2022 January to June

Sun, 2 Jan 2022

Moderate Group – Greystoke, Dacre and Penruddock.  The new year started with a Moderate walk from Greystoke with the rather grandly-named Flusco Pike at all of 280m being the high point – reached in time for coffee – the group having tried to avoid looking at the less salubrious aspects of Flusco en route.  A very busy A66 was crossed followed by field paths to Dacre where the “bears” in the church grounds were located.  Onwards then past St Mary’s Well and re-crossing a now slightly quieter A66 to Penruddock.  More fields took the group to Motherby and then a delightful track (when it isn’t muddy!) to Greystoke Moor to join the Whitbarrow road back to Greystoke.  A showery muddy day, but it was great to be out.

Wed, 5 Jan 2022

Easy Group – Great Wood and Falcon Crag terrace.  On a glorious crisp, bright winter day the ‘easy’ grade group met at the Moot Hall in Keswick.  After a short walk through the town Springs Road was taken and then the path through Springs Wood was climbed.  The group then traversed the upper Great Wood path to Cat Ghyll bridge where the terrace path below Falcon Crag was joined and at the”Lookout” a little known descent path was taken to Ashness Gate.  After a section of road walking the shore of Derwentwater was reached and after a relaxing lunch stop by Calfclose Bay the lake path was followed back to Keswick town centre.

Wed, 12 Jan 2022

Challenging Group – High Spy.  Six walkers ventured onto Catbells for an uplifting day out, scrambling over rock to reach the summit, then walking onto Maiden Moor to see spectacular views of Derwentwater and over the Newlands Valley the classic shapes of Causey Pike, Hindscarth Ridge and Dale Head.  Walking the well-trodden path towards High Spy in fog, the path dropped down and the small group stepping-stoned across Newlands Beck to arrive at tranquil Dalehead Tarn for lunch on a lovely green grass carpet in the sheepfold.  Returning following the parallel higher path above Newlands Beck, waterfalls and rust-red bracken on fellsides were in view.  At Little Town the group turned towards Skelgill, crossing fields, arriving back at cars at Hawes End.

Moderate Group – Ard Crags and Knott Rigg.  The moderate walk set out from the start of an old quarry to enter the valley alongside Rigg Beck.  With Ard Crags beckoning in splendid isolation, the beck was soon crossed and the ascent was made via Aikin Knott.  Following this short steep climb the two tops of Ard Crags and Knott Rigg were reached by way of a clear ridge path but views were not forthcoming due to cloudy summits.  However, in high spirits the group continued down the now sunny Keskerdale Edge admiring the small woodland of ancient Oaks on the steep hillside and the expansive Newlands Valley.  On reaching the farm, road and farmland walking in the valley completed an enjoyable day.  (6 miles. 2000ft ascent).

Easy Group – Wythop Valley.  Starting their walk in Embleton, the Easy Group strolled to the picturesque hamlet of Wythop Mill, guarding the entrance to the tranquil Wythop Valley.  Following Wythop Beck, they passed between Sale Fell and Ling Fell, gradually ascending to the solitary farm at Kelswick, renowned for its friendly chickens.  There, tarmac gave way to a pleasant lane, which continued on rising gently past the ruins of the Old Wythop Church before descending to Wythop Woods.  They then walked along a comfortable forest bridleway, enjoying glimpses of the Bassenthwaite Lake and the massive bulk of Skiddaw beyond.  After a few twists and turns, the bridleway led them down to Woodend Brow just in time for their return bus to Keswick.

