BB0938 : After The Floods

Thursday 26th November 2009

Although we are not slaves to the diary, Thursday has tended to be our preferred day for BOOTboys outings this year.  Thank goodness we moved it last week.  After a night of torrential rain, Cumbria hit the news big time with extensive flooding. The fells were an official No Go area. Kendal itself just about held out though the river was only inches below street level and flowing frighteningly fast.  

Upstream from Victoria Bridge, Sandes Avenue

Night view upstream from Nether Bridge

Downstream  from Victoria Bridge, Sandes Avenue

The weir at Stramongate Bridge

Slightly higher upstream, Burneside and Staveley were awash.  

On Windermere, the houses in the marina were flooded out and the boathouse at Bowness is still under water several days later.

Apparently, the lake had rapidly risen by twelve feet and had been three foot higher than ever seen before.

However, from a cursory tour round, it would seem that the impact there is more on businesses and therefore, in the first instance at least, economic rather than domestic.  

Bowness Pier still under water


We got off lightly compared with, say, Ulverston or Cockermouth where there is serious disruption to many families or Workington where the town has been partitioned through the loss of all its road and foot bridges.

The problem was caused by a deep depression, that normally would have continued to move northwest, got blocked over the lake district for the best part of 24 hours and just carried on dumping water non stop, a foot of water in total over a huge area.  Someone described it as rain of "biblical proportions"!

This week, it has continued to be wet from time to time but not in the same league.  On the other hand, yesterday, winds gusting up to 120 m.p.h were forecast and 93 m.p.h. was recorded on the top of Cross Fell.

Strong winds and heavy showers were again forecast today so we decided to put the former to our advantage.  The plan was to catch the bus to Witherslack and be blown back over the Scars to Kendal.

Sadly, given the scarcity of daylight hours, we had to set off before the Great Leader's bus passes come into effect!  After leaving the car at Stan's we walked down to the bus station in Kendal.  It was grey and damp in the air but not raining and much brighter in the south-west where we were headed.

House, Community Shop and Derby Arms

We alighted the bus at Witherslack and, after a lot of faffing about with putting on wet weather gear, headed up through the village, past the Community Shop and the Derby Arms, up into the woods and over to Witherslack Hall.  

This path has been done several times on BB walks but never in this direction.  The trees sheltered us from the wind and occasional showers.  

Dropping down to the Hall, we saw the first real signs of seriously excess water.  

Approaching Whiterslack Hall

ER postbox

Tony became very excited at seeing the post box in the wall.  What could be so exciting about an ER postbox?  Well this ER was not Elizabeth Regina but Edward Rex, the Edward in question being the VII.

Very rare.  

Probably 50 points in the I-Spy book of Post Boxes.

Next, I became excited at the view of Witherslack Hall (home for seriously naughty boys) which I had never noticed before.

Then it dawned on me that the reason that I had never noticed it was that we were on the wrong path.  We had wandered up the main drive to the hall.  We corrected our route and came across a lot of parked cars plus old men in Barbours and flat hats hanging around. Clearly the hunt was in action.

Whitherslack Hall

Spot the Ball

Passing by the football field, I persuaded Stan and Tony to pose for a Spot the Ball competition.  Mark your entry with a cross and make sure it reaches me by 9th December.

It is quite a steep climb up onto Whitbarrow Scar which was not helped by the rock being very greasy in places.  Near the top we met our first hound.

One of the features of Whitbarrow Scar is the number of trees that lean at 45 degrees or more, all in the same direction as if bowing to some unseen god.

The first hound

The leaning trees

I tried to take a team picture at the Lords Seat cairn but all of a sudden the wind turned really strong and a viscous shower erupted.  Rather than risk the wrath of the others in making them stand through these conditions, after one failure I decided to wait till later.

Meanwhile, there were many rainbows to admire as each wave of rain passed through.

A shower heading our way

Another rainbow

Leaning tree with rainbow

The hunt handlers with terriers

We headed down through the woods and heard then came across more hounds and then the handlers.  Why did they have five terriers with them, we wondered, if they were not flusing out foxes that have gone to earth?

I think Tony was having an off day today.  His body clock was seven minutes slow.  We still made him wait for lunch- we had a bit of trouble finding the right path out of the woods but once this was sorted out we came across an excellent dining table, erected for us in the Township Plantation in 1815.

Township Plantation Dining Table

Comitibus: Whitbarrow

Lunch and team picture completed we dropped down into the hamlet of The Howe and out into the Lyth Valley where there was serious excess water a-plenty.

The Lyth Valley, Scout Scar behind

I had wondered if the bridges would be ok but we had no problem in crossing them, nor the waterlogged fields, thanks to the elevated causeway.

Elevated causeway across the fields

We did have a problem with the roads, however, in that the tarmac was very hard on the heels.

180 degree parnorama of road surrounded by waterlogged fields

On reaching Brigsteer we once more entered woodland.  Tony excelled himself and queried whether we ought not have taken a footpath off to the right that Stan and I had dismissed?  I think this is a first- a navigational triumph for him.

After Barrowfield Farm it is a short but steep climb onto Scout Scar.  

Looking back across the Lyth Valley from Scout Scar to Whitbarrow Scar

At the big pile of stones that marks the diverging paths, we debated whether to take the scenic route along the Scar or the direct route across Helsington Barrows.  Stan seemed very anxious to complete the tour of the Scars but what clinched it for Tony and me was not only would it be longer, we would be exposed to what was again a very strong and cold wind.  The direct route won the day and we crossed the Barrows and the old Kendal Racecourse.

Kendal comes into sight

The old racecourse

Stan still had a trick up his sleeve however to add extra distance.  After more road (and heel) bashing we had nearly reached his house when he suggested that we really ought to see the old but newly restored Greenside Lime Kiln.  As Lime Kilns go, this one is quite a monster with double fireplaces.

The Lime Kiln Entrance

One of the fireplaces

Then he took us onto the golf course to see the Battleships.  I can't understand how I had never seen them before.  Two large structures in limestone that had been left from the days when the land had been a quarry.  Just why that had been the case no one knew but generations of Kendal children, Stan and Tony included, had enjoyed playing on them.

By this time, Stan had run out of ideas for keeping us moving and all that remained was the brief climb back to his house and my car.

Another shower, another rainbow

The Battleships

Although we had been in a lot of short showers (and seen more rainbows in one day than I can remember) it had not been that wet that we were soaked- unlike several recent outings.  

And although the ground was damp throughout, the aftermath of the floods had not impeded us at any stage.

And the wind had only seldom troubled us.

In fact, it had been a surprisingly pleasant day out!

Don, 26th November 2009


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Thursday 26th November 2009


12.4 miles

Height climbed:

1,952 feet



Other Features:

Whitbarrow Scar, Scout Scar


Don, Stan, Tony


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0938.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

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