Five Photos

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A wasp’s nest on the underside of the roof of our summer house (glorified shed). It was a little bit larger than a golf ball. The has been empty for weeks – it was right by the door, perhaps too busy a spot, and the wasps seemed to have abandoned it – but just today we noticed that the nest is once again occupied.

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Orchids on the Lots.

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A double rainbow from our garden; a fair indication of the weather we’ve been having this ‘summer’.

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A roe deer buck on our garden.

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He has very lop-sided antlers. I wonder whether that will put him at any disadvantage during the imminent rut?

Five photos taken on different days, aside from the last two obviously.

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Five Photos

Hornby, Windy Bank and Melling Circuit

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River Wenning and Hornby Castle.

A post-work walk, with, for once during this non-event of a summer, some sunshine.

I’d noticed Windy Bank, the high ground which rises between the valleys of the Lune and the Wenning, when I walked from Claughton this time last year, and thought that it would make a pleasant evening walk.

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Windy Bank from the bank of the Wenning.

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River Wenning.

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Confluence of the Lune and the Wenning.

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River Lune.

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The far bank of the Lune, pock-marked with holes which look prefect for Sand Martins to nest. There weren’t any in evidence, but I should probably go back to check my hunch.

I followed the Wenning down to where it meets the Lune and then turned to follow the Lune upstream.

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Lapwing again. There were Little Egrets and Oystercatchers about too.

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A broken egg.

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Orange-tip butterfly.

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The Lune.

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Loyn Bridge.

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Loyn Bridge – ancient, but of unknown date.

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Melling, with Ingleborough behind.

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My summer evening walks in and around the Lune always seem to bring at least one encounter with a Hare.  Usually, they’re so still and so well disguised that I’m almost on top of them before I spot them and then the Hare will disappear so quickly that any thought of getting a photograph is superfluous almost as soon as I have had it. This Hare, by contrast, was wandering along the path towards me, seemingly quite relaxed and unconcerned, and then, having spotted me, by choosing to squeeze through the wire fence, had to stop for a moment so that I did get a few photos.

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I saw another Hare shortly afterwards, but that was a standard fleeting affair.

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Last summer, I was convinced that I’d mastered the difference between Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, but clearly I was wrong. I think that this is one of those, and I’m leaning towards the latter, but I’m really not sure.

The route comes from Mary Welsh’s Cicerone Guide ‘Walking in Lancashire’. She lists it as 7 miles, but by the time I’d finished that evening, I’d walked over 11, which was really more than I’d intended to do. The reason being that the path became very unclear as it approached Melling. I should never have been close to this railway bridge over the Lune.  (If you examine the map below, you’ll see that I did a lot of faffing about).

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I was also trying to avoid a large herd of bullocks who seemed very agitated by my presence. In the end, I had no option but to walk right through the middle of the cattle, where they were tightly confined between a hedge and a body of water. They surrounded me and were very skittish, with the ones behind me making little feints and charges, which was a bit unnerving.

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Melling.

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Barley (?) on Windy Bank.

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Gragareth and Ingleborough from Windy Bank.

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Hornby, Windy Bank and Melling Circuit

King of the Hill

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Cowslips.

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Looking south along the shore from Heathwaite.

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Mayflower (hawthorn).

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Lancashire Whitebeam.

Whitebeam is a southern species in the UK, except the Morecambe Bay area has its own sub-species.

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Arnside Knott panorama.

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Early Purple Orchids.

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New Ash leaves.

Sunshine and blue skies have been at a bit of a premium for some time now – summer seems to have been postponed somewhat. Nice to look back then at these images from a Sunday in May when we did have some warmth and brightness. Naturally, I climbed Arnside Knott, my current obsession. The post title is a shameless excuse to squeeze in a song by my all time favourite band:

King of the Hill

Round Windermere II

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Sunday started a good deal brighter than Saturday had. I expected to be stiff and sore following the exploits of the day before, but actually felt fine, but for one slight issue. I’d chosen to wear the same rather worn-out pair of Clark’s shoes in which I do most of my walking. I realise that might seem an unusual choice and some people might even go as far as to disapprove, but the shoes have been very comfortable, pretty waterproof and have looked after me well. Until now. I bought them in a sale and have had them for quite some time now. I knew that they were past their best, but I didn’t realise the extent to which the soles had worn thin. As a result, I now had a blood blister on the ball of each foot. They weren’t excruciating. I managed to scrounge some plasters from reception at the hostel and decided to wear two pairs of sock by way of compensation.

