Top Withens April 20th 2013

Cath and I met at the car park for the Walshaw Dean reservoirs. We had a great day planning how we are going to teach one day navigation courses on a nice walk. We walked to Top Withens and returned via White Hill and Horrodiddle.

The lower Walshaw Dean reservoir has been emptied and there were BT men doing things with poles. I thought they were putting them in but we later found they were taking them out.

There are plenty of possible teaching points on this walk. We cleverly managed to miss our path just as we were talking about times when we’ve missed our path. You could not make it up! However because we do really know what we are doing, we were able to recover ourselves very quickly.

We met a keeper and this prompted us to consider how much we know about managing moorland habitats. There are several wide strips of cut heather in and amongst the grouse butts. The grouse butts have all been done up with decking. We also saw a fair bit of burnt heather and were able to work out that it was old burns. That said, a chunk of moor on my way home from Burnley on Wednesday was on fire on the road leading up to Blackstone Edge from Littleborough so it must be quite dry despite all the snow and snow melt.

I set Cath a challenge to find a boundary stone which is hard to see and which I’d set myself the last time I walked this area. Cath was of course spot on. Memo: must make it harder next time!

We lunched at Top Withens. This is an odd ruin with a plaque on it saying that it’s thought of as being Wuthering Heights but actually bears no resemblance to the description in the text. I subjected Cath to a short rendition of the Kate Bush song. But the best Wuthering Heights is this unforgettable semaphore version.

We took about 5 hours for the walk which was about 14 kilometres. The road that goes around from Hebden to Slack Top is still closed, and the diversion forces you through Heptonstall so we stopped on the way back and went to the really nice tea shop where we had some fab chocolate brownie and bought some goodies.

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Cath with lambo in background
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I liked this one despite the 2 people in bottom right corner
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View to Haworth from Top Withens, lots of tourists searching for Heathcliffe
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One of the Walshaw Dean reservoirs
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Blackstone Edge reservoir on my way home

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Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Lake District April 2013

Sat 6th April

Carol went and did an early dialysis slot and I picked her up about 11.30. We arrived in Chapel Stile at 3 after being held up by a nasty looking accident on the motorway and then stopping to eat some lunch in the car at the services. After unloading the car very quickly because we were blocking the road we soon got settled in.
We walked up Meg’s Gill, quite steep up to just over 300m. The cottage is at 100m. Then we turned east on a great proper little mountain path with sharp drops to reach a col overlooking Grasmere. Through some leftover snow to the col to take us back to the village and down some very steep sections.
We are eating in tonight and because it is a bit like camping we are having chicken korma and rice from the Look What We Found range.

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Elterwater

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Lingmoor Fell backdrop
Lingmoor Fell backdrop
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Grasmere backdrop

Sun 7th April

Another lovely crisp sunny day. Parked at Colwith wood and went to Black Crag, my 50th Wainwright, via a different route from when we last came here and only got some of the way.
We lunched near the top overlooking Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, the Langdales. Then back via our own route across the access land. Off piste and very nice too.
Tonight we are going to the Jumble Room in Grasmere for our dinner.
I had kedgeree for starters, the hard boiled egg came separately and it came with some pale jam. Very good. Carol had fish and chips main which had some bones but she coped and the fish was also very good. I had chicken curried which came with beetroot and sweet potato. All very nice. Carol had sticky toffee pudding, no surprise there then. I managed to resist pudding but was feeling quite unwell with allergies. I have sneezed a lot in the cottage which is a bit dusty and something set me off in the resto. I must be a bit susceptible at the moment. Also have excema on my legs and feel very itchy and uncomfortable. Came out of resto streaming.

Navigation in action
Navigation in action
Crinkles and Bowfell
Crinkles and Bowfell
Bowfell
Bowfell
Secondary summit on Black Crag
Secondary summit on Black Crag
OS trig on Black Crag
OS trig on Black Crag
Carol getting poked by tree
Carol getting poked by tree!

