Saturday, 17 February 2018

Ambleside and Windermere

AM - slow jog on the shores of Derwentwater in unexpected warm and brilliant sunshine which lit up the lake with the silhouette of the surrounding peaks. Mesmerising. 10k and slow.

PM - after packing up we lunched in Ambleside at the Apple Pie again. More beef and ale pies and am beginning to look like one but oh boy are they worth it.

Final reflections of the week in the Lakes - it exceeded expectations. The dramatic landscape was better than I recalled. Keswick is also a really nice place. It has great pubs and umpteen trails to get lost on. The people are super friendly. My forefathers come from this part of the world. As my dad told, they were poor folk. My great grandfathers family moved around the lakes starting in Cockermouth, Keswick and then onto Kendal.

* The drive home was sunny the entire way but just as we reached Stoke all of a sudden a black cloud emerged. Needless to say it passed as soon as we left Stoke behind.


My favourite day so far.

AM - run up to the summit again but feeling jaded after all the hills. 10ish ks.

Still the AM - drive along the Derwentwater shoreline towards Grange and then onto Borrowdale where the two elder boys had been with their school walking in June last year. The valley is pristine and Lord of the Rings’esque. Then the bit I had most been waiting for, the drive over Honister Pass and one of the most exhilarating drives to be had in Britain. We stopped at the col at the very top, at the slate mine to take in the 360 views. The pictures simply don’t do justice.

The valley then meanders down toward Buttermere where we stopped for an early lunch at the local cafe before marching the boys out of the car park to tackle the circuit around the north easterly perimeter - see map below.

It was perhaps best we were blind to the difficulty level. As as soon as we reached any sort of height the wind became more and more intense. With views now over looking the lakes Buttermere and Crummock Water we followed the group ahead along the hill top and a series of false summits. After 4 or so times of thinking we’d reached the top we finally arrived at the heighest outcrop having to  scramble over the hard rock.

The walk down was quite teacherous. When alone I am fine but having the family there and the added responsibilities that go with it I must admit a little fear crept in. Instead of the slow drag on the way up this went all the way down to the valley floor within a matter of a few hundred meters.

Down and safe we followed the lake back around to the delightful Buttermere to drive home.

Evening - family dinner at the Royal Oak in Keswick. Thoroughly recommend in particular the steak and ale pie as well as the sticky date pudding. Everyone in good spirits.