My walk started through…

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…which was really rather wonderful. On both days of the walk, I was really struck by the immaculate and colourful gardens I passed, most of them stuffed full off flowering shrubs…

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Rhododendrons and azaleas?

A and I passed this way at the end of the second day of our walk from Silverdale to Keswick, but it was a bit dark by then to see the flowers, so I’ve wanted to come back.

This section of the route, via Jenkin Crag to Troutbeck, is an old favourite and is very familiar territory.

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Coniston Fells from Jenkin Crag.

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Claife Heights and Latterbarrow from Jenkin Crag.

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Looking down the lake to Gummer How.

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More Bluebells.

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High Skelghyll.

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Looking down the lake – Belle Isle seems almost to split the north and south basins into two separate lakes.

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Troutbeck.

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Townend.

I thought, this being a National Trust property, I’d definitely be able to buy a cup of tea here, but it wouldn’t open for hours yet.

I’ve always admired this rather fine bank barn across the road from Townend. I hope that the National Trust won this too, and that it’s being looked after.

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At this point, my route diverted, for a while at least, from the one A and I had followed. I dropped to a different bridge, well, bridges…

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…over Trout Beck. These must have been destroyed in the flooding a couple of years ago. The new bridges look very robust.

I’m glad I stuck with Mister Turner’s route, because this section of path was new to me, and very beautiful in a low key way.

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There are a number of houses here, above the RHS gardens at Holehird, which have the most amazing views.

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Next on the agenda was Orrest Head, which, as always I suspect, was absolutely thronged with people.

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The view north along the lake from Orrest Head.

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The view south along the lake from Orrest Head.

Busy at it was on Orrest head, I dropped down into Common Wood on a permission path and soon was completely alone again.

I thought that these distinctive looking flowers would be easy to identify…

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…but in fact they took quite a lot of tracking down. As usual, it was the excellent Wildflower Finder website which came up trumps. I think that this is Indian Rhubarb, an introduced species native to the western United States. Apparently the leaves, when they appear, are every attractive, which is why gardeners like it for damp shady areas in their gardens.

This field…

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…on the lane just beyond the wood, was brimful of Cuckoo Flower, which is native, tasty and the principal food plant for Orange-tip butterflies.

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Part of a stunning garden on the outskirts of Windermere.

The slopes of School Knott, above Windermere, proved to be extremely confusing. My map shows open fields, but trees have been planted, which are now growing quite large and there are paths everywhere, with some sort of de facto right to roam seemingly in operation. I stopped a couple of dog walkers and asked for directions, but ended up following my nose uphill.

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Windermere and beyond from School Knott.

It’s a lovely spot, with terrific views, and, like Orrest Head, is another of Wainwright’s outlying fells. I noticed that some walkers were also climbing the higher Grandsire, although the map doesn’t indicate any access is allowed. It looks worth a look though, so I shall have to come back.

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Grandsire and School Knott Tarn (?).

There is a path down to the little tarn though. So…

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…that’s the way I went. It was warm enough here for me to be regretting that I didn’t really have enough time to stop for a swim.

Just beyond this point, I met a party of four on the Dales Way path, who asked for directions. They told me that they were walking from Bowness to Staveley (the one near Kendal, not the one I’d passed through the day before) and back. Since they were barely out of Bowness, they decided to amend their plans.

A fair bit of road walking followed, some of it along a busy road past Windermere Golf Club, which was unfortunate. Once I’d turned into the much quieter Lindeth Lane, things improved again. I met another lost party, a large group of ladies. I gathered they’d been a bit confused for some time. The explanation for how they’d lost their way was rather simple, but, in fairness, they’d missed a turn on to a path which I’m not sure existed on the ground.

I’d taken many photos on the next part of the walk, although it was very pleasant, through a mixture of fields, woodland and wood pasture with bits of scrub.

This…

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…and this…

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…are Podnet Tarn. The track which runs past has, by this point, become a metalled affair.

