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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

From an Urban Landscape

From an Urban Landscape

In twelve short months my son has become an urbanite.   He is not a native Cumbrian, brought up in the flatlands of Warwickshire, but over the years he became accustomed to being dragged, coaxed, pressganged into hiking up the odd hill until I think, he began to enjoy it just a little.

Now he lives in New York and has not seen a field, let alone a hill, for twelve months, so a choice of Catbells, with its relative crowds, to  make  him feel at home

Our wonderful weather often interrupts things, but this time it was the lack of water, not the usual copious amounts. The plan was to park at Ladore, catch the launch and start the walk from Hawes.  I never imagined that Derwent would be so low the launch would not be using some piers.  Walking to Ashness, we missed the boat by minutes – frantic waving and gesticulating did nothing – not like Yellow Cabs I was told.  A relaxing hour contemplating the view.  Time for a catch up on jet lag induced sleep.  Not much else to do when there is no Wi-Fi, no 4g or even 3g – what are we missing out on here?


Eventually a gentle chug across the lake, no speeding subway and we went up.  High rise hills replacing high rise living.  At least there has been attempt at creating sidewalks! (No elevator).


The folds of the Robinson round looked  inviting but I had no doubt that it would have to wait until another day.  Though I did have the satisfaction of seeing recently achieved Whinlatter Wainwrights


Footfalls rather than weather have shorn Catbells to baldness and show what a difficult thing fame is.  Wainwright, Julia Bradbury and Griff Rhys Jones all climbed the hill and contributed.  Tourism is necessary, but I’m glad not all the hills have the same popularity.

Continue south to Maiden Moor and the flip-flops disappear and we could enjoy the empty fells again.  Especially with the vivid colours of an exceptional summers day.  So clear. And the storm clouds hovering about never quite encroached on our space.

Turning down hill towards Grange heather splashed purple either side of the path, which conveniently deposited us at the door of the Borrowdale Gates Hotel.  An idle hour then passed.  Despite our scruffy state we were welcomed and as we left the bar staff filled our water bottles.


Crossing the valley at the end of Derwent the sun was dropping creating rich deep colours across the drying mudflats dotted with waterfowl.  Destination achieved.

Our route map, getamap download


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