Thursday, 21 April 2016

Blue skies...nothing but blue skies.

For me, half eight was an early start! I'm not the sort who gets up at unearthly hours for a sunrise, give me a couple of hours extra sleep and a nice cup of coffee and then I'm fit for most things.

I hadn't been down the Dudden Valley for a few years due to it's remoteness so with blue skies above, I set off with a spring in my step. The journey to the South Lakes took me via Ullswater which these days is quite a busy road due to the A591 closure for flood damage. The lake was so calm and the light hazy as I pulled in to the Glencoyne car park. For the time of day it was very busy, mainly due to overnight stayers and fishermen making an early start to their day. After having a chat with one of the fishermen (who had come up from Lancashire) and taking a few photos, I carried on my way over the Kirkstone Pass and down to Ambleside.

As the weather was so good I decided to head down Langdale and then go over Wrynose Pass to Cockley Beck where the Dudden Valley starts (or finishes if you approach from the South) but I suppose it is the head of the valley whichever way you approach. Many stops were made down Langdale to take photographs which is an absolute dream with the Pikes, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags circling the valley head.

Next on the agenda was Blea Tarn nestling below Pike O Blisco which turned out to be a rather special place to be. I had the tarn all to myself and the reflections were unbelievable. I was there for maybe half an hour making the most of it but as I was leaving, the first ripples were beginning to appear and the reflections were rapidly disappearing.

Then it was up and over Wrynose Pass, along Wrynose Bottom to Cockley Back and my intended destination, the Dudden Valley. The only problem I have with going there is that I don't really know where I can park up and go for a short walk apart from Birks Bridge which is what I did. Maybe an internet search for a walking book for this area would be the best thing to do before I go again. The ground around Birks Bridge was very wet and boggy so I was limited in the photos I could take, in fact I didn't take any of the bridge itself.

Time was getting on and and lunch was calling. If anyone is in that area, the local bakers at Broughton is highly recommended. However a wrong turning took me towards Millon which is a bit of a shock to the system after the beauty of the Lakes. Anyway I reversed my route and finally made it to Broughton.

The return journey took me up the side of Coniston Water where I had my last break at Brown How. I had intended to call for a pint in The Drunken Duck at Barnsgate but there was no free seating outside so I just carried on. I did stop off at Clappersgate though as there was a heron in the Brathay. I played cat and mouse with it before getting a reasonable photo and then completed my journey by coming back over the Kirkstone Pass. The fishermen I had chatted to earlier in the day were still sat by the side of Ullswater; I had to admire their patience. It had been a long but very enjoyable day out.


Ullswater
Glencoyne Bay

Reflections, Ullswater

Ullswater

Great Langdale

Langdale Pikes

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

Langdale Pikes

Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn

River Dudden

River Dudden

River Dudden

Dudden Valley

Coniston Water

Coniston Water

River Brathay, Clappersgate

To Lochinver via Coigach

Again, I don't really think many words are needed for this blog. The photos tell the whole story of one of the best drives in the UK. ...