Why use the the bridge when there is a ford.

The 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.