Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Patterdale and Place Fell. . .

I'm very proud of the Liverpud.  Last Sunday he led his first walk for our rambling group and it was a cracker (fortunately the weather co-operated).  This can occasionally be a tough crowd to please; they are all lovely people, but so many of them have walked the same paths for years - sometimes even decades - that it can be challenging to offer something a little different.  Normally when the group goes to the Patterdale/Glenridding area, the leaders plan a walk on the northwest side of Ullswater as there are many famous and popular peaks such as Helvellyn.  But the Liverpud chose to walk on the other side of the lake, which is dominated by the imposing Place Fell.  Yes,  that's it in front of us; we started climbing almost immediately.

The views are worth it though.  This is looking backwards at Brothers Water and the surrounding fells.

The light was really eerie and mysterious when we stopped at the top for lunch (unfortunately a portent of rain, fortunately only lasting about twenty minutes).

These are probably more puddles than tarns, but I do love coming unexpectedly upon water at the top of mountains.

Looking down on the other side, you can see the top end of Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District.

The descent is relatively smooth and easy under the feet. We went briefly up High Dodd but it was very misty and the views weren't great.  So we then skirted around it, making our way towards the lake.

 The last four miles follows a very undulating path with great view of Ullswater. If the weather had been clearer, I would have taken more photos, but on a good day, you'd see sail boats and canoes/kayaks. There are some tiny picturesque islands in the lake too. Wainwright apparently called this path one of the best walks in Lakeland and while it's not quite my favourite, the group seemed to enjoy it. 

Finally, what would a spring walk in England be without at least one cute lamb sighting? 

The walk seemed to tick all the boxes for just the right amount of height, mileage, views and effort, with plenty of time left for the pub.  It certainly made the recce - done in pouring rain - all worth it. The Liverpud has a few more walks to lead in the next few months and I'm very happy because it gets us up to the Lakes more often.

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