2021 July to December

Sun, 4 Jul 2021

Easy Group – High Doat.  The group met at Seatoller and then took the former mine road for a gradual ascent of the fell, branching off to ascend the first mini top of High Doat where a largely unknown stone circle was examined.  After a visit to the second top a steep descent was made to join the main Honister/Grange bridleway that was then followed down to the River Derwent at Gowder Dub.  The riverside path was then followed back to Seatoller via Longthwaite.

Wed, 14 Jul 2021

Challenging Group – High Cup Nick.  The Challenging walk set off from Dufton for High Cup Nick by first descending into the delightful Dufton Gill before some field paths to gain the bottom of High Cup Gill.  Then followed the long but spectacular walk up the Gill surrounded by the high crags before a short but steep climb at the end to gain the rim of the gill and High Cup Nick itself.  With the sun emerging, a further short climb took the group onto Backstone Edge, dropping down 2 miles later to the long and slightly tedious 4×4 track leading down towards Dufton Pike and back to Dufton.  The reward was tea and cakes at the bakery!  A fabulous day.

Moderate Group – Darling Fell Terrace.  After crossing the road at Waterend the group followed the track towards Askill and eventually joined the Mosser coach road towards Crummock Water.  A gate provided access to the terrace walk, close to quarries and rocky outcrops.  The slightly elevated track allowed excellent views and after climbing steadily Crummock Water appeared.  Crabtree Beck was crossed and the track continued around Low Fell towards a “lonesome pine tree” with pastoral views of the vale of Lorton.  The climb down Pottergill led to a grassy track and the Thackwaite Road at Foulsyke.  This was followed to Maggies Bridge.  The return followed the familiar route via High Nook Farm and the coffin route, with stunning views across the Solway.

Easy Group – Moor Divock.  Leaving the Low Sawmill Car Park, near Askham Bridge, the Easy Group took the riverside path to Crookwath Bridge, which was crossed to access a path on the opposite bank.  This path was followed to the lane leading up to Helton.  A hidden set of steps took them to a path across a few fields and stiles to Moor Divock and the Cop Stone.  From there the main track across the moor was followed to Riggingleys Top and their return route along the track and road through the village of Askham, stopping for welcome refreshments at the Punchbowl Inn, before returning to the cars.

Sun, 18 Jul 2021

Challenging Group – Scoat Fell.  The group met at Bowness Knott Car Park to walk along Ennerdale Water at a good pace sheltered by trees until leaving the wood below Lingmell.  The ascent of Steeple’s slopes in hot sun was eased by the grandeur of the rock scenery all around.  Once reached the ridge gave us Little and Great Scoat Fell, Haycock and Caw Fell with welcome high cloud and breeze.  The group descended the delightful ridge above Silvercove beck to retrace the outward route along the lake.  Refreshments were enjoyed at Ennerdale Bridge.

Wed, 28 Jul 2021

Challenging Group – High Raise.  A group of 9 set off from Grasmere despite the threat of rain and thunder.   Fine weather accompanied them along Greenburn Valley up to Pike O’Carrs, Calf Crag, Coledale Head onto  Sergeant Man.  Early lunch in sunshine and onto High Raise.  Dark clouds and rain sent the group quickly down to Greenup Edge and on into Far Easdale where once again the sun appeared.  (Distance 18 km)

Easy Group – Matterdale.  The group met at Ulcat Row and took the path to High Cascades waterfall at Aira Force.  They continued to Dockray, up the hill, turning southeast through Lucy’s Wood and on to Dowthwaite Head.  From there they arrived at High Row and turned down the hill.  On the route towards Matterdale End the group passed an ancient Ash tree of huge girth.  The interesting looking Matterdale Church was visited.  “A date of 1573 on a tie-beam, plus a datestone ‘IW Churchwarden 1686’ indicates its age.  Good example of a traditional Lakeland church.” (Courtesy Historic England).  From the hamlet of Matterdale End the group crossed two fields on a narrow path with thigh-high rushes, to reach the end of the walk.

