Monday, 30 January 2012

Making hay whilst the sun shines.

Weather forecasts like today's had been very few and far between this winter so it would have been daft not to take full advantage of it. It did turn out to be a long day but who cares when you have clear blue skies and a nip in the air.

My destination was the South Lakes but started with a detour down Kingsdale to take a few photos of the mighty Ingleborough. On a fine day the road through Kingsdale is a great alternative route into the Lakes but the highest point looked to be well under the snowline. It passes between Whernside on the right and Gargareth on the left before dropping down steeply into Dentdale. The views on the descent are stunning.

I headed back to the safety of  A65  and made quick time to the ferry crossing at Bowness. A few minutes wait and I was on the Sawrey side of Lake Windermere and heading towards Hawkeshead. It was with a hint of sadness that I drove past the Old Sawrey Hotel which has now been re-branded as The Cuckoo Brow.

I've spent many a happy hour both in the Hotel and the haunted Claife Crier Bar which legend has it was named after a local ferryman heard a voice calling out one dark and stormy evening, “Boat, boat!” He  responded to the call and rowed off in the direction of Claife Heights to collect his passenger. However he returned with an empty boat. The terrified ferryman was struck dumb with fear and a few days later he died of fever. True or not it still added to the character of the place. 

I've just looked on the "new" website and the bar is now just called The Stables and has WiFi and Wii connections for children. I think that will probably sum the place up perfectly these days.

Onwards, onwards, my next stop was Tarn Hows and the weather began to spoil itself a bit. I hung around ages for a bit of sun to come and eventually was rewarded. No walking round the Tarn today as I wasn't prepared to pay the extortionate car park charges being as I only wanted a few photographs. I stayed in close range of it though just in case the NT turned up to check for tickets.

Next was just a quick stop in Coniston for some lunch and with the weather not looking too promising, I headed north through Ambleside and past Thirlmere to Castlerigg Stone Circle which surprising was tourist free. I managed a few photos before a couple of coachloads of Japanese tourists appeared over the horizon and started clicking away furiously. This caused me to beat a hasty retreat in to Keswick where I parked up and walked down to the Derwentwater Landings.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky now and the light was entering the golden hour for photography. I love Derwentwater in any conditions. Come rain and come shine I have spent many a happy hour and a few sad ones sat on it's shores. It's a place I never really want to leave; it's a place to just sit contented and think of loved ones, it's a place for thinking your problems through or simply a place to just sit and marvel at the beauty of nature.

I've lost count of the number of times I've just sat by Derwentwater until the last of the light has disappeared and then headed off to the Dog and Gun (guilt free) for a swift one! ;o) Today wasn't quite one of those days so as soon as the sun had set I headed off home reflecting on what a beautiful day I'd had.

There are a lot of photos within this blog, I hope you take the time to look through them.


Whernside in snow




Distant Ingleborough

Kentmere Fells from Windermere

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows


Wetherlam and Yewdale

Coniston Water

Coniston Water with The Old Man behind

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Grisedale Pike from Castlerigg

Skiddaw from Castlerigg

Top of Blencathra

Derwentwater landings


Golden light


Skiddaw and the Landings.

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 ...