Long Lakeland Weekend

Friday 19th June
After I’d done half a day of work and Carol simultaneously had done dialysis, we set off for the Duddon Valley and arrived at our designated parking spot in gloomy grey weather but not actually raining.
We walked the half mile to Devoke Water and found that a large school party had already taken up camping residence ahead of us. We hadn’t anticipated this so we retreated around the corner from them and set up below a small rocky hill but still overlooking the lake.
Just as we were getting settled and comfortable the first bunch of teenagers ascended the hill and larked about noisily for ages. They eventually descended and we breathed a sigh of relief. So much for a quiet wild camp to relax in. I cooked up our dinner in my Jetboil (excellent fast cooker), we had chilli con carne and rice.
Then the next bunch of noisy teenagers went up the hill. This was too much so Carol went and asked their minders to deal with them which they did, they actually went down as Carol went off to remonstrance. However this was all a bit stressful and not what either of us wanted. The noise was carrying very clearly as it was a still evening. The first time I went to Devoke Water as a reccy for wild camping, it was lashing down, the second time we both checked it out and it was blowing a gale so very noisy on both those occasions.
At last we were able to get snug in the tent, I drank a mini flask of rum.
Neither of us slept very well, C kept sliding down the tent, she also had restless legs. Not a good mixture! It rained on and off most of the night.

Devoke Water
Devoke Water
Southern fells
Southern fells

The tent

Saturday 20th June

We got up, brewed up (one tea, one filter coffee) and packed up during an interval without rain. Back at the car we drove away from the teachers and parked up on the moor near some large black cows. I made porridge for Carol (instant pot) and brewed up some more hot drinks. Carol has now decided that perhaps wild camping and rotten kidneys don’t really go together so well. However this means that I have to become brave enough to do it on my own, we’ll see…

Into Broughton in Furness to look at the Clocktower Gallery, the bakery and the greengrocers (sells bunches of wild mushrooms, fresh figs and fresh herbs). The rain had just about stopped.

We drove a short distance along the A595 to Broadgate where we parked up. Then a nice trot up a quiet lane to Sunkenkirk stone circle also known as Swinside. We had a picnic on the way in the warm sun, lovely. The stone circle is fairly intact but only accessible on foot as it’s on permitted land on Swinside farm, thus very few visitors. We were the only ones there and we met only one other party on the track.

Then back to the car and off to find our B&B. Wheelgate is in Little Arrow just after Torver on the road to Coniston. Met by Steve and Linda. We were in Derwent which was roomy and quiet despite being near the main road. After we’d got in, scrubbed up and generally stopped looking like tramps, we set off for Broughton Mills and the Blacksmith’s Arms. This was a great find, lovely uneven flagstone floor and black timbers. Also good food and a wonderful local draught lager. Carol had chicken and I had a pea and parmesan risotto. Both meals were great. Recommended!

On moor road near Torver
On moor road near Torver
On moor road
On moor road
Moor road
Moor road

Back at Wheelgate, in the honesty bar, I had a measure of Bowmore. Yum.

Slept very well in comfy bed.

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Sunkenkirk/Swinside stone circle
Sunkenkirk/Swinside stone circle

Sunday 21st June, the longest day

Big breakfasts for both of us. Carol had everything and I had a bit less.

We set off fairly promptly for a jam packed day. First to Corney to look at a tiny little church which has the sea one way and a big fell the other. We looked over and could see the peaks on the Isle of Man.

Then to Ravenglass to see the Roman bath house. It was a bit too open air so I decided not to bother and there wasn’t anywhere to put my towel apart from a niche but Carol said the niche was for a statue and not for my towel.

