Monday, 27 March 2017

A little jaunt around Loughrigg Tarn

It was the 4th of December 2016 and we were spending the weekend with my in-laws.  We'd pottered down to see Hayes Garden Centre in its glorious winter splendour, with decorations so sparkly I was in a bit of a blissed out state.  Until the huge christmas tree with singing elves assaulted my eardrums. It were a narthern tree though, which were good for a giggle. (On my part anyway, as a renegade southerner.)

We toyed with the idea of Loughrigg Tarn as a jaunt on the way home; and the map showed a 'permissive' path going around it. (Something else that makes me giggle: the assumption that the path goes "Oh, alright then, if you are in to that kind of thing").

We started out with Grandma with us, and got some amazing snaps as we approached the tarn.  The sun was beginning to set, and then Grandma decided to head for home, as she was worried it would turn pitch black within 10 minutes.  We decided to continue, as it's not a huge tarn, and we figured we had longer than 10 minutes in any case. 

We came to the 'permissive' part of the path, to discover it doesn't exist.  Or has ceased to be permissive.  We followed what we thought was the way down to the lake shore, and climbed over a fence/stile, to find ourselves in a field of sheep with no obvious path ahead.  So we soldiered on for a bit, sending boys scampering up rocks to see if they could see a way to the road - they couldn't - and, upon realising we were going to end up in someone's farmyard before long, decided to retrace our steps. 

We headed back through the field, over the fence (now obviously not a stile) and up towards the gate on to the road.  Except the gate had barbed wire on it and was padlocked shut.  In for a penny, in for a pound: the boys squeezed through a horizontal gap in the gate with ease due to their thin, goat-like tendencies.  John and I had to climb over, whilst trying to keep the barbed wire out of the way to those areas of the body one really doesn't want to come into contact with barbed wire.  Whilst this was going on, a car pulled up and asked if we were Ros's relatives.  Fortunately the people in the car know my mother in law, and had found her walking back to our car.  Goodness only knows what they thought of us! But still, they drove off to find her and take her home, which meant that upon arriving back at our car, we could just drive straight to our home again (phoning her on the way, to check that she did know the couple in question, and had not been kidnapped). All was well.

A view across the tarn which is probably not usually seen, given that is was near the fence-stile-not a stile that we shouldn't have climbed over.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ullswater & Aira Force - September 2016

The weekend prior to this one had seen us wave off Boy1 to antipodean climes, so we were more than a little raw emotionally.  We decided that a weekend in the Lakes would be just the tonic, and so had booked in chez in-laws.  Weather-wise it was simply stunning!

Given that's it's now 6 months on, I can't remember much about the trip itself, so I can't regale you with witticisms (or rants) about the day.  I'll just have to let the photos do the talking.

En route from Ambleside to Glenridding
Approaching Brothers Water en route to Glenridding
We drove from Ambleside to Glenridding and negotiated our way round to the car park. Most of the repairs following Storm Desmond 9 months earlier were getting on for completion.  We decided we didn't mind paying for car parking - in fact we wanted to: the upkeep of the Lakes' beauty is important to us.
View from behind the jetty

told you the weather was beautiful!

New wall to right built since floods 
We walked from the jetty up the western side of the lake, on the recently completed 'Ullswater Way', stopping 10 minutes in to admire the view:

Initially we were near the lake edge

Then the path moves over the road - I was worried I would be disappointed to be moving away from the water, but the scenery soon showed that I needn't have been!

We stopped for refreshments at the tea room, and then made our way up to Aira Force.

Spot the cricket

Spot the creepy alien plant thing

Dat rainbow tho
We then made our way back down to  the Ullswater shore to catch the boat back whence we came.
Boyz in da wood

The boat (sorry "steamer") trip was gorgeous.  I do love seeing the mountains from the water :-)

Looking northeast (towards Pooley Bridge)

Island and standing up on a canoe man

Ok, it's another selfie.  I'm not sorry.

Another island

Arriving in Glenridding we ran into one of Boy2's primary school teachers (much to his embarrassment)  and John took a photo of someone else's car (much to my embarrassment).  It was a sporty BMW, but more importantly it was plugged in and charging. Which admittedly is really cool. But I'm cooler still, and distanced myself from the fanboy extraordinaire for a few minutes.

There you are then, seeing as your curiosity was piqued.

As we drove back to Ambleside, I was able to snap some lovely photos on my phone from a moving car!  Which provided a stunning end to a wonderful day: The Lake District is the most soothing balm to this little healing heart.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Brothers Water March 2016

We decided to have an afternoon jaunt to Brothers Water on a Sunday afternoon in March last year. We packed a picnic tea (to eat in the car - still too cold for a southerner like me to consider eating outdoors) and jumped in the car. We arrived at the car park to the north of the tarn at about 4pm.

Wikipedia tells us that "The name Broad Water was changed in the 19th century after two brothers drowned there."  Nice.  I didn't mention it to the boys we'd taken with us... just how lovely it was to spend time with them: brothers at Brothers water.

Armed and ready for battle against imaginary foes
As we walked along the river, Brothers Water came in to view. In the late afternoon Spring sun, it was a breathtaking site.

It's only a small body of water, so quite a lot of the walk was further south than the lake itself.

Yeah.... what?

The mist and the sun behind the cloud was uber atmospheric. And particularly difficult to capture on camera. John did a good job though.

Travelling back up the eastern side

View North

View South

I *think* boy3 is being a pirate

Obligatory Dog on a Rock photo 1

 We then took a little detour to Hartsop.  The floods caused by Storm Desmond the previous December meant that bridges were unusable, and there was much debris on the riverbank.

Nosy doggy much?

Obligatory Dog on a Rock photo 2


Boy3 and John scrambled down to the ruins (note intrepid explorer holding map).  Boy2 sat down on the path above and waited, bored.

Traditional cottage with spinning gallery. I.e. a gallery where the spinning of wool would take place.  Not a gallery which spins.  (Unless it wasn't working that day.)

  We wandered back to the car to eat our tea.  Very yummy it was too, aided by watching the light sinking below the mountains.

One last view from behind the car park before we drove home.