Sun, 16 Jan 2022

Challenging Group – Lingmoor.  Beneath overcast skies, the group set off from Elterwater through woodland and disused quarries.  On reaching Lingmoor Fell summit the dramatic Langdale Pikes revealed themselves.  Having descended a rather damp rocky path a rest was taken where the group could anticipate the next stage of their route to Side Pike.  Continuing via The Squeeze they ventured to the top of Side Pike overlooking Great Langdale.  As a partly frozen Blea Tarn came into view the sun started to break through the clouds.  After following Bleamoss Beck and passing Little Langdale Tarn a detour was taken into Cathedral Cave before the return to Elterwater.  (Distance: 18 km. Ascent: 743m)

Moderate Group – Loweswater village and around the lake.  Thirteen walkers enjoyed a circular walk from Lanthwaite Green, reaching Loweswater via the northern shore of Crummock Water.  Onwards to Maggie’s Bridge then on the Corpse Road, passing High Nook Farm.  Climbing up to a balcony path contouring above Holme Wood, dropping down to Hudson’s Farm to reach the edge of Loweswater itself.  The shore path took them back to Loweswater village, then returning to Lanthwaite Green.  Good weather helped to make this an enjoyable 10 mile walk for all.

Thur, 20 Jan 2022

Headtorch Walk – Walla Crag.  As dusk was descending, thirteen Challenging/Moderate ramblers gathered to begin an eagerly anticipated headtorch walk to Walla Crag.  They set off from Springs Road in Keswick, without light to guide them.  It was surprising how much could be seen in the dark with the naked eye.  As they climbed through Springs Wood, one by one headtorches were activated.  The group climbed steadily to the summit of Walla Crag where they paused for a while to take in the view and it was quite magical.  On closer inspection of the surrounding fells, it was possible to pick out other headtorches on Barrow, Skiddaw and Latrigg.  Eventually they dragged themselves away and began the descent via the banks of Brockle Beck.

Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Challenging Group – Blencathra.  The circular walk started in Threlkeld at the car park with grid reference 318 256. The original route to the summit via Halls Fell was changed and the group ascended via Blease Fell, followed along the long ridge to the summit point 868m.  Visibility was poor above about 600m and the temperature and wind made for uncomfortable standing around.  The group then descended to Scales Tarn, which appeared in front of them out of the mist.  The path around the bottom of Scales Fell, Doddick Fell and Halls Fell took them back to the car park.  There was a scramble to manoeuvre at the bottom of Doddick Fell.

Moderate Group – Langstrath including Woof Stones.  “Road Closed” – a good start to a walk!! Having negotiated the road works at Stonethwaite 19 walkers crossed over the Stonethwaite, and then the Smithymire Island, bridges to head into Langstrath against a bitterly cold wind.  However after a coffee break at Blackmoss Pot they all warmed up ascending 100m steeply to Woof Stones.  The hidden cave was found, but its entrance was blocked up with stones.  Descending and continuing up this glorious valley, taking lunch by crystal clear waters, over the bridge above the spectacular ‘gorge’, then heading north with Sergeant’s then Eagle Crag towering above them.  Crossing the next bridge, past the rapids where hundreds of mushrooms had been last autumn, and following the beck back to Stonethwaite.

Easy Group – Brundholme.  The easy grade group met at Spooney Green Lane to undertake an exploration of contrasting sections of Brundholme Woods below Latrigg.  After a brief climb the lane was left to gradually ascend the flank of the hill.  The route passed through sections of mature coniferous woodland and recently cleared areas, and continued through native woodland.  On reaching the old Brundholme Road a descent was made to the hamlet of Brundholme before reaching the Keswick to Threlkeld railway path which was followed to White Moss Bridge.  The group then reascended into the woodlands joining the road to pass the Calvert Stables and finally the old Windebrowe carriage drive was followed back to Keswick.

Sun, 30 Jan 2022

Challenging Group – Tarn Crag.  Ten walkers gathered on the A591 outside Grasmere prepared to risk a walk between storms Malik and Corrie.  They walked into Grasmere, turned off the road and walked alongside the river towards the Easedale road.  They continued past Allan Bank towards Silver How.  The weather was glorious, the many lakes totally becalmed, reflecting the surrounding hills.  They continued round Blea Rigg towards Sergeant Man turning off the path to descend down the side of a stream towards Codale Tarn.  It was impossible to tell where the hillside finished and the tarn began. By the time they reached Tarn Crag the clouds were black and the wind was rising.  The group descended to Far Easedale, through Lancrigg and back to the cars.