Onwards to Eskdale where we had our lunch by the side of the road. We then started up the Hardknott pass and came to a pub where an old chap waved us to stop. He needed a lift up the pass as his car had 2 blow outs and was in a passing place on the pass with his wife and one friend in it. He’d left another friend at the pub but wanted to take sandwiches and supplies up to the two women in the car who were waiting for the breakdown vehicle. We took him up to his car which was beyond where we were planning to park ours at Hardknott fort. So I did a 3 point turn on the Hardknott pass (Carol stayed relatively calm during this procedure) and took the car back to our park spot. For anyone who has not driven the Hardknott and/or Wrynose pass/es, it/they are not for the faint hearted. Many moments where you cannot actually see where to point the car because of the extreme drops. We then walked back up past our new pals and up to the top of the pass to find the “pile of stones”. Then we tackled Hardknott fell. Carol did this very well. I was slightly anxious as Wainwright had intimated that it had an indistinct ridge, that it was hard to get back down and made mention of a scree slope. Well it wasn’t and didn’t have any of those things. This is my 71st Wainwright so I’ve very nearly done one third of the 214. As we got back to the road, it started to rain heavily so we togged up. Back down the road, our pals had gone so I’m glad they were rescued, they were in the midst of clearing an elderly relation’s house and their 2 friends had come over for the weekend to give them some down time and then they’d had the breakdown so it had all been a bit tough for them.

Before heading for home, we had a quick look at the fort and trotted round the outside. Also looked at the bath house. This one has cold, medium and hot rooms plus a round sauna. Again, I decided not to as it was a bit nippy and we had to get back for our supper.

We went back to Eskdale Green and up over the moor passing where we had parked for Devoke Water. Managed to get back in good time for some non Roman showering. Steve and Linda provide complimentary sherry for guests so I had a very good dry one, lovely.

Then just down the road to the Wilson’s Arms in Torver. This was ok but Carol wasn’t really needing a huge meal and there wasn’t much she fancied. She ended up with a small portion of gammon with lots of grilled things but even so it still looked like an enormous portion. Thankfully it came at a smaller price. I had risotto balls. So yes risotto two nights running but I like risotto and these were very good. Beer was called Barngate Cracker. Ok but not as nice as that draught lager which I foolishly didn’t make a note of.

Aberlour from the honesty bar, such a fab idea, also a great little room with beaten copper topped tables. Still light at 10.50, wow!

From Hardknott looking east
From Hardknott looking east
Weather coming in fast
Weather coming in fast
On top of Hardknott fell
On top of Hardknott fell
Ravenglass Roman bath house
Ravenglass Roman bath house
View to fells from Corney church
View to fells from Corney church
Church at Corney
Church at Corney

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Roman sauna at Hardknott fort
Roman sauna at Hardknott fort
On top of Hardknott fell
On top of Hardknott fell, new hat. I lost the not very old one when out working.

Monday 22nd June

Carol enjoyed another large breakfast but I just had muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt and a poached egg on toast. We packed up and headed off after a nice chat with Laurie, a fellow guest from Essex. Wheelgate is a great B&B and we are both hoping to go back there. They also have a single room in the main house plus a single in a separate building at the back.

We looked into the Deli attached to the Wilson’s Arms but it seemed to have reduced its stock since I last went in about a year ago so we didn’t linger. Into Coniston for a quick look round and then back home via the Windermere ferry. Back by 2.30 to get all the gear sorted and Carol on the machine.

On the ferry
On the ferry
Mining wagon
Mining wagon
On Windermere looking south
On Windermere looking south
Looking north
Looking north

 

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A Place in the Lakes 25th May 2015 (Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell)

Managed to start this walk at 10.00 a.m. Not as early as I’d hoped. I parked in Martindale which is a quiet little hamlet. There are some fun hairpin bends before you reach it. It has a new (1880) church dedicated to St. Peter and a much older one looking a bit sad dedicated to St. Martin (1500s).

I got up onto Place Fell quite quickly but then it took me a couple of hours to reach the summit. The fabulous views that Wainwright had promised were caught in the low clouds for most of the morning. Also an occasional sprinkle of rain to accompany them.

