Thursday 28 January 2016


Mike and I, plus Lucky the dog, set out with the best of intentions. Mike had picked me up on the Sunday morning and we were soon heading westward for the Lakes. Dunnerdale was our destination. For once we had opted for a day or two of luxury. With character references duly given for Lucky, we had booked ourselves in to the camping barn at High Wallabarrow for three nights. Compared to some camping barns I have previously stayed at, this one was luxurious. Electricity, an electric cooker, toaster, kettle and fridge.A wood burning stove, complete with a huge basket of wood if required, to sit in front of in the evening, was most welcome and put to good use.

The local weather forecast for Monday was not encouraging. Rain,  strong winds and low cloud levels on the tops. A hastily revised plan was made and we decided to keep to the lower levels. A walk through the woods to Seathwaite. From there it was a stroll up the road.
. A bash through bracken and tussocks and a steep bit of uphill brought us to a knobbly crag by the name of Pen. A spot of early lunch in the rain and a peruse of the map.

With the rain increasing and a rising wind we opted to carry on up the road to a bridge over the river Duddon. It was then a case off following footpaths back down through the valley. Forestry work initially made the going difficult.

Coming down through the Wallabarrow gorge needed care. The path wound over and through a large boulder field. The rocks were slick and greasy in the wet. Leg breaking stuff. Not many miles, roughly seven, but an interesting walk.
.Back at the barn waterproofs were shed, wetness was everywhere. With rain gear  hung up and dripping steadily, Mike soon had the stove lit and before long a good blaze was roaring away.
Lucky appreciates a good fire!
Tuesday morning saw the wind roaring and the rain lashing down. Having already been out a few times to the loo, I was aware of how bad things were out. Mike, heeding my warning, donned full waterproofs to take Lucky out for his morning constitutional. He arrived back streaming with water and looking a little wild eyed. His immediate remark was, "We are not going anywhere in that!"  The local radio was giving warnings of heavy rain, winds gusting to seventy miles an hour, with force nine gales on the coast, gusting to storm force ten. Several flood warnings were in place. Thus it was we stayed in the barn all morning drinking tea and coffee.
 By early afternoon the worst of the storm had passed and we ventured out for a wee wander. That, really, was the sum of our three days in Dunnerdale. We left on the Wednesday morning with yet another storm front coming in. A grand total of roughly ten miles was achieved. We did though discover an excellent camping barn. Drank lots of tea and coffee and lazed before a blazing fire.

One for Alan.


  1. You lucky people. I always consider that area “Home”. I have walked past that Bolens diddy tractor many times. 16hp as it says on the hood. Used as a grass cutter but a snowblower can be fitted to it. Built mid 1970’s.
    Week days and quiet, i am surprised you didn’t go across the fields to the Newfield inn. Good choice taking Wallowbarrow camping barn considering the rain and waterlogged ground. There are also numerous Deer on the Pen and a couple of mighty fine camp spots but keep that to yourself. Ha.

  2. We did actually walk across to the Newfield Inn but it was not long after breakfast. We spotted a few nice camp spots. It certainly is a lovely area Alan.

  3. And I don't blame you for not walking any further than that, while I was battling across the Calf (Howgills) having being daft enough to camp out on Saturday night :(
    Glad you had some fun and relaxation.

  4. Aye it was a bit grim Geoff, glad you survived ok.

  5. Every time we go to the Lakes these days, it seems to be lashing it down!

  6. It was actually quite nice in the brief interlude between storms