One Day Like This…

Windermere from Holme Fell

Another Lakes bimble for TBH and myself with the in-laws once again looking after the ankle-biters. We weren’t too far from our last outing, parking at Tilberthwaite and starting our walk by climbing  Holme Fell, just over a thousand feet, a Wainwright and a Birkett, and an excellent viewpoint, although a higher cloudbase would have enabled us see the higher fells to the north and west. We found eyebright again on the lower slopes of the hill, and higher up flowering heather carpeted the slopes.

Holme Fell summit.

Our descent route took us past Holme Ground tarns (very boggy going) and then past the enormous Hodge Close quarry.

The quarry is full of deep water, but it’s possible to walk down an old incline into Parrock Quarry and then enter Hodge Close through a double archway.

There were sub-aqua divers in the water and we had seen somebody climbing the quarry wall to jump into the water (tombstoning?) – judging by the rubbish lying around this is also a popular location for barbecues and drinking cans of Foster’s and the like.

Beyond Hodge Close we briefly watched two birds of prey, of different species, apparently quarrelling. One bird was keening, not unlike a seagull. The smaller of the two was very trim with a narrow tail and I thought that it might be a Peregrine, but I’m not at all sure, and as to the other….

Time is marching on, and on the blackthorn the sloes have gone from green to plum…

Time was marching on for us too, we crossed the route of our last walk at Stang End and headed across the valley hoping to lunch at the Three Shires Inn. TBH declared that her blood sugar had deserted her and that she was very concerned that the pub may have closed, been quarantined due to a swine flu outbreak, subject to a terrorist outrage or perhaps, more prosaically, had simply stopped serving lunch at two.

Here is the Three Shires Inn, shortly after 2 o’clock….when they stopped serving lunch. We had missed the deadline by a few minutes, but they did offer to serve us some soup – and very nice it was too.

Perhaps we would have made it by two if I hadn’t stopped to photograph this Robin’s Pincushion Gall…

…or Bedeguar Gall. It was on a rose, high above us in the hedge, and even with TBH helping by holding the thorny stem against the wind, it has still come out a little blurred. Apparently under those red and green hairs is a woody gall full of small chambers each with a resident grub. Almost all of them are female and in the spring they will leave the gall as tiny wasps and lay their eggs in rose buds without mating. So…what is the function of the male wasp? (Yes – I can see that this question invites some rather obvious quips)

Our return route took us over the elegant Slater’s bridge…

…from where we diverted to explore another quarry. This one entered by a low tunnel…

..which opens out into a substantial cavern, called Cathedral Quarry…

The pool has small fish in it and I was wondering how they could have got there, but it fed by a small stream so perhaps that provides the answer.

From the quarry faint paths took us up through the woods and out onto the open fell which was again very boggy. We joined a better path for our descent back to Tilberthwaite, with good views of Holme Fell.


So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year’d see me right…

…but can I have one a month?

Rowan berries – ubiquitous on this walk.

One Day Like This…

11 thoughts on “One Day Like This…

  1. Beautifully put together bridge, Mark – is it drystone, without mortar?
    At least they were still serving grubs at the Robin’s Pincushion.

  2. PhilW says:

    Did a similar walk about a month ago. One our our favourites. Were the fish goldfish? They usually are but couldn’t see any at the time our our last visit – perhaps they’ve been restocked? Cathedral has a wonderful exit route out through a tunnel at the back. The kids love it but you need torches. Very safe, take a left at the fork (the right has a gate so you can’t go far wrong.

  3. beatingthebounds says:

    Rob – it’s a bridge with real character – a favourite spot. I always wonder how old bridges like this were built. Without mortar? – I’m not sure.

    Here’s a link to a photo of the surface of the bridge:

    Thanks for the Deakin links – looking forward to listening to them.

    Phil – goldfish? really? They didn’t strike me as goldfish, but they were quite small. Perhaps they were. We found an exit at the back but didn’t need torches so perhaps not the one you mean? We will have to go back with the kids next time.

    Thanks Tom, Mike, Ron – I will catch up with your respective excellent blogs eventually, but Google Reader tells me that I’m over 500 posts behind and I’m a bit over-faced!

  4. PhilW says:

    Yes, there have been goldfish in there – I suspect they are left by climbers.

    If you haven’t discovered the exit tunnel you are in for a real treat the next time you go. Details here:
    You go out of the rear of the cavern into an open quarry with high cliffs around. This is often used for abseiling. You have an easy scramble up a few rocks then drop down a bit to get to the tunnel. This runs about 150m or more through the back of the quarry. You need a torch but very easy and safe – great for kids! (Of all ages.)

  5. beatingthebounds says:

    Top-tips Phil – that does look like a great little adventure for our kids. Thanks for the very informative links.

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