BB0905 : Down in the Forest

Thursday 29th January 2009

Down in the Forest Something Stirred.

But what?  And who said that?  All will be revealed.

In the meantime the more relevant question is "What stirred the BOOTboys to go down in the forest?"

It was a combination of factors.  Firstly, after Sunday’s near marathon, Stan, Bryan and I had little appetite for another big one so soon.  Secondly, the forecast was for a dark and murky day with strong cold winds on the tops.  There was no point in going up high in order to see nothing and get blown over.  We decided it should be a “Tony-friendly” day.

Grisedale Forest came to mind as somewhere providing shelter so when Bryan found The Silurian Way, that seemed just the job. The Forestry Commission says that the 9.5 mile trail is named after the geological time period in which the forests characteristic grey slate and shale rocks were formed. “The Silurian Way takes you down one side of the Grizedale Valley and back up the other. On the way you will pass many of the 80 sculptures which are scattered throughout the forest.

Perfect.  Something to look at when fed up of looking at trees and more trees!

The logical way to get there is across Windermere by ferry but I wasn’t sure if it was running at the moment.  A quick look at Freshwater Biological Association confirmed that it was working and to prove it you could watch it coming and going via their webcam.

That gave me an idea.

We were the only customers on the ferry and, whilst crossing a dark and murky Windermere, Pete phoned Ian “Scoop” B, as pre-arranged, to alert him to our imminent arrival on the west shore.  Ian duly clicked on the “hi-res snapshot” link on his computer and we had our first team picture of the day.

Approaching the Fery House

Team pcture from the webcam

Our arrival at the Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre was a bit of an anti climax.

Firstly Stan discovered he had forgotten his socks so had to borrow the ones I had been wearing!!

Next, the Centre was closed.  However we were able to examine the playground and buy a forest trail guide at the office.  The Silurian Way had now seemingly grown to 10 miles but was easy to follow thanks to green bands on marker posts.  Indeed Tony decided that it was so well marked that even Stevie Wonder could not get lost and accordingly we appointed him team leader for the day.

Tony examines the playground

The Yan

We set off past the strange new building, The Yan, and the Way was generally easy to follow.  

The first sculpture

Tony shows the Way

We did have a crisis of direction at Grizedale Tarn, following which Tony increasingly lost confidence in Stevie Wonder’s navigational ability.

Grizedale Tarn

The Way is sometimes on wide tracks, used by forestry wagons and mountain bikes, and sometimes on narrow paths.There were, initially at least, sculptures a-plenty to break the potential monotony of the trees.  

Open views were rare.

Tony, as ever, started getting agitated approaching noon and was surprised but delighted to find a kindred spirit in Pete.   The map showed a couple of picnic areas with benches. We thought we had found one but it turned out to be another, rather fine, sculpture of an armchair and television.

Just as rebellion was about to break out we found a suitable log on which to sit for lunch where Stan, clearly having a bad day, discovered he had forgotten his coffee as well as his socks so again had to borrow mine!

We crossed the valley south of Satterthwaite and started to head up the west side.  On one occasion, the waymarking (which is of a much higher standard than on the GR51) was misleading and we lost a bit of time on a wrong path but soon discovered and corrected the mistake.  

There was an open view across the valley showing the hill along which we had travelled in the trees.

Satterthwaite and the Grizedale Valley

I hadn’t intended to take a team photo, relying instead on the webcam pictures.  However, the boys wanted one and when we found a neat little bridge it seemed ideal.  It was a tricky sprint for me to get round in time to be in the frame.  It took three attempts before I found the speed and the route to get there in the time allowed.

Team picture

A rare sculpture

Sculptures were rare on this side of the valley but there was one on the ascent of Carron Crag.  This is the highest part of the Silurian Way and is supposed to be a fine viewpoint with a panorama stretching from Ingleborough in the east, round to the Howgills, over the eastern fells, and all the way round to the western escarpment of Helvellyn.  

Not today.  Very poor visibility.  Not worth a photo.

It was getting dusky as well as murky as we came down off the hill to the Visitor Centre Car park.  It also seemed rather longer than the 9.5 or 10 miles that had been advertised. Bryan's tracklog said 12.0 miles.

Returning back by the ferry was another opportunity for a team picture so this time Ian G was phoned and he duly obliged.  This entertained two guys in a white van who thought we were a load of loons!

Homeward bound team  picture

The ferry pulls out

So what was it that stirred down in the forest and who said it?

Word by Harold Simpson to music by Sir Landon Ronald in 1906:

    Down in the forest something stirred
    So faint that I scarcely heard:
    But the forest leapt at the sound,
    Like a good ship homeward bound.

    Down in the forest something stirred,
    It was only the note of a bird.

    Now in the morning of life I stand
    And I long for the touch of your hand;
    I am here, I am here at your door,
    Oh love,
    Oh, love,
    We will wait no more!

    Down in the forest something stirred,
    It was only the note of a bird.

However I prefer this version, author unknown:

    Down in the forest something stirred. He
    Listened in pain to the hurdy-gurdy.

And finally, if that hasn't stirred you, this surely will:


El Caminito del Rey

Inspired by the video of the Flying BOOTboys, Guy from Natland sent this as a challenge for us.  Don't worry, both feet are firmly planted.  

Very firmly, we hope!

Just make sure you are sat comfortably in your chair with something to hang onto when you click on the picture on the right:
El Caminito del Rey.

  Don, 29th January 2009



29th January 2009


12.0 miles

Height climbed:

2,324 feet



Other Key Features:

Grizedale Forest, Windermere Ferry,
Carron Crag, The Silurian Way

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0905.

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


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BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
but is in memory of
Big Josie,
the erstwhile landlady
of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973
and other odd evenings many years ago!

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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys click on Wainwrights

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!



 BOOT boys