BB1802 : In Search Of The Asrai

Wednesday 10th January 2018

Some very kind people recently gave me an introduction to the Asrai.  Now you may have never heard of such a creature.  Nor had I.  An Asrai is a type of aquatic fairy, approaching four feet tall and quite slim. She is shy and elusive. If frightened, she will fade and turn into pools of water. Seeking to capture one is fraught with danger as the touch of her cold wet hand can seriously burn human skin before she melts away.

What was further news to me was that Asrai are now to be found in Cumbria.  It is said that they emerge from the caves above Levers Water.  It was our mission to search them out.

We were joined on the mission by a new BOOTboy, BrIan (not to be confused with BrYan).  Start point, Coniston.  Approach via Coppermines Valley.

The weather seemed nearly perfect for Asrai spotting.  Not raining but with fog on the hills.  The Asrai prefer moonlight but are said to be happy when sitting on rocks in the lake in thick mist, provided they are not disturbed.

As we climbed up the valley we examined a number of mine openings, though whether they were for copper or not, I don't know.  I don't think they were for Asrai.

Deep inside one tunnel, which was wet underfoot, was a submerged section with a rectangular hole dropping into Lord knows what.  Fortunately it was fenced off so no harm befell us.

Higher up, we missed a path and consequently wasted too much time debating which way to proceed.  Stan wanted to climb up by a canyon into an area that looked to be fed by vertiginous streams in spate.  Although he was adamant that you could go that way, there seemed no way out and no path was marked on my OS map.  Consequently we continued on to the Boulder Valley trail.

I was concerned about the sky.  The mist seemed to be clearing which meant that the likelihood of spotting Asrai was receding.  Consequently I dashed ahead of the group and reached Levers Water just in time to spot one, sat on a rock like a Lorelei.  

I am not sure if it was the imminence of the sun breaking through or the noise of my arrival but something alarmed her and she faded from view.  

You will not be surprised therefore that when the boys arrived, they treated with scorn my account of what I had witnessed.

It was confession time.  Not, I hasten to say, that I had been fibbing about the Asrai, but that I accepted that Stan had been right about his proposed route. Whilst waiting, I had put my reading glasses on and, lo and behold, a faint path suddenly appeared on my map.  Was it the work of an Asrai or just my blurry-eyed incompetence?

After lunching by the side of the tarn, enjoying the swirling and lifting of the mist, we retreated down Boulder Valley then continued onwards to cross the Walna Scar Road and drop down into Coniston where we headed for the Black Bull.

And there, on the bar, what should we see but an Asrai.  Or, to be more precise, a picture of one posing on a beer pump.

It seems that the Coniston Brewery people capture the Asrai as they fade away and the pools of water into which they turn are then used to make a rather tasty beer.  

The search for the Asrai was complete.

 Don, Wednesday 10th January 2018


Comitibus : Martin, Stan, Robin, Tony, Terry, Brian, Don



If you want to follow
he BOOTboys
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports

Click on
to contact us.

For the Index pages
of our various outings
click on the relevant
link below:

Home Page

















The photos & maps
on these pages
will normally retain
reasonable quality
if you expand
your screen
to view them.

Would you like to add a comment to these reports?
Please click on
to contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you.

If you do NOT want your comments to appear on this website,
please say otherwise we will assume that we have your permission for publication in whatever responsible manner we consider appropriate.

Kendal Walking Festival

Click  for info

Graham W compares the Asrai to the Cottingley Fairies:

Having been at The Black Labrador last week to learn of the Asrai, and having read yesterday's account of your search for them in Coniston, I am not surprised that the search was unsuccessful, for it dawned on me that they are probably related to the famous Cottingley Fairies.

Although Cottingley is a village just a couple of miles outside of Bingley, where I lived for 16 years before coming to Kendal, and despite even now still passing through Cottingley on my way to the photography museum in Bradford, I never caught sight of the Fairies over the decades.

I’ve seen the photographs, of course, but alas never anything in the flesh. In case some Bootboys might appreciate a little bit more culture, click on Fairies. This seems to suggest that your search for the Asrai will be lengthy, unsuccessful but a lot of fun - at least you’ll have the bottle contents to enjoy while you’re thinking about them.

Map: OS 1:25k



BB1802 : In Search Of The Asrai


Wednesday 10th January 2018


Coppermines Valley, Levers Water

Distance in miles:

7.8 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,480 (OMN / OS 1:25k)


BrIan, Don, Martin, Robin, Stan, Terry, Tony

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software.
You can follow our route in detail by downloading
BB1802 .
To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing or f
or the totals of the mileages and heightages
see the Excel file:
BB Log.  You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page


Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me and other BOOTboys. Likewise written comment.
I apologise if I have failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed copyright.
Please let me know and I will do my best to put things right.
Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.
A reference back to this website would be appreciated.

BOOTboys 2018

E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by Email Riddler

Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by  Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!

 BOOTboys© is a Lakeland Enterprise production brought to you by

Comitibus Communications©