I'm not one for lunchtime drinking but if I've earned it then it's a different matter. The walk from Pooley Bridge over to Askham is a nice steady stroll and also a good excuse to pay a visit to the Punchbowl and the Queens Hotel. Well it is if your names are Norm and Dave.
On our walk over, we crossed the Roman Road of High Street which starts at Brougham Castle (BROCAVVM ROMAN FORT) and finishes at Ambleside (GALAVA ROMAN FORT), a distance of some 23.5 miles. The countryside has a vast open feel to it here with many paths and bridleways leading off in all directions and is the start of the High Street fells away to the south.
The area is a great favourite with horse riders as well as walkers due to its openness. Most of the people about seemed to be doing the same as us, just taking a leisurely stroll across to Askham or vice versa.
Askham is one of the most attractive villages in the district, especially in spring when the village greens are full of daffodils. It is also the home to a herd of fell ponies who never seem to stray very far from their food base! I have seen some on the high fells though around the head of Haweswater, mainly on Mardale Ill Bell and Thornethwaite Crag but today they were more concerned with stuffing their bellies and were totally oblivious to the many walkers and dogs which passed by. The autumn colours added to the village's attractivness, the upper village green being a carpet of golden leaves.
We made our way to the bottom end of the village and to the Punch Bowl Inn where a pint of perfectly pulled Golden Pippin awaited us. There are new owners in and has been tidied up since we were last there. Gone is the horrible gloomy dark red paint and in it's place is a lighter violet colour. There was also a blazing fire which tempted us to stay indoors but with the weather being so mild, we thought it only right to sit outside in the warm autumn sunshine.
It was then a trudge back up the hill to the Queens Hotel for a pint of Black Sheep before we set off back over the moors towards Pooley Bridge. A nice sunset seemed on the cards at one stage but as usual, there was thick dark cloud in the far west and the sun disappeared behind this, giving a rather chilly return to out starting spot.
At this time of year with the days drawing in, this walk is perfect just to stretch your legs and get some fresh air into your lungs and the views aint that bad either!
|Looking South East|
|The distant High Street Fells.|
|Bridleway into Askham.|
|Askham Fell Ponies.|
|Hill Top Farm, Askham.|
|Apple Tree, Askham|
|Upper Village Green, Askham|
|Upper Village Green|
|Carpet of leaves.|
|Saved for the return journey.|
|Lower Village Green|
|Local Horse Rider.|
|Weeping Willow outside the Punch Bowl|
|Dave has got the call!|
|Open fire, Punch Bowl.|
|Lower Village Green.|
|Lower Village Green.|