The Uttlesford Ramblers

Making a walk a pleasure

Lake District September 2016

A week in the Lake District


In September thirteen members of the group set off for a week walking in the Lake District staying with HF at their house overlooking Derwentwater. After an arduous journey through rain and heavy traffic, all arrived safely with some managing to arrive in time for afternoon tea and scones followed by a short walk around the village of Portinscale.

The weather for the first day of walking was dry and sunny with some of the group scaling the heights of Blencathra with the rest enjoying walks at lower levels.

The next day again saw beautiful weather with the harder walk off to ascend England’s highest summit Scafell Pike. The medium walkers went to the famous view at Ashness Bridge before ascending Walla Crag, and the easier walk going to Watendlath and had the added luxury of a morning coffee break at the café. The evening saw some very tired walkers but much celebration and congratulations to those managing two such challenging walks right at the beginning week. We all looked forward to the following day when there were no walks and could have a well earned rest.

The evening of the free day concluded with ‘Sheepfest’ which involved presenting a sheep made out of natural materials found on the walks. While there were only a few entries the winner stood out from the rest with a green sheep, entitled ‘Mars Baa’ the sheep from outer space, made from moss, a small branch, a bone from a pheasant, berries and sheep poo! We were proud to learn it was a member of our group and it raised a good amount to go to the Pathways Fund.

Having had great weather so far it was a delight to awake again to sunshine for more walks in the Dewentwater area and suitably refreshed Causey Pike was the target for the harder walk, with the medium walk going to the Coledale Valley and the easier walk enjoying the beautiful views from the terrace of Cat Bells.

With the week rushing by, the next day saw a coach ride to Buttermere with the harder and medium walks ascending Wainwright’s famous Haystacks. The easier walkers had a lovely walk along the west shore of Crummock Water arriving at Buttermere village in time to enjoy a visit to a tea shop. As the coach was not due until 5.45pm it was suggested we return on the local bus. This arrived already rather full and when suggesting we waited for the next one the driver informed us this was in two hours so we all piled on even managing to pick up a few more passengers en route. The bus got over Honister Pass at walking pace with us all hanging on as it swung round the winding road. The hour trip standing on the bus was more exhausting than the walk and it was a relief when it final drew up outside the house! After such a busy day one member of the group managed a swim in the lake and then joined some others who spent an evening at the Theatre by the Lake seeing an interesting version of Dial M for Murder.

The final day of walking arrived with still no sign of rain and the coach took us to Ullswater where the devastation caused by Storm Desmond was in great evidence and repairs by the river in Glenridding were still some way to completion. The harder walkers were off to ascend Fairfield, the medium walkers to Sheffield Pike and the easier walkers going along the eastern side of the lake and finishing by taking the steamer back to Glenridding.

The week finished on a high with a clear blue sky and more wonderful views to complete an excellent visit to the Lake District.

Here is what some of the group said about the week:

Among the Harder Walk options, Blencathra on Day 1 and Scafell Pike on Day 2, both with 3500 or so feet of rocky ascent, tested all of us. Although Scafell Pike was in the cloud, the views, oh the views, from Blencathra! Unlikely ever to be bettered.

Hard walks were a challenge for those of us used to walking in Flat old Essex but well worth it to see some stunning views from the top on the clearer days!

I enjoyed particularly the Medium walks on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday we went from Newlands Beck to Outerside and Barrow and thence to Braithwaite and back to the house. I enjoyed the varied terrain on this one. Wednesday was Haystacks which despite the weather and the rough walking was great because of the interesting route up with a little scrambling and climbing and the Wainwright connection.



Friday, January 18, 2019