Monday, 16 May 2011

Langstrathdale - the long valley - 2May 2011

An afternoon stroll in beautiful spring-like weather at the beginning of May was just what the doctor ordered. We managed to find a parking place in the village of Stonethwaite and had hoped to call in the Langstrath Inn sometime in the afternoon for a refreshing beer.

Bearing in mind that this was a Bank Holiday Monday, we had hoped for a seat in the Inn's beer garden either before or after our walk. Unfortunately we were greeted by a "not open Mondays" sign. What is the matter with the owner of that place. First of all he doesn't serve campers, then he'll only serve people who are eating there on a weekend and now he chooses to shut up shop on a busy bank holiday. He doesn't deserve to be in business. Contingency arrangements were quickly made to ease the panic and we jointly (ie Dave) decided to visit the Banks Tavern in Keswick after the walk. So with that in mind, we set merrily off on our way.

Everything that is beautiful about the Lake District was encapsulated in this walk. Green pastures which were full of spring lambs, traditional English woodland, babbling becks, cascades, rock pools and the grandeur of the Lakeland Fells. This part of the valley also has a resident cuckoo which appears mid-may. Mighty Bowfell appears to head the six mile long valley but the walker eventually realises that Esk Pike is in fact at it's head and passes also go over to Grasmere, Langdale and Wasdale. Taking the wrong path up at Esk Hause can result in a lengthy and expensive taxi ride back to the intended valley.

We only walked a mile and a half up the valley, following the western bank of Langstrath Beck and then crossed the beck via the wooden bridge. A couple of miles on the opposite side of the valley would see us back at our car.

Various humorous moments occurred, notably one where a certain female in the group couldn't "get her leg over" to negotiate a tricky little rocky descent from a stile. No embarrassing photos shall appear on this blog Chris so you are quite safe ;)

 Considering it was a Bank Holiday, the valley was reasonably quiet with just a couple of families out relaxing and a young man playing his guitar over looking the rock pools. We sat at the waters meet where the path from Grasmere joins the main path and just soaked up the surroundings.

 However Dave eventually got the "call" from the Bank's so we reluctantly traipsed back to the village and then up Borrowdale to Keswick. No cuckoo was heard today but I did hear one further down the Dale nearer Keswick a week or so later. A couple of refreshing pints was enjoyed by all concerned back at the Tavern.

I think we all have our 'own' little places where we feel at total peace with the world, this is certainly one of mine come rain or shine.

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...