Wed, 9 Feb 2022

Challenging Group – Fairfield.  Thirteen people from the Challenging Group arrived near to the ‘Travellers Rest’ on the A591 road for the start of the walk to Fairfield summit.  Taking the first turning on the left signposted ‘Greenhead Valley’, the team climbed to Stone Arthur summit to see views over Grasmere.  They had to about-turn just before Great Rigg summit due to a wind of 32 knotts bringing with it a wind-chill factor.  Large patches of blue sky and sunshine made a number of welcome appearances and cheered them on their way.  The return route took the team to Heron Pike summit and Nab Scar.  Lunch was enjoyed at the delightful Alcock Tarn, just low enough to be out of the wind.

Moderate Group – Glendaterra Valley.  A group of 17 walkers left Blencathra Centre car park on a cloudy, cold and windy morning.  Passing through the Centre they descended to Derwent Folds and crossed the Glenderaterra Beck.  Following a steep ascent, they joined a track leading along the back of Latrigg.  Turning north the route followed the Cumbria Way, fording Whit Beck.  Shafts of sunlight now lit the fells, providing shadows and interesting views.  Continuing under the flanks of Lonscale Fell the group arrived at a junction of paths and the welcome shelter of a sheep fold.  Leaving the Cumbria Way they crossed the Glenderaterra Beck once again, turning southwards.  Passing a delightful waterfall they continued under Blease Fell to the Blencathra Centre.

Wed, 23 Feb 2022

Challenging Group – Graystones to Whinlatter Top.  The chance to get out following the recent storms obviously fogged the walk leader’s judgement because the winds were never going to be light!  From Spout Force car parking the group headed down to the beck then steadily climbed Graystones, the wind picking up as they approached the summit.  Dropping to the col two members of the party wisely decided to head down to Wythop Moss and seek a calmer route home.  The rest of them soldiered on but were soon blown off course and failed to make the summit of Broom Fell.  A retreat was in order and a direct descent on forest tracks led back to the cars.  No one was left with any cobwebs!

Easy Group – Seathwaite and Stonethwaite.  On a wild day the group rode the valley bus to Seatoller.  After a walk along the road the riverside path was taken with a diversion to view the famous and fabulous contorted forms of the Borrowdale Yews, alas reduced to 3 since Wordsworth’s days.  The walk continued through Seathwaite farm and along the delightful fell foot path to Thorneythwaite farm.  The path to Combe Ghyll was then taken from Mountain View with a pause to admire the historic watermill and then the walk continued to Stonethwaite church.  After visiting the village the day concluded by taking the popular bridle path to Rosthwaite and a return to Keswick by bus.

Sun, 27 Feb 2022

Challenging Group – Place Fell.  Windy weather at height was forecast but on an otherwise glorious day the Challenging walk started from Deepdale Bridge and quickly faced the “challenge” – the gill of Angle Tarn Beck.  The steepness encouraged a slow pace and much admiring of the scenery!  On then to Brock Crags and Angle Tarn Pikes enjoying the fabulous setting of the tarn en route, before losing much height down to Boredale Hause knowing it all had to be re-gained to achieve the summit of Place Fell where it was indeed gusty, but bearable!  Lunch out of the wind was followed by the descent back to Ullswater via The Knight and the walk back along the valley to Deepdale Bridge.

Moderate Group – Rannerdale Knotts.  The group of ‘Moderate’ walkers left Lanthwaite Green to walk down to the shore of Crummock Water before heading along the shore towards Rannerdale.  Crossing Rowantree Beck and ascending to the east end of Rannerdale Ridge with the intention of walking along the ridge to the Knott but the increasing strength of gusts of wind caused a decision to be made to omit walking along the ridge and instead descend down the other side to Long How woods and the shore at the head of Crummock Water.  From here returning over Hause Point and Cinderdale Common.  The group were blessed with a day of wall-to-wall sunshine.

