24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

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whitestone
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24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by whitestone »

Having had two Dales based trips with Reg over the last couple of years, I received notice from the authorities that under no circumstances was this to be repeated a third time, the mental anguish had been too great for the locals. A new venue was in order.

After a bit of discussion we settled on the SE Lakes. It's an area that's bypassed by most on their dash to the honeypots of Bowness and Ambleside perhaps unfairly as it has its charms. Reg had a train timetable that got him to the area, I was working at my brothers so would work a little later and ride to the appointed meeting point.

As it happened we arrived at the pub within a minute of each other, perfect timing! Reg was outside with his panda groupies, Pong Pong and Pew Pew hugging his shoulder. The pub was pretty busy as was the restaurant side of things. "We are really busy in the bar/restaurant. Maybe a pizza from the shack outside" suggested the barman. We'd have a pint and deliberate on things, maybe even think about food. "Err, the pizza shack's run out of dough, it'll have to be the bar menu." "OK, we'll have another pint".

Settling up, the barman asked what we were up to (fool, do these people never learn when Reg is about!), "Oh, you are going wild camping. I need to get out and use my hammock" Then followed a discussion on the relative merits of different lengths of hammock :???:

We headed off into the night. First stop though was the nearby filling station so that Reg could stock up on snacks. Not a problem other than the detritus on the verge including big road signs for upcoming road works laying in the grass. Then it was off to the bivy spot. Uphill and in the woods, I'd reccied it out a few weeks earlier. I was in my hammock so the spot needed to accommodate both that and Reg lying on the ground. Despite the wind, which was pretty strong, we were quite sheltered and had a good night's sleep apart from the deer stag barking, presumably irritated that we'd nicked his spot.

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The bivy spot was actually well appointed as it had a waist high tree stump as a table (just visible at bottom right of the shot) - no bending over a wobbly stove on the ground. :-bd

A leisurely start led over to Witherslack Hall (according to Reg there's a steam locomotive named after it) then up onto Mill Side to pick up the bridleway leading to Gilpin Bridge. I'd done this in the opposite direction and knew that it missed the most interesting stuff so located a linking path up the hillside. After some shenanigans that a geriatric Indiana Jones would have been proud of we debouched onto the upper band at the top of a large limestone slab. All the strata hearabouts dip to the north east at maybe a ten to fifteen degree angle (Note to self - should have got the phone out and used the Level app :roll: ).

Image

Back in the 1980s it was possible to drive up into the old quarry and up and down the slab, it's about the size of of a football pitch. The owners and presumably the farmer at the bottom got fed up so it's no longer accessible. The quarry had a licence to extract loose rock rather than the underlying solid stuff so everything now exposed was once under a huge pile of scree maybe 100m high at its highest point. I can just remember the quarry still in operation in the late 1960s, early 1970s.

Lording it over the old workings is White Scar with one impressive buttress known to local climbers as Space Buttress. There's a handful of routes here but climbing is now banned. A couple of climbers were "improving" the path up the old workings to the foot of the buttress when they were approached by some locals:

"What are you doing?"

"Making a path. Who the f*** are you?",

"We're the owners. Kindly leave."

That conversation came from one of the climbers and given I know them it's likely pretty likely to be true. Just shows what not being nice to people results in.

We wandered up the valley and ended up at Crosthwaite. A chance conversation (by me - Reg was applying bum cream at the time!) led to the discovery that there was water available in the church and it was unlocked. Replenished we headed up into them there hills.

"Ooh, that's a nice bridge" Noted Reg. So we stopped and had a look. An elderly gentleman was there walking his dog.

"What's the beck called?"

"Max"

"Eh? That's a strange name for a beck!"

"No, my dog's called Max. I've no idea what the beck's called"

OSM on my Garmin couldn't enlighten us but it turns out it was the River Gilpin.