Nearby, Great Ludderburn Moss…

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…Little Ludderburn Moss and Green Hill form a nature reserve owned by the lake District National Park Authority which, unusually, seems to have no online presence at all (the nature reserve that is).

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On the map, it looks like the paths here link perfectly, but unfortunately, due presumably to the intransigence of some local home owners, there’s actually a detour by road before it’s possible to pick up a path to get back on course.

The detour goes right past Low Ludderburn, one of the houses in the area where the author and reputed spy Arthur Ransome lived, but I’m afraid I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t take any photos.

Wood anemones.

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The next part of the route, a long steady ascent of Gummer How via a path beside Burrow Beck was an absolute delight. The path is obviously well-used, although it isn’t a right-of-way. The woods are full of moss-covered lumps and fallen trees.

There’s also quite a bit of…

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…this shrub, which I thought was Wild Privet, but clearly isn’t since I just read that only begins to flower in June.

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Oh. More research needed!

Edit: I’ve done a little more checking, and I now think that this is Bird Cherry.

It was late afternoon now and it had clouded up, the wind had picked up, there were a few drops of moisture in the air and when I emerged from the woods on to Gummer How, I realised that it had grown quite cold.

Still there were the views for compensation…

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It was very satisfying to look back on where I had walked for the last two days.

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Lakeside and Summer House Knott. Notice Bigland Barrow and Haverthwaite Heights behind – both long overdue a revisit from me.

Duncan Turner gives this day as 16¼ miles with 2891′ of ascent. It took me a good deal less time than the day before had, which probably puts some perspective on how long that was. I’d cut it slightly short by stopping below Gummer How, but MapMyWalk measured it as 28km which is actually a bit further. (But subsequently ‘lost’ the data, so I can’t include a bird’s-eye Google-earth map. (Andy thinks that this might be a problem with the antiquity of my phone, rather than one inherent in the app.).

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It is an excellent route, thoroughly recommended. If you had more time you might incorporate Black Crag and Wansfell on either side of the head of the lake. If you are contemplating following in my footsteps, then please consider buying a copy of ‘Windermere: Walking Around the Lake’, not just because it’s a handy and informative guide, but because royalties from the book are donated to Holehird which provides a home for people living with disabilities and which is just off the route.

Talking of charity appeals:

In the summer, I shall be attempting to complete the annual 10 in 10 challenge. Briefly, the idea is to walk a route over 10 Wainwrights in 10 hours or less.  You can find out more here.

The event is a fundraiser and I’m hoping to get some sponsorship for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. My Just Giving page is here. All donations, however small, will be most welcome. I should add that the sponsorship is not a condition of my entry and that I’ve already paid a fee to enter which covers all costs, so all sponsor money would go directly to charity.

A heartfelt thanks to those who have donated already. The event is getting frighteningly close, so I’ll shall soon stop pasting this onto the end of posts, I promise. I could really do with about another year, or maybe two, to prepare….

 

 

Round Windermere II

Round Windermere I

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Windermere and the Coniston Fells from the road south of Gummer How.

B was on a rugby tour to North Wales. I was originally signed up to go, but then had second thoughts. Much as I like watching B and his teammates play, and chatting to the other parents, I also fancied a weekend in the hills. After a great deal of deliberating, I decided I wouldn’t accompany the team to Llandudno, but get some wild-camping in instead.

But then, as the weekend approached, the forecast was pretty dire. Rain, wind, rain and a lot more wind was expected. I hastily changed my plans and opted for a lower-level alternative with warm and dry lodgings at the end of it.

My new plan was to walk around Windermere over the course of two days. That’s the lake, not the town – A was very confused by my plan and seemed to think I would spend the entire weekend wandering the streets of Windermere, presumably looking a bit lost whilst doing so.

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Looking down to Lakeside and Summer House Knott.

True to form, I started my walk in a light rain. I’d elected to leave my car in the small car park below Gummer How, which as well as being relatively near to the southern end of the lake has the huge advantage of being free.

I’ve long wanted to do this walk, since picking up a copy of ‘Windermere: Walking Around the Lake’ by Duncan Turner. He suggests catching the ferry from Fell Foot to Lakeside, which neatly avoids the main A590, but I was making an early start and the first ferry wouldn’t be until late morning, so I decided to string together footpaths and lanes to take me around the end of the lake.

