- Written by Ben
Lake District 2011 Holiday Report
All photographs on this page (and more) can be viewed on our Lake District 2011 Photo Gallery.
Our holiday home this year was right in the middle of Keswick. When booking I was a bit unsure if it would be OK as on Skye we have always been in the middle of nowhere. However, the house was lovely and being in town didn't detract from the holiday at all, we even got to go to the puzzle museum.
Sunday 10th July 2011
We started off the holiday (as we always do) with everyone going out together. Last year on Skye the first walk was a long one. This year, because the weather forecast was good we opted for a short walk (only 7.5 km) but with a lot of ascent to reach the top of Red Pike above Borrowdale. Little did we know that we'd be blessed with good weather all week so our early peak and fine view bagging was unnecessary.
I think that people come on our holidays for a number of reasons, some are obvious like the social side of a group holiday or to be shown around an area that we know well but our guests may never have been to. Others are not so obvious, on this walk we were able to take out guests to a place that some of them would not have attempted unless assisted by Mountain Leaders. On this route one of our guests exclaimed 'if my children could see me now!' as we negotiated a short rocky step.
Once at the top we split into a group of fast descenders and a group of slow descenders to get back to the cottage.
Monday 11th July 2011
After the somewhat difficult trip up Red Pike the day before we opted for a lower level walk. Setting off from Grange, on the shore of Derwent Water, we walked to Seatoller and then back along the riverside path via the tea room at Rosthwaite. Some of the group detoured up to Castle Crag on the outward journey while others took a break in the pass below.
The walk was not without its challenges as we found on the return journey when the gentle riverside path suddenly gave way to a stretch of rock that needed to be traversed until the path resumed a few metres further on.
This walk took us through several stretches of beautiful old woodland, including some of the best for seeing red squirrels. Sadly they remained hidden on this occasion, the only sign of them being a pine cone bearing the distinctive signs of nibbling by a squirrel.
Tuesday 12th July 2011
The group decided to take a day to walk around Derwent Water. Ben and I tagged along for a couple of miles before deciding to check out a gill scramble up Cat Gill. A couple of the group had indicated that they may want to do a bit of scrambling later in the week so we thought we'd do a reccy on this one. I can't really say how the walk around Derwent Water went but the gill scramble was enjoyable. The water was quite low and while it was very, very slippery in places it was fairly simple.
In the evening we went to see Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain (for its dramatic location rather than its size).
Wednesday 13th July
As this was due to be the best weather of the week we thought we'd go up Langstrath and incorporate a swim in Black Moss Pot into the day. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudier than expected but 3 of us still braved the waters while the more sensible members of the group remained on solid ground.
After the swim we continued up the valley where half the group made a bee line for the ridge by Linings Crag and came back along the tops while the other half crossed the water to the other side of the valley for the return trip.
Thursday 14th July 2011
The group split today with some of us going up Scafell Pike, and the others taking a walk up Latrigg before going to the Whinlatter Forest Centre to view the Ospreys.
The Scafell Pike team were successful making the top by 2pm. We took the path from Seathwaite up past Styhead Tarn and along Corridor Route and returned via Esk Hause. The total distance was about 15 km with over 1km in ascent.
The other group walked from the house to the top of Latrigg, a lovely hill which for a fairly straightforward ascent gives great views and a real sense of height, then back along the old railway line to the house. After a break for tea and cake we drove up to Whinlatter where the local nesting ospreys can usually be viewed on a video screen. Sadly they had recently moved their nest and could no longer be seen, but the informative display and staff made the visit worthwhile.
Friday 15th July 2011
After the big day on Scafell Pike we all decided to go to see Aira Force over by Ullswater. This short walk was lengthened by some to take in the summit of nearby Gowbarrow.
We were back in Keswick in time to visit the shops, and of course the puzzle museum.