Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Central Lakeland part 4


This mission was planned for the summer to finish off the central area of Lakeland, but I ended up exploring the South-east, because the last mission included large areas of limestone in the South-east and the best time to explore limestone are spring and summer for the fauna and flora.
Where this mission is mostly woodland and the best time to see these woodlands is either spring or autumn. This mission is also the last mission of the Central Fells of Alfred Wainwrights books; next book is the Far Eastern Fells.
This mission starts in the north at Ambleside and goes down between the lakes of Windermere and Coniston and stops at Newby Bridge in the south. This area is much forested with no major fells and most of the walks are from AW book The Outlying Fells.
So it was in the Autumn 2016, October the 28th I made my way up the motorway to Cumbria. 
I also had a right knee problem, not having injured myself this pain what comes and goes started a week ago, so I was hoping it does not get any worse. 

Loughrigg Fell 335 m (1,099 ft)

6.6 miles
The drive up from Derbyshire on a Friday afternoon and I arrived in the dark on a country lane near Loughrigg Tarn and spent the night in the lay-by.
Next morning as I planned on going up Loughrigg Fell, but the weather was against me it was a dry morning but thick with low cloud so I knew if I went to the summit of the fell I would not get the great views I was expecting from this fell so if I planned a longer walk the fog may lift through the day if I left the summit for the return journey on my planned circular walk of the day.
So I set off with plans to follow a bridleway to Ambleside and what nice walk it was, all the signs of autumn was everywhere to be seen in trees the yellows browns and reds. I arrived on the outskirts of Ambleside at Rothay Park   and went into Ambleside for supplies.
Back through Rothay Park to pick up where I left off, with next section of walking along a nice country lane which also follows the River Rothay and just before the road meets the A591 I took to a bridleway to Rydal Water and started the climb up to the man made caves but before visiting the caves I stopped for lunch with a foggy view over Rydal Water.

Rydal Water
Despite the weather being on the gray side there were plenty of walkers out on this Saturday afternoon, so much so that when I made it to Rydal Cave I had to wait my turn before entering the cave, not a problem because I have visited the cave before on my exploration of Grasmere, this cave is man made and is an area of old quarries what was used for taking out slate. I made it into the cave to take some photos.

Rydal Cave

Back on my walk heading for Loughrigg Terrace with no improvement in the low cloud lifting as I made it onto Loughrigg Terrace with pour views out across Grasmere.
I took the path up onto Loughrigg Fell knowing I would have no views; I had no problem navigating through the low cloud to the summit and onwards off the fell and back down to Loughrigg Tarn and the end to my walk.

I stayed another night in the lay-by but this time with a camp fire and it was tonight that the clocks changed by going an hour back.  Morning weather was a improvement no fog, so would Loughrigg Fell be clear? So the quickest way to the summit was the route I used to come down yesterday so I went for it. 

 John Muir quote

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
As I climbed the fell with the words of John Muir in my head, as I took in the beauty of this morning as I climbed higher seeing the colours in the landscape of autumn of yellows and browns I was not seeing death in the landscape but the last outburst of nature before it shuts down for winter. It gave me joy to see such beauty. I reached the summit I did not have long distance views because of low cloud on the higher fells but I could see into the valleys. I returned the same way back.


Summit looking east

Latterbarrow 803 ft (245 m)

5 miles
My next walk today was Latterbarrow from the hamlet of Outgate, I set first out to visit the village of Hawkshead, by using footpaths across fields and when I came to the village of Hawkshead and I had a walk around this village.
From Hawkshead I set out for Latterbarrow across more fields to Colthouse and then uphill into woodland and forest plantations, when I did some long distance views they were not great because of the low cloud covering most fells, but there were some nice views across the valley back to Hawkshead. I passed through an area of felled plantation to get to the summit of Latterbarrow.
The monument
At the summit I had a good long rest and enjoyed the view, I could  imagine on clear day this would be great spot to enjoy the view of the surrounding fells.
I moved a short distance to see the view over Lake Windermere and the Brathay and Rothay valleys.  
It was only a short walk back to Outgate  to finish my circular walk a mixture field footpaths and a nice country lane and I was done.
Lake Windermere

Claife Heights

5 miles.
Starting from the village of Far Sawrey I set off in the early afternoon with no improvement in the weather still overcast as I walked along a bridleway with good views but not distant ones, I came to the beautiful Moss Eccles Tarn where I stopped to enjoy the view and take a few photos.
Since arriving in this area I been reminded so many times that this is the area that Beatrix Potter enjoyed to wander. She was widely known as  a writer and illustrator, but not known for her work as a conservationist with the National Trust.