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Dropping down the road towards Fell Foot, I could see the Saturday Morning Park Run taking place in the park. TBH has been a couple of times and has encouraged me to give it a go. One day perhaps.

Eventually, I picked up a delightful path through Beech woods carpeted with Bluebells…

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…which brought me out close to Staveley in Cartmel, a small hamlet which I’m not sure I’ve ever visited before. Which is perhaps why I’ve never heard of Millerbeck Light Railway before…

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St, Mary’s church is slightly outside the village.

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I hoped to pop in, but found the door locked. The church was restored in 1897 by Lancaster architects Austin and Paley, whose work I seem to encounter almost everywhere I go. Apparently, there’s a listed eighteenth century stone sundial in the churchyard which I missed, so I shall have to go back. I could hardly miss the huge lychgate…

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…which seemed a bit out of proportion with the modest church.

A footpath through a caravan park and then a minor road brought me to Newby Bridge. I had to cross the busy main road twice, but that didn’t prove to be as big an obstacle as I’d thought it might be.

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The five arch stone bridge from which Newby Bridge gets its name was built in 1651 and is really rather elegant, so I ought to have taken a picture of it. Next time.

I did take a picture of the Swan Hotel from the bridge.

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It was still early at this point – people were still eating breakfast inside.

Having come this way, I now had the option to include the small hill above Newby Bridge which is Summer House Knott…

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…or Water Side Knott…

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The OS map has both names. I took several photos of this map and various parts of it. It shows paths not marked on the OS map, so is very handy. I would go over the Knott, down to Finsthwaite, up to High Dam, down to the YMCA centre on the lake and then follow the lake shore path off the top of this map.

Incidentally, long-suffering readers might recognise the map since I used another photo of it to navigate on another walk in the rain, through Border Moss and Yewbarrow Woods, back in the winter.

A short climb brought me to…

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…Pennington Lodge Tower, or Finsthwaite Tower, depending on who you believe. It’s currently under repair, I think the work of the National Trust. The plaque high on the wall reads…

Erected to honour the officers, seamen and marines of the Royal Navy whose matchless conduct and irresistible valour decisively defeated the fleets of France, Spain and Holland and preserved and protected liberty and commerce 1799.

Originally it had three floors and a view, but the top floor has been removed and it is now surrounded by trees (source).

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It’s a listed building, so in theory should be being carefully preserved, but I can’t find any reference online to the repairs. The naval battles referred to, from 1797 and 1798, are apparently the Battle of St. Vincent, the Battle of Camperdown and the Battle of the Nile, decisive victories against the navies of Spain, Holland and France respectively. My knowledge of the Napoleonic wars is obviously very sketchy, since it’s only the latter, when Nelson was commanding the British Fleet, that I was aware of before. Hard to imagine now a situation where Britain could be at loggerheads simultaneously with so many of our European neighbours. Ho-hum.

Incidentally, Summer House Knott, along with Finsthwaite Heights, is on one of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells Walks, as are Claife Heights and Latterbarrow which will appear later.

Great Knott Wood, to the north of the tower, is now owned by the Woodland Trust, who are working to restore native deciduous woods here…

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As I approached the point where the path left the wood, I came across these…

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Another memorial of sorts, recording the areas industrial heritage, when it produced wooden bobbins for the Manchester cotton industry.

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It’s many years now since I visited the bobbin mill at nearby Stott Park, but I remember it as a fascinating tour. Our guide was a former employee of the mill, when it was still  a commercial enterprise, rather than a working museum, and he had lots of interesting and some times gruesome stories to tell.

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Finsthwaite.

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St. Peter’s Church, Finsthwaite.

I was hoping to have a gander inside this church too, but despite signs outside saying that the church is kept open for visitors, it also seemed to be locked. Which is a shame, because I suspect the inside is well worth a look. It’s quite a recent building, the work of, you guessed it, Paley and Austin.

Since I couldn’t go inside, I sat in the porch for a moment whilst I took on some water.

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The weather was really beginning to brighten up at last. It hadn’t actually rained all that much to this point, but had always seemed to be on the point of drizzling. Now there was sunshine and warmth.

