Tag Archives: Lake District

Taking Inspiration From A Walk In Dodd Wood

The sky was blue yesterday instead of the usual dripping grey that comes with rainy days so we headed out for a walk. It’s so muddy everywhere we decided to walk up Dodd, one of the lower fells with good paths.

It felt really good to be out there surrounded by nature, it’s been a while since we were last out walking.

The beck was quite full, it’s usually a trickle, but what I was attracted to most were the textures.

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The colours and textures of sap  Untitled

Of bark

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Leaves and reflections in puddles

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Light branches against dark conifers

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UntitledThe view from the summit wasn’t so good as it was hazy but that didn’t matter, my attention was on the details.

I gathered some leaves and ferns from the ground and brought them home to dye with, will tell you more in my next post.

5 Highlights of 2017

  1. I got a wheel                                                                                                                                      I started to teach myself to throw in March, this is my first pot.

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I practiced, and practiced

potsNow I have some tableware that we use every day.

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I also made a raku kiln and fell in love with the results
20170909_1146542. My family came home for a visit                                                                                    It’s unusual for us all to be home at the same time.
P14005643. A trip to Wells next The Sea                                                                                                I think of Wells as my second home as I spent so much time there as a child; fond memories!
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4. Wildlife watching                                                                                                                        Highlights were getting close to seals off Blakeney Point

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Seeing avocets for the first time

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And a close encounter with a brown hare in the Scottish borders.

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5. Walking

We walked in Scotland, NorfolkYorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria.

The highlight has to be reaching the summit of Scafell Pike, it was long overdue and I really don’t know why I put it off for so long.

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At the moment I am stuck in the house and can’t get out much, I am pining to be out there in the wilderness but I am contenting myself with my view and the garden birds that are keeping me entertained.

My family know me well enough to have given me foraging and identification books for Christmas.  As well as an incredible book that moved me so much I had a tear in my eye reading the beautiful words; it’s The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. A beautiful book to treasure, for those old and young who love wildlife, nature and language.

As for creativity, I’ve done nothing for a few weeks, apart from cooking a bit of knitting. I hope to start making pots again very soon. I’ve also signed up for an online course to get my mojo back in gear next year.

I’ll see you in 2018 !

Scafell Pike via the easy route

I thought you might like to take a walk with me up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, but I warn you this is a picture heavy blog post.

The weather was perfect during the week for a walk up Scafell Pike. I have been planning to do this for so long but I think I had something of a mental blockage about going up Scafell. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I hear so many stories on the local news about people getting in trouble and calling out the Mountain Rescue.

This wasn’t the most demanding, or dangerous walk I’ve done but it certainly is challenging, and in bad weather it could be very dangerous indeed, it’s not a walk to be taken lightly.

We chose the easy route setting off early in the morning from the car park at Wasdale Head heading up Lingmell Beck.

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That’s Scafell Pike in the middle, although that isn’t the summit. P1430799

Luckily there hasn’t been much rain recently, you have to find a way across the beck and this could be tricky after heavy rain.P1430802

The path follows the beck,  the sunshine and the sound of the water felt sublime.

P1430811I got a little concerned when I heard a lot of mooing going on but thankfully the cattle, including a very large bull were on the other side of the beck, and there was a fence to keep them in. I instantly thought of that moment in the film Withnail and I.

P1430806The paths are very well maintained on the whole, and soon we had climbed enough to catch a  view of Wastwater, the sea beyond and the Isle of Man.

P1430819It was very hot in the sun, and hard work especially on the steeper slopes. Thankfully I brought a few bottles of water. It wasn’t long before the route up Mickledore was in view. This route entails some rock climbing so we decided to go the longer but easier way round. My walking companion had done the Mickledore route before but thought it wasn’t for me.

20170712_101150Such amazing scenery.

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Some of the paths are quite easy…….P1430836

…….but not all the way. There is a cliff edge off to the right in the picture below; the cairns were hard to see on a good day so in misty, or wet weather this stretch could be treacherous.P1430859aAs we climbed the view started to open up, this is Great Gable on the left.

 

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You can just see Derwentwater, with Styhead Tarn in the middle distance. P1430864

Grasmoor is the elongated fell in the distance, on the right .P1430865

And finally the summit was in sight, but there is still some way to go across the boulder field.P1430867

As you would expect, standing on the rooftop of England the views are rather special.

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The cloud started coming in, so I quickly got my photos.P1430875

 

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P1430880As you would probably expect there was a crowd on the summit, but I couldn’t get over the number of people that we passed on our way down, there was even a queue to go up Mickledore. Also I have to say there were a lot of ill equipped people on the mountain, it may have been a beautiful day but the weather can change in a few minutes and people do get caught out.

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On the way down we had a chat with a few people including an amazing group of lads doing the 3 Peaks Challenge, they had already done Ben Nevis. I’ve been thinking about them today and whether the got up Snowdon within the 24 hours timescale, I hope they did, and I hope they have some muscle rub because my legs are sore doing just one mountain.P1430892

Little and Great Sca Fells, Knott and Great Calver walk

The Caldbeck Fells are a great place to walk if you want to get away from the more popular fells. Most of the paths are good but it can be boggy in wet weather. Fortunately for us there has been a dry spell of late.

We started out from Longlands following the path up Charleton Gill. This is a good path and easy walking.

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Looking towards Skiddaw

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Looking towards Blencathra

The walking may be gentle but you are surrounded by some impressive fells namely Skiddaw and Blencathra.

The summit of Little Sca Fell has a stone shelter, it’s a good place to have lunch. Then we headed up to Great Sca Fell, the summit doesn’t have the luxury of a shelter.

