Thursday, May 10, 2007

A long weekend in the Langdales

One bonus of my working 4 day weeks is that when a Bank Holiday Monday arrives, I get the Tuesday off in place of it. So last weekend I also booked off the Friday before and got 5 days away for 1 day of holiday.

We went camping in the Lake District, staying at the National Trust campsite at Great Langdale.

Getting there took us 5 and a half hours, and we set off at 5 in the morning! You can't book a pitch at the site, so it's first come first served. By getting there early on Friday we felt we had a better chance of getting on, and this proved to be true. They expected that by the afternoon they would be full.

After pitching the tent (spending ages hammering in pegs that seemed to know just where the stones / tree roots were) we went out for our first walk. This was up to Stickle Tarn, then around over Harrison Stickle. From up here we could look down on the site, and see it filling up.

(Campsite is in the trees in the middle of the picture)

Mountains are something we are sorely lacking in Suffolk. Walking in the Lakes is a completely different experience. We were puffed out after just a couple of miles, though to be fair we had climbed up 2000 feet.

Saturday was a great day to walk, there was a little cloud on the tops of the hills, but it was warm and forecast to stay dry. We did a long day, walking from the campsite up to the top of Bowfell (2960ft), along to Esk Pike (2903ft), then onwards to the highest point in England, Scafell Pike (3210ft).

(Bowfell Summit)

Back at the campsite that evening we watched a mountain rescue team assisting an injured walker on the hillside above the campsite. Someone had been struck by falling rock, and had to be lifted off by helicopter.

Sunday's walk started out as a plan to go up Pike o Blisco, but as we climbed the wind and rain got up. Abandoning that idea, we went on a circular walk around the hill, getting thoroughly soaked in the process. Fortunately the campsite had a tumble drier available, so all our gear went into that when we got back.

By Monday morning the campsite was getting much emptier - many people left on Sunday night either to beat the Bank Holiday traffic, or just giving up due to the weather. We set out on a lower level walk for the day, which of course then turned out to be fine and dry. We did manage to get to the top of another Wainwright fell - Loughrigg. From there we had great views down Lake Windermere, back up the Langdale valley and also over to Conniston. We then dropped down into Grasmere and picked up a bottle of wine to have with our camp stove cooked meal that night.

After finishing that up we settled in to the tent, then didn't get much of a restful night due to gales and downpours. The next morning we did a full cooked breakfast in the rain! By 11am there was no sign of it stopping so we had to pack the tent up wet. By the time we left, some of the streams around the site were looking rather full so we didn't mind too much that we had to go.

The view from our tent after everyone had gone home

1 comment:

21st Century Mummy said...

These photos are fab. We've been to the Lake District a couple of times and I love the terrain. The relief is literally a relief from the flatness of Suffolk. Shame about the weather. Last time we went camping in weather like that, the park owners offered us the use of a caravan ~ we could hardly decline. It would have been quite rude ;-)