Monday, 19 November 2018

Autumnal Weekend in The Lakes

We haven't managed to get up to The Lakes anywhere near as much as we'd liked to have done this year, in fact the last time was June!  So when we saw how good the forecast was for this weekend and we had no other plans, the Lakes was our obvious choice and hopefully bag a couple of Wainwrights too,

We have bagged 101 Wainwrights to date.  In 2010 we did our first one but at that time we weren't really aware of the challenge so we officially started the challenge in 2016 when we moved to the North West.  That year we bagged 53, then 2017 we managed 36 and this year we've done 11.


Saturday morning the plan was to hike to Harter Fell (649m).  Harter Fell is a mountain in the western part of the Lake District.  There are several routes to the summit but we decided to walk from the Birks Bridge car park in the Duddon Valley.
Wrynose Pass
The route to the car park involves negotiating the tricky Wrynose Pass (393m).  Wrynose Pass is a mountain pass between the Duddon Valley and Little Langdale and is one of the steepest roads in England.  We have driven this route a few times now and once in icy conditions which was pretty hair-raising.

We had a leisurely start to our walk with coffee and cake in the van before setting off in the autumn sunshine.

The Birks

Looking back at The Birks - an old working farmhouse.  The property was owned by the Forestry Commission and occupied by a tenant farmer until the early 60s but is now owned by the Grove School in Shropshire and utilised as a field studies centre.

The first part of the walk was really boggy underfoot then after this section the path becomes very steep with loose rocks, tree stumps and bare roots.  We stopped regularly to take in the amazing views.

Autumn walks on sunny days are by far my favourite.  I love the contrast of the blue skies and the autumn colours.

It was just under two miles to the summit which consists of three distinct rocky tors.

We found the cache then it was a bit of a scramble to get up to the highest point which is the true summit.

At the true summit
There's also a trigpoint which isn't the highest point, luckily we'd read this in our A.W. guide book before we set off.

The views were stunning and we spent ages admiring them.   The Duddon estuary and Morecambe Bay could be clearly seen to the south and to the west we could just make out the Isle of Man.

After eating our packed lunch and sitting enjoying the views and sunshine we headed back down again.

A truly enjoyable walk on a beautiful autumn day.

After this we sat in the campervan relaxing with a cup of tea and I read my book for a bit then we decided to make a start on the new virtual in Buttermere.  You need to visit five waypoints so we thought we'd try and tick a few of them off over the weekend.

Later on, we were driving down the lanes in an area between Coniston Water and Windermere when we spotted something rather large at the side of the road in the headlights, we slowed right down and saw what we thought was a very large pig, but then we soon realised this was no ordinary pig it was actually a wild boar!  We'd never seen one in the wild before so this was an amazing sight to see.

The dash-cam picked it up very nicely.

This came straight after seeing a beautiful barn own perched on the hedge, unfortunately the dash-cam didn't pick this up as it was too dark.

After this we headed in to Ambleside for a few supplies.  When we arrived we'd just missed the town Christmas light switch-on so the place was looking really festive.


Today we drove along Hard Knott pass and parked in the very small parking area for the walk up to Hard Knott summit (549m).  It was a bitterly cold wind today but luckily the sun was still shining so that helped keep the temperature up a bit.

It was a very straightforward walk from the parking to the summmit, the route isn't particularly well trodden and in areas it's quite boggy so its a case of picking the driest route.  Once again stunning scenery as the skies were so clear.

There is a cache to find at the top which we is always a bonus when Wainwright bagging.

We didn't hang around long at the top so once we'd admired the views and found the cache we headed back down to the parking.

The weekend was over far too quickly, we've had a fab time, hopefully we'll be back up to the Lakes again very soon.

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