GLW1902 : K2T? RTFM!

Sunday 10th February 2019

K2T is the abbreviation used for the Keswick to Threlkeld railway trail.  RTFM, hopefully, needs no explanation!

We had spotted a walk in the Westmorland Gazette that involved the K2T and also visited the Castlerigg Stone Circle.  Amazingly, given the length of time we have lived in the Lakes and the amount of walking we have done, neither of us had ever been to the Stone Circle (in part, because it isn't where Ihad thought it would be on a previous expedition).

This time we made no mistake and parked right next to it.  And what an impressive circle and location it is.

It was bitterly cold so we were not inclined to linger too long but set off along the circular route described in the WG.  I had examined their map carefully.  Their route (shown in magenta on my map below) was described as 7 miles but, although that it what it measured on my computer software, I know from experience this would be an understatement by 10 - 15 %.  I wasn't convinced we would want an 8 miler today.  I had two alternatives prepared.  These are also shown on the map below and reckoned by me to be a 6 mile blue route and a 4½ yellow one.

When we came to the decision point at Naddle Bridge, the bitterly cold wind caused us to opt for the shortest.  Yellow.  This involved dropping down under the A66 then crossing fields to join the old railway track where it crosses the river.  Wrong tense.  Crossed the river.  Or better, "used to cross the river".  It turned out that it had been severely damaged by Storm Desmond in December 2015 and has not been repaired.  The footpath was closed.  "Oh Yes," said Margaret helpfully. "It said that in the WG article."  Although I had examined their map carefully, I hadn't paid the same attention to the verbiage.  Unfortunately neither had Ordnance Survey on its latest maps, allegedly updated quarterly.

What to do now? There is no other sensible river crossing for miles.  The simplest thing to do would be to retrace our steps but that would have led us back up to higher ground and into a strong cold wind.  We opted for a road slog back to the outskirts of Keswick to regain the original WG route then climb back up to the Stone Circle.  The wind would be behind us.  That's the Cyan route.

Someone had kindly provided a resting place on the way up.

Actually, when we reached the Circle, the weather was much kinder and sunnier than when we had left it so we had a second investigation.

What caught my eye this time was the way that the ground seemed to be laid out in rounded strips about 10 feet wide or so.  I remember similar features from school history lessons about strip farming but was that the cause here?  I don't know.  What I do know is that next time we undertake a route someone has produced, I must carefully pay attention to what they have written.  In other words (abbreviated for the purposes of convention and good taste): RTFM!

Don, 10th February 2019



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