It was then down 250m to reach Boredale Hause which is a big mountain pass/col. From there I went up again for 150m to reach Angletarn Pikes. I ascended the north pike which Wainwright said could only be reached by a rock scramble. Not so, I just walked up a steep grassy bit and then was on a short easy path. Where Place Fell had seemed a bit busy (it was a bank holiday), I had the summit of Angletarn to myself. There are 2 pikes but I only climbed the north one.

I lunched in peace in the sun behind some rocks in a shallow depression. The rocks not me. Two cyclists came along but left me in peace.

Then it was time to head back along the ridge to Beda Head which is the top point of Beda Fell. It had cleared up weather wise and I got great views across to the huge long ridge which culminates in Hight Street to the east and to the west, Helvellyn and Sheffield Pike. I could trace the route Chris and I took for Sheffield Pike in November 2013. Also another horseshoe I did from Brothers Water.

I’m planning my own longish distance path along the route of the Roman Road between Penrith and Ravenglass. We’ll see! More realistically I could walk from Pooley Bridge up onto the far north end of High Street (not the summit end), taking in several summits but all along the very long ridge which is the Roman Road and ending up at High Street summit, this would be about 14 km. Then to get down to the Kirkstone Pass to meet a bus. Again, we’ll see, I would need to be in Pooley Bridge the night before for an early start.

After Beda Head, I turned east and down to get to the road and then a quick hop past the old church to get back to the car at 16.30. I saw a sign saying that Martindale is home to an old herd of red deer. Didn’t see any.

Managed to get home by 19.15 including a very quick pitstop at Tebay services.

St. Martin's church
St. Martin’s church
Very superior signpost!
Very superior signpost!
The walk to come
The walk to come
Brothers Water
Brothers Water
Helvellyn
Helvellyn
Angletarn Pikes (north pike)
Angletarn Pikes (north pike)
Sheffield Pike
Sheffield Pike
High Street in background
High Street in background
Beda Fell
Beda Fell
Ullswater
Ullswater
Looking back at Place Fell horseshoe
Looking back at Place Fell horseshoe
Ullswater
Ullswater
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Yewbarrow and Red Pike, 4th May 2015

Pillar continues to elude me, in that I’m not yet ready for it, or at least I have to reconsider how to get to the west side of the Lake District, do big, long walks and get home. The answer is not to try to do it all in one day. I spent as long driving the car as I did up the hill.

So despite getting up at 6 a.m. I didn’t start walking until 10.35 from the National Trust car park at Overbeck on Wast Water. I’d stopped for a very express espresso at Lancaster services and once to send a text. As I put my boots on the lace broke but I had the emergency laces to hand (probably the most essential of the emergency kit). My original plan had been to walk the Mosedale horseshoe which is a very big walk and so I cut it back to climb Yewbarrow and then decide how much further to go. I chatted to a Dutch family in the car park. They had 2 small children and it was their first ever mountain.

The climb up Yewbarrow is quite stiff and quickly reaches scrambling territory. I had to think out my moves but at least with scrambling you get to cover a lot of height quite quickly. I met up with the Dutch family at the top of the gully and they had wisely (the children were only about 5 or 6) decided to retrace their steps. They seemed to have had quite an adventure. It took me 2 hours to get to the top of Yewbarrow. I then whizzed along the top ridge and scrambled down to Dore Head and stopped for lunch on the col.

I decided to climb Red Pike as it seemed a straightforward climb and would notch up another Wainwright. And it was and it did. On the descent there appeared to be a rescue taking place on the side of Great Gable, the Sea King helicopter spent a lot of time going back and forth and eventually went away without apparently having rescued anyone. A rescue did take place, see Wasdale MR for more info.

Back down the valley along a wet path on the western flank of Yewbarrow and down to the car. And then 3 hours and 20 minutes to get home.

Pillar still on the To Do list!

Apart from the first one, photos are in reverse order.

