The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 21 December 2007

Keswick, Ambleside and Great Langdale

The trip was mainly about Christmas shopping, but I had a plan. If the shopping could be completed on Wednesday then we could, perhaps, take ourselves for a short stroll on Thursday.

The shopping was duly done. Cotswold in Keswick was extremely disappointing (and the fire in the Old Keswickian Chippie was just being put out as we reached the square; I guess that no-one will be having lunch there for a while) but our aims were achieved.

We arrived at Great Langdale for our overnight accommodation just as the sun set and made an absolute meal of putting up Midi Tent in the rapidly encroaching dark.

By the time we crawled into the frost-encrusted tent at 5pmish my little thermometer told me that it was -4 degrees.

When we woke up yesterday morning, it was still -4 degrees and everything was as pretty and white as it had been the night before.

Over our morning cup of tea a route was quickly chosen. We would go via Blea Tarn and Wrynose Pass up to Pike of Blisco.

I’m guessing that it’s not a particularly obvious circular route as there didn’t seem to be a trodden path up Pike of Blisco from Wrynose Pass (or maybe we were just being particularly unobservant?). A good thing I think – it made the going more interesting (and finally thawed out the feet which had been blocks of ice since we’d decamped).

The ice-rinks on route proved to add even more interest and caused a few diversions but by and by we reached the top of the Pike without having met (or indeed seen) a single other person.

A direct route was taken off the top itself and eventually we reached a path. That path (or, more precisely, stone staircase) took us back to where we needed to be.

The good thing about cold weather at this time of year is that it is usually accompanied by good blue skied days. Considering our propensity to visit hilltops (particularly hilltops in Cumrbria) in poor weather, this trip was a real treat. Here are some of the photos (and it was one of those days when I really regretted not having a good camera and the ability to use it):

A Frozen Blea Tarn
A frozen Blea Tarn

Little Langdale direction
In the direction of Little Langdale

Wrynose Pass
Cold on Wrynose Pass

More evidence of cold
More evidence that it was quite cold

Fantastic sky!
Fantastic Sky!

Langdale Valley
The Langdale Valley

Cold Grass
Cold Grass

Frozen Path or Mountain Ice Rink?
Frozen Path or Mountain Ice Rink?

And finally, this one wins the award for the most ridiculous photo of the year:
Ummm. Why?


  1. Great pics.Where exactly did you camp and how did the tent perform?

  2. Very unexcitingly, we camped on the NT campsite at Great Langdale.

    As for the tent, as we were car camping we went for space over further experimentation with Wendy, so we were in our old Blacks dome tent (tried and tested in all weathers, and so far hasn't let us down).