Easy Group – Near Crummock Water.  A select group of ‘Easy’ walkers set off from Lanthwaite Green to the lake shore via Lanthwaite Wood to follow the path along the edge of the lake towards Cinderdale Common.  Ascending Hause Point to reach the head of the lake for lunch before returning via a traversing path below Grasmoor and back to the cars.  Although a little blustery it was a very enjoyable sunny day with superb views across Crummock Water.

Wed, 9 Mar 2022

The wind was found to be too strong for safety and enjoyment and so the leaders decided to abandon the scheduled walks for the following alternatives:

Challenging Group – Fairfield Horseshoe alternative.  Strong winds and gusts were forecast so the group of six opted for a low level walk.  They set off from Rydal along the Coffin Route to Grasmere Lake and up onto Loughrigg Terrace to the cave.  A decision was then made – in order to get more height and distance into the walk – to go over Loughrigg and, on reaching Ambleside, to go up to High Sweden Bridge where they joined the Fairfield Horseshoe path back to Rydal.   Not challenging but still 17k and 654 metres (10.6 m and 2147 ft) finishing with coffee and cake at Rydal.

Moderate Group – Around Caldbeck.  Beaten back by the ferocious wind above Fell Side, the moderate group refused to give up, opting for a low-level walk.  They thus followed the Cumbria Way to Potts Gill, crossing it near a hamlet bearing the same name.  The route then led via Nether Row down to Caldbeck, nestling among gently rolling hills.  Leaving the famous trail there, they followed the foaming Whelpo Beck to the 18th-century Whelpo Bridge, stopping to admire the imposing ruins of a 19th-century bobbin mill in the Howk gorge.  The return to Fell Side involved a gentle ascent along a rural lane leading to a quiet road intersecting an open plain – the scene of the group’s final battle against the savage gale.

Sun, 13 Mar 2022

The wind was again too strong for the Challenging group, who cancelled their intended walk, and was somewhat strong for the Moderate Group:

Moderate Group – Sale Fell from Woodend Brow.  On a blowy morning, the Moderate Group entered King’s Wood at Woodend Brow and meandered upwards along a forest road and several intricate paths to the archery grounds, dotted with animal carvings used for target practice.  They then rounded Ladies Table, cut across the Wythop Valley and followed the Kelswick bridleway before climbing Sale Fell.  On the summit, a ferocious gale nearly blew them off their feet, so the descent – over Lothwaite and then along a narrow trail concealed on the fell’s northern flank – was particularly swift.  More sheltered were the forest bridleways which executed a series of extravagant twists and turns before conveying the group, now being rained on, back to the starting point after 10 energetic miles.

Sat, 19 Mar 2022

Moderate Group – Great Langdale to Borrowdale.  On a dazzling spring morning, the Moderate Group left the bus at the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Great Langdale and strode along Mickleden, encircled by the magnificent Bow Fell, Rossett Pike and Pike O’Stickle.  Loins girded, they then undertook the steady ascent to the top of Stake Pass along the Cumbria Way, punctuated by admiring glances at the imposing mountain scenery.  Amid glacial moraines higher up, the gradient eased off and the path meandered along the pass towards the abrupt drop into Langstrath.  An excellently engineered zig-zag down the steep slope of Stake then conveyed the group to the bottom of the long valley, which was followed all the way to Borrowdale via the sleepy hamlet of Stonethwaite.

Sun, 20 Mar 2022

Challenging Group – High Stile.  Once again the wind forecast for the tops proved a worry for the leader but the decision to walk around Buttermere first allowed time for its speed to lessen.  The group then began their ascent through Burtness wood and out onto the open fell, onwards and upwards to the northeast ridge of High Stile stopping to drink in the stunning scenery all around, with Buttermere and Crummock Water far below.  From the summit the group continued to High Crag and descended the eroded path to Seat and Scarth Gap.  The Buttermere shore path was busy, it was good to see the happy faces.