Yewbarrow looking very pointy
Yewbarrow looking very pointy
U shaped valley along Over Beck
U shaped valley along Over Beck
And with Herdwicks
And with Herdwicks
Great Gable looking very mysterious
Great Gable looking very mysterious
Pillar and companions in the background
Pillar and companions in the background
Such poise
Such poise
Stirrup Crag on Yewbarrow's north end
Stirrup Crag on Yewbarrow’s north end
Dore Head col looking to Red Pike
Dore Head col looking to Red Pike
Yewbarrow ridge to Stirrup Crag
Yewbarrow ridge to Stirrup Crag
Great Door (and so it is)
Great Door (and so it is)
Wast Water
Wast Water

 

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Lakes late August 2014

Thursday

This was a short trip across to the Lakes. Carol went on the machine before we set off. We had planned to wild camp but the weather had been awful and the forecast was poor so instead we had 3 nights at Belle Green Farm Bed and Breakfast which we went to last year. But reckon we needed nice beds after the worrying time we’ve been having anyway. It’s a really nice B&B, highly recommended with wonderful beds! I meant to see what make the mattress was but forgot! And of course the weather didn’t do any of its forecast horrors.

When we arrived we just had a short stroll to Esthwaite Lake which is lovely. You could just sit there for hours and watch the swans and ducks. So peaceful and nobody else around.

We ate our own food in the B&B downstairs.

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Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water

Friday

We drove to Dunnerdale and stopped in Broughton on Furness on the way. As usual we managed to get talking to an old geezer called Chris East in the Clocktower Gallery. Broughton is a very pretty village with a proper square and some stocks. Chris East does very arresting paintings and I wish I’d bought one, am now in email contact with him so will see what happens. He’s also in a band called Legend which rang a dim bell alongside Mickey Jupp which rang a louder one. They’re all Essex boys who’ve ended up in the Lakes.

We then went on to park for a short walk to Devoke Water so I could show Carol my projected wild camp site and she reckoned it would be ok too. But it is a big wind tunnel so I’m still thinking to look for somewhere else. It scores well as it’s easy to reach from the road and no hills to climb for C.

Back via Torver and a stop at a deli I’d spotted. Some nice grub in there but very expensive. A restaurant on the side called Wilson’s which we’ve earmarked for next time. Also considering Sawrey House Hotel in Near Sawrey.

Back for a rest and then out again to Green’s Bistro in Grasmere. This wasn’t a great success although the food was fine. Just a bit noisy for us.

Back at Belle Green the fire had been lit and I drank whisky by it.

Broughton-in-Furness
Broughton-in-Furness
Carol at the boat house
Carol at the boat house
The path from Devoke Water
The path from Devoke Water
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale

Saturday

Drove to Little Langdale. Decided to hold on Lingmoor Fell for now as quite a steep climb. Instead headed off to walk to Tilberthwaite. We got a good way but decided to return so that we still had time for shopping in Ambleside! Whilst there a fire engine and several ambulances raced through – this was for the terrible accident where 2 people died in a shed at a wedding reception when the fireworks blew up.

Back for another rest and then out to the Tower Bank Arms in the village for dinner. Pleasant restaurant room at the back of the pub.

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Sunday

Set off straight after breakfast, home by midday so that C could get onto the machine.

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Coledale round 6th July 2014

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Wally the MR bear on the top of Grisedale Pike
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A peek through to Crummock Water
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Peeking to Derwent Water
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From Hopegill Head looking back to Grisedale Pike
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From the top of Eel Crag/Crag Hill
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Towards Outerside and Barrow

