Rosthwaite to High Brandlehow;
17th September 2008
thought I was Billy No-mates. Abandoned by all
I had no one to go out with me. Then Margaret
spoke up. "I'll go out with you, darling," she
said. "Let's do another section of the Cumbria Way."
such a long, weather-induced lay off, I was a little
taken by surprise by her eagerness to undergo a third
expedition in nine days but the forecast was so promising
that the opportunity could not be missed. With
all this walking plus her swimaerobics and pilates she
is in danger of getting really fit!
lateish start was needed, ruling out travelling at the
Government's expense to Keswick but we were in time
to catch the 12:25 bus down Borrowdale. Being
at the head of the queue we were able to bag the prime
seats- upstairs on the open deck, sat at the front. That
was fun. It was like a fairground ride. We were thrown
every which way as the bus hurtled down the winding
lane, hitting trees and just missing rocks and other
vehicles. The only thing lacking was a water flume
which, no doubt, has been a feature on many days this
year as evidenced by the fact that the first thing we
saw on alighting at Rosthwaite was a sign notifying
the cancellation of the Shepherd's Meet, presumably
due to waterlogged fields.
view from the fairground ride
casualty of the summer
risk of rain today, however; mist gradually burning
off, a really good day in prospect, for once.
Way ahead from Rosthwaite
reaching the River Derwent there are two
alternatives: to cross by the stepping stones
or to stay on the right bank and cross later
by the bridge.
stones looked large and reasonably safe
so I chose that route with, I thought, Margaret
my dramatic wobble that occurred three quarters
of the way across put her off such heroics
so she retreated and for the next few hundred
yards we went our separate Ways, so to speak!
she or won't she?
the bridge, we had another choice. The Way stays
down near the river, travelling through the woods. But
the guidebook suggests that Castle Crag with its splendid
views is too good an opportunity to miss. Consequently
we set off across and up the fields to join the high
level path that leads to the crag. Once on the
shoulder you can see that the path is steep and up slate
quarry workings. Margaret had seen Julia Bradbury
making heavy weather of it and decided it was not for
her so I abandoned her and went up solo whilst she had
an early lunch (if you can call 1:45 p.m. early). In
so doing I captured another Wainwright and drew level
with Stan at 61 left.
slate path up Castle Crag
workings art gallery
was quite steep, the ground a little loose and with
some steep drops if you were very uncareful but worth
the effort. Some of the slate workings have been
transformed into a sort of informal art gallery!
panorama from the top of Castle Crag
the top is a memorial to the men of Borrowodale who
died in the first world war, sadly defaced for or by
some idiot called Carol. Unfortunately the growth of
the conifers is progressively reducing the scope of
the view compared with when Alf must have been there
and you can see more from a little lower down.
Water from Castle Crag
from Castle Crag
dutifully waiting Margaret from Castle Crag
retreat from Castle Crag
then decided to retreat back to the official route so
went back down the fields, enjoying the stunning view
across to Greenup Gill, to rejoin the path through the
photo of Greenup Gill!
the old mine entrance, I found the woods a slight
disappointment but only because they were over-hyped
in the guidebook. The path did not follow the river
as closely as implied and although it is certainly a
very pleasant woodland complete with the predicted dappling,
the splendour of the surrounding views was largely obscured.
at the other end, Margaret spotted a washing photo opportunity
with a difference- at a campsite. She also spotted,
on the other side of a field, a strange brushwood structure
at the edge of the woods. Whether it had purpose or
was just artwork is hard to say.
then had another choice to make. The official
Way heads left up to Hollows Farm but the guidebook
recommends going right and through Grange. Grange
holds happy memories for me of returning from Cat Bells
on school camp, buying ice cream and messing about in
the river under the bridges, so that was the chosen
route. We were very tempted to take a coffee in
one of the cafés
but we still had some left in the flasks and so pressed
the outskirts of the village is a strange combination
of lamp, telephone box and sign saying Gratitude. That
turned out to be the name of the house but specifically
for what the owner was grateful could only be surmised
from the splendour of the location!
But for What?
hedgerows were full of fruit. Margaret was tempted
to fill her sack.
photo at Manesty
back to Castle Crag
Way approaches the lake by a boarded path across the
marshland at Manesty. Derwent Water was very still
and we were looking forward to having second lunch (more
like afternoon tea) by the lake.
very still Derwent Water
thought it prudent to press on to High Brandlehow as
the day was decidedly going off. There was a gathering
gloom up Borrowdale. We had planned to continue
walking as far as Keswick and, in theory, there was
sufficient time before sunset but with this impending
gloom, the prospect faded in appeal. As we neared
the jetty we saw the ferry, our means of escape, departing.
Our spirits sank and were not lightened by the
absence of any time table at the landing stage. However,
two sets of folk reassured us that there was one more
due, going the other, shorter, way round at 4:30 p.m.
That was perfect timing for us to finish off our
provisions before it arrived.
Gordon Brown has not got round to making
the free travel passes work on the water-
presumably he has more important issues
to worry about although I can't think what.
the £9.30 fare for the two of us came
as a bit of a shock.
it was the ideal way to round off the day's
about it, doing the Cumbria Way without
venturing onto Derwent Water would be a
decidedly second rate experience.
ferry approaches High Brandlehow
in the gloom, the views were magnificent. And, of course,
we will have to take to the water a second time in due
course to pick up from where we left off.
Water in the gathering gloom
was a pleasant stroll through Hope Park
and a not too painful experience at the
Keswick shops before returning to the car.
the second time of the day we drove England's
finest trunk road- the A591 past Thirlmere,
Grasmere, Rydal Water and Windermere and
finally home, rather more tired than one
might have expected.
we're not as fit as we thought!
17th September 2008
43.7 miles cumulative
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the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the Cumbria Way.
Click on the photos
for an enlargement or related large
Ulverston to Blawith
Blawith to Coniston
Skelwith Bridge to
the Old Dungeon Ghyll
Old Dungeon Ghyll to Rosthwaite
got to do with it?
to Gale Road Car Park (and back)
seen by Margaret: