CW07: What's Thirlmere got to do with it?

1st November 2008

Derwentwater before dropping down into Keswick

You would think that by November, Keswick would be a pretty quiet place if not entirely a quiet, pretty place.  Not so on 1st November this year.  It was heaving.  At the car park near the Theatre on the Lake, there was not a place to be had.  Drivers cruising round desperately.  I thought we might be able to park on the slipway but, we were informed, that was permits only and "they" were very strict.  The even bigger problem was that the ferries were not stopping at High and Low Brandlehow due to storm damage.  That meant we would have to add two miles to our journey by alighting at Lodore Falls.  That might not have been too serious except that if we couldn't find a parking place soon, we would miss the 1 p.m. ferry and there was a risk that we would run out of daylight. Returning to the town centre, it was just as crowded in the big central car park and also at that by the bus station.  True, it was a Saturday- the last of half term- and the sun was shining and we were not exactly early birds.  Keswick was over-whelmed and we were not going to be able to continue on our Way today. Mission aborted, return south, have a picnic in the car and a walk alongside Thirlmere instead.  

Thirlmere, looking North from near Bull Crag

Thirlmere is an underrated lake.  Possibly due to its artificial creation as Manchester's water supply, possibly due to the fact that until recently, it was difficult to see much of it from the main road and possibly because it is difficult to incorporate its banks into a sensible route without also having to cope with some very boggy fells.  

There is, I discovered later, a 10 mile, 1,400 foot of climbing walk around the lake using permissive footpaths.  Or there is the 555 bus.  Get off at Wythburn, walk on the permissive footpaths on the west side of the lake, around the top then down to the King's Head at Thirlspot and, in due course, catch another 555 home.  Or pick up your car.

Not that this is what we did- but it does seem a possibility for future reference.  Instead we did a partial recce!  We parked at Launchy Gill, Armboth on the west side and walked along the lake, south, as far as Rough Crag and then back along the very quiet road. This is a much better lakeside walk than on CW02, along Coniston Water.

The Hellvelyn hills make a far more interesting back drop, especially with the fine autumn colours and snow covered tops.

Autumn meets Winter on the fells

Helvellyn across Thirlmere

I never realised that there was a hotel, Dalehead Hall, overlooking Thirlmere.  It is well hidden from the road!

Thirlmere, looking North

Team  picture on a bridge

Back at the car we watched two canoers (canouists?  canousters?) packing up.  One had a Canadian type that went on the top of his car.  The other had a Kayak that came to pieces.  The frame was made of aluminium sections and the whole packed up like a tent. Very light and portable.  It looks to me as if it were a Foldbot- an American product that features on its website a photo of Allan Brannon in a green "Yukon" in the English Lake Distinct. Perhaps it was him?

Packing up the kayak

The Foldbot advert

And yes, we did spot some washing- at Causeway Foot!

Washing at .....

..... Causeway Foot

 Don, 1st November 2008

P.S. Normal Service regarding Cumbria Way will be resumed as soon as possible.
But that might be many weeks yet!


43.7 miles cumulative

Height climbed:
7,246 feet cumulative



E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

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


 These pages log
the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the Cumbria Way.

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


CW01:  Ulverston to Blawith

CW02:  Blawith to Coniston

CW03: Coniston to
Skelwith Bridge

 CW04: Skelwith Bridge to
the Old Dungeon Ghyll

CW05: Old Dungeon Ghyll to Rosthwaite

CW06: Rosthwaite to
High Brandlehow

CW07: What's Thirlmere
got to do with it?

CW08: High Brandlehow to

CW09: Keswick to Gale Road Car Park (and back)



The Washing Lines

as seen by Margaret:




BOOT boys

Home Page