Pike or not Pike that is the question

Mountain lake view
Mountain lake view

Up just before 8 for our last full day in the Lakes, The plan was to drive over to Wasdale Head then take a walk up the Valley and into a very rugged part of the lakes. We will be following what is the easiest (if not the shortest) route up Scafell. Depending on how we feel when we get up there me may have a go at the summit.

We drove over to Wasdale Head which is a little fertile flood plain at the top of Wasdale Valley, there is a patch work of walls with sheep within. There is a car park near the inn, where we parked it is a close as you can get to the end of the valley. We walked through Burnthwaite along a path called Moses Trod, towards Bursting Knott and Toad How hoping to get up as far as Sty Head. The walking started off pretty flat but slowly got steeper as the metres passed, so we had to loose our top layers. Helen is definitely seeing the benefits of going regularly to the gym, I can’t keep up with her on the up hill bits, where I tend to pace myself. The weather was clearing by the minute, there were clouds on the tops of the peaks but there was plenty of blue sky around to let the sun through, the forecast was that the clouds would clear.

High altitude Mallards

As we got higher we started to become a bit more confident and set our sights on Great End it is 900m with a gentle walk in. We came across a couple of friendly students, and I swapped notes on Lumix camera’ s one of them had an LX5 I have an LX3. We shared the path with them for sometime when it got to the point Right for Great End and left for the Scafell’s, we got even more confident and took the left hand route, towards Scafell and the Pike.

Finally we reached Scafell, we looked ahead and could see Scafell Pike in the distance, but between the two a big drop and another big steep climb, which would have been a challenge to descend. We did consider going to the top and down the other side, but we were tired and it was getting way past our agreed turn round time. Further on the way down we had a conversation with a guy going up and apparently the way down over the top and down the other side would have involved scrambling edient, so this vindicated out decision.

The weather became quite warm on the way down, and we were getting low on water! We chose a slightly different route down the valley, in the hope of dropping down quick and getting on to a flatter section, because we were getting tired of walking on the uneven rocky surface. , not sure if in the end it was a better route, Helen found it particularly tough walking down hill over the uneven ground.

High lakeland view

Eventually we got down to the flatter part, and ended up back at the car after an hard 8 hours walking, and a total ascent of 800m. We did not hang about as we wanted to make sure we could get a table at the Woolpack Inn Hardknot where Helen was keen to try out the Pizzas which  are advertised as being traditional and cooked on a wood fired oven. The menu is quite extensive, and I chose Sea Bass, Monkfish, Mussels in a Tomato Garlic, White wine, Fennel, Sauce with spaghetti, which seems to be quite a long list of ingredients but they all sound good, and lovely it was too, plenty of fish and mussels and the sauce divine. As for beer I tried a half of Pint by Manchester Brewery and a half of Anarchy. The Half of pint was the best one.

So our last day in the lakes, was a good one, and long walk which at the time seemed tough but looking back we both agreed was well worth the effort, followed by some great food. We will sleep well tonight.

Proper Lakeland weather

Flowering shrub

Thursday of our Lakeland holiday saw us waking up to rain, and mist over the hills. We had check the weather report at the pub last night, and already had vague plans to drive to RSPB Leighton Moss, which claims to be the largest reed bed in the North West. The rain and mist made up our minds RSPB would be the destination today.

The drive took about and hour and twenty, on mixed roads, a bit tedious but it was raining and we had the Desert Island Discs archive to while the time away. We (or should I say TomTom) found RSPB Leighton Moss easily. Once parked up I said to Helen “where are the binoculars?” We had managed to forget them back at the hut. In future we must both make sure we do binocular checks before we leave to visit a reserve. All was not lost, the RSPB will loan binoculars to forgetful members, like us FOC.

The helpful volunteer on the desk kitted us out with binoculars in exchange for Helen’s credit card, then gave us a virtual tour of the reserve. We headed out to Lilian’s hide apparently opened by John Prescott, the main attraction is the gull roost. We could not spot any other gulls than black headed, but there were a few ducks about. When we got a sense that the rain had eased off we made a break for the next hide.

Yellow iris

There was not much to see from the public hide so after a quick scan we moved on to the Low Hide, not much going on there either, but it was a good place to watch the Marsh Harriers, and the Swifts flying past. It stopped raining so we took the opportunity to walk back to the visitor centre for some RSPB lunch. On the way we saw and heard Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings.