Our village had the Tour de France coming through today so I managed to escape by driving to the motorway via Denshaw. I guess it only added 10 mins or so each way but it feels like a long way round. The village was pretty much blocked off.
I like cycling but I don’t like crowds so after 2 and a half hours I had parked in Braithwaite and was heading up to Grisedale Pike. Chris and I went up a couple of years ago and it was so windy we had to cling to the mountain and my map blew away.
Today there wasn’t any wind until I’d reached the summit.
Next was Hopegill Head for figit pie lunch although I saved a bit for after the next peak.
Down to Coledale Hause and back up again to Eel Crag or Crag Hill. The trig point has fallen over and I had a chat with a couple of railwaymen.
I ate the rest of my lunch, glad most of the climbing done.
Down to Sail where I walked for a while with a chap who collects Marilyns and trig points.
I should have walked up Outerside but decided to give it a miss as my knees were starting to hurt. Took some ibuprofen and this enabled me to get up Barrow and get back to Braithwaite and the car.
I drove home the way I went in case my little single track short cut had not been reopened.

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Lakes in April 2014

Tuesday 22nd April
I picked Chris up from Todmorden and we set off smartly, stopping at Lancaster services for supplies from M&S and coffees, Tebay services for more supplies, Penrith for diesel and Keswick for an anorak and a head torch for Chris to add to her collection. We ate our M&S salads in the car park. She had butternut squash and I had a beetroot and mint one, they were very tasty. 

We parked in Bowness Knot car park and then walked the 7 miles to Black Sail youth hostel which really does feel remote as that’s the only way to get there although the YHA does have a Land Rover which trundles up and down with duvet covers and bottles of beer. We were in a room on the left of the main room with 4 bunk beds in it. Chris very kindly took the top bunk as I was worried that if it was hot, the heat would rise which would probably melt me as I’m currently having thermostat problems. We made up our beds. There was one other occupant. We made our dinner of boiled mixed veg, rice and LWIF meatballs. C didn’t feel so well so I had some of hers too then yummy Simnel cake I had made.  We drank Jennings’ Cocker Hoop and Snecklifter. I liked the Cocker Hoop better. Early to bed.
Old YHA Land Rover at Black Sail
Old YHA Land Rover at Black Sail
Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water
On the road to Black Sail
On the road to Black Sail
Wednesday 23rd April
C snored and I sneezed but the woman we shared with from Birmingham was very forgiving or at least too polite to say we had kept her awake. I haven’t really slept for 3 weeks since my internal thermostat decided to go on the blink and give me the experience of random hot sweats at any time. The only good thing is that they don’t last very long but I do long to sleep through an entire night without either sneezing or sweating.
We had breakfast of yoghurt jam and granola pots. We tidied up and set off for Pillar. It soon became clear that Chris really wasn’t going to be able to go very far uphill so we changed our plans and walked a little further towards the head of the valley and then back to Bowness Knot along the south side of the river. This was a lovely walk going through different types of woodland. On the way we had pork pies for our lunch. We had planned to walk up Pillar and across to Steeple and down to Ennerdale YH but the walk we did do was still very pretty with the river burbling away.
Back at the car we went for a drive round to Wasdale and stopped at the Wasdale Head Inn for a pot of tea and shared a piece of cake.
Then drove back across the moor road to Ennerdale Bridge and stopped at the Fox and Hounds for supper. C had Cumberland sausage and mash and veg and gravy and I had sea bass and chips and veg and homemade tartare sauce. Washed down with Jennings beer on tap. The food was ok but not totally top notch. My fish was overdone.
We then drove back to Ennerdale YH for the night. I had asked by email if we could park here for last night while we walked to Black Sail but got a reply that we couldn’t. I then found that the woman from Birmingham had done so and she hadn’t even been staying there, Ggrrr! When I get time I will write a letter. However this reminded me that they never replied when the man in charge of Bryn Gwynant broke the noise curfew he was supposed to be implementing by playing rock music so loud it woke me up. Anyway it was lovely to shower and drink Moretti beer.
I watched the manager reverse the brand new YHA Land Rover in the dark towards the gate posts. Probably best to learn how to do this in the daylight IMHO!! I think it was unscathed but looked a close shave.
Early morning at Black Sail
Early morning at Black Sail
Chris at Black Sail
Chris at Black Sail
Head of the valley
Head of the valley
It was this big!
It was this big!
Mad woman on bridge
Mad woman on bridge
The heron
The heron
Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water
Wasdale in the gloom
Wasdale in the gloom
Thursday 24th April
We had a leisurely yoghurt breakfast again and then set off to drive across the mountain Whinlatter Pass to Keswick’s west side. We parked up and walked up Catbells. Chris found this hard work but I’m very grateful to her that she stuck with it and helped me reach my 61st Wainwright.  After all her efforts, we went into Keswick and had some food in the Square Orange cafe. C had a ciabatta and I had 2 tapas, a sort of omelette and some fresh tomato on bruschetta. Very delicious and a nice relaxing cafe.
Then we drove home.
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Mountain Rescue bears Ted and Wally on Catbells
Mountain Rescue bears Ted and Wally on Catbells
Towards Skiddaw from Catbells
Towards Skiddaw from Catbells
Chris with Derwent Water after exertions on Catbells
Chris with Derwent Water after exertions on Catbells