Wed, 23 Mar 2022

Challenging Group – Yewbarrow and Red Pike.  From the shore of Wast Water Yewbarrow looks an intimidating beast but a steep, scrambling ascent of 600m was rewarded as the Scafells, Gt Gable and Wast Water itself were laid out for all to marvel at.  A bouldery descent to Dore Head preceded a steady ascent to the summit of Red Pike.   Thereafter the group followed an indistinct and somewhat boggy path along the north side of Scoat Tarn and down alongside bubbling Nether Beck back to the start.   (13km, 920m ascent.)

Moderate Group – Red Tarn.  The Moderate Group set off from Glenridding in beautiful sunshine heading for Lanty’s Tarn but found a diversion around it because of fallen trees.  They then headed SW for a short distance before passing through a small wooded area where one of the higher paths eventually reached the Hole-in-the-Wall.  The levelling of the path on the other side of the the ladder stile was much appreciated and before long Red Tarn was reached where lunch was taken watching the crowds on Striding Edge and Helvellyn and one brave swimmer in the tarn.  The return path to Glenridding following Red Tarn Beck and then Glenridding Beck was straightforward and completed a wonderful day.

Easy Group – High Sweden.  On a gorgeous spring day the Easy grade group met in Ambleside.  After a short walk through the back streets of the town a delightful wooded track was taken to High Sweden Bridge.  After crossing the bridge a short climb brought the group to a path junction where some opted to relax and enjoy the sunshine whilst an energetic few made the ascent of Sweden Crag via a gentle route around the rear of the steep rock-face. The reunited group then descended to Low Sweden Bridge and then down further to Rydal Park for a relaxed stroll through the parkland to Rydal Hall for refreshments before the return to Keswick by bus.

Sun, 27 Mar 2022

Moderate Group – Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn.  A very early start due to the clocks going forward found 11 walkers set off up to Alcock Tarn.  The weather was sunny and warm.  The walk continued with a gentle climb onto Nab Scar with beautiful views of Grasmere and Rydal, then descended to the shore of Rydal water returning through the woods at White Moss to the cars via the corpse road.  A very enjoyable and varied walk.

Easy Group – Four walkers set off in glorious sunshine from Overwater, along the road then onto the fell at Orthwaite Bank, skirting Little Cockup, fording the river Ellen, around Lowthwaite Fell then Longlands Fell.  Perfect peace; unfortunately 2 people were spotted half a mile away, then horror of horrors, a mountainbiker.  Otherwise nature was all around: frog spawn pulsating, a newly born lamb trying its legs, birds singing, buds budding; perfect peace.

Wed, 6 Apr 2022

Easy Group – Around Lowther.  On a sunshine and showery morning a small group met at Lowther Castle.  Walking through the estate Low Garden Bridge was crossed to reach a footpath through a wood and field to the rear of Askham Hall.  Walking via the village and some quiet country roads a further river crossing was reached.  A track was then followed uphill to the castle, passing the secret door into the gardens.  Overall the weather was kind to the group, the day-old lambs in a field and plentiful daffodils reminded them that it’s springtime.

Moderate Group – Skelwith Bridge to Grasmere.  In light of the promised gale-force winds, the Moderate Group nimbly modified their route, deciding on a low-level ramble between Skelwith Bridge and Grasmere.  Following a pleasant path between Little Loughrigg and Neaum Crag, they soon reached the picturesque Loughrigg Tarn.  The onward route led towards, and then along, Loughrigg Terrace, rising high above Grasmere, before descending to White Moss.  A short climb on the northern side of the A591 soon deposited the walkers on the coffin route leading towards Dove Cottage.  Then, a further climb took them to the start of Forest Side Terrace, a much lesser known but equally delightful passage gradually descending to Grasmere’s Swan Hotel – the ramble’s end.