Climbing out of Finsthwaite, I was taken by this blossom covered tree…

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An apple tree, I suspect?

A short ascent brought me to High Dam…

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…where we swam a couple of times last summer.

Whilst I’ve visited High Dam many times over the years, I’m not sure that I’ve ever followed this bit of path beyond the reservoir, which isn’t on my map. Nor have I climbed Stott park Heights, the high ground on the left here…

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…an omission I shall have to rectify another time.

The path dropped down the hillside via some deep cuttings which looked like they must have been blasted through the rock, which doesn’t make much sense on this seemingly little used track. There must be some explanation?

I had to walk a little way along the road, but was soon on the lake side path.

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I had my cag on almost immediately when, for the first time that day, the heavens really opened.

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In truth, the shower was short-lived, but with dark clouds scudding past and occasional further flurries of rain, I kept my coat on, probably longer than I needed to.

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It looked like there might be a wedding party underway at Greythwaite Old Hall, and I hoped the weather would improve, both for them and for me! The path was well-marked and very easy to follow, so on the whole I wasn’t really looking at my map much. For that reason, I was quite surprised by the short sharp climb past High Cat Crag. Sadly, I immediately lost all of that height again on the minor lane which eventually took me to another lake shore path.

By the time I passed through these wonderful Bluebell woods at Rawlinson Nab, the rain had just about done, for now at least.

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I’d been debating with myself about the options for the next section. I could stick to the shore, or take any one of a number of routes across Claife Heights, the most ambitious of which would divert to take in Latterbarrow. I’d pretty much decided that if the weather looked fine I would choose the Latterbarrow option and since I had some blue sky and plenty of sunshine, I took the minor lane and then a path into Far Sawrey, rather than dropping back down to the shore.

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I was heading for High Pate Crag and High Blind How, but before I reached either of those I followed a slight trod leading away from the main track, which brought me to a superb viewpoint.

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Belle Isle and Bowness-on-Windermere.

I’ve walked in Claife Heights many times before, but have always thought that the one downside of those walks was the frustrating lack of views, so this was a real revelation. I’d been walking for quite some time without much rest, so decided to sit here a while and eat the couple of apples I had in my bag.

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The weather still looked quite bleak in the hills around the head of the lake.

Whilst Gummer How and the southern end of the lake looked a satisfyingly long way away…

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A large area of trees around High Pate Crag had been felled. There ought to have been views of the Coniston Fells, but they had been swallowed up by clouds.

The area abounds with tarns. I’m guessing that this one in the distance…

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…with trees around it’s western shore, is Moss Eccles Tarn, once owned by Beatrix Potter and which I passed on a previous Calife Heights wander.

High Pate Crag, and the area around it, had good views across to the Langdale Pikes.

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Whilst High Blind How turned out to be appropriately named, since the trig pillar there is completely surrounded by mature conifers and has no view at all…

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At 270 metres, this was the highest point of the day.

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Unnamed tarn near High Blind How.

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Telephone mast? And the hills north of Ambleside.

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I was heading now for Latterbarrow, but the weather had finally caught up with me again and I had more rain.

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Latterbarrow, with a prominent cairn on top.

Fortunately, it stopped pretty much as I reached the top…

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I stopped again here, for another drink and to take lots of photos.

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The views were changing all the time, with clouds and showers constantly on the move.

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I was even treated to a bit of a rainbow over the lake…

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Paths exist here which aren’t on my old map. They were evident on the ground and I trusted that, since they seemed to be going in a convenient direction, it would be a good idea to follow them.

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Blelham Tarn with Black Fell behind.

The paths took me down to High Wray, from where I was anticipating a long road walk.

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Looking back to Blelham Tarn and Latterbarrow.

However, new paths…

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Have been created which either shadow the road, or, in one section, leave it altogether.

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The weather was looking decidedly grim again.

In Pull Woods…

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..it had started to rain a little and it soon started to absolutely tip it down.

It continued to rain as I diverted to cross the river Brathay by the footbridge opposite…

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Holy Trinity Church, Brathay.

Another unusual looking church. Having come out of my way to see the church, I decided against climbing the hill to see if the church was open. It was getting late and was still chucking it down.