At the cafe Helen had from the Kiddies menu beans and a veggie sausage (called sunshine beans on the menu great value at £2.10) and I had a Lancashire cheese baguette. Next we got drove down the road to the beach side hides that over look the marshes.

From the Eric Morecombe hide there were some Black-tailed Godwits, Little Egrets, Redshank, and plenty of Avocets, with chicks. From the Allen hide more Avocets and some Oyster catchers all with chicks. Next it wasa back to thje visitors centre to check out the last two hides.

Great views of Lapwings flying close in front of the hide, and a Gadwall pair. The lapwings were so close we could hear their wings beating against the air. We also saw a flock of 8 Little Egret fly over, which I think is the most I have ever seen so close.

Willow flowers

The Tim Jackson (died in an accident bird watching!) hide has recently bee rebuilt, and a lovely hide it is. A bit more activity lots of Gadwall out the front with the usual gaggle of Black-headed Gulls. Over the back of the lagoon we could see a Red Deer and a young doe gambling back and forth without any care, the velvet covered antlers of a stag could also be seen in the long grass at the edge of the reeds. On the way back to the shop I noticed a small mammal running towards me on the path I stood still and signalled to He’ll to do so too, the small creature stood and looked at me for a bit then ran into the under growth. Most likely it was a Weasel but it could have been a Stoat. We left the reserve at 16:30, to take a mountain pass home.

The mountain pass through Ulpha and across Birker fell did not disappoint, the climb up was very steep, but once we were up on the fell, the road flattened out and you could see far ahead, and the descent down into Eskdale was quite restrained. The pass had cut quite some miles but no time off the journey.

Reeds abstract

We were back bay 17:45 and felt we had made the most of the day by driving whilst it was raining. then doing the wildlife whilst the weather cleared up, culminating with sun as we drove over the mountain pass. We quickly dumped our stuff at the hut and headed back to Brook House Inn at Boot, some of it’s great beer and food.

The food lived up to our expectations, and was excellent, the menu was a fluid as it was yesterday, as we arrived some choices were removed and new ones added. I had the last Deep fried king prawns, with salsa, salad and chips, before that was taken down, and Helen had Feta and Spinach pie with boiled potatoes and a salad. As for beer we both had the Hawshead Brewery Windemere Pale.

Why use the the bridge when there is a ford.

The ford

Not such an early start this morning, holiday sleeping hours must be kicking in. The breaking news is that Julian Assange has lost his appeal to be extradited, on what seems to be technicality, specifically whether the Swedish court is a Judicial body. His legal council made a very unusual appeal at the judgement, that the legal point that the judges had ruled on was not argued during the case. Strange think the law!

It is much cooler here in The Lakes today, we have clouds over the hills and patches of blue sky, rain is promised later so the poncho may have to make an outing.

We left the hut at 10:00 and headed into the village, past the village store then took the foot path that starts from the road between the Japanese garden, the path takes you to Miterdale, where we turned right up the valley. The walking is up hill but not too much effort. After the last farm Low Place, there is a ford to cross if you don’t bother looking a few yards ahead and notice the foot bridge, we had to laugh.

Heading further up the valley that are harvesting the pine trees and making a right mess, but they are preserving and extending the hazel wood. Just before Black Gill you need to turn right off the main path to Wasdale, it is not sign posted so easy to miss, if you do the walk is going to be much further, you can’t turn back till Burnmoor Tarn. At the top of Black Gill we had a well earned rest the short climb up the hill had been very steep and because of the humidity we were dripping despite that it was much cooler today than it had been over the past few days.

The Bridge

We walked over the moor between White Moss and Brat’s Moss, there are three stone in the saddle between the two. One of them has four burial mounds and the other two just one each. Helen forgot to bring her trowel so I took a picture for studying later. The path is a bit confusing at that point and I had to get my compass out and do some real navigating!

As you descend towards Boot you pass some old agricultural buildings in various states of ruin, they all look they were quite substantial, possibly inhabited at some point in their past. We stopped to eat our sandwiches, on a rock with a view over the Esk Valley, Helen had Marmite (not my mate) and I had Nutella.