We intended taking about 3 hours and only going up Great Sca Fell but as the weather was so good we headed up Knott, then Great Calver making the whole walk about 10.5 miles and taking 6 hours so I’m feeling it today.

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The peak on the left is Great Calver

I took a little video on the summit of Knott hoping to capture the sound of the skylarks, but alas wind noise has drowned them out, even though it was more of a breeze really.

00001This is the cairn on the summit of Great Calver, a bit of a work of art maybe.P1410526

Looking back towards the Solway Firth and Scotland in the distance. P1410528Looking down St John’s In The Vale
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Thirlmere just peeping out amongst the fells in the distance.P1410535

Helvellyn on the left.P1410545

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We retraced our steps back a little way then started our decent down Hause Gill.

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Hause Gill was quite enchanting, although the scree path was a bit loose in places.
20170510_142025_resized (2)We had a bit of a detour through a bog to avoid cattle then we rejoined the path, we got our first view of Dash Falls. This is one of my favourite low level walks but I’ve not seen the views of the valley from this side before.

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P1410566Looking towards Bassenthwaite.
P1410576Soon the road was in sight, then just a couple of miles along it and back to the car.
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Another great day out on the lesser known fells Back O’ Skiddaw.

Grasmoor via Gasgale Gill, Whiteless Edge, Whiteless Pike and Rannerdale

It’s been a while since we’ve climbed Grasmoor, my favourite route up is via Gasgale Gill but yesterday it was like seeing it all for the first time as the landscape has changed so much since the floods.
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In many places the path has been washed away.P1410281

We had to cross the gill a few times, there was no other way so I’m pleased it’s been very dry recently. Not something to do when it’s in full spate.
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There was a lot more rocky scrambling, and some walking on scree so care was needed. The path does improve further up the Gill, but near the top it’s a bit loose under foot.P1410301

This used to be quite grassy, now it’s covered in scree that was washed down the mountain, there’s a land slip on the right.
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Once you reach Coledale Hause the paths are much better, and wider.
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Unfortunately the cloud came down so there were no views from the summit, these pictures were taken on the way up.P1410318
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We intended coming down Lad Hows but as there was no wind we decided to try Whiteless Edge, which I have tried before but had to turn back as the wind was so strong I couldn’t stand upright.
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Grasmoor from the ridge, still cloaked in cloud.P1410340

I’m not a ridge walker, I get vertigo, but this path is much wider when you are on it than it looks from a distance so I was ok.P1410342

Crummock Water.P1410345

Crummock, and Loweswater in the cloud.P1410347

You can just see 3 lakes from this point, Buttermere is on the left.P1410349

This is the Lad Hows route, next time we are going to go up this route.P1410362

Mountains as far as the eye can see, it’s a wonderful feeling when you are up there.P1410384

We almost had the place to ourselves until the air force showed up.P1410402

There is a bit of rocky scrambling on Whiteless Pike but then the path is more gentle leading down into Rannerdale.  This view of Grasmoor is quite impressive but you still can’t see the summit.P1410424We were a little early for the bluebells but the gorse bushes filled the air with a scent which reminds me of suntan lotion.

This is Whiteless Pike from Rannerdale.P1410438

We had some company as we walked along the road back to the car.P1410444I’m feeling a bit stiff and achy today so I’m going to have an easy day, I may glaze some pots.

Enjoy your weekend.

A cold day in Ennerdale

It may have been bitterly cold and quite bleak on Friday but there was beauty to be found if you look for it. Ennerdale was quite magical with brooding skies, snow flurries and views that can’t be bettered .
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I thought these moss covered stones looked amazing, so very tactile, I wanted to stroke them. Some great inspiration for textile work.P1390939

I can’t wait to paint this, I’m loving the colours in the trees and the light on the wind disturbed water, and the reflections.P1390930

Again lovely contrasts in the trees.P1390928Even on a very wintery day there is inspiration everywhere.

Last Friday’s Day Off

It’s that time of year when I seem to be thinking about work 27 / 7, after a while I know I have to take a break. This week has been so beautiful I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone as they say so we headed off to Keswick for the day.
P1380588I knew that there would be some amazing photos as the fell tops were covered in snow.This is Skiddaw looking majestic all cloaked in the white stuff.

P1380607P1380609P1380617P1380611P1380634P1380635We had  a pub lunch after our walk by the lake, and then we did a bit of Christmas shopping, we both needed new fleece jackets so that’s our presents sorted.

I think I’m just about ready for another trip out.

 

 

Lord’s Seat walk

The weather has continued to please so we headed out again, this time up to Lord’s Seat through boggy woodland, then along to Greystones where we descended, then a detour to see Spout Force before heading back to the car.

We didn’t take the normal path up through Whinlatter but chose another path that took us over streams and up through woodland, it was a bit boggy in places , I almost lost my boot when I went in the bog over my boot top. I’m glad I hadn’t gone in with both feet as it was really hard to pull my foot out.

We followed this wall up the fellside, I was completely fascinated by the mosses and lichens, and tiny toadstools.

P1370790There was such a variety, each rocky protrusion was like a complete miniature garden.
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I must get a book on mosses and lichens so I can identify them, this one was something I’ve never seen before, it looks like it’s got some fruiting bodies on it, how amazing. I have googled it and I think it’s Cladonia Polydactyla. it’s looks like something from another world.
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The views from the summit of Lord’s Seat are spectacular, you can see Scotland, the Isle of Man was just visible too. We followed the track along to Greystones for our decent, it was quite a steep path down but the views were worth the knee pain.
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