The night was very still, but the moon meant that it wasn’t very dark for the first part. Even after the moon set, the light pollution was noticeable. I got up at 6.30 and had a little wander around taking pictures. The tarn was like a mirror, with no breeze to disturb the water. Down in the valley it was still misty, although not a perfect inversion. Above there were no clouds in the sky.
I had a lazy breakfast. The sun and the idyllic pitch made me reluctant to rush. However, I couldn’t dawdle too much as I had a 14 mile day and a steep climb to start. I packed my rucksack and I was off. The climb back up to Sergeant Man is quite rough, but, as often is the case, it is easier to ascend a rough path than descend.
Codale Tarn (left) and Easedale Tarn in the morning haze
I didn’t bother to go to the summit of Sergeant Man again but tracked round the northern side, joining the well trodden path to High Raise. Like yesterday, on the boggy parts of the moor, I was assailed by crane flies. An hour after setting out, I was on the summit of High Raise. Although High Raise is not a particularly attractive fell, it is a good viewpoint, particularly to the south and west, ranging from the Langdale Pikes to the Scafell range and Great Gable. Langstrath is largely hidden from view, but the Glaramara ridge is also prominent to the west.
View from High Raise towards Great Gable
After a quick snack, I turned north towards Greenup Edge. While the path to Low White Stones is reasonable, further on it becomes a trench, which I avoided by walking on one side. There were intriguing views to the Wyth Burn, which is another valley I would like to explore.
View from Lining Crag
The path down to Stonethwaite at Greenup is obvious both because of the path and numerous cairns. I waved to a couple of walkers sunning themselves on the rocks above the path. Over the next two miles or so I encountered probably about fifty walkers. I guess many of them were doing the C2C. I imagine this is one of the most difficult sections of the C2C as the path is very steep. Going down is comparatively easy, although care needs to be taken in a number of places.
Towards Borrowdale from Greenup Gill
The day was now getting quite hot and the cooling breeze that was apparent on the tops disappeared. I was glad that I was going down rather than toiling up the path. Quite a number of the walkers I encountered had large beer bellies, heavy packs and leather boots. Some of them looked as though they might need medical treatment before they reached the top. They made me feel like a mountain goat, skipping from rock to rock! On Lining Crag, a superb view-point, one guy had his boots off and was repairing his heels with blister plasters. I felt a bit smug with my lightweight gear and boots. However, I was careful not to let it show as pride comes before a fall.
View from my lunch stop (confluence of Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill)
Just before noon, I reached the confluence of Greenup Gill and Langstrath Beck. By this time the temperature was nearly 30c according to my Silva ADC. At the watersmeet, there was a pleasant piece of grass shaded by some trees, a perfect place for lunch. It was too good to resist, so I unpacked my cooking gear and boiled some water to rehydrate a meal and brew some tea. Life seldom gets any better than this.
Sheep in the shade
It took some will power to get going again, but after an hour or so, I re-packed and set off. The camp site on the opposite bank was nearly full, in contrast to Wednesday when I had walked past there had been hardly any tents. I passed through a field where there were a lot of sheep and lambs. Many were sheltering under the trees out of the heat, panting heavily. The path to Rosthwaite is absolutely delightful. Thankfully, it is mainly under trees, which made it a bit cooler.
At Rosthwaite, I crossed the bridge and the main road and headed towards the River Derwent. The way wasn’t immediately obvious, but consulting my iPhone in GPS mode made navigation easy, although I had to be careful as the battery was beginning to run low. The footpath was well-maintained, being part of the Cumbria Way and followed the river. Under Castle Crag it passes through some enchanting woodland and the remains of a quarry, where there is a cave cum arch that is worth a visit.
Happy swimmers at Hollows Farm camp site
I met quite a number of people out for a stroll. Just before Grange, I rounded a corner to be surprised by people swimming and paddling inflatable canoes in the river. It became obvious a few yards on that they were from Hollows Farm camp site. This looks like a brilliant base and somewhere that I might use in future. I resisted the temptation to stop and have a paddle, ploughing on to Grange.
At Grange I had to do a modest amount of road walking before turning off to Manesty Wood and the shores of Derwent Water. From here, I encountered numerous yellow markers for a marathon event. Rather selfishly, I hoped that I wouldn’t be engulfed by a load of marathon runners to spoil my lake-side walk. The walk along Derwent Water was wonderful. In the shade under the trees, it was reasonably cool with the breeze from the lake. The water of the lake in the numerous bays was almost aquamarine, giving it a tropical feel. I subsequently found out that this was due to an algae bloom that was potentially toxic!
The path along Derwent Water
After Low Brandlehow landing stage, I had a rest as I had been walking for three hours without a break. After a few swigs of water and some nuts and sultanas, I was off again. At Hawes End there were a lot of vehicles and flags for the marathon event. I hurried on past, heading up the road to Swinside. I accelerated my pace in order to get the road walking finished as quickly as possible.
A last look back to Causey Pike
At Low Braithwaite, I encountered a bit of a problem: the bridge had been washed away in the floods. Two cyclists and a dog walker were also looking perplexed. However, there was a temporary footbridge to the farm across the river, although it looked as though it was not for public use. None of us could face the walk around, so we climbed the metal barrier (I helped lift one of the dogs over) and tiptoed across the bridge. Fortunately, there was no irate farmer to greet us. I was on the home straight now. I strode into Braithwaite and into the camp site, which was now packed. I was glad that I had left my tent there as it guaranteed a good pitch.
A full camp site
A visit to the luxurious showers and to the shop for an ice cream and some drinks revived my tired body. It was disappointing that the camp café was closed, but I had one more dehydrated meal, so I didn’t go hungry. It had been a fabulous day’s walk. I had never walked along the River Derwent or Derwent Water before. The woods and the lush grass was a welcome contrast to the desolation of the moor around High Raise.
The charm of the Lake District is that there is so much variety in such a small area. I’m already planning a return to walk in some of the other valleys that I’ve not explored before. Overall, it had been a most enjoyable four days, despite the change of plans.