Sun, 1 Aug 2021

Moderate Group – Glencoyne.  The too hot to walk heatwave was past when on a perfect walking day the ‘Moderate’ group set off from High Cascades car park for Glencoyne Head.  Taking the path down to Aira Beck, following it downstream to the Force, across the meadow and road to join the Ullswater Way, passing the lake shore busy with canoes and paddle boards.  Turning up the track taking us past Seldom Seen Cottages and the long and steady climb to Glencoyne Head.  Continuing on the old miners’ path, traversing the head of the valley with magnificent views of the U shaped hanging valley and Ullswater beyond, the group made their way back to the cars.

Wed, 4 Aug 2021

Moderate Group – Black Crag.  Ten members met at Hawkshead for their outing to Tarn Hows and Black Crag.  Such were the rigours of the journey, that one participant sought sustenance in the form of a large ice cream at 09.15.  Having lingered at Tarn Hows for coffee, Black Crag was the next stop where the splendour of the Cumbrian fells was enjoyed while lunch was taken.  It was a bit of a race to the finish line because of concern about parking tickets expiring.  However, the fleet of foot party arrived in good time, so much so that even more ice cream was consumed.

Wed, 11 Aug 2021

Moderate Group – Walla Crag.  Leaving the Moot Hall behind the Group arrived at the top of Castle Head which offers panoramic views.  Then down to the lake via the Ings and the wonderful wildflowers before sitting on the ‘Lions’ seat under the yew trees near Calfclose Bay to observe the weather closing in from distant Borrowdale.  Next up to the terrace path leading from Cockshot Wood to Ashness where the bracken was above head height but offered glimpses of Derwent and Cat Bells.  Lunch at Strutta Woods then up Barrow Beck, over the top of Falcon Crag to Walla Crag taking in the views of Keswick, Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw.  The Group then returned to town via Spring Woods.

Easy Group – Smardale.  The group started from The Cumbria Wildlife Trust car park on the disused railway line that once ran from Tebay to Darlington.  The weather was a little better than the forecast and about 50 Scotch Argus butterflies were seen along with a good selection of wild flowers.  On reaching Smardale Bridge a section of the Coast to Coast footpath was followed over Smardale Fell before dropping down to Waitby and re-joining the disused line to return to the car park.

Sun, 15 Aug 2021

Moderate Group – Stainton-Dacre loop.  The group left the village of Stainton, up the hill and through Evening Bank Wood, continuing across fields to Dacre.  They were interested to see the four ancient stone “Bears” amongst the graves at Dacre Church.  Following the road to High Bridge via Greaves and Hesket Farm they came to Calley Bridge, where tall plants looking like enormous rhubarb leaves were seen.  Due to poor weather conditions, the walk was shortened.  They continued up the hill to take the path back towards Dacre.  In the first field the group looked at St Mary’s Well and an interesting limestone pillar known as “The Bodgen Hag”.  On reaching Dacre the group took the lower path, through Dalemain Estate and returned to Stainton.

Sun, 22 Aug 2021

Challenging Group – Melmerby Fell.  The Challenging walk ventured into unfamiliar territory, meeting at Melmerby on a morning of very low cloud.  The first 2 hours or so took the group across fields towards Kirkland, turning towards the higher Pennine ground just past Townhead and heading upwards on the Maiden Way via Lad Slack.  Fortunately the low cloud had lifted in time to reveal the summit of the walk, the unassuming Dun Edge, and 1/2 mile further on and only 80′ lower, the more interesting Knapside Hill.  During the descent previous odd showers became more persistent but the pleasure of the day remained undampened.

Wed, 25 Aug 2021

Challenging group – Skiddaw.  On a hot late August day a small group headed to Millbeck via Thrushwood and Applethwaite to begin the steep ascent to Carlside and the even steeper ascent up to the crowded summit of Skiddaw.  Not wishing to join the throng on the main trod they headed along the fence towards Lonscale and only rejoined the main path for a short distance before taking the path through shoulder high bracken across the front of Jenkin Hill.  The path down to Applethwaite alongside How Gill offered some welcome shade through the wood from where they crossed the fields to Spooney Green.

