Sunday, 23 June 2013

Latrigg: Gateway to the Northern Fells

Today's walk is about a return to Latrigg, previously visited in October 2012, Keswick's family fell and gateway to the Skiddaw family beyond. We had a special occasion recently, a welcome return to these shores for crag rat Rainer. He was on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, and of course on such a trip you have to make time for a visit to the Lake District even if only for a brief stop to say hello. With time up against us as usual, we decided on a half day in Keswick, having some breakfast in Booths, a look around the shops and a quick hike up Latrigg.

We took the "usual" Keswick route, along Spooney Green Lane and the bridge over the A66. At this point we followed the Cumbria Way as it climbs rapidly skirting Brundholme Wood.

As always, each step upwards was greatly rewarded as the views opened up over the vale of Keswick behind and the North-Western fells beyond, as well as the Skiddaw group directly ahead of you.

The walk is a short fairly steep one, with a very well made and maintained footpath, and so with a minimum of fuss we found ourselves on the summit plateau of little Latrigg. AW said of Latrigg:

"a small hill, an excellent viewpoint, a great favourite of local folk and visitors"

and that captured our requirements for today's walk perfectly - an easy walk with friends to share some of the fantastic Lake District scenery. Looking eastwards you have an excellent view of Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell on the edge of Lakeland.

It is a real pleasure to walk along the summit which has an amazing view over Keswick, Derwentwater and the huge collection of fells beyond.

We carried on along the summit, taking the route back down towards Lonscale farm. This leads down to the C2C cycle path and footpath that follows the old railway track between Penrith and Keswick.

On this sunny day the path was very busy with walkers and cyclists and it's not hard to see why this is a popular route. Soon enough we were back at the old train station and it was smiles all round after a great little walk.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Muker Meadows in Swaledale

Swaledale is a pretty special place for me. Working in Richmond, I often see walkers when I stop for a coffee before work, knowing that most of them are well into their Coast To Coast adventures. Heading further up into Swaledale you go though some spectactular places - Reeth, Gunnerside and Muker are all great starting points for walks.

We recently had visitors and so we decided to head over to Muker to have a look around the village and the wild flower meadows that you cross when heading up on the paths towards Keld.

After the long cold Winter that we had,it will be a while yet until the meadows are in bloom, but here Swaledale is really spectacular as it gets gradually narrower as it heads towards Keld. This is also where two walking legends cross - the Coast To Coast and Pennine Way routes cross just a short distance to the north of the village.

Our plan for the day was to take in a number of Dales sights - a drive across the Buttertubs Pass, visit to the Wensleydale creamery and a whistle stop tour of Leyburn, so our walk was just a quick one here. Despite the sun being out, it was pretty cold and at one moment it even started to snow - not what you expect from late April!

But whatever the weather, this is a spectacular location looks great at any time, with the meadows, barns, stone walls and the hills creating a fantastic surrounding.