At the bottom of the path there is a curious old renovated mill, I had read that the council had renovated it, but it was not like a council run place. Out side was a man chipping at stuff, next to a sign to beware of the cat called Stanley, who was asleep in a box of leaf litter. The entrance area was full of books and junk for sale, all with an honesty box. The guide took us round the workings of the mill after he had been outside to change a setting to make the mill stone spin faster. The mill it turns out is the oldest still workable in the country. After then demo we looked around the rest of the mill buildings which were full of old farm and house hold equipment. A lot of the labels for the exhibits, were quite humorous, for example of next to a broken shoe repair tool was a label “did not last”. Well worth a visit if you up this end of the valley.

Stone circle

After the mill we stopped off for a half and a packet of crisps at the Boot Inn, which was also a welcome opportunity for a comfort break. We had planned to walk back up the hill the way we came so as to take in Blea Tarn on the way back but on examining the map we noticed that there was a more direct route to the Tarn, we don’t like having to go over old ground.

We took a slight detour rather than just walking down the road, it took us in land nearly to St Catherine’s church then back to the road further down. The man building the wall had got what looked like two thirds of the way through the job. We passed close to the river and got some great views of a Dipper. We then had about 500 yards of road before we took the step path up to Blea Tarn. The path was very steep and what with the humidity was not much fun, but we were rewarded with some great views of the valley.

We then got lost which did not go down too well with Helen, we had over shot the Tarn and had to double back a bit to pick up the right path. We just are not used to footpaths without sign posts, something there are plenty of back in the Chilterns. I guess having signs everywhere would spoilt the remoteness and unspoilt nature of the landscape.

Getting back on track revealed that getting back on track had meant we had walked further than was necessary, we had done 270 degrees of a circle when we had only needed to do 90 degrees, any way we were glad to be back on track. The descent was tough on the lower legs and knees after having been out for 6 hours and counting.

Lakeland view with tree

It became a bit a chore rather than, a leisurely walk, but on we had to plod. When we reached a cross roads we had take a right turn with a sad heart as it went up hill again, Helen was not amused, then we had to walk up another hilly bit to walk round the edge of the Outdoor Centre stone wall, in order to join the footpath back down to the Post Office, for Helen it was almost the final straw. Eventually thought we got down to the village store and plodded through the village back to the hut, which we reached at 17:10.

Once back we freshened up and Helen put a load of washing on, then we headed out, to a pub we had stopped at on a previous day where the beer was really well kept and the choice was varied. We went to the Brook House Inn up in Boot, an establishment I would not hesitate to recommend. My first choice had unfortunately run out, with Fennel and Asparagus Gratin with Brie, so I went for the Salmon and Prawn fettuccine, but then notice that the Gratin was being replaced with a Wild Mushroom and Basil Fettuccine. Helen went fpor a Goats Cheese Tart with a portion of chips. Both meals were really good, staff were excellent, really happy and obliging. As the the beer it was top notch as clear as a bell, and a choice of 6, I tried a half of the Hawkshead Brewery Windermere Pale, which I followed by a Half of the Yates Golden Ale. both were superb. We may be back tomorrow.

A trip to the seaside

St Bees from the coastal path

After a couple of days of hot weather it is a bit colder, so with a change in the weather we felt our bodies needed a change of terrain. We decided a trip to a couple of RSPB sites on the coast was in order. First we would go to Millom to look round RSPB Hodbarrow NR, then on to St Bees Head where there is a watch point.

We left hut 09:30ish and headed down the valley road to pick up the A595 that runs north south along the coast.
The land on the coast is very agricultural, I guess it is the only opportunity between the barren lake land and the sea, also being some what cut off they would have needed to be self sufficient in days gone by.

Millom is an old iron ore mine, opened in 1850 and closed down in 1968, and at it’s peak employed 1,000 workers. The old mine explains all the grand buildings in the town center, it now looks a bit down on it’s heal but there is clearly still industry around, which we noticed as we drove around lost looking for the RSPB signs. The shops seemed to be mainly independents, I tried a hardware store to get an imperial nut for my panorama instrument, I had left at home, they were very helpful, but could not find one. They said they knew some one 300 miles away that sold all sorts of imperial stuff, I laughed and said I have a nut but it is also 300 miles away!

View of St Bees coast

The nature reserve is formed by the harbour wall built for the mine, but now flooded and forms a big lagoon. There were lots of Warblers signing we got Chiffchaff, Willow, and Sedge. There is a good hide and the list on the whiteboard was impressive, we got Merganser, Eider, Sandwich and Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Shelduck, and Tufted to mention most of those I remember.