Moderate Group – Middle Fell.  The shores of Wastwater with the highest fells in full glory provided a stunning start for the moderate walkers who made their way to Greendale and then ascended gradually up the rowan tree slopes alongside Greendale Gill, to the tarn tucked away in a hollow setting.  Crossing the gill, the group reached the pass turning towards Middle Fell.  During the second gentle ascent, cloud inversions allowed views of the Scafells before obscuring views from Middle Fell summit.  In high spirits they descended via a different path back to Greendale.  The walk continued through Roan Wood, across fields and woodlands to Woodhow, along the River Irt in Low Wood before passing the lawns of Wasdale Hall back along the lake.

Sun, 29 Aug 2021

Moderate Group – Robinson.  Parking at Buttermere, the path along the west shore of the lake was followed providing a good view of Hassness Ghyll across the water.  The weather was perfect; warm and still with clear skies.  There was a coffee break on the lake shore before the ascent and then lots of stops to take in the views.  Glorious heather was in full bloom.  A mountain challenge was under way.  Scrambling up seemed preferable to running down.  The top was rather cloudy but the sky cleared quickly on the descent across Buttermere Moss towards High Snock Rigg.  The summit cairn afforded a panoramic view of the Buttermere Vallley.  The descent to Buttermere village allowed new sightings of Bassenthwaite Lake and the Solway.

Wed, 8 Sept 2021

Challenging Group – Pillar.  The group began their walk from Honister in full sunshine, first making their way along the dismantled tramway path then across to Loft Beck which they followed down to the River Liza.  Crossing the river was straightforward given the recent spell of dry weather. The main ascent started up Sail Beck before the group continued steadily to the summit of Pillar where they were greeted by a welcome breeze.  Lunchtime entertainment was provided by climbers on Pillar Rock below.  The return route skirted Kirk Fell before picking up Moses’ Trod, then it was back to Honister where ice cream was enjoyed.  (Distance 17 km; total ascent 1,174 metres.)

Moderate Group – Linear walk to Walla Crag.  Six members of the Moderate Group ascended from Rosthwaite to Watendlath on a hot and sunny day. After refreshment by the Tarn the group proceeded by the river to the road to Ashness.  They veered off towards Ashness Farm where they encountered a delightful group of ducklings and chicks.  A straightforward walk was then undertaken from Ashness Bridge to Walla Crag and down to Springs Farm.  (7.6 miles.)

Easy Group – Rydal.  On an unseasonably hot day the group travelled by bus to White Moss.  After walking the length of Rydal Water the walk ascended to Rydal Mount to join the popular “coffin route”.  After briefly joining the Alcock Tarn path the much less well known peaceful fellside path towards the Forest Side Hotel was taken to reach the main road near to the Swan Hotel.  A field path was then taken to White Bridge and then the delightful Butharlyp Woods were visited before arriving in central Grasmere via the grounds of Allan Bank.

Sun, 12 Sept 2021

Challenging Group – Cross Fell.  A small group met at the delightful village of Milburn for the Challenging walk to Cross Fell.  The route first took them across fields towards Blencarn to pick up a bridleway for the long ascent, eventually breaking away from the bridleway for a more direct route to the summit cairn which was reached in time for an early lunch.  The Pennine Way was then followed to Great Dun Fell – for a close-up view of the “golf ball”!  From there they started the descent, mostly on another bridleway which was unusually invisible on the ground, arriving back in Milburn after a very different and enjoyable Club walk.

Moderate Group – Around Crummock.  A group of 5 left the parking area near Rannerdale Bridge in glorious sunshine heading anti-clockwise as Grasmoor towered above bringing scary memories of its ascent on an earlier club walk.  Through the lovely High Wood and Lanthwaite Wood, groups of runners on a 50k race started to come towards them, which continued for most of the walk and was quite entertaining.  Continuing and heading south the views were spectacular and with Melbreak towering above they reached the amazingly empty Low Ling Crag peninsular for lunch with a view of geese, paddleboarders, and runners.  Passing the heaving Buttermere and Woodhouse islands, along the flank of Rannerdale Knotts, over Rannerdale Beck to the cars.  8 miles and 6 hours of bliss!

