Jun 2021

Challenging Group – Glaramara.  The group set off on a warm sunny day from Stonethwaite in the dappled shade of trees up the stony path alongside Little Stanger Gill.  Emerging into full sunshine at the top of the path they climbed Bessyboot to admire the surrounding scenery from its summit.  The next section of the walk continued past Tarn at Leaves and across Rosthwaite Fell onto Combe Head.  Time now to tackle the gentle scramble up to Glaramara, the highest point of the walk, before the group descended to Stonethwaite via Thornythwaite Fell on their route overlooking Combe Gill.  Refreshments at the Langstrath rounded off a pleasant summer walk.  (Distance 11.51 km; total ascent 831 metres.)

Moderate Group – Flat Fell and Dent.  The Moderate Group set out from Wath Bridge in surprisingly heavy cloud, and proceeded up Nannycatch Road onto the path to the top of Flat Fell and then into the lovely Nannycatch valley.  A herd of cows appeared on a cliff above, and the group helped the farmer to herd the cows in the direction of Nannycatch Road.  Then, criss-crossing the beck the group arrived at Autumn Bridge before a pleasant wooded ascent towards Dent summit provided grateful shade from the sun which was now shining through.  After a short breather, the last part of the climb was without shade, but the summit was quickly reached.  Descent was by Weather Slacks to the road leading back to Wath Bridge.

Easy Group – Lodore to Keswick via Catbells Terrace.  On a sparkling summer’s morning, an all-male Easy Group, intent on putting the world to rights, alighted from the bus at the Lodore.  The previous night’s England’s football win over Germany having put them in a jubilant mood, they dispelled certain wives’ allegation that men are reluctant talkers.  After crossing the Chinese Bridge, perched over the depleted river, they headed for Manesty, looking colourful with its riot of flowers, before attaining Catbells Terrace.  Throughout, the pace was relaxed, the mood convivial and the panorama pleasing, the terrace commanding the area surrounding Derwentwater.  Welcome refreshments, necessary on such a hot day, at The Chalet in Portinscale rounded off a very pleasant amble, which terminated in Keswick.