This varied walk starts at Portinscale, where I couldn’t help but notice the number of different species of bird in the grounds of our accommodation, including a tree creeper. It was one of those days when the weather sets out to play with you, so that you never quite know when to put on your raincoat or whether you will have time to get it out of your rucksack before the next brief but very soaking shower.
Undaunted, I set out through the outskirts of Keswick, crossing the B5289 to the village of Crosthwaite, which is quite unceremoniously marked on the map. The church stands on a mini roundabout going nowhere, with large trees in the centre, giving the impression it belongs to a time long past. The church has a very long history, dating back to the 6th century, although none of the early church remains. It was founded in 553 AD by St. Kentigern. The foundations of the 12th century church are still visible – why is it that most old churches have remnants from the 11th/12th century? Perhaps the very early churches were made of wood that decays and the later churches used stone?
The poet Robert Southey is buried in the churchyard and there is a memorial to him inside the church with an inscription with words of Wordsworth – only just realised how apt his name is! Another famous man buried here is the Reverend Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the co-founders of the National Trust.
Crossing the main A66, I continued through wet fields to Applethwaite (meaning ‘clearing in a forest with apples’, a very attractive village of just a few houses. I was very surprised to see some stocks here. There is also a former mill.
The walk over the meadows provided excellent views of the Skiddaw range. I then followed minor roads which were relatively busy for the size of the road as it takes you to the main car park where people commence their amble to the top of Skiddaw, not on my plan for today.
On the map it is easy to miss the amount if ascent on this road as it circumvents the lower reaches of Skiddaw with it bronze ferns and grasses. By contrast, on the other side of the road were managed green fields and a steep wooded gully, every now and then broken by tiny rivulets insisting on joining the main stream. The steepest section covered a distance of about 1/3 mile (1/2 km) with a climb of 328 ft (100 metres), the steepest section being just before the car park. I must admit I huffed and puffed up that bit, but then I am full of cold/flu so perhaps that’s not surprising.
I turned to the right, where the path initially sets off downhill, but then there is soon an escape route that takes you to the top of Lattrigg at 368 metres. My goodness, it was windy on that exposed hill. Someone has thoughtfully placed a bench for people to linger and enjoy the distant views through the lesser mountains to Scafell, I thought I caught a glimpse of it at one point but with the fickle weather it was difficult to tell.
I followed the same path down a little way then took a green, steep and slightly slippery path towards Gale Forest where this path met the Cumbria Way all the way through the forest. Once at the bottom, it is a simply walk over a footbridge into Keswick. I finished my walk at the Pencil Museum cafe, and then made my final 1.5 mile walk back to Portinscale, but as this is the same as yesterday’s walk I have not included a description of that.
I finish with my favourite photo of the day:
Distance: 7.1 miles to Keswick, 8.5 miles to Portinscale. Ascent 1131 ft to Keswick.
No walking today, so no post tomorrow.