Easy Group – Elterwater and Little Langdale.  A small group set off from Elterwater car park climbing the rough track towards Little Langdale. At the top a footpath was taken through fields to Wilson Place.  After a short road walk, a path was taken to Slaters Bridge.  Having explored the vast cavern of Cathedral Cave, tracks and road along the side of Little Langdale brought them to High Park.  Following the Cumbria Way they walked down through woodland to reach the valley floor, steps and footpath brought them to the river bridge near Skelwith Falls where a pleasant meander along the riverside and Elterwater brought us back to the starting point.  A welcome drink was enjoyed by all at the local inn.

Wed, 22 Sept 2021

Easy Group – Ambleside to Grasmere.  The Easy Group set off from Ambleside’s Rothay Park and followed the bridleway cutting across the southern slope of Loughrigg Fell, which afforded spectacular views over the Fairfield Horseshoe and Red Screes.  Having negotiated the initial steep section, they undulated south before descending towards the enchanting Loughrigg Tarn, where they marvelled at the imposing vista of The Southern Fells and the iconic Langdale Pikes.  After lingering by the shimmering tarn, the group rounded Loughrigg Fell, aiming at the head of Loughrigg Terrace.  From there, they descended to Lake Grasmere across Redbank Wood and then followed the pleasant lakeshore path, reaching Grasmere after a short stretch along Red Bank Road.  A delightful autumnal amble!

Sun, 26 Sept 2021

Moderate Group – Blencathra Centre to Skiddaw House and return.  The group left the Blencathra Centre towards Glenderaterra Beck, joining the path towards the summit of Latrigg.  Continuing down to join the Cumbria Way, they paused at Whit Beck before resuming the Cumbria Way all the way to Skiddaw House for their packed lunch.  They re-turned by the same path to the Guide Stone, crossing over to the other side of the valley, all the way back to the cars.  An enjoyable walk, made quite atmospheric at times by the changing weather.  A tad mizzly at first, yet warm, sunshine breaking through the cloud at times.  Later there was heavier rain and wind before a period of dryness and a repeat of the mizzle just as they finished the walk.

Wed, 6 Oct 2021

Challenging Group – Great Dodd.  There were 10 walkers on the walk.  After several days of constant rain, the Challenging Group set off in wonderful weather from High Row down to Dockray.  They took the path by the wall passing under Round How and Brown Hills to Birkett Fell and Hart Crag.  A gradual climb to Stybarrow Dodd and the clear views over to Watson’s Dodd and Great Dodd did a lot for everyone’s spirit – definitely a good day to be up high.  The descent over Matterdale Common may have been wet underfoot but didn’t dampen their spirits.

Moderate Group – Linear walk to Keswick via Dodd.  After days of rain, the sun shone from the start.  The route followed the path to St Bega’s church, nestling on the edge of Bassenthwaite lake, then on below Mirehouse before gently rising on the forest tracks of Dodd wood.  Taking a narrow, sheltered path which opened up to a steeper, rocky path, the top of Dodd was reached with clear blue skies and wonderful views across to Scotland easily visible.  Just down from the top, the lunchtime break provided fantastic views over Derwentwater.  The descent on forest tracks, woodland paths and lush bracken filled fields passed through Applethwaite and then opened up to cross fields to Thrushwood and finally into Keswick.

Easy Group – High Lodore to Keswick.  The Easy Group set off from High Lodore, having marvelled at the extent of recent flooding around Derwentwater.  The ascent skirting the base of Shepherd’s Crag was fairly rough, but the group was soon rewarded with the sight of the roaring Watendlath Beck, which they followed across Mossmire Coppice to the bridge spanning the beck.  Once over it, they ambled across Ashness Wood to the iconic Surprise View, whose magnificent views came as no surprise to them.  Having dropped down to the sun-drenched Ashness Bridge, they took the bridleway steadily ascending to the top of Walla Crag before returning to Keswick by Rakefoot Farm and across Springs Wood, a splendid vista accompanying their every step.

Sun, 10 Oct 2021

Challenging Group – Cardunneth Pike.  Leaving behind the crowds in the Lake District the group headed for the tranquil and largely empty North Pennines.  The walk started from Jockey Shield in the Geltsdale valley.  On one side of the valley lies the ridge of Cardunneth Pike on the other the vast moorland wilderness of the North Pennines culminating in Cold Fell the most northerly 2000 ft mountain in the range.  The walk up the valley made use of farm tracks initially then as they got further away from civilisation tracks used by the grouse shooters, this area being a popular hunting spot.  The track crosses the River Gelt by a new footbridge next to the remains of an earlier one that looks as if it was destroyed in a storm.  Upon reaching the col between Newbiggin and Cumrew Fell they turned right by an impressive shooting hut and started climbing up to the ridge.  Eventually they reached Cardunneth Pike which is reputed to be a Bronze age burial mound from 2000 bc topped off by an impressive cairn built by the Armstrong family.  Overlooking the Eden valley the view can take your breath away with the Lakeland Fells, to the west, Cross Fell to the south the Scottish hills to the north and the Solway Firth glistening in the sunshine.  From the Cairn another mile of walking brought them to the trig point at 1600 ft above Sea Level.  Shortly after that the reliable land rover track suddenly vanished and they faced a steep bumpy descent through the heather back to the cars.

Moderate Group – Borrowdale Woods.  Leaving the bus at Seatoller 12 people ascended gently towards Johnny Wood with the splendour of Borrowdale all around.  Bracken turning gold, sun glinting though leaves hinting at the fall, they walked through this glorious wood, then coming out they climbed gently towards and into Scale Close Coppice for coffee above the 100ft waterfall.  Out of the woods, over New Bridge and through Rosthwaite, admiring the recently renovated Institute, then over the Hazel Bank bridge and on to Stonethwaite, stopping by the beck for lunch.  Over the footbridges by Smithymire Island, through scores of mushrooms, then to Stonethwaite and the bus back.

Wed, 20 Oct 2021

Challenging Group – Crag Hill. Although the weather forecast wasn’t promising the Challenging Group set off from Braithwaite to complete a circular walk over Barrow, Outerside, Sail and Crag Hill. The rain caught up with them as they reached Crag Hill and so they descended via Coledale Hause, the stepping stones at Force Crag Mine and the path alongside Coledale Beck back to the start. As they walked back into Braithwaite it had turned dry and sunny!!

Moderate Group – Alcock Tarn. The Moderate Group chose Alcock Tarn and Grasmere as the aiming points for their walk. Setting off from the Swan Hotel, they walked up alongside Greenhead Gill before arriving at Butter Crag with great views over to Helm Crag, Easedale Tarn and Loughrigg Fell. Just beyond was Alcock Tarn where a buzzard was circling and the views now opened up towards Windermere, Esthwaite Water and Coniston. Wainwright described Alcock Tarn as a ‘dreary sheet of water’. He was obviously having a bad day. The descent led the Group down to the Coffin route, then White Moss before a gentle return stroll along the River Rothay and a very grey but nevertheless beautiful Grasmere.

Easy Group – Borrowdale. The Easy Group explored some of the less well-known paths on the east side of Borrowdale. Starting with a visit to the well known Bowder Stone off-map paths were then followed alongside the river, over Eelstep Brow and below Frith wood and after a brief climb the path below Yew Crag was taken to Stonethwaite. After a visit to St Andrew’s church a permissive path was taken to Coombe Ghyll with 2 examples of water power – a 17th century water mill and a 21st century hydro station. Another permissive path was taken via Thornythwaite farm to reach Seatoller for a return by bus.

Wed, 3 Nov 2021

Challenging Group – Grasmoor.  The walk started from Lanthwaite Green and headed directly up Whin Ben onto the Whiteside ridge path to Hopegill Head where there was a brief pause for coffee in the keen northerly wind.  After descending to Coledale Hause, the route climbed Grasmoor on the pleasant path above Gasgale Gill.  The pause for a summit photograph was again, brief!  Heading down to more shelter, the route returned along Whiteless Edge, taking in lovely autumnal views, continuing down Rannderdale and along the shore of Crummock Water to the Boat House.  A rising path through the woods and fields led back to the start.