We stopped off Tesco to get some lunch, then drove on to St Bees where we parked at the beach car park £1.40 for 2 hours.
**stop press as I write this sat on a cliff at St Bees head, I get a message from my phone, that I am roaming, so I want to turn data off? It turns out I am connected to MANX the Isle of Man mobile provider. **

We walked up the coastal path and found a bench for a rest and a chance to update the blog and do a bit of sea watching. There were Guillimots and Razor bills about. The parking money was running out so we headed back to the car to driver to Egremont to stock up on supplies for the next few days walking, we wanted to not be tied to stopping at pubs, for lunch so we got some rolls and stuff to fill them with.

Wasdale valley view

Next stop would be Wasdale we wanted to go and have a look, at the lake. The village of Wasdale seemed a bit more tourist developed than Eskdale. We drove through the village and up to the lake, the views from the lake are stunning even when it is a bit hazy (although not as hazy as it has been). The lake look deep not very wide but quite long, the mountains descend very steeply down to the lake, particularly on the Eskdale side, when you look up the lake it is framed both side and at the end by high Lakeland Fells. There were clouds about so the photo’s should be a bit better than then pones taken in the past few days, with the harsh sun, and cloudless skies.

We took the shortcut back to Eskdale Green, over the hill, had a quick refresh and headed down to the Bowerhouse Inn where there is free WiFi so if you are lucky you may get some photo’s for the previous three posts. They are uploading as we speak.

Tomorrow we are thinking that we need to drive back over to Wasdale and do some walking around the end near Wasdale Head. Perhaps even having a go at Scaffell Pike, but that is quite a big under taking, so watch this space.

The holiday really starts on a Monday

Dalegarth Station with train

You really feel that you are on holiday on the first normal working day off. Today was no different, we woke up with the sun shining, a gorgeous if a bit hot lay ahead of us, the weather forecast ahead looked good, cooling slightly as the week progresses, which would be welcome, but today we were promised another scorcher.

The hot weather has made sleeping a bit interrupted we have kept the windows closed because the goats and sheep seem to bleat all night, and then the cockerel next door crows as the sun comes up at 04:51, but if they are the only complaints thing can’t be too bad!

Today we plan to walk up the river to the top end of the Esk valley, it should keep us around shade when we need it, and we have high hopes of seeing Dippers, as the river seems just the type that they would frequent. Highlights will hopefully include, Gill Force waterfall, Boot, Eskdale, and Dalegarth Station. The top end of the valley has a few pubs so if we can get there for lunch that will leave a short post lunch walk back to the station, and the train home.

Lakeland view with sheep

We headed out at about 09:30 and after one hundred yards, had to go back because I had forgotten to put both of my walking socks on. It was already warm, so keeping to the shade was going to be the strategy, today. The bird were all out singing perhaps the crap spring has meant now is the chance for a second brood. There were lots of warblers, but our ID skills on warblers are crap so we only managed Blackcap plus 4 other assorted warblers. We got our first Stonechat of the holidays, as well as Wren.

About 2 miles out we had a rest sat by the river in the shade, the sounds of a river can be very relaxing, so far no Dippers. It was great keeping to the river as the going was flat, and there was plenty of shade. The habitat is quite different from what we are used to, there also seems to be a lot more birds about, perhaps due to the fact that we is in a far more rural location, and the landscape is quite ancient.

House with big chimneys

Soon we were rewarded by two Dippers one quite a fleeting view but the second we were able to watch hunting for stuff under the water by dipping it’s head under the surface of the water. After more woodland walking on a great smooth solid track we took another rest at hour two, near a bridge over a stream, just past Dalegarth Hall which is a mighty find building withe the fattest chimneys. Suitably refreshed we headed off to discover Gill Force.

Just before the falls we came across some stepping stones to cross the river, to a small church called St Catherine’s. We crossed and had a look round. The was a guy repairing the collapsed stone wall I did not envy him his job today, lugging stones about with no shade. The grave stones on the church yard were all very grand and large, I guess with all the stone and skills to mason it that is what you would expect, some of them were quite ornate, many had almost essays written on them.