Mon 8th April

My dad would have been 99 today.
We went into Ambleside and lots of gear shops but I refrained and just bought a birthday present for a friend. Not saying who as they will probably read this!
We drove to Far Sawrey and parked up opposite the pub in a car park with an honesty box. Great walk covering all sorts of terrain and some lovely views. Stopped at Moss Eccles Tarn while Carol ate some lunch. I’d already had mine before we set off. Then we skirted round  where Chris and I did bushcraft. A good mix of open land, tarns, coniferous woodland, the Somme (really very reminiscent with bare trees sticking up out of bog in the forestry cleared sections) and older woodland. Eventually we met up with the path Chris and I used. We found a good spot for wild camping which is a secret. Only a 4 mile walk but it took us nearly 4 hours because of being so leisurely.
Back to the cottage and I went for a run and met a very young Jewish lad who was looking for a campsite. I met him a second time on the way back from Elterwater and asked if he was ok and he said he was but I worried about him as he seemed rather vulnerable.

Gormless
Gormless
Cute, cute, cute
Cute, cute, cute
Moss Eccles Tarn, Beatrix Potter and William Heelis' favourite place
Moss Eccles Tarn, Beatrix Potter and William Heelis’s favourite place
Wise Een Tarn
Wise Een Tarn

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Tues 9th April

Drove to NT car park at Dungeon Ghyll and saved £6.50 because I am member.  We walked along and then up to Blea Tarn on a mixture of permissive paths and public rights of way and a bit of road. Another gorgeous crisp sunny day. Looked over to Wrynose Fell and pass.
Carol was having sore knees so we went to Dungeon Ghyll pub and then for a drive back via Blea Tarn again and Little Langdale. Buggered because nowhere to park the car. Hey ho. It will be hard to pack it up tomorrow.
Dinner at the Grasmere Hotel. Smoked salmon and creamy nibble and brie and walnut nibble. C starter filo pastry parcels. J creamy forest mushrooms. Both had lemon sorbet. Both had beef casserole with veg, roast spuds and creamed celeriac. So nice I have now bought some celeriac with which to experiment. C pudding Grasmere gingerbread meringue ice cream. J blueberry creme brûlée. Complimentary coffee with mint. All very good quality at £24 per person.

Cottage on road between Langdale and Wrynose, with thatched porch
Cottage on road between Langdale and Wrynose, with thatched porch
Bowfell
Bowfell
Scoured glacial valleys
Scoured glacial valleys

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Across to Wrynose
Across to Wrynose
Blea Tarn
Blea Tarn

Weds 10th April

I got up early and went for a run to Elterwater and back, hardly saw any cars, lovely although very chilly. Packed up car with only having to shift it once.
Went to John Ruskin’s house, Brantwood on Coniston Water. Nice house but I think he would have been quite annoying, writing several books and papers before breakfast. They have kept his clothes so you can see his pants! For those of a delicate disposition it’s actually just his outer pants.
Hot drinks after chilly house. Ambled round a bit of garden overlooking the lake. Great location for a house.
Booths’ supermarket in Windermere because Carol felt like she hasn’t been in one for weeks and then home. The weather got duller and duller and finally started raining. We seem to have had the best of the weather.

Since getting back I’ve been reading Robert MacFarlane’s Mountains of the Mind where he talks at length about Ruskin’s influence on how we perceive mountains. I really didn’t pick this up from our visit to the house but it’s made me go and look at his pictures a bit more, not sure that I like them.

I had to do an OU tutorial on Tuesday in Sheffield and what should be on at the gallery I passed but a Ruskin landscapes exhibition, unfortunately it was shut at night. It’s wider than just Ruskin. What I hadn’t realised was that Sheffield Museums have a Ruskin collection.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Coniston Water, from iPhone. Despite my fancy cameras, this is best photo of holiday!
Coniston Water, from iPhone. Despite my fancy cameras, this is best photo of holiday!
Old Man
Old Man

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.