Monday 21 March 2016

Sunshine in the Lakes

Attempting to find cheap, basic accommodation for two people plus one dog in the Lake District proved to be a major hassle. Camping barns seemed the obvious choice. However the majority were adamant, bring a dog and one is expected to pay for the rental of the whole place. This on average, would cost one hundred pound per night. Several phone calls were made to verify this. After many hours of searching we eventually settled for a room at the Sykeside bunk barn. The usual criteria applied, bring everything bar the tent. There was a camping gaz burner at fifty pence per thirty minutes. However, we had brought our own cooking stuff.
On the way across to the Lakes we diverted slightly to Greystokes, ( No-one swinging through the trees!)  Mike and Lucky were keen on visiting a couple of wee hills. Our room at Sikeside may be described as bijou. With all our kit, cooking stuff and bits and pieces, it was very much a case of one person at a time moving around.

Thursday morning was a cold, frosty start. However, the sky was a clear blue and the rising sun offered the promise of a glorious day. A nice, circular route had been proposed and agreed on. Starting out from the car park at Hartsop, it was noticeable how quickly it was filling up. Good weather was encouraging many folk to head for the hills. It was a somewhat brutal start to the day. Our way was up, steeply so, climbing the brow of the hill to Hartsop Dodd.

 The morning was beautiful though and there was no rush, the views were excellent and offered a good enough reason to pause occasionally to admire them. Once over the Dodd the going was easier.

Lunch was had at Stony Cove Pike.. Despite a cold edge to the light breeze, it was sheer bliss to be able to stretch out and luxuriate in the sunshine.
It was a steep descent down through Threshthwaite crag.. A chap coming up looked as if he was suffering!
The photo below may give and indication of the steepness. Note the three figures to the right of centre.

If the descent had been steep, the way up to the cairn atThornthwaite Crag was even more of a challenge. Not only was it steep but the path threaded its way up through loose shale and rock. Being a grand day though offered plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the views!
The beacon at Thornthwaite, note blue sky and folk in tee shirts.
The going became easier going as we headed up across to the trig point on High Street.
Our way on led us around by the Knott, bagged by Mike and Lucky. It was then the long descent down and back to the car park. A day to be savoured, the weather was most noteworthy.
Friday saw the tops shrouded in cloud. However, both Mike and myself were happy to opt for a more gentle day. Mind, Lucky was as full of beans as ever! Our plan was simple, to walk around by Brothers Water.

From there over to Hartstop to have a wee explore around the remains of the mine and mill.

From Hartstop we followed bridleways and paths down to Patterdale and back. A picnic lunch enjoyed all the more as the clouds parted and the sun shone through once more.
On our way back on the Saturday we took another wee top. An excellent weekend. The one negative downside is the sheer expense of things in the Lake District.
Distance wise we covered an average of twenty five miles over three days. Mind, I am a little suspicious of my Fitbit's accuracy.


  1. That is a steep ascent. I have come down that way and its a killer on the knees. Its a
    wonderful set of fells with grand cairns. I can't believe how expensive it is just to take a dog indoors. Typical lakes ripoff.

  2. Went in to granny mode and made much use of the trekking poles on the steep stuff Alan!
    It is an awful shame about the high prices in the Lakes. It does not encourage folk to visit. In all probability visits in that area will be very limited in the future.

  3. I agree that prices are far too expensive. Two of us spend a week each October but we will have to reconsider. In my mind there are too many properties , at the high end of spec for those of us who will be on the hills all day. However if they are successful in letting costs will not reduce.

  4. Very true Bob. One of our problems was the fact that a lot of places were adamant 'no dogs'! One noticeable exception was Wallabarrow camping barn. They made us most welcome.

  5. The thing about the Fitbit is that (unless you're using a GPS model in GPS mode) it can only base distance on the number of steps taken, and the number of steps taken per mile will differ quite markedly on different terrain. My Fitbit is reasonably accurate on distance when I'm walking on flat pavements, but I now know that I take a lot more steps when going steeply up or down hill, so at the extreme I had days in the Pyrenees last summer (steep eroded paths = I take micro-steps!) when the Fitbit thought I'd walked 6 miles further than I had. It's no wonder I was knackered at the end of those days!

  6. That certainly explains things Gayle. May have to change the thing if I want accurate readings.