Back over the stepping stones it was not obvious where the path went, so we followed the path that hugged the river bank. It turns out that it was not the footpath but after clambering over some fallen trees we were soon back on track. Ten minutes on we came a cross a lake of sorts with dragon flies and lilies growing, we took the opportunity for a sit on a bench and did a bit of bird spotting. We soon heard a Peregrin and spotted it gliding back and forth along the cliff.

St Catherine's Church by the river

The walk to the Woolpack in and Hardknott pass took about 20 minutes, it was 13:00 and time for lunch. The menu looked good and we could not resist the Falafel style veggie burger and chips, so we ordered one each and sat in the garden, I was supping and half of beer and helen a large lemonade with lots of ice.

Whilst we were sat waiting and trike turned up with lots of chrome and long front forks, the livery on the side suggested that guy did tours and they couple sat on the back seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

The veggie burger gets 3/5 certainly very welcome and filling. A Hercules flow low up the valley and reminded that I forgot to mention that two trainer jets flew over earlier in the walk. Now trying to build up some inclination to start walking again in the mid day sun. Perhaps another drink first.

Campion flower

We left the Inn and followed a sign pointing to Wasdale Head the plan to climb a hill and have a look at Eel Tarn, the climb took us from 60 metres to 220 metres in quite a short space, the climb was tough but the rest at Eel Tarn made it worth the effort. A pair Black headed gulls were nesting on the Tarn and we also spotted a pair of Mallards. Overhead at least 5 buzzards rose on the thermals.

The descent back down into Boot was a bit tedious and hard on the knees after the day spent on our feet. In Boot we stopped at the shop cum post office and bought some postcards, and a note book. It was hot in the shop and the shop keeper was, obviously feeling a bit tetchy as when I passed the time of day by suggesting that he was probably not selling too many has and gloves at the moment, replied that he loved it when people come in the shop and make statements of the obvious. Despite the great customer service we still purchased his goods! Down past the first pub and opted for the one near the station called the Brook House Inn a free house where the beer was really well kept. I had the summer all and Helen had Red Hawk something or other.

I had an ice cream as we waited for the train which departed on time and soon had us back to Irton Road station. We had spent almost 8 hours out a good day.

Mad dogs, field mice, cuckoos, and Bucks folk go out in the mid days sun.

Leaving Dalegarth station

Up not too early, had breakfast and watched a bit of Sunday morning TV. Helen spotted a field mouse that lives in the stone wall making dashes out to pick leaves, I failed to get a photo.

We took plenty of water when we left the house at 09:45, as it looked like another scorcher, sun block factor 30 was slapped on and Helen even wore a white sun hat. The plan was to walk the tops of the hills over to the sea at Ravenglass then get the train back to the hut.
The path the hut is on leads towards a river but we took a right to take us high over Muncaster Fell with views of both Eskdale and the River Esk valley on the other.

The climb was tough but once up top it was rolling but no shade meant it was quite tough walking. We saw lots of birds, Yellowhammers, Skylarks, and Pipits. We also heard several Cuckoos, then when we stopped for a break at some rare shade we got great views of a close by Cuckoo being harassed (or is that the other way round) by a smaller Lark/Pipit. Eventually thje smaller bird chased the Cuckoo off. Further on we saw another or the same one again in another tree.

Lakeland view

We stopped for a break, water and fruits bars, near a cairn over looking the sea view, Sellafield could be seen, as could an Inviting looking lake. Next stop would be the lake then Muncaster Castle for lunch/ice cream. We found the castle entrance, stopped for a comfort break at the car park toilets, and then had ice cream and lemonade, at the World Owl Trust cafe, the girl there also refilled our water containers.

We opted to not pay to see the castle as it was too hot and they wanted £12! We followed the public footpath through the grounds and “accidently” got lost and ended up on a better public footpath that closely follows the river, spotted Treecreeper, Woodpecker, Heron and Merganser.

Another rest for another snack bar and liquids was taken in the last shady spot, at the edge of the woods. Then it was off for the final leg past the lighthouse, Roman bath house and fort before Ravenglass.

We got a bit lost as the footpath was not well sign posted, we were not sure if we had followed the path or not. We had a look round the Roman bath house, there was not much of it left.

We arrived in Ravenglass at about 14:40 just in time to catch the 14:50 train. We had planned to look round the seaside but it was hot and we were tired. The train is quite swift and 20 minutes later we were at Irton Road Station literally 100 yards from the hut.