Fortunately, by the time I reached Ambleside it had finally stopped, so I could enjoy the view down the lake before hobbling to the Youth Hostel, seen on the left here…

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…for a shower, some dry gear, food and a couple of hard earned beers.

Duncan Turner gives this side of the lake as 13¾ miles with 1816′ of ascent, but I tacked on extra bits around the southern end of the lake, over Summer House Knott and over High Blind How and Latterbarrow, which made it, well…quite a long way.

Maps: Start at the bottom and work up! (Some of the paths are missing from this 1:50,000. You really need OL7 to track the route)

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Technical notes:

The photos were taken on an old (in digital camera terms) Fujifilm camera, chosen because it’s very compact and because my Panasonic is too bulky in my rucksack if I’m carrying overnight gear.

There’s no Google-Earth map of my route because the app decided, as it does from time to time, that I had logged out, and I couldn’t log back in again because I don’t use mobile data. The next day it worked fine, except that somewhere on the drive home the data for the day disappeared into the ether.

 

Round Windermere I

Simple Curiosity (or Another Easter Miscellany)

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“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”

Rabindranath Tagore

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Heald Brow primroses.

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Heald Brow Cows. (Belted Galloway?)

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“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

–Ellen Parr

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I think this might be the caterpillar of the Lesser Yellow Underwing Moth. It was in our garden. I’m not aware that I’ve ever seen an adult moth of that species in our garden, I shall have to keep my eyes peeled.

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This is the Green Hairstreak butterfly in Eaves Wood which I mentioned in my recent post about Whitbarrow.

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A high tide at The Cove. Grange has almost disappeared in the haze – it was warming up again.

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On a visit to Lambert’s Meadow I saw loads of Peacock butterflies. Last summer, I was a bit concerned about how few of them visited our garden, so I was doubly delighted to see so many.

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There were Brimstones about too, but they wouldn’t settle for a photo.

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Cuckooflowers.

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Pheasant.

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At Myer’s Allotment there were several piles of felled logs. They all seemed to have attracted vast numbers of flies…

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…I think they might be Lesser House flies.

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Violets.

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I was rather taken by these tiny flowers, growing on an Ant mound at Myer’s Allotment. It’s taken me a while to identify them, but I’m pretty sure that this is Rue Leaved Saxifrage.

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The small three-lobed leaves and striking red stems seem quite distinctive.

When I took this shot…

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…I wasn’t actually after the Violets, but rather this bumblebee…

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…which toured a large patch of Violets whilst I struggled to get a photo. Mostly, when I did have it in frame, I ended up with shots of it hanging upside down below the flowers  to feed…

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It’s colours suggest that it’s probably an Early Bumblebee.

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Leighton Moss from Myer’s Allotment.

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Cowslips.

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Hoverfly.

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Vespula vulgaris – the common wasp. A whopper. Apparently only queens fly in spring, seeking a site for a nest, so perhaps this was a queen on just such a quest.

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New oak leaves.

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Long purples – Early Purple Orchids.

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I noticed several wild rose plants with new buds and leaves affected by some sort of orange growth – I assume that this is a ‘rust’, but have to confess that I’m decidedly clueless about precisely what rusts are.

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Blackbird with worms on the fringes of Bank Well.

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Bank Well.

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Marsh Marigolds.

In amongst the reeds at Bank Well there was a Moorhen nest. Moorhens are very attractive birds, in my opinion, but their chicks are much less handsome. I took a few photos, but my camera struggled to focus on the birds because of the intervening reeds.

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One final Peacock butterfly.

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More new oak leaves, with flowers.

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

– Mary Oliver

Simple Curiosity (or Another Easter Miscellany)

Ingleborough and Whernside from Ingleton

Ingleton – Fell Lane – Crina Bottom – Ingleborough – Park Fell – Colt Park – Sleights Pasture Rocks – Ivescar – Winterscales – Little Dale – Force Gill – Whernside – High Pike – Combe Scar – West Fell – Ewes Top – Twistleton Hall – River Doe – Ingleton.

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Milestone just outside Ingleton.

A long walk, by my standards at least. I wanted to test my fitness and how my preparation for the 10 in 10 challenge was coming along. The forecast wasn’t great, but the weather for the Dales looked like a much better bet than than the Lakes – hence my choice of route.

