Views from Stake Pass & Blackmoss Pot in Langstrath above Borrowdale, Cumbria

Views of Hawkeswater and Kentmere from Nan Bield Pass and Mardale III Bell, Cumbria

Lucky choice with a fine autumn weekend in The Lake District to explore two passes, routes from one valley to another with resonances of tribal, Roman and mining traffic as well as the thrill of seeing the view outside of one valley.

A dry day after a misty start in Langstrath above Borrowdale; the route up Langstrath passes Blackmoss Pot (infamous for skinny dipping, though not in October): on up to the small tarn at the summit of the newly-refurbished Stake Pass.

And a clear night leading to a frosty clear Sunday dawn; starting early to bag one of the very few parking places at Hallow Bank. Hiking above Kentmere reservoir up Nan Bield Pass on to Mardale III Bell, (760 m.) on Striding Edge, with clear