We had not had any lunch so we had an early tea of my pasta sauce and garlic bread, and settle in for an evening watching telly and an early night. We had a lovely day even though it was hot and hard work.

Going Up North not so grim

Snack stop view

Spent most of last night packing, the phrase “Travelling Light” does not apply in this household. Hopefully the Mrs won’t need the thermal layer she packed. Up with the birds (noisy b*ggers) and managed to fit said luggage into the car boot, which must have Tardis like qualities.

Headed off at 8am for the M40. Had an interesting moment on the A41 near Waddesdon when a large deer ran across the road. We’ve started our holiday bird list, so far we have red kite, rook, wood pigeon, blackbird, magpie, buzzard and kestrel. Heading for the M6 toll in the hope that it might be less busy than going through Birmingham. On the M6 toll hardly any other cars what a fab road. Best £4.80 I’ve spent since, well I last spent £4.80 I suppose. Podcast update: out of the 1300 Neil downloaded for the journey we are on no 2, first Andrew Neil now Anthony Horowitz. Blog update: its been a busy month, 599 hits so far, helped by the 60 odd hits via the RSPB retweet of the Minsmere visitor centre pic. Neil also tells me have reached a nice round no of posts since the blog started, 512 (note from driving Ed to non techies, that’s 2 to the power of 9 or in binary 10000).

View from holiday hut

OK thanks for that Ed, back to my in car ramblings. The bad news folks, is that we have 165 miles to go and this is the in flight entertainment. I’ll try for some motorway pics to liven it up a bit but don’t say I did’nt warn you. Sorry but its either posting here or the lorry alphabet game and I can’t face that just yet. Just be grateful we’re only travelling to the Lakes, if we were on the Dumball you’d have my waffle all the way to Odessa! Good luck to all the Dumballers by the way, great adventure, great cause.

We turned off the M6 at junction 36, and the road just climbed for some time. Soon we passed through Windermere, then stopped for diesel and a pee in Ambleside. Then we turned off the A591 onto the A593 a much smaller and twisted road. We found somewhere to park for some sandwiches and espresso from our trusty flask.Whilst sat under a shady tree we saw a Jay and heard a Cuckoo. Embarrassingly I managed to fall off, over backwards from the rock I was sitting on and landed in a pile a couple of metres down the slope. Only my pride was broken!

Next we had a dilemma either up and over Wrynode and Hard Knot passes or the long way round. Helen was all for the long way round but being the driver was not in the best of negotiating positions. The road is single track with either wall or drop at the side, and to boot it is the steepest road in England. I thought the steepest road was in Devon at Porlock?

The holiday hut

The road is interesting and probably not to be tackled in the dark or winter (when access is banned). Helen managed to get some shaky video between “sharp” intakes of breath. At times you could see only as far as the next bend then you got views as it twisted on up/down for a mile or two. At one point we spotted and large bird of prey, probably and Eagle of some sort, it was too wide to be a Buzzard. Without having to stop too many times we were over the passes and down into the valley, Helen could finally take a breath.

The weather was scorching but there was a brisk wind, to take the edge off it. We got a bit lost finding the hut, mainly because we ignored the advice and went over the passes, Helen was having to do the directions backwards whilst reading a map. Tom Tom was also a bit confused as it knew we were near but not on the right road, perhaps it could see a gravel track to get us there? We only lost five minutes and soon found the place, sat in the side of the hill with views up the valley towards Langdale Pokes.

The next door neighbour made us feel welcome and the owners soon turned up to let us in. The hut is well appointed with a big bed, so we should be great for the next week. We unpacked the car and had a sit down, before taking a stroll out to discover Eskdale Green.

We took the cross country route via foot paths, saw Yellowhammer, Swallow, Robin, Sparrow, and Buzzard. We found the well stocked village shop so we won’t go hungry and we now know where the pubs are. I write this from The Bower House Inn beer garden with a pint of Bower House Ale and an IPA. There are a couple of veggie choices on the menu so we should be ok for eating out later in the week. Suitably refreshed we headed back to the hut to eat the homemade curry we had bought with us.

In summary we had a great journey up with no delays, the accomodation is spot on, the local pub serves good beer, and the weather looks fine for at least 3-4 days. Things are looking good.