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I didn’t descend from Whernside in a perfectly straight line, as this map suggests. The battery on my phone ran down and the app has simply connected the final point at which I checked my distance travelled with the point at which I was able to recharge my phone, which was when I got back to the car. I now realise that my phone was constantly searching for a signal (I didn’t have one all day) and that was why the battery drained so quickly. Apparently, aeroplane mode is the way to go. (Andy subsequently explained this to me – he knows about new-fangled gadgets and stuff like phone batteries).

Anyway, mapmywalk gives this approximate route as roughly 20 miles and 3500′ of ascent. I suspect the actual figures are slightly higher, but probably not much.

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Ingleton from Fell Lane.

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Ingleborough from just above Crina Bottom.

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Approaching the final climb on to Ingleborough.

By the time I’d reached this point, the wind was really picking up and I’d added extra layers. The warmth of earlier in the week was not at all in evidence.

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Purple Saxifrage on the limestone crags just short of the top of Ingleborough.

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Looking back to Ingleborough from the path which skirts Simon Fell.

The large exposed summit plateau on Ingleborough was extremely windy. I couldn’t even find much respite in the shelter near the top, even though that has walls in a cross shape – you’d think at least one of the spaces created would be out of the wind, but none was very sheltered. Just off the top, I met two chaps who were crouched behind a large boulder, where there was a modicum of relief, one of whom was looking rather shaken. They warned me that the next section of ridge would be challenging, and they weren’t wrong. Fortunately, it was short lived, but it was so blowy on the first part of the descent that it was difficult not to stumble and stagger around.

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Looking back to Inglebrough from the col just before Park Fell.

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Handsome hairy caterpillar. I can’t identify which species.

In the vicinity of Sleights Pasture Rocks, I stopped for some lunch behind a curious section of drystone wall. It was very tall, but only about 20 yards long, connecting a couple of large boulders. I couldn’t see what purpose it could possibly serve, apart from to provide me with a lovely sun-trap for my lunch. Down here between the hills, it was actually beginning to feel quite warm. There were even a few butterflies about.

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Ribblehead viaduct, Pen-y-ghent in the background.

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Little Dale Beck, just beyond Winterscales.

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Force Gill.

From Force Gill, I followed the path which climbs gradually towards Whernside. Just short of the ridge I met a couple who warned me that the wind on the ridge was ‘horrendous’ and that they had turned back because of it. I stopped to put on another layer, my coat, gloves and a balaclava. I needed them all. A small group passed me and I watched them staggering along the path. At this point, the path runs right along the rim of a steep edge. The wind was slamming full on to that face and then roaring up and over the edge. It was very tough going. I decided to hop over the fence and then through a gap in the wall which runs along the other side of the path.

At that point, I finally fell over, something which had been threatening to happen since I’d emerged into the full blast of the wind. On the ground, behind the wall, it was wonderfully sheltered and I lay there for a while to get my breath back. Walking on the far side of the wall and back from the edge proved to be much easier than walking on the path had been, although it was still very windy.

On the top, I chatted to a couple who were walking all of the Three Peaks and seemed to be having something of a torrid time. I suspect it was probably dark well before they finished.

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Fortunately, as I descended the wind abated steadily. Eventually, I even felt I could remove some of those extra layers again.

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Looking back to Whernside.

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Ingleborough.

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The OS map shows a standing stone on Ewes Top Moss which has been incorporated into a wall. I think this must be it.

By this point in the day, I was beginning to flag, and had emptied both of my water bottles. The walk down along the River Doe is lovely, but I’d forgotten how much up and down it entails and would frankly have preferred a more straightforward last lap.

In all though, a superb route and a great day, although much colder and windier than the photos suggest.


In the summer, I shall be attempting to complete the annual 10 in 10 challenge. Briefly, the idea is to walk a route over 10 Wainwrights in 10 hours or less.  You can find out more here.

The event is a fundraiser and I’m hoping to get some sponsorship for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. My Just Giving page is here. All donations, however small, will be most welcome. I should add that the sponsorship is not a condition of my entry and that I’ve already paid a fee to enter which covers all costs, so all sponsor money would go directly to charity.

Ingleborough and Whernside from Ingleton