Looking to Morecambe Bay and the mouth of the Leven from How Barrow trig pillar.
The first weekend after my return to work. B’s rugby team had an early season training camp, staying in the scout hut in Cartmel. They’ve had weekends there before and seem to always have a good time. I’ve stayed there myself – it was the salubrious venue for my stag do, back in 2001. But that’s a different story.
Since B had to be dropped off at around lunch time, I decided to make the most of the opportunity and, after I’d helped to prep the veg for the boys evening meal, set out for an afternoon walk in the Cartmel area. Unusually, the scout hut is in the grounds of Cartmel’s racecourse and I first walked through the grounds and then beside the diminutive River Eea and into a conifer plantation, before skirting around the western flank of Mount Barnard.
The Leven estuary, Roudsea Mosses and the Coniston Fells from How Barrow.
The right-of-way slightly misses the summit of How Barrow (170m trig point on the map below), but a little discrete trespass is definitely called for here, because, even on a damp and overcast day, this top provides a great view for such a modest height.
How Barrow pano (click on this, or any other, picture to see a larger version on flickr)
The view takes in the Leven estuary, the Coniston Fells and the extensive wetlands of the Roudsea Wood and Mosses National Nature Reserve – which is high on my list of places due for a revisit.
Walking along the Ellerside ridge I seemed to be continually following small flocks of Mistle Thrushes.
The Coniston Fells again – now clear of cloud.
Further along the ridge, just before I turned eastward away from the views, I watched two large raptors flying above the wetlands below. They were flying high, at quite some distance, and looked very dark against the sky, but they had a highly distinctive silhouette with their wings bowed, giving an obvious ‘elbow’ and then a second curve near the tips. Although my photos are pretty useless, they show enough to confirm the suspicion I had at the time that I was watching Ospreys. Ospreys have returned to this area of the lakes, nesting at Foulshaw Moss, but I suppose that these may also have been migrating birds on their return journey from Scotland to Africa.
Once again, lots of large toadstools to be seen.
Presumably, these are farmed deer, later to be venison. Certainly, a lot of effort and expense had been put into erecting tall, new fencing.
Guelder Rose hedge.
Green islands with sandy beaches on a turning oak leaf.
My walk finished by crossing the racecourse again. A cricket match was just finishing on a pitch in the middle of the track and, judging by the exuberant cheering, the local team had just won an important victory.
Market Cross Cartmel.
I’d promised myself that, being in Cartmel, I would take the opportunity to revisit the impressive priory, but it closes to the public at 5pm each day and my walk had lasted too long for me to fit that in on this occasion. Next time.