Monday, 23 June 2014

North of England Way Day 2 Monday 23 June

Spothow Gill to Loughrigg Tarn
Miles walked 16.5 (not counting 2 miles when I took a wrong turn)
Miles left 172
Walking from 6.00am to 8.15pm
It was as well that I stopped where I did yesterday as there would have been nowhere else to pitch for several miles. There was early cloud but the sun burnt it off after a while. The path skirted the lower slope south west of Harter Fell. There was some bogginess here; had there been recent rain, it would not have been nice. Just after Grassguards, the fenced off plantation with young birch and oak through which the path went was delightful. It was fenced and gated to keep sheep and deer out.


The walk down to Wallowbarrow was lovely but it was here that I took a wrong turn, taking the farm road out rather than a path heading east to Seathwaite. I just hadn't looked at the map. It wasn't until I'd gone about a mile that I saw a phone box where one shouldn't have been that I saw what I'd done. It was a mile along another road into Seathwaite.

Out of Seathwaite, I could see Walna Scar rearing up ahead of me. There was only one way to go and that was up. It was a well used stony track and up, up it went to around 2000 feet. It was a long slog but the vista from the saddle at the top made it worthwhile. The view from where I'd come from was stunning, Seathwaite Fells in the foreground and Sellafield and the sea beyond and ahead of me in the valley below was Coniston Water.


Walna Scar -looking back

Walna Scar - looking ahead 

The descent to Coniston was easy most of the way.

In Coniston, I dived into The Sun for a glass of water and a pint of delicious cider, Addlestones Cloudy. I had a little trouble finding my route out of Coniston but, once I did, it was a good path through Tarn Hows Wood and then Tarn How's itself. The place must be heaving with visitors at weekends but at 5 o'clock on a Monday it was fine. I'd been there before when walking the Cumbria Way in about 2001.

Tarn Hows 

Crossing the A593, instead of tarmac walking the lane to Colwith, there was a bridleway through Colwith Wood that wasn't marked on the map. It cut a corner and brought me out on a lane on the far side where I took the path for a mile into Skelwith Bridge. I had been planning to wild camp at Loughrigg Tarn. It looked possible on the map but couldn't be done at all discreetly. I'm in a wood within sight of the tarn and haven't been disturbed.

So far, I'm very impressed with the North of England Way. There are no waymarks, of course, but the paths have all been good.
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