Then came a bit of a shock. I thought we'd found another Honister Pass! The road went up, and went up steeply and just seemed to keep going. My Garmin had the gradient as RED for simply ages. No idea where that came from, I hadn't paid much notice when planning the route. Steeply down the other side and then almost immediately back over the same ridge on a bridleway before crossing it again. Talk about convoluted :shock:

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Then another shock. I thought I'd picked a bridleway that we'd used on Boxelder's Lakeland trip earlier in the year. I hadn't. At first we couldn't find it. Then I noticed a small BW sign hiding behind a car. Head through someone's courtyard then fight brambles and nettles. When those gave way it was sloping wet slate that you could only just walk on. It was almost as if someone didn't want you to be there. After a few hundred metres we joined the route I thought we were taking and all was good.

Image

One option had been to head to Bowness for lunch but Reg had to get an early morning train so we decided to eat at The Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank. This is one of those pubs that seemingly has a national reputation but it's been taken over by one of the larger NW breweries and seems to have taken a bit of a knock. After some wood smoked(?) toasted sandwiches it was ever upward.

It was time for a diversion. I'd discovered a small ruin whilst working in the area. My thoughts were that it was an old micro-mill as there's an artificial pond above it which would provide a steady head of water but it could have been a wash house or similar. It's not marked on the map and the beck isn't called "Mill beck" or anything obvious.

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By now Reg was getting totally discombobulated - "Is that Lancaster?" "No, that's Sandside, you can't see Lancaster from here" and other such musings.

We were now nearing the highest point of the ride as it passed by my brother's farm. We were talking to the neighbouring farmer when my brother turned up. I should have got one of them "When Geoff met Reg" shots :lol: I then pointed out where I got my username from and did a bit of explaining about dry stone walls and the micro quarries they made to get the stone. Reg's eyes may have glazed over at this point.

Quiet lanes led down into the Cartmel Valley and back up onto Hampsfell. Now I should explain at this point that pretty though the area is, it's a bit lacking in the retail therapy department and getting resupplies is basically limited to one of several gastro-pubs, Spar, Londis, Nisa, even the Co-op are notable by their absence. We'd planned to bivy on top of Hampsfell so Reg could have a quick blast down into Grange to pick up his train back. But we needed food so the plan was to head into town then back up to our chosen bivy spot.

Things didn't work out like that: Having got into town, found an eatery (the fish and chip shop) with a very chatty owner, we realised that a kilometre of 20% uphill to get back to where we'd been wasn't that appealing. There was a train in 40mins so we decided to call it a day. Having deposited Reg at the station I rode back to my brothers to pick up the van and head home.

As if we needed telling...

Image

Anyway, this is where we went - https://www.strava.com/activities/9868328086/
Last edited by whitestone on Sun Sep 17, 2023 4:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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RIP
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by RIP »

:-bd Much better write-up than mine! Thanks for a nice little outing :smile:
whitestone wrote: Sun Sep 17, 2023 1:29 pm An elderly gentleman was there walking his dog.
"What's the beck called?"
"Max"
"Eh? That's a strange name for a beck!"
"No, my dog's called Max. I've no idea what the beck's called"
Well remembered, yes that was highly amusing :smile:
Then came a bit of a shock.
Then another shock.
Now you tell me :smile: . The whole escapade was advertised as a few ups and downs. Typical Cumbrian understatement :lol:
a bit of explaining about dry stone walls and the micro quarries they made to get the stone. Reg's eyes may have glazed over at this point.
No, no, it was ace :smile:
the fish and chip shop with a very chatty owner
I'm sure he said he had a mate who was a professor who was good mates with Stephen Hawking. He was nonplussed when we asked if Stephen ever came in for beans and chips :smile:
Last edited by RIP on Sun Sep 17, 2023 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bearlegged
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by Bearlegged »

I'd have thought he'd have been more interested in fission chips.
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by RIP »

Arf! :smile:
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by Wotsits »

Great write-up, but we need photo’s!!! :-bd

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whitestone
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by whitestone »

Now updated with piccies :grin:
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by fatbikephil »

:-bd Looks fab, well done gents!
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Re: 24hrs in the Lakes with Reg

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Good work chaps :-bd
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