Wednesday, 25 June 2014

North of England Way Day 3 Tuesday 24 June

Loughrigg Tarn to Staveley
Miles walked 14
Miles left 158
Walking from 6.30am to 5pm

My wood last night was very peaceful. I was out of sight and a dog walker at 6am may or not have seen me but clearly wasn't interested. Within a minute I was on the path to Ambleside, a path that climbed to reveal far reaching views over Windermere. A clear sunny morning although it turned out to be not as hot as the previous two days and none the worse for that. I stopped to admire the view from Jenkin's Crag. It was good but not as stunning as the vista from the highest point on Walna Scar Road yesterday. I stopped for breakfast at 8 o'clock and hit Ambleside for nine to pick up something for lunch. It seemed that every other shop sold outdoor gear.

The descent into Ambleside
Today's walk so far and down to Windermere (the town) follows the same route as the Cumbria Way so it was vaguely familiar from about ten years ago. The path is so clear and well used that you can't really go wrong, except that I did, which I put down to concentrating on listening to a couple of chapters of John Muir's A Thousand Mile Walk To The Gulf. I took the track north towards Troutbeck instead of dropping down to Town End. Still that was easily put right.

The route went over the viewpoint at Orrest Head where I stopped for a quick, peaceful lunch to admire the view. The peace was shattered by the arrival of a class of primary school children so I left them to it and dropped down through woodland into Windermere. I didn't stop there and went out past the station on the A591 for about half a mile to find my path which crossed the railway into a housing estate at Heathwaite. This had obviously been built since my book of the walk had been written but it wasn't a problem. There followed a climb up to School Knott and a descent to the corner of a small tarn. A short distance on from that I joined the Dales Way and will now be on it for the next forty miles to High Cam on the Pennine Way.

I got a bit muddled at GR446966. I arrived at a gate leading on to a walled track but the only sign was to the left saying Dales Way Bridleway. I should have trusted the compass and taken the walled track instead of going left! For anyone taking this route, the walled track is right and it leads down to a lane down to a farm marked Fell Plain on the map from where there was a longish climb up another lane towards Staveley. I've diverted to the CCCP site for tonight to meet with my support team for a decent meal preceded by crisps and wine (a backpacker's life is so hard).

I enjoyed today but somehow it seemed longer than it actually was.

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