21st to 24th March 2014
A three night trip to Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, and at last a pitch with a view. We have been to this site a few times but have never been able to get a pitch with a view, but we did this time…
It would have been even better if Spring hadn’t been put on hold and it was warm enough to sit outside and admire the view, but you can’t have everything.
It’s a long journey to Keswick, but we managed to get there quite early in the afternoon and after setting everything up we decided to go for a walk up nearby Walla crag instead of heading for the nearest pub. Only just over a mile, but quite a steep climb. The blue skies quickly gave way to cloudy, showery weather, but still excellent views from the top.
The weather deteriorated, so much so that we didn’t dare venture outside the caravan in the evening, so we stayed in trying to listen to the radio over the sound of heavy rainfall. We got a shower going for a shower!
Not a particularly good day weather wise, so we strolled into Keswick and had a look around the town. Don’t mention waterproof jackets to D! He bought one, but changed his mind after wearing it for about half an hour. It couldn’t be returned as it was worn in the rain and the tags were taken off, so its now on eBay!
In the evening we had dinner at the onsite restaurant and then a quick drink at the Crag Bar, part of the nearby Heights Hotel. The only pub we visited this weekend, which is something of a record for us! The Crag Bar is okay (it sells Loweswater Gold) but somewhat lacking in atmosphere, and the only other nearby pubs are in Keswick.
Much better weather today, so we drove to Bassenthwaite for a short but steep walk up Barf (468 metres) and Lord’s Seat (552 metres).
There are two ways of getting up Barf. A direct ascent, which is a steep scramble over loose scree via “The Bishop”, or a (not) much easier route alongside Beckstones Gill. We chose the easier route, which was still pretty hard going.
The Bishop of Barf
On a rocky site at 700 ft and clearly visible from the Cockermouth to Keswick road, is the "Bishop of Barf", a white painted stone marking the spot where, according to local legend, the Bishop of Derry was killed falling from his horse in 1783, after drunkenly betting he could ride up the hill. Both the Bishop and his horse are said to be buried near a smaller stone, the Clerk, at the base of the hill. The stone was whitewashed each year by staff at the nearby Swan Hotel, until the Hotel was converted to apartments. The whitewashing is now carried out by members of Keswick Mountain Rescue.
Excellent views from the summit. Lots of pics in the gallery.
A not very well hidden geo-cache near the summit of Lord’s Seat, and the view from the cache site…
The plan was to come down through Whinlatter forest, but there was a mountain bike race on and we would have had to keep jumping out of the way of cyclists, so we decided to more or less retrace our steps. It was actually harder going down than coming up! Luckily D found a good stick…
The weather was so nice we toyed with the idea of having a barbecue, to the point of buying coals and sausages and burgers, but it was just a bit too cold! We lost our nerve and cooked them in the caravan instead.
The onsite shop had a very good selection of bottled beers, so we stayed in again. A very cold night, minus 6 according to the very friendly warden, whose caravan was opposite ours. Nice sunset, which we enjoyed from our pitch with a view…
A birthday breakfast for D today in the onsite restaurant! Then the long journey home….
Nothing booked, D struggling to get time off work at the moment!