Sun, 10 Apr 2022

Moderate Group – Blake Fell.  On a bright and crisp morning the Moderate walk began at the lay-by near Waterend Farm Loweswater, climbing up through the fields to join the coffin route from Fang’s Brow.  The gradient steepened as they ascended Burnbank Fell, the first summit of the day, where the views opened up before the climb up to their second summit, Blake.  There was then a short descent and a gradual climb up to their final Wainwright, Gavel Fell, where the views were again superb in glorious sunshine and only light winds.  After lunch, a gradual descent over Black Fell and passing through High Nook Farm their walk ended with a stroll through Home woods and back to the lay-by.  An excellent walk of 8 miles.

Wed, 20 Apr 2022

Challenging Group – Rest Dodd.  Seven Ramblers from the Challenging group set off from Martindale in Ullswater on a beautiful sunny day.  They ascended the ridge to Beda Fell and onto Angletarn Pikes.  The views from here were absolutely stunning and Angle Tarn was sparkling in the sunlight.  From here they continued over Cat Crag to Brock Crags and then up to Rest Dodd.  After a brief rest to take in the spectacular scenery, the group negotiated the peat bogs to reach The Nab.  They returned to Martindale via Bannerdale.

Moderate Group – Haystacks

Fourteen set off true,
The quarry track led them up
To views unsurpassed

Down and up they went,
Blackbeck Tarn’s waters glistened
In the spring sunshine

Innominate Tarn,
Wainwright’s final resting place.
Still. The sky so blue.

To Haystacks’ summit,
With Buttermere and Crummock,
Jewels of blue below

The fourteen returned,
By Moses Trod they came
To Honister. Tired.

Easy Group – St John’s and Threlkeld Common.  Starting at Scales, the Easy group cut across the fields sloping down towards the River Glenderamackin.  The delightful riverside path took them past Guardhouse to the minor road ascending to the solitary Newsham.  From there, several tracks lead them to the pre-historic settlement concealed on the lower slopes of Threlkeld Knotts and consisting of drystone-wall foundations of seven hut circles, a well, an irregular aggregate field system and five enclosures.  The group then climbed up to the Old Coach Road, a climb which afforded a bird’s-eye view of the settlement below.  Following this track, they descended to the bottom of St John’s in the Vale before returning to Threlkeld across lamb-filled fields.

Sun, 24 Apr 2022

Challenging Group – Knott.  The Challenging Group assembled at Fell Side, back of Skiddaw, on a blustery Sunday Morning.  Winds of 50 mph had been forecast on the summits so it was with some trepidation that they set off following the old mine road alongside Dale Beck.  This part of the lake district is often quiet and they did not see another walker in the valley.  At the Head of the Valley they reached the waterfalls in the Roughton Gill Gorge.  Wainwright takes a scrambling route directly up the gorge but it is difficult to find it and so they ascended via the zig zag track up Balliway Rigg and continued in the relative shelter afforded by following Thief Gill, finally reaching the main ridge at the col between Knott and Great Sca Fell.  Fortunately the wind, although strong, was manageable and they reached the summit of Knott to view the panorama of the northern fells.  A descent was made back to Great Sca Fell and from there to the summit of Meal Fell which although lower was windier than Knott.  Further decent led them to the picturesque pass of Trusmadoor and a sheltered lunch stop.  From there the group descended to the Hamlet of Longlands before following the Cumbria Way back to Fell side. (11 miles and 1900 ft of ascent)

Moderate Group – Great Crag.  The Moderate group took the bus to Stonethwaite on a beautiful if not windy day and everyone struggled with the steep climb up Willygrass Gill.  They were soon rewarded, however, with views over Dock Tarn where coffee was taken.  After passing the tarn they branched off eastwards and climbed Great Crag, visiting both cairned peaks (and disagreeing about which was the highest) before descending to join the path to Watendlath.  After lunch near an unusually quiet Watendlath Tarn they took the path to Rosthwaite and the bus back to Keswick.