Last weekend I headed up to the Lakes – my first visit for 2023. Other than my walk on 2 January weather, work and personal commitments meant I’d been restricted to local walks around the Plantations, canal and nearby countryside and I was feeling the need to get away and stretch my legs and christen my new boots.
I’d decided to drive up to Ambleside and head up Red Screes going up the long haul from the village and then back down Scandale – the opposite way from when I’d been up here before – the last time 12 months previously. Rain wasn’t forecast but the high fells wee in the cloud. I was hoping that it would clear during my walk but I wasn’t so lucky. Nevertheless, it was good to get back up on the fells even though it soon became clear that I wasn’t “fell fit”.
The first stretch of the walk was on tarmac, the steep road known as “the Struggle” (for good reason!)
After about a mile, I reached the stile that took me on to the footpath that climbs the fell.
It’s a fairly easy route in that it’s a clear path all the way up to the summit (at least, for most of the way) but it’s not particularly exciting terrain and a bit of a trudge. But I was still enjoying the walk even if I was huffing and puffing.
Good views initially down to Ambleside and Windermere as I was under the cloud base
but as I climbed I started to get into, and above the cloud. This was the view looking down into tve valley
There’d been snow up here the week before, but there wasn’t much trace of it now, but as I started to approach the summit, and the temperature dropped, there was some ice that still hadn’t thawed.
The tarn at the summit was frozen, and I was in the clag- no views over to the Far Eastern fells this time.
I thought about taking in Middle Dodd, but decided to save that for another, clearer, day, so after a drink of coffee from my flask to warm me up and a bite to eat I set off down the path beside the wall descending to the Scandale pass.
As I came out of the cloud there was a good view down to Brothers’ Water and Patterdale, lit up by the sun peeking through the cloud.
Approaching Scandale, the eastern leg of the Fairfield horseshoe was obscured by the cloud
I carried on down the valley, passing several other walkers making there way up in the opposite direction.
I spotted a few locals
Getting closer to Ambleside, I stopped to take a snap of the picturesque High Sweden Bridge
The rough path turned into a track, and I suddenly found my way almost blocked by a gang of locals making their way up the valley
Those horns look dangerous, but the although the black one came close to take a look at me they were very docile
and carried on their way
I was getting closer to Ambleside now with a good view of Wansfell (where the cloud had cleared) and a glimpse of Windermere
As I neared the village, I passed this curious tower which I’d never noticed on previous walks in the opposite direction
I couldn’t find out anything about it after my walk. Can anyone elucidate me?
Back in Ambleside now
I had a little time left on my car parking ticket so had a little mooch in some of the walking shops, but managed to resist temptation. Fortunately Fred’s bookshop was closed for rewiring as my bank balance would probably have been affected 😂
I returned to my car and got out of my boots just as the weather changed and the rain started. The rain got worse the further south I drove down the M6, so driving wasn’t fun, especially as it started to get dark. I’d had a good day walking but was glad to get home for a brew.
Link to route here