It has become something of a tradition amongst my walking friends that our Stag do’s take place in the Lake District and involve a pub-crawl with a twist – a long walk between pubs. This weekend with just that in mind we were planning to camp at Fisherground in Eskdale. However, with gales and torrential rain forecast, M – the stag – managed to book us all into the Woolpack Inn. As it turned out this was even better management than we originally realised because the campsite seemed to be closed – probably waterlogged.
Our itinerary for the day was (in brief) – along the river Esk to Dalegarth station – tea and cake – Laal Ratty narrow gauge steam train to the mouth of the river at Raven glass – two pubs in Ravenglass (lunch and beer) – along the Esk estuary and under the Eskmeals viaduct – through the riverside woods in the grounds of Muncaster castle – up, along and over Muncaster fell – a pint in the George at Eskdake Green – along the river to Boot – food in the Brook House – more beer in the Boot Inn – back to the Woolpack for a final round before bed.
Just below the summit of Muncaster Fell, sheltering from a very strong wind.
The weather wasn’t particularly kind, but it was better than we expected and it didn’t rain all of the time. We got some views from Muncaster Fell, another tiny hill (231m) to add to this year’s list. We probably walked about 10 miles in total, although the walking didn’t begin in earnest until two o’clock when we left Ravenglass.
Everywhere was sodden. We were often walking in deep mud and/or water. What a good idea it was then to decide to walk in sandals.
Admittedly my boots do leak quite badly, but in this kind of slurry they would definitely have been a better bet. I’m not sure that my sandals will ever recover. It was a great relief shortly after I took this photo to have to ford a stream, where my feet and legs got a very thorough wash. I have every sympathy with the Roman legionnaires who were stationed up the valley at Hardknott fort, and who left the remains of a bath house at Ravenglass.
Despite the mud, rain and my crazy choice of footwear, it was a great day’s walk. Sunday was better still – of which, more later.