Beatrix Potter quote 

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail,and Peter.
The tarn I came to was Wise Een Tarn both the tarns are both artificial. The next section of the walk I came into a forest plantation and then into an area what been cleared felled with this being my high point of the walk, I was looking for my return path.

A faint path I found but a well used one that took me zigzagging back the plantation with no views just thick forest and now time was running short because of daylight since they changed the time last night, so I rushed along to finish my walk  off to get out of the forest and back on a decent track.
I found the main track back to Far Sawyer and had the thirty minutes from twilight to darkness luck that I always carry my head torch with me.


10 miles, 314 m (1,030 ft)
And after a night in a Forestry Commission car park I woke up to a beautiful morning of dappled sunshine through the trees. And was I happy to be out in the woodlands, so through breakfast I made plans to do a ten mile circular walk known as the Silurian Way through  a forested area known as Grizedale.
This walk will take me north up one side of the Grizedale valley, passing many sculptures along the way with my half way point at the Grizedale visitor center and then down the other side of the valley what includes the summit of Carron Crag. The trail is named after the geological time period when the grey slate and shale rocks were formed. In fact the whole mission I have been exploring is on this rock.
I started the walk going along forest tracks through plantations of pines and spruces with breaks in trees letting the morning sunshine in, I arrived at my first sculpture. Some of the way markers where missing, and I ended up getting lost..
I maybe not seeing much wildlife but I was enjoying myself as I entered broadleaf woodland and then the hamlet of Satterthwaite not where I should be but was not long before I was back on the right track.
Not seen many sculptures till I started nearing the visitor center after passing Grizedale Tarn and then quiet a few turned up. Like the Concrete Country, the Clockwork Forest, the Cliff Structure and Picket Fence.
Concrete Country, the Clockwork Forest

I had a good look around the visitor center and then ventured outside to find a spot in the sunshine to have my lunch. It was busy around the visitor center not seen anybody all morning and now lots of people.
After lunch it was back on the trail and now the climb to Carron Crag   I reached the summit and the long distance views were poor because of the low cloud covering the main fells.

Summit view to the Coniston fells

Back on route and I was passing more sculptures as I was headed down into the valley for the last for the last section of the walk,  again I had trouble navigating because of missing way markers and ended up with section of road walking I found another way marker what took me to the end of the walk and the car park.

Top o ‘Selside

335 m (1,099 ft)
The next morning I took the van to the hamlet of High Nibthwaite and the car park north of the hamlet and set off up through the oak woodlands what where looking good this morning in the autumn sunshine this path brought me out onto a main track what I followed up and the first time in this mission I had perfect clear views and this being my last day.
With clear views across Coniston Water to the Old Man of Coniston, has I climbed higher up to the summit of Top o ‘Selside and found some where to rested and enjoy the great views around me.   I returned the same way back.

South-west view

West view

East view

Coniston Water

Finsthwaite walk

From Newby bridge, 5 mile walk. 
This is my last walk and I arrived at Newby Bridge and parked up and set off through the woods for Summer House Knots to the tower no good views and even the tower was hard to photograph because of density of trees growing around the tower so I went till I found my way out of the trees and back into the sunshine and my view of Finsthwaith church across the fields where was heading next.

Finsthwaite Church.

I arrived in the hamlet of Finsthwaite passing the church and to the road and my next path across fields, its in one these fields I stopped for lunch to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine.
Back on the route and it was back into the woods again and up to the man made dams for a beautiful walk around High Dam with only glimpses of long distance views to Gummers How.

High Dam

Once around the dam I picked up another path back to Finsthwaite to pass the bobbin mill what the dam was built for to feed the mill, from the hamlet I found another path across the fields for my return journey and back into the woods and back to Newby Bridge.

The end to another holiday and the end to the Central Fells and some great memories and great views and now I am looking forward to the Far Eastern Fells and new adventures.