Mandy and I had a Sunday free this weekend and fancied a walk. Nothing too strenuous, we just wanted a nice day out together and an opportunity to test Mandys new rucksack, hydration bladder and her new Rab Down jacket.
I pondered a few options and came across an option via a Wainwright Facebook group I use to climb a fell I had never considered. I looked it up, plotted a route and we made plans. Our destination today... High Rigg. (1'171ft)
This is the route in OS maps format using Viewranger which is how I plot and follow all of my routes.
And this is it in KML format using Google earth.
With "His and Hers" rucksacks packed in the boot, we headed north from Blackpool after a nice breakfast in our local cafe. I noted that although we are doing the same route... my rucksack seems excessively large compared to Mandys! Im sure we wont actually need all the first aid gear and emergency shelter I have in there... but hey, it pays to be prepared. Its also sporting a rather large packed lunch from the cafe!
Destination - Keswick. We have decided to pop into Keswick first as I wanted to buy some crampons from George Fishers ready for the snow I am praying for. By the time I had finished in there we were peckish again so we popped into a cafe for a snack...
Fuelled up, we headed to Legburnthwaite, which is about 15 mins away to the east. We parked up in a United Utilities car park there and popped £4 on the car to cover us for a good few hours.
We leave the car park via the rear and turn right and stroll down a little lane heading for the main road.
At the road we turn right and then climb over a stile. There is in fact a perfectly good and serviceable gate here. But we like stiles.
From here its straight into forestry type terrain. Very pleasant and not too steep.
This path opens out pretty soon and the views begin almost instantly. We noticed when looking over to this rock there were rock climbers all over it. Fascinated we watched them for a while.
And took the odd selfie of course as Mandy and I always do.
A closer look at the rock. A little research has taught me this is called "Castle Rock". Great name. If you look very closely you can see a climber in red on the left hand section, just to the left of a small clump of foliage.
Moving on, the ascent path is pretty clear, we heading up and along this ridge in the background.
Nice views over to the cluster of dwellings below Castle rock.
Onwards and upwards for us... Mandy now takes control of the images for a while.
Looking back to Great How to the right, and on the left Whiteside and the mighty Helvellyn at the end in the clouds.
Up you go wifey...
We stop up here for a while at a section called Cowrake Head to watch the climbers on Castle Rock.
And then start up Mart Cragg
Where we get the first view of Thirlmere reservoir which supplies drinking water right down to Manchester. To its left is Great How, and to its right Raven Crag.
The path towards Yew Crag
The top of Yew Crag. We can pretty much make out the summit from here at the end of the ridge on the right.
But we have to drop down quite a lot first. I am not sure if thats disappointment I can see in Mandys face.
Its easy though... drop down off Yew Crag
And then up the other side over Moss Crag
From here its quite flat... I pointed this out to Mandy and she was pleased to hear it.
Just walking and talking with my wife, taking in the views. Lovely.
But more than a little chilly now that we are exposed to the wind full time. This is a great time for Mandy to don her new Rab Down jacket which I am pleased to report she really likes.
Remember I said it was now flat... well it looked it, but it isnt quite. Here is Mandy descending to the section called Paper Moss.
Down to the stile...
Then up and over... we still like stiles. I dont know why we always smile like idiots when we climb over them. Although we do prefer kissing gates... lol
Looking back over the "flat" section we have just done. Sorry Wifey... someone put a little bump in it. It wasnt on the map... honest. LOL
Quite soon we come across a large boggy section. There are two routes around it, one long and dry to the left, one short and boggy to the right...
Mandy made the call... Summit ahead!
High Rigg summit shots... The view back to Thirlmere and the car.
The summit cairn with great views over to Blencathra with Tewet Tarn below.
We stopped here at the summit for lunch and a few sneaky treats.
And of course another selfie.
After a quick shot over to one of Mandys favourite fells, Walla Crag which from here is hiding the view of Derwentwater it was time to descend.
I have chosen to descend off the back of the fell and this shows our initial path downwards in the general direction of Tewet Tarn.
Its just a smooth grassy slope. Nothing tricky although probably a bit slippier in the wet.
Mandy seemed to like it... lol
The locals didnt seem to enjoy her display of enthusiasm as much as I did though... that is a "WTF?" look if ever I saw one. On the OS map, this section shows a "Memorial Stone". We had a look around but couldnt find it anywhere and wonder if its actually the bench at the bottom which does have a memorial plaque on it.
At the bottom we turn right towards St Johns in the vale church which is behind this youth centre out of view.
After passing the church and graveyard, we turn right.
And just keep descending until we reach the river.
St Johns Beck.
Its just a long, grassy path from here through various fields.
With great views all around.
Looking back to High Rigg as we walk away from it across the fields... gorgeous.
Looking over to the Great Dodd and Clough Head range. A range I need to visit myself soon. Soscill Bridge ahead. Personally I have never heard of it but hope its worthy of a picture.
And it surely is! What a great little bridge! Worthy of a couple of shots for sure!
Eventually this path ends in a public right of way through a farmyard. We never feel comfortable walking through peoples property, its just an alien feeling to us, so we make short work of it.
And are very pleased to see this sign after a few yards...
The path takes us up higher, above the farms, and then the strangest thing appears. A Tea Room!
We consider it, but again it just feels odd. From what we can make out, you go into their kitchen and make yourself a brew and just leave money in the honesty box! Such a different world. We cant do it sadly.. certainly not at 5:30pm so we head onwards.
We are riverside again and the path takes us straight back to the car park.
And thats the end of the walk. However, we did decide to call up one of our favourite lakeland restaurants and book a table. Just before we made the call we both commented on the smell in the car. One of us definately had sheep poo or similar on our shoes. We planned to find a stream to wash them off, but made the call first.
"Sorry sir, we are booked up from 7pm. Can you make it in the next twenty mins?"
Erm... yes, just about! So we booked it and then had a comedy ten mins in a layby, in the dark, cleaning our (ok, ok.. MY) boots in the headlights with a stick and some leaves so that we didnt stink the restaurant out. Ha Ha... a funny end to our hike.
Parked up in Ambleside car park, a little flustered from the rushing, a quick spray of lynx body spray out of the glove box for good measure was all I required before we went to the Fulling Mill for a meal which was as always... Excellent.
Mandy washed hers down with two nice glasses of Rose and slept half of the way home. A perfect end, to a perfect day.
Here is a little Suunto movie of the trip, showing the route via Google earth.
And some data aquired by the Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch too. Interesting for ascent, descent and mileage etc. (calories are pretty accurate as I wear the Suunto Smart HR monitor too.)
Finally... The "Ups and Downs"
All images in this blog were taken with my Canon G7X point and shoot pocket camera. My camera of choice when hiking any distance. The Canon 5D3 SLR stays at home and only comes back with me if I come across any location really worth coming back for with time on my hands to make the best of it.