: A Walk on the Wet Side
26th February 2014
week started with absolutely dreadful weather forecasts
for both Wednesday and Thursday and with three people
opting for Wednesday and three for Thursday. By
Monday evening the forecast for Wednesday looked as
though heavy rain in the morning would give way to drier
conditions in the afternoon so we decided on a late
start and a low level walk along the west side of Windermere.
at around 11a.m. I picked up Mike and Martin from home.
After some debate at Martin’s, and a long hard look
at the cold hard rain, we set off….by car to the Linthwaite
House Hotel for some sausages!
At the LHH our
planned route was finalised and we set off in earnest
for the Hawkshead ferry…. by car. At the ferry
we finally said farewell to the car and set off for
our walk….by boat. Fortified by the sausages we
finally started walking when we disembarked from the
ferry at 11.53a.m. It’s perhaps as well that Tony
wasn’t with us or we would have felt obliged to stop
for lunch after 7 minutes.
soon reached a point on the lake which was the scene
of one of Martin’s more unusual balloon landings. It
involved an 18 foot cabin cruiser, a tow rope and a
90 year old man from Lancaster who had a “magnificent”
experience. Martin gave us such a vivid account
of the incident that I was able to picture the scene
in almost perfect detail- see photo, right.
Westmorland Gazette reassuringly reported “Mr
Casson said the Cockshott Point landing was controlled.”
the full story see Helping
Hand For Balloonists.
weather slowly improved and we developed a spring in
our step (to keep up with Mike) and made speedy progress
towards Wray Castle, pausing only to chat to a group
of National Trust volunteers who were making good use
of their recently acquired dry stone walling skills.
heavens opened again at Wray Castle but we found time
for a comitibus photo in front of its impressive façade.
This Gothic style folly was built in 1840 for the surgeon
James Dawson of Liverpool, and was originally surrounded
by mock ruins. Most of the money used to build
it came from the family fortune of Dawson's wife, which
was founded on the sale of gin. Apparently when it was
finished his wife hated it and refused to live in it.
Wray Castle has been a family home, a Merchant Navy
training college, and during the Second World War it
housed some of the Natural History Museum's exhibits.
highlight of the remaining walk to the Water’s Edge
Hotel was a view of a beautiful Italian style church
which I have never noticed when driving. It was
Holy Trinity Church, Brathay.
The hilltop site for the
church was recommended by Wordsworth who, when describing
it in a letter in 1836, said "there is no situation
out of the Alps, nor among them, more beautiful than
that where this building is placed.”
rain at this point got worse and we were pleased to
get to the Water’s Edge to dry off and enjoy a late
lunch. Some observant tourists asked “Have
you been out in the rain?”
the late lunch it was time for afternoon tea so we duly
moved on to the café at the pier for tea and
cake whilst waiting for our tourist cruise back to Bowness.
walk from Bowness back to the car was uneventful but
provided a good view of the house on Belle Isle which
no doubt will bring back memories for many BOOTboys
in all a very enjoyable walk despite the conditions.
Hn, 26th February 2014
: Lion, Lamb, Old Woman, Organ??
27th February 2014
must have felt suitably moved by Don’s open letter (BB1407)
as he was keen to get out on the fells after his month
in the sun. After studying my list of Wainwrights, he
suggested we could do another four including the infamous
Steel Fell. I have to admit to some apprehension
after hearing from other BOOTboys about the rigours
of the ascent from Dunmail Raise (BB1222).
made our way to Grasmere and, leaving the car
at the Wordsworth Hotel, we set off on the very pleasant
climb up to Helm Crag. I had great difficulty,
however, in discerning either a Lion or a Lamb
and have added further to my confusion by reading on
t’internet that the summit stones are also called 'The
Old Woman Playing the Organ' when viewed from the north.
Howitzer, however, is much more clearly identifiable
and when I saw a figure on its summit I began to fear
that Stan might suggest an ascent. Sure enough
Stan was soon climbing to the top with me quite literally
trying to follow in his footsteps. It only occurred
to me half way up that the coming down could be much
harder particularly as the wind was gusting so strongly.
I decided to abandon my attempt even though
Stan assured me I was only 4 ft from the top. Perhaps
I’ll try again on a warmer, calmer day. Don informs
me that I’m in good company as it is the only Wainwright
which the man himself failed to conquer.
to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag with stunning panoramas
in all directions and a bewildering mix of conditions
– sunny spells one minute and hail showers the next.
route from Calf Crag to Steel Fell was exceedingly boggy
but very impressive.
back to Wainwright he describes the section as "a
supreme study in desolation (especially in rain and
mist).. has many geological and geographical features
of unusual interest". Another reference from him
adds "The Bog, with a capital T & B, is the
official name of this morass. It may be said that here,
at any rate, the foot of man has never trod"
writings mean that many feet have now trod there, but
it is still a beautifully isolated walk with lots of
interest including craggy outcrops, tarns of different
shapes and sizes and views of the high fells all around.
was, however, too much for the limited waterproofing
on my boots and I soon had soggy feet. It was also well
after 2 o’clock and we still hadn’t stopped for lunch.
I started to miss Tony!
we eventually reached Steel Fell we found shelter behind
rocks and were able to watch the hailstones blow past
us from behind. I also took great satisfaction from
the fact that I was on the summit of Steel Fell and
would not have to face the daunting climb from Dunmail
lunch the descent was spectacular and I was so fascinated
by the stunning view down onto the A591 that I forgot
to take any photographs.
the road into Grasmere we fell into conversation with
a Scottish couple. Whilst I was making small talk
with the lady I could hear Stan vigorously discussing
Scottish independence with her husband. I was
relieved to discover that they were furiously agreeing
rather than furiously disagreeing.
a change into dry shoes and socks we retired to the
Wordsworth Hotel for a pint in order to earn an exit
token for the car park. Stan bought the round
but he must have been using the same magic ten pound
note that he used in the Low Wood Hotel (BB1329).
five minutes of spending it, it was reunited with him (the
beer was off and we asked for a refund). The Traveller’s
Rest seemed a much better option and had the advantage
of an excellent ground level view of the day’s efforts.
This time the lucky tenner left Stan for good!
Hn, Thursday 27th February 2014
Note. John's confusion re the Lion and the Lamb
is quite understandable.
are actually two sets of summit rocks each known as “The Lion and the
Lamb”. One is clearly seen from Grasmere and the other from Dunmail Raise.
travellers assume they are the same rocks but they are not. The
one seen from the north is the one that is also known as “The old man (or woman) playing
the organ” or “The Howitzer”.
That is the higher one and, as you approach the summit, it looks much more like a
Howitzer than either a lion or an organ.
Lion and the Lamb and the Lion and the Lamb as seen
from Tongue Gill
in case you think that I was taking life easy whilst
the boys were undertaking these heroic adventures, I
can assure you that I was not. The BOOTboys
International Division was at work at Schladming in
the Austrian Alps tackling some even more challenging
conditions, quite unlike anything found in the UK this
full week of Bright Sunshine!
26th February 2014
27th February 2014
climbed in feet
Martin C, Mike
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1408a and
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
- although it may not be that up to date - see: Which
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
Likewise written comment.
otherwise, please feel free to download the material
if you wish.
A reference back to this website
would be appreciated.
.If I have
failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
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. Please let me
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