Moderate Group – Bannerdale Crags.  The group headed up the Glenderamackin Valley from Mungrisdale and skirted The Tongue to about 660m where a small group split off to conquer Bowscale Fell before rejoining the rest of the group at the Bannerdale Crags cairn.  In order to escape the bitterly cold wind they headed towards Mungrisdale Common before dropping down into the valley, with the Glenderamackin on their right, as far as the footbridge below White Horse Bent.  After crossing the river they proceeded to climb Souther Fell, carefully avoiding the worst of the boggy bits and then negotiating a short rocky section, before turning right to eventually meet the track from Scales and back to Mungrisdale.

Easy Group – Applethwaite Ghyll.  Four walkers set out from Keswick, crossing Fitz Park to reach the road to Keswick School.  From the back of the School they accessed footpaths to Thrushwood and the lovely village of Applethwaite.  From the village they ascended Applethwaite Ghyll.  After crossing the ghyll they climbed the fell opposite under Skiddaw’s Little Man, enjoying the magnificent views up Borrowdale.  An easy descent brought them to Applethwaite Church and the group returned to Keswick via Ormathwaite and Spooney Green lane.

Sun, 7 Nov 2021

Challenging Group – Lonscale Fell.  A circular route was planned to take in Skiddaw and avoiding the usual tourist track.  Starting from Spooney Green Lane the group followed the Cumbria Way, slowly ascended a steep slope along a fence line to Lonscale Fell, and continued along the fence line over Jenkin Hill to meet up with the tourist track.  Here they skirted around Little Man but avoided the route to Skiddaw because the winds were strong.  The path over Sale How took them to the Skiddaw Youth Hostel and back onto the Cumbria Way, which they then followed back to Spooney Green Lane.  A total of 19km and 849m of ascent.

Moderate Group – Lower Swindale.  Nine people left Burnbanks, through woodland and on to Naddle Farm.  Crossing a dry beck they continued up the bridleway, crossed moorland and descended into Swindale.  Continuing along Swindale Lane, they crossed Swindale Beck just above the dam.  Following another bridleway they continued along Low Katelade, below Trussgap Brow, then along by Dog Hill to Tailbert.  Enjoying the sunshine the group crossed the waterworks road to Rayside, crossing Swindale Beck at an ancient packhorse bridge to Fairy Crag.  The C2C route was followed across fields back to Burnbanks, with two separate deer sightings and the rushing waters of Thornton Force.

Easy Group – Langstrath Valley.  A small group met at the phone box in Stonethwaite and set off down the path to cross the beck, turning right to follow the Cumbria Way.  After passing Galleny Force another bridge was crossed over the rather full beck and the group continued following the path upstream admiring Blackmoss Pot on the way, eventually approaching Tray Dub and the bridge that would allow them to cross the beck and return on the other side.  The path was rocky, stoney and often wet, the weather breezy, but the typical Lakeland valley was appreciated by everyone.  The return to the village was by the riverside and through the campsite.  Refreshments were taken by some at the local inn before returning home.

Wed, 17 Nov 2021

Challenging Group – Skiddaw from Threlkeld.  As the showers were driven horizontal by the gusting wind, the group set off from the Blencathra Field Centre along the Glenderaterra Valley, stopping briefly at Skiddaw House before taking a well-earned coffee break at the Dash Falls.  With the wind to starboard and low cloud above, the group ascended first to Bakestall and then, with the wind now behind, on to Skiddaw.  Poor visibility and a strengthening wind necessitated a quick ridge walk to Lonscale Pike, which was rewarded by clear views and little wind.  The sting in the tail?  The ascent from Derwent Folds back to the start!

Moderate group – Aira Force and Gowbarrow.  The group left the NT car park heading out at the top end of the waterfall path.  The walk continued through the arboretum, heading upward to the upper bridge for a wonderful view over Aira Force in full flow after heavy rains.  The path then continued upstream following the river and emerged onto open farmland at the base of Gowbarrow.  The short but steep climb up to the summit rewarded with great views of Place Fell and Red Screes.  The return path descended with wonderful views of Ullswater back to the woodland and the main car park.

