Langstrath and back, part 2

There was a bit of overnight rain, but it cleared by early morning. When I poked my head out of the door, it looked like it would be a fine day. My original plan had been to do a shortish day up Langstrath and over to Coledale Tarn. However, that would’ve left me a long day back to Bratihwaite for the next day and the weather forecast was for rain later in that day. So, I decided to change my route to walk back to Newlands and either camp along Newlands Beck or carry on further to Rigg Beck.

The sun was slow in reaching the tent, so I didn’t start until around 10:30, luxuriating in the wonderful spot I’d chosen for a camp. Langstrath is probably my favourite Lakeland valley as it feels wild and is off the beaten track.

Eventually, I got going. I crossed the bridge over the beck and followed the Cumbria Way down to Stonethwaite. The end of Langstrath was quite boggy, but I managed to hop over the pools using some strategically placed stones. The weather was fabulous with even a gentle cooling breeze!

After crossing the bridge by the Borrowdale YHA, I followed the River Derwent north for  just under a kilometre, weaving in and out of the trees.

At Tongue Gill I turned east climb towards High Scawdel. Initially I climbed through pastures, dodging a few sheep along the way. Higher up, there were a couple of broad, grassy shelves that had some good possibilities for camping, although it was way too early to stop.

The upper part of Tongue Gill is quite rough, but the path is quite clear. Just before the mine workings, I stopped for a bite to eat.

After a brief rest it was onwards and upwards. The mine workings were more extensive that I had imagined and quite fascinating. I might return for a longer examination. It must have been very tough working in these mines.Beyond the mine, the path leads to the barren, boggy wilderness between High Spy and Dale Head. Although Wilson’s Bield is marked on the map, it is a rather small, broken down sheepfold. Despite the wet underfoot, the area has a rather bleak grandeur.

From Dale Head Tarn, I followed the well-worn track down to Newlands Beck. I love the head of Newlands. The shadows from the clouds made the valley even more beautiful.

I made a fortuitous navigational error by following the path along the beck rather than contouring below Eel Crags (which is the more normal path). The path along the beck leads to a small sheepfold with lovely close cropped grass and would make a rather nice place to camp. Just before the sheepfold, there’s a spectacular waterfall.

There was some very wet ground after the sheepfold where I managed to slip over and get a wet behind. However, the rest of the path was reasonable and I reached Castle Nook mine quickly. A little look around suggested that it wasn’t a very good place to camp, so I decided to push on to Rigg Beck.

It took me a bit longer than anticipated to get to Rigg Beck. By the time I reached my intended camp spot, the valley was in shadow. Nevertheless, the light lasted long enough to get pitched, get some water and start a meal.

Yet again there was some rain overnight, but the morning dawned fair and my pitch caught the early sun.

By 9 o’clock I was packed and on my way back to Braithwaite campsite. I was back well before lunch and spent a lazy day in the camper van, returning home the next day.




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