Sheffield Pike, 10th November 2013

I got up really early, well same as a weekday and I should have been at Chris’ house at 7.30 but first I nearly went flying along the paving slabs because of ice and then there was so much ice on my car that I couldn’t get into it! I eventually got the passenger door open and then had to kick the driver side door open from the inside. Couldn’t get into the boot at all. This all took ages.

I picked Chris up and we set off after I’d drunk her delicious coffee, literally her cup of coffee that was part of her breakfast. We’d just turned out of her road when we saw a dying cat, so I stopped the car and we went over but it had died by then. A nice man came out and covered it up. He said its owners never let it out.

So after all this we were late getting going and then we had to stop for loo and coffee at Lancaster services plus a little visit to M&S Food and WH Smiths.

We arrived at Glenridding and got togged up and managed to leave the car park at 11.40, not quite the 10.15 in my head!!

I’d wanted to go up to Glenridding Dodd but from the track there was no obvious access to the access land and clear signs saying no path. Despite magnifying the map I couldn’t see how we could reach the access land so we abandoned that plan and instead decided to go for Sheffield Pike first.

We went along the path to the Youth Hostel to where there are a lot of old mine buildings which are now activity centre bunkhouses, and a sign referring to skiing but no sign of any ski slope, I’ve now found that the ski slope is at Raise and better accessed from that side I would have thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raise_%28Lake_District%29 However we did see snow on the top of Helvellyn as it came into view.

We then moved around the substantial mining area and pondered what had been mined, I suggested lead and copper and this page says it was lead and silver: http://www.mineexplorer.org.uk/greenside.htm although you have to read the lot to work that out.

Eventually the path beside Greenside flattens out to a sort of wide, sandy beach by the stream, another less beautiful relic of the mine. Then it was our bog walk because Chris and I can’t go out without one. We stopped for our lunch but although the sun was stunning with the white tops it was quite cold. Then to the top for fabulous views across and around for long distances.

To descend we went east. I took a bearing so as to avoid some cliff areas, this was wise and worked a treat, we snaked down to the wall and then decided to go right and along a path we could see to the road as this was shorter than left along the wall to a PROW and down to the road. As it turned out not necessarily quicker! We handrailed the wall until we could get onto the path. Some people were at this point going down from Glenridding Dodd which meant that there must be a way through the access land to get back to the car park but we decided to stick with our path that we’d selected and follow it down. As it got darker and darker the path got harder and wetter. My dear companion had aching legs and did not enjoy this section. Apart from being concerned for Chris, I’m afraid I did!

Onto the road, we put our headlights on, batteries dying in mine and flash function not working in Chris’. A short hop and back to the car.

An adventuresome day all in all, but QMD as well.

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Who’s that girl?
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Over to Striding Edge
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From the top of Sheffield Pike
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Ullswater
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Getting dark
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It was dark from where we were standing but camera said OK

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