Sun, 21 Nov 2021

Challenging Group – Raise.  On a day when the weather produced a beautiful but cold day, the Challenging walk was to Raise.  The group started at Glencoyne Bay car park, followed the Ullswater Way into Glenridding and then climbed to White Side via Glenridding Beck and Greenside Mine.  A blast of cold wind soon had the group making for Raise, where just East of the summit a sheltered spot was found for lunch.  Continuing in the same direction, they passed the remains of a chimney (marked on the O.S. map) and followed the downwards route of more mining relics before splodging up to Sheffield Pike and, after an unusual descent route, back to Glencoyne.

Moderate Group – Langdale.  On a beautiful Autumn day 15 members of the Moderate group left Elterwater for a figure of eight walk in Great Langdale.  They walked through Sawrey’s wood to Baysbrown Farm where they crossed the valley and walked along the track to New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.  The Cumbria Way was then followed to the Old Hotel.  The group again crossed the valley and met the Cumbria Way at Side House.  This path was then followed through Chapel Stile and back to Elterwater.

Easy Group – Knipe Scar.   A small group set off from Bampton Grange on a cold but bright morning along the riverside.  Crossing the suspension bridge, Knipe Moor was reached before climbing the broad grassy path to the summit of Knipe Scar.  Tremendous views were had from the edge, including clear views towards Haweswater and the hills beyond.  Having eaten their lunches, they walked down through Scarside Farm, turning left on reaching the road.  After admiring Mary’s Pillar, a green lane was followed into Rosgill, where they continued downhill to reach the lane to Hegdale Farm.  From there they walked through fields by the river to pass through the churchyard at the conclusion of their walk.

Wed, 1 Dec 2021

Challenging Group – Wythop Horeseshoe.  The Challenging Group of 13 set off from Piele Wyke to climb Sale Fell following forest paths and tracks.  Views were clear and the rain kept away as they descended steeply to Burthwaite picking up the path below Ling Fell.  They avoided Wythop Moss by heading for Burthwaite Heights and following the fence gradually climbing to Broom Fell.  Lords Seat followed and the unavoidable bog to Barf.  An indistinct path was taken following a wall to get back into the forest and back to Piele Wyke via Wythop Hall and Lothwaite Side.  [10.7m – 17.2k. 2900ft 883.9m]

Moderate group – St Bees linear walk.  From Whitehaven Station the group took the train to St Bees where the English Coastal Path (now a National Trail) was reached.  The sun shone, the sky was blue and the views towards The Isle of Man and the coast of Galloway were stunning.  St Bees Head was climbed in strong winds and lunch was taken under a wall on the leeward side of the light-house.  The narrow muddy path continued to hug the coast.  As Whitehaven came into view they descended via the old coal mines taking in lots of harrowing information about pit disasters and closures.  The return along the harbour was interesting and attractive following a Millenium project providing information about the long history of Whitehaven.

Easy Group – Whinlatter Forest.  The leaden sky was hanging low as the Easy Group left Thornthwaite to follow the cascading Comb Beck up the slope of Thwaitehill Knotts.  An intricate winding path and another bridleway later, they arrived at Whinlatter Visitor Centre, which offered them welcome shelter from the rain.  Refreshed, they entered the Revelin Moss area and meandered across Hospital Plantation to the foot of Grisedale Pike, its soaring summit swathed by clouds.  Whinlatter Forest it may have been, but there were further vistas, that of Skiddaw, now emerging from the mist, being particularly impressive.  The walkers were then guided down the wooded slope of Heavy Sides by the foaming Masmill Beck before returning to Thornthwaite in high spirits.

Sun, 5 Dec 2021

Challenging Group – High Spy.  The Challenging Group parked cars along the road leading up to Catbells as there was a road closure.  The route followed the main path up Catbells, then to Maiden Moor and following onto High Spy with fantastic views across a panorama of snow covered tops!  They then made their way down to the path from Dale Head Tarn, back along the Newlands valley, along the path underneath and following the Catbells ridge and back to the start.  Highlight of the day was crunching on the snow!

