Lake District August/September 2020

Sunday – Scafell

Wha House Farm at about 6.55am as we start our walk with the sun just reaching the tops of the fells.
Scale Gill falls
Brindley shows the way.
The views ahead start to open up – after climbing away from Eskdale proper, we’ve walked along a broad shelf a little to the west of the main valley, but now return to it. Esk Hause is centre of the picture, with the Scafell massif to the left, with Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags to the right.
Eskdale opens in front of us
Cam Spout is centre-left, beyond which lies our route upwards
Gaining height alongside How Beck, a look back down Eskdale (Caw on the horizon just left of centre, Harter Fell to the right)
From the same spot, looking up Eskdale
After the steep ascent along the waterfalls, the gradient eases for a while. The col on the right is Mickledore, and our route is to the col in the centre of picture, up Foxes Rake.
Heading towards Mickledore, we are passed by two climbers with rope
We then turn to the left and cross the scree to Foxes Rake. It’s about 100m of ascent in just 140m travelled.
Looking down Foxes Rake from part way up. It was a lot tougher than I remembered from 25 years ago and quite a challenge on some big wet boulders for Brindley.
Brindley pleased to be past the tough bit.
The diminutive Foxes Tarn
Brindley looks into the pit from which scramblers who’ve taken the Lord’s Rake route emerge
On Symonds Knott, a new summit for me, looking to Scafell Pike
Looking down Wastwater. There were views of England, Scotland, Mann, Ireland (just) and Wales.
A 360-degree panorama
On Sca Fell looking to Symonds Knott, with Scafell Pike in shadow behind to the right
Looking up Mosedale (beyond Wasdale Head), with the hills of Scotland beyond in the far distance.
Looking south along our route of descent, over Long Green and Slight Side. In the distance, the Duddon estuary, Walney Island, and in the far distance, not coming out well in the photo, the north coast of Wales across to Anglesey
A look back at the head of Eskdale, with Esk Pike and Bowfell
From Slight Side, a look over Long Green (centre) to Scafell (left), Scafell Pike (right of centre), Broad Crag (just peeking into view behind Scafell Pike), and Ill Crag (right).
The scenery turns softer as we make our way gradually down, heading for the car somewhere below Harter Fell.

Monday – High Dam

On Monday morning, Brindley and I had a coastal walk around the north end of Walney Island.

Later on Monday, I decided to go out again, and settled on a trip to High Dam – somewhere I’d seen on the map but never visited. After he was so tired yesterday and six miles this morning, I decided to leave Brindley at the house – he would probably have been fine, but I didn’t want to risk overdoing it.

After four of us had independently failed to get the car park ticket machine to work, I parked for free and then started the attractive climb up through the woods.
The artificially dammed tarn is delightful, with a good path right the way round
Below the main tarn of High Dam is this much smaller body of water

Tuesday – Coniston

One of the advantages of the huge transition to homeworking that this year has seen is that “home” can be anywhere, and that was part of the plan for this week. Yesterday was a public holiday, so today I worked during the morning including a noon meeting, but took the afternoon as holiday. With my thigh muscles suffering more from DOMS than yesterday, I wanted a nice walk, but one that wasn’t too long and was fairly flat. I decided on the spur of the moment to go to Coniston, and take the boat south to Torver jetty, from where we could walk back to Coniston.

The car park was very busy and it took me so long to park that I’d missed my planned 2.10pm sailing, so I hung around for the 3.00pm boat, which in some ways was better as it briefly headed north first. I chatted with a couple who admired Brindley, and with the man from the Coniston Launch company. After a while, I wandered down the jetty ready to get on the boat when they’d finished cleaning it, and this had the unplanned benefit that I got one of the two outside spots, the space being much constrained compared to previous years to comply with the distancing requirements.

Heading north up the lake for a short while, before turning south to Torver Jetty.
The boat that has brought me leaves to return northwards.
Looking up the lake from the jetty
The walk is almost all on fairly level and surfaced paths, with a good few people about on this pleasant sunny afternoon.
Coniston Hall dates mostly from the late 16th Century, though part of it may be older. It is owned by the National Trust but much is disused.
Continuing our way back towards Coniston
Hmm, what to do. We continued along the footpath back to the car, then drove back here to pick up some fudge to take back to Suffolk.

Tuesday – Silecroft

An evening trip to the beach at Silecroft, enjoying the light of the skies.

Thursday – Black Crag

Wednesday it rained non-stop and I was able to do a full day’s work; Thursday I worked most of the day, but had an early finish when a 4pm meeting was postponed to tomorrow, so we made a hurried departure to Tarn Hows for a walk to the summit of Black Crag.

From the upper little car park, we head above the water of Tarn Hows
A less familiar route towards the summit
After joining the more well-used route (though we saw no-one at all), a look towards the Langdale fells before turning to the right
The summit in sight
The view north from the summit
West towards the Langdale fells
East towards Windermere
Looking south over the water of Tarn Hows and then on to Coniston Water, with the Coniston fells to the right
A 360° panorama from the summit
Brindley on top of this little patch of the world

Friday – Walna Scar

The forecast for Friday was for wind and showers, so I settled on a short walk. We drove to just beyond Seathwaite and climbed the Walna Scar Road from the end of the tarmac, to the summit of Walna Scar itself, and retraced our steps.

A cheerful Brindley at the start of our walk
Ascending the Walna Scar Road – the pass over to Coniston is centre-left, with the summit of Walna Scar being to the right of the pass.
Looking back as we continue our ascent
Climbing towards the pass
Brindley on top of Walna Scar, with the photographer looking south – its summit at 2,035 feet (620 m) is only slightly higher than the pass, and it may be the easiest of all mountain summits (over 2000 feet) to visit – we went from bottom to top, without hurrying unduly, in just 45 minutes, with 37 minutes for the descent.
From the summit, looking to Brown Pike which continues over Buck Pike to Dow Crag. I had thought we might have visited at least one of these but with it being pretty windy with the chance of rain, I didn’t see the attraction of heading up into the clouds.
From Walna Scar, looking east to Coniston Water
Heading back into the Duddon Valley, before going on a tour by car for the rest of the morning.

Friday – Roanhead

Friday afternoon had yesterday’s postponed meeting, then after dinner we popped out to the beach again, this time to Roanhead by Sandscale Haws. The tide was out so there was plenty of sand to run around on.

Looking across the Duddon estuary to Black Combe
The strong breeze blows sand over the ripples in the sand; the Isle of Man can be seen on the horizon under the sun
Brindley having fun
The two straight lines of wood are presumably the remains of an old jetty

Brindley and I finished our lovely week in Cumbria with a delightful coastal walk from Whitehaven to St Bees, after which it was time to go home.

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