Sunday, 26 June 2011

Cumbria Way - Coniston to Great Langdale (11m)

Day two 13 June

After a good night’s sleep and a very decent breakfast we stepped out into the misty morning, quickly realising that waterproofs would be in use again today. Leaving the road and heading up through the fields and trees we could see a lone walker some 300 to 400m in front of us, we lost sight of him when we stopped to Cag up in the woods at the top of the hill before dropping down across more fields to Low Yewdale. Walking uphill through Tarn Hows Wood, we eventually came out on to the road, just past Town Hows Cottages. Despite the rain and mist this was a delightful walk with the sheep and lambs, trees and woodland, rolling contours and misty views

We reach the Tarn Hows car park at about ten o’clock and cars were in the car park already and the ice cream/snack van was in operation. The rain mist and murk did little to spoil the beauty of Tarn Hows or that something special feeling that walking around the tarn gives, even though it made photography a nightmare.

Tarn Hows and the track out to High Oxen Fell Cross, brought back very happy memories of long ago holidays with friends and children who now have children of their own.

After crossing the A593 despite watching two pairs of walkers go the right way I had a total navigational brainstorm and took us off the wrong way, adding about half a mile and two steep hills to the walk. Sorry Mrs G. Eventually we reached High Park and crossed the field to the woodland where there’s a choice of routes one straight through the wood the other northeast and down to the River Brathay and Colwith Force, joining back with the main track a bit later. The path down to the River was quite slippery but worthwhile once we saw the river and falls. On previous visits water levels had been low, not this time, today they positively roared.

Shooting past Park Farm and Park House we made best speed to Chesters at Skelwith Bridge. This is a must place to go, it is as far from a greasy spoon, or one of the old hiker/climbers café as you can get, on a wet day it was crowded, however, the food is great. Everything is made in the kitchens here. We can recommend the house soup and as many of the cakes as you can eat (afford). This was my fourth visit. I generously emailed a couple of photos of the cakes to Andy. From his response I have to say jealousy is a sad thing LOL.

Later in the afternoon we pushed on through Elterwater and Chapel Stile where we bought some tins of fruit, biscuits and chocolate, and had an ice cream. Carrying on along the Way we quickly reached our turn off for our B&B at Robinson Place Farm. On reaching the road we stopped to sort out if it was left or right, when a chap came down the road from the right, he was also going to Robinson Place which was a 100m or so to our left. As we walked up the track to the farm I realised that this was the lone walker we followed out of Coniston.

Robinson Place Farm  is a 17 Century Farmhouse and I don’t reckon there is a level line, a vertical wall or right angle anywhere in the building, it is lovely. Robinson Vicky runs the B&B and helps her husband farm a herd of 1300 Herdwick fell sheep and some cattle. We had a lovely big comfortable room with a view onto Lingmoor Fell and up the valley to the west. We decided not to walk the mile or so to the Sticklebarn Tavern so stayed in our room eating tinned fruit and biscuits, drinking tea, reading and listening to music.

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