Moderate group – Green Gable.  Parking at Honister NT car park the Moderate Group set off at 10am in dry, windy and cold conditions.  Walking up from the path they climbed up Grey Knotts and Brandreth while underfoot it became increasingly icier and snowier.  They stopped for refreshments before they made their final climb up to a very snowy and windy Green Gable.  Descending from the summit the wind dropped and they had lunch just before joining Moses Trod and a pleasant walk down back to Honister arriving at 3pm.  They were rewarded by sun at the end of the walk and brilliant views throughout the day of both mountains and clouds.

Easy Group – Around Latrigg.  The Easy Group set off from Keswick Leisure Pool, taking the old driveway to Windebrow House and past the Calvert Trust Brain Centre.  Having crossed the A66 they turned left to join the Spooney Green trod to the top of the Gale Road.  They then circled the back of Latrigg to the Brundholme Road and down to the wood and the delightful riverside path for lunch by the River Greta. Now fortified for the 119 steps ahead the woodland path was followed to take the group under the A66 to emerge by Forge Bridge.  Towns Field and Calvert Bridge brought the group back to the start.

Wed, 15 Dec 2021

Challenging Group – Kings How.  Seventeen ramblers met at the Bowderstone for a leisurely stroll through the deciduous woodland of Firth Wood to Kings How.  They paused just short of the summit to enjoy a festive mince pie and where the memorial plaque read “In loving memory of King Edward VII, Grange Fell is dedicated by his sister Louise as a sanctuary of rest and peace.  Here may all beings gather strength, find in scenes of beautiful nature a cause for gratitude and love to God, giving them courage and vigour to carry on his will”.  The wind prevented them from staying too long on the summit.  They made their way down to Eelstep Brow and onto the Bowderstone before they repaired to the Mary Mount Hotel for their Christmas lunch.

Moderate group – High Doat.  The Moderate Group set off from Rosthwaite towards Peat How, crossing the bridge and entering Johnny Wood via a gate.  They continued up a steep rocky path heading towards Seatoller and negotiated their way around a recently fallen tree before leaving the wood and immediately turning northwards up to High Doat where coffee, mince pies and stuffed dates were enjoyed before heading towards the Allerdale Ramble.  Just before Tongue Gill they turned eastwards towards Rosthwaite, crossed the stone bridge, and used their cars to journey to the Mary Mount and meet the other groups for their Christmas lunch.

Easy Group – Grange to Mary Mount.  A group of 9 people caught the bus down Borrowdale to Grange. A pleasant walk passed through Hollows Farm to Peace How where coffee and mince pies were eaten whilst admiring the view. On reaching the foot of Derwentwater, duck boards and the Chinese Bridge brought them to take the Borrowdale Road and thus to the Mary Mount Hotel.  Once there, the group were happy to catch up with fellow members whilst enjoying lunch together.

Sun, 19 Dec 2021

Challenging Group – St Sunday Crag.  The group met at Patterdale in frosty conditions with a clear blue sky above fells clothed in beautiful winter colours.  A brisk walk in shade along to Bridgend and into Deepdale was followed by a steep, warming climb to reach the sunshine on Lord’s Seat and Gavel Pike before the summit of St Sunday Crag, which gave inversion views to the south.  The descent showed the group a glorious picture of Ullswater followed by the ascent to Birks then further descent before a final climb to bronze-coloured Arnison Crag.  A perfect finish.

Moderate group – Great Cockup.  The Moderate Group set off from the car park opposite Overwater where a temperature inversion meant the lane to Orthwaite, in shade, was extremely icy.  Just after the historic Orthwaite Hall Farmhouse (built in 1675) they turned onto open fell and began climbing, almost immediately emerging into warm sunshine and clear blue skies. From the top of Great Cockup they descended steeply to Trusmadoor where they indulged in a spot of lunch and sunbathing! (‘Trussma’ in old Cumbric celtic language means ‘way through’).  A rapid descent to the headwaters of the River Ellen (which flows into the sea at Maryport) followed.  They then made their way to Longlands via a clear track before returning to the car park via the Cumbria Way.