Sunday, 30 November 2014


We have slipped away from canal life for a few days, renting a car and heading to Keswick in the Lake District.  Jan found a lovely cottage on the internet located very close to the heart of the town.

Today Daniel (youngest son) and I went for a local walk.  I had examined the Open Street Map before we arrived and identified a potential walking route to the north of Keswick.  It was within walking distance of our accommodation.  The route was approximately 18km in length.

This isn’t an unusual distance for me but I should have paid more attention to the contour lines.

The closer together those squiggly thin brown lines; the steeper the climb.  The objective was to walk from Keswick to the base of ‘Carl Slide’ (730m) and then up to the top.  From there we would traverse around to ‘Skiddaw’ (900m) and then around to ‘Skiddaw Little Man’ (840m).

However before we started up the spur line towards Carl Slide we passed this interesting house.

The first half of the climb was particularly difficult and I rapidly realised the lack of hill work over the last three years had resulted in a serious decline in my level of fitness.

Carl Slide is the second hill from the left.  Skiddaw is the high ground in the middle and Skiddaw Little Man is to the right.

We had the path leading up to Carl Slide to ourselves, however we could see tiny figures on the skyline where walkers were heading towards Skiddaw Little Man.  It seemed so much higher (and it was!). Eventually we reached Carl Slide.

I asked you to stand in the photo… Not pose!  Keswick and Derwent Water.

Another very steep climb up to the ridgeline leading to Skiddaw.  By now my thigh muscles were burning.  Daniel was still looking fresh!  We traversed from Skiddaw to Skiddaw Little Man.  By now the route was rather well populated with walkers.  They must have taken the easy way to the top!

Looking back to Skiddaw from Skiddaw Little Man

From here is was a long downhill walk.  It wasn’t all that steep, but the walk was long which meant my quads got a real workout.

The ridge leading up to Carl Slide

We started to get buzzed by a very large mozzie.

You wouldn’t catch me up in one of these things.  Being held 1000 metres in the air by a lawn mower engine just doesn’t appeal.  Further around some large human bats were loitering.

Paragliding joins hot air ballooning on my list of not to do activities.  Age is making me extra cautious. Smile

Some great views to the west from the ridge below Skiddaw Little Man.

Two thirds the way down off the top and there were further good views to the west.  This time it was possible to make out the lime washed cottages.

It was then a matter of walking back across the fields (using the footpath) to reach Keswick.  Between us and the cottage was the River Greta.  Fortunately the OSM showed a footbridge.

River Greta

Meanwhile back at Corner Cottage Jan had an interesting job giving the cottage washing machine a good thrashing.  She had even found the Keswick Laundrette and dried the first two loads.  As you would expect, she was eagerly expecting our sweaty walking clothes.  Two more loads through the machine and we all wandered down the the laundrette where we watched the latest soap on the round screen.  Well Jan watched the program whilst Daniel and I wandered hobbled over to the outdoor clothing shops to do some browsing.

We are both going to sleep well tonight!


Marilyn McDonald said...

Well done, those two men! Some serious climbing, Tom!
David and I have just returned from walking from Paraparaumu to Waikanae Beach - only 1.4 hours and all flat. I was feeling quite pleased with myself until I read your post! Cheers, M

Tom and Jan said...

Bet you're not as sore as we are this morning Marilyn! :-)