Friday, October 16, 2009

Walking Weekends: Lake District

Langdale Pikes from Esk Pike

Thornthwaite Beacon (near High Street)

Gamlin End, above Buttermere

View from High Spy, above Borrowdale

Walking Weekends: Lake District
At last! After 18 months of walking over 250 miles of Lakeland paths, researching and writing, this book is finally at the printers being printed! I've enjoyed every moment of my time in the Lake District (around 40 days' walking) in all weathers and all seasons; my favourite time is autumn because there are less people, the colours are wonderful and the pubs warm and welcoming.

My best experiences? Staying at the Royal Oak Hotel at Rosthwaite (wonderfully old fashioned country hotel where dinner is served at 7pm prompt by sounding a gong!), wild camping beside Angle Tarn, my Sigg water bottle frozen solid on the summit of Helvellyn when it was minus 10 degrees, the lakeside path around Ullswater on a May evening, snowdrifts on Skiddaw in February, dense mist of High Stile and relying totally on compass bearings, a pint of two of Coniston Bluebird Bitter and having the summit of Great Gable all to myself on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in late March!

Last weekend (Friday to Monday) I re-walked four of the mountain routes to check accuracy as, when I originally walked them, it was winter and there was low cloud and strong winds, so I went back to make sure they were OK. They were fine (one or two minor 'tweaks' to the text), which was very reassuring!

I again stayed at the Royal Oak at Rosthwaite, and then walked up High Spy ridge (12 miles) above Borrowdale on Friday, High Stile ridge (9 miles) above Buttermere on Satruday, High Street (12 miles) on Sunday and finally Bowfell (9 miles) on Monday. The weather on Monday was perfect - cool, clear, still and amazing visibility.

The book will be out in about 3 weeks time (RRP £9:95), featuring 24 walks from 12 villages throughout the Lake District (Walking Weekends: Lake District, by Mark Reid).

I'll miss the Lakes...