30 March 2016
24 March 2016
So this past weekend we spent time in the wonderful Borrowdale valley in Cumbria. You can see my post here all about where we stayed.
On Sunday Mark and I decided to be adventurous and climb Scafell Pike. You may have heard of this mountain, it being England's highest and all! A perfect one to start me off this type of walking! lol! I do a lot of walking but not really a lot of walking up mountains (I prefer riding up them on my bike!) but I was excited to take on the challenge.
The walk was beautiful starting off. We went the more challenging way setting off from Seathwaite and the little farm. You then follow the lovely river as it slowly climbs up towards a cute old stone bridge.
At the bridge you then pass through a gate in the wall and you have two choices, up a ridiculously steep path ahead and to the right or follow the wall and river to the left.
We went up the ridiculously steep path up to the right... and I am SO glad we did... The path was really well marked and kept, it was more like just climbing stairs, a lot of stairs! But I found it no bother at all going up this side.
A beautiful view behind us down back into Seathwaite as we climbed up and up...
I didn't expect the path to be so clearly marked out, it was a really good path.
Posing on another little bridge...
A lovely sweaty selfie after making it up to the top of the first steep bit!
The best bit about going up this way, well the best bit of the whole walk for me was this view... Styhead Tarn, it was beautiful. Such an awesome place, so calm... I would love to come back here in summer and camp and swim!
I couldn't stop snapping this beautiful place. It's so funny to think when you look up at the mountains that these beautiful tarns and flat bits exist up there.
The next bit of the path got steep again as we went round the end of the tarn and up.
At the top though was another tarn, this one is Sprinkling tarn, not quite as pretty as Styhead in my opinion, but the duck seems to like it!
At the top of this section it began to get a bit colder and there was snow on the ground.
Once we went up further there was a LOT of snow! It was about 2 feet when you put the stick in, or fell through! But it wasn't fresh beautiful fluffy snow, it had obviously been there a while and was rather icy and slippy so not a lot of fun to walk on.
I must admit I got a bit nervous and anxious as we reached this point. The path had vanished due to the snow and we couldn't figure out the best route, the snow and ice were very slippy and I didn't enjoy walking on them, so I wasn't sure I wanted to carry on.
We got to the top of Ill Cragg (I believe it was!?) and we looked over and Scafell Pike summit was about 20 minutes away! But to get there you had to go down and then back up again and the whole way was thick ice. At this point I decided to give up. A little disappointing not to reach the final summit but the sensible decision I feel.
For my first proper mountain walk in a long while I was pleased with how far I reached. I was getting a bit anxious and I just knew I would get worse if we carried on. I'm fine and happy walking, and will go fell walking as long as I don't have to scramble, climb up ice or go on any steep edges where you can fall off! The actual hours of walking upwards are no bother and I think I am fit enough to tackle these I just don't want to be scared of falling off!
Google the likes of Sharp Edge or Striding Edge to see what I am most afraid of! These are both in the lakes, but not this mountain. But I would never do anything like these!!! Not in a million years. I get dizzy when I'm up high and trying to negotiate a thin edge, NO!
So the only way really to get back down all that snow and ice was on our bums! Mark went first and I followed, it's just sledging without the sledge really! haha. Wet, cold bums were a LOT of fun on the walk back to the car. hehe.
Back down we go....
So we went back down a slightly different way. Remember I said at the beginning at the bridge you had two choices, well we came back along that other path. I must admit I didn't love the top of this other path, it was pretty steep and right on the edge of a sheer drop. I was a lot happier once it flattened out and there wasn't so much a risk of death falling off the side.
The river all the way along had such pretty pools! It would be fab in summer to stop here for a paddle.
So if I were to do it again I would go up and back down the Styhead Tarn route and tackle Scafell summit on warmer weather when there won't be any ice. I believe when there isn't ice it is a good path all the way, and no steep sides to fall off so I am confident I can do it if we try again.
23 March 2016
21 March 2016
This past weekend Mark and I made a return to one of our favourite places, Tilly's Barn in Borrowdale, Cumbria. We have stayed at the barn before, a couple of years ago, in rather more dreary weather. That post, with interior pics, can be seen here.
This time around we invited a different bunch of people, and it worked out great! The Friday night Sarah (Mark's sister) and Neil joined us and the second night my sister Jen, and Phil joined us. It turned out to be a lovely family weekend and it was SO much fun...
Can you spot the teeny tiny Tilly's Barn in the photo here? This photo illustrates why this place is so amazing, look at the surroundings! It's basically in the middle of nowhere, it has no mains electricity and certainly no phone signal, TV or internet. A fantastic place to get away from it all! But having said all that just down the road is a lovely pub and it is just a very short drive into Keswick!
We met Sarah, who is Mark's sister, and her boyfriend Neil at the pub, which is about a 15 minute's walk from the barn. They brought along with them another little person, Scruff The Dog!
A lovely evening followed, with yummy food, cooked by Sarah, a few drinks and plenty of board game fun!
Then next day our plan was to meet Jen and Phil at the pub at midday, that gave us the morning to explore a bit and show Neil and Sarah the area. That's Sarah and Neil, with Mark and Scruff The Dog in the photo.
We walked to Black Moss Pot, which is about 45 minutes walk up the valley, following the beautiful river all the way. Black Moss Pot is a wonderful wild swimming lagoon, I blogged about swimming it here.
Mark suggested that we might want to go and search for the secret cave near Black Moss Pot and pointed to a rather large steep fell...
Mark and Scruff The Dog posing! HOW cute is Scruff? I want one!
The cave is rather a secret, it is set up as a bothy, so a camping place that you just turn up to, you cannot book it. It is kept a secret by those in the know, so I am afraid I won't reveal its location here, but it is near Black Moss pot! Go explore.
It is well worth the climb up! But you have to pluck up some nerve to actually get into the cave through the teeny hole, I didn't go in (wuss!) but the others did, you can see how small it is here, with Sarah and Mark squeezing out.
We made our way back down the fell, back up the valley and to the Langstrath Country Inn to meet Jen and Phil and they arrived right on time at 12 noon. Who needs mobile phones to make plans! wuhu!
Of course a delicious lunch was consumed in the pub! The food at the Langstrath was amazing! SO good we went back for tea too!
Another walk followed lunch, this time along to the next village of Rosthwaite to join a path to Grange. This is one of my very very favourite walks ever, and one I have blogged numerous times, here it is from the other way...
Scruff The Dog and the boys leading the way...
Dealing well with the tricky obstacles! hehe.
Jen not looking quite so sure!
Aw, I love this photo of the whole gang, and even better I'm not in it! haha. (I MUCH prefer being behind the camera!)
I snapped a lovely one of Jen and Phil.
Phil (and his stick) admiring the beautiful river.
We couldn't resist snapping this cute little idea for planters!
So we made it to Grange and stopped in the café for desserts and cups of tea. I had an ice cream, yum yum!
We were super lucky with the weather, this valley in Borrowdale is quite literally the wettest recorded place in England, but we didn't see one spot of rain all weekend. Score!
We decided to be lazy and get a bus back along the road to Rosthwaite. But we waited and waited.... and nothing... I don't think these little Lakeland buses stick to a proper timetable!
So back up the road we all walked, it was only a few miles and really you cannot complain about the scenery!
Back at Langstrath we sadly said bye bye to Sarah and Neil and Scruff The Dog, boo! Then we made our way back down the valley to show Jen and Phil the barn.
Dinner was back in the Pub, it was delicious! Jen and I rounded off dinner with more ice cream and crumble.
We got up early the next day and got packed up. Jen and Phil had to get back to Carlisle to pick up James and then back home to Newcastle. Mark and I had more adventures awaiting us (stay tuned for forthcoming blog posts....)
One last look back to old Tilly's Barn as we wandered back up the track home. Bye Tilly's Barn, thanks for having us, you were a lot of fun. Until next time....