21st – 25th April 2011 (Easter), Blencathra View, Lake District
Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Joanne, Steve, Sarah, Bruce, Tim, Ginny, Maggie, Paula, Keyna, Sue, Annie W, Georgie, Simon H, Pokey, Annie, Izzy,
Location: Blencathra View in the Northern Lakes
Our first visit to Blencathra View in the Northern Lakes and we weren’t disappointed – more upmarket than the usual barns we use but when you’re away for 4 nights a little bit of comfort is appreciated. Our only disappointment was it being too hot to use the wood burning stove! But that meant great weather for mountain walking, which after all, is what we were here for!
To start us off, we did a long ridge walk on the Friday. Starting from outside Grasmere, we climbed up to Fairfield via Great Rigg, and then to most people’s disappointment had to drop back down to Grisedale Tarn down a scree slope – carnage! Different routes and different speeds were adopted, but eventually we all met up by the tarn – except for Simon. Our digital camera zoom lenses came into play as we scoured the mountainside and eventually found him on the opposite shore. Some folks left us here and made their way back to Grasmere, but most clambered on, climbing back up onto Dollywagon Pike and on to High Crag, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn – where there was a very welcome tent selling tea and bacon butties! Onwards to Raise and then back down to the main road at Legburthwaite for a car shuffle back to the barn. Group curries were cooked to perfection, and the drink flowed.
After the early morning sun, it unfortunately clouded over and became drizzly, but the bulk of the group drove over to Bassenthwaite for a circular walk up Skiddaw. It was rather dramatic with the cloud rolling over the ridge, and quite busy on the summit (we got prime position in the shelter). We finished the walk in the rain and went into the village pub to dry out. The rain cleared up in the evening and there were lovely views from the barn across to Blencathra. After failing to get a booking in the local pub, various pastas were cooked up by smaller groups, and the drink flowed.
Sunday was a glorious day with perfect blue skies and far reaching views. We set off for Patterdale and from here walked up past Angle Tarn, onto The Knott (where we sat back and watched some mountain bikers struggle past) and then onto High Street (where Maggie got very bossy with a lady whom we’d asked to take a group photo). From here it was to the beacon at Thornthwaite Crag, and along the ridge down to the hamlet of Hartsop, after stopping to take in the dramatic views of Hayeswater below. A pleasant valley walk back to Patterdale and a well earned drink in the pub completed the circuit. Whilst we were out enjoying ourselves, Pokey and Annie were back at the barn cooking a massive Sunday roast for us all – a fantastic meal not to be forgotten. And the drink flowed.
Some of us went quadbiking at the farm on the Monday morning, then we all went our separate ways – many making the most of the great weather and extra long bank holiday for the Royal Wedding heading to Scotland, Northumberland, Peak District, or Southern Lakes, but an unlucky few had to return to Newbury.