Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Lake District

  • John Bell’s Banner

    John Bell’s Banner

    Grey skies and many showers accompanied me for the drive over on the A66. But sunshine, blue skies and rainbows appeared for the final leg down Ullswater. At the head of the valley, Cauldale Moor looked splendid in the evening sunshine, encircling the gloomy ridge of Hartsop Dodd. Wainwright gives an alternative name of ‘John […]

  • Dove Crag and Hart Crag

    Dove Crag and Hart Crag

    Two mountains, twin peaks, Hart Crag at 2,698′, has its head in the clouds. Dove Crag, at 2,603′, is just about clear. I don’t think I have ever climbed either in their own right. Always on the way to or from Fairfield. And between them, the hanging valley of Houndshope Cove with its scores of […]

  • Goldrill Beck

    Goldrill Beck

    The principle “river” in Patterdale between Ullswater and Brotherswater is Goldrill Beck. That’s it there, just right of centre and to the left of the “holiday village” of Hartsop Fold. But compare it to the map, which shows the beck hugging the road, hidden by the trees of low Wood. In the late 18th-century, the […]

  • High Street’s Roman Road

    High Street’s Roman Road

    Or is it? The first reference to a Roman Road over the 828m high fell High Street appeared in a book published in 1814 by John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayley: ‘The Beauties of England and Wales, Or, Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive, of Each County‘. In spite of some Victorian excavations, when nothing conclusive […]

  • Sandwick from Gowbarrow

    Sandwick from Gowbarrow

    A view across Ullswater from the mighty heights of Gowbarrow fell. On the opposite shore, Sandwick lies at the junction of Martindale and Boredale separated by the ridge of Beda Fell. Patches of snow on Rampsgill Head. Martindale once boasted a public house, the Star Inn, now a farm called Cotehow. Dorothy Wordsworth recalls dining […]

  • Castlerigg Stone Circle

    Castlerigg Stone Circle

    My early morning run took in the Castlerigg Stone Circle, a 4,500 year old monument built by the earliest farming communities who took advantage of the fertile lands of the valley bottoms. Castlerigg is particularly impressive, giving a 360° panorama of the surrounding fells. This is a view south up the tiny Naddle valley. It’s […]

  • Blue Monday

    Blue Monday

    “Scientifically” the most depressing day of the year. It wasn’t too depressing in Keswick in the Lake District today. Blue skies, no wind, and feeling a lot like spring is just around the corner. This is a shot from Otterbield Bay on the west side of Derwentwater. Far left is Walla Crag, which Lady Derwentwater […]

  • New Year in the Lakes …

    New Year in the Lakes …

    … with good friends and great food, and lots of rain. One of these friends is Alice Leon, a young writer from Guisborough. I am honoured she has agreed to write a guest post for me. Scree slopes and waterfalls paint a heavy contrast against the faded patchwork fields of Guisborough, which had become the […]

  • Grasmere


    Although many names with the element ‘gras‘ do derive from the Old Norse for swine or pigs, Grasmere has an Old English origin and means exactly what it says on the tin, a lake of grassland or pasture. One of the prettiest lakes in the Lake District. But also the most popular.

  • Stanah, St. John’s in the Vale and Thirlmere

    Stanah, St. John’s in the Vale and Thirlmere

    A low walk before the rain set in. I’m not sure what to call this valley. Thirlmere, Thirlspot, St. John’s in the Vale? Helvellyn Gill flows down it before its confluence with St. John’s Beck, the natural outflow of Thirlmere, which lies in the Wythburn valley. It’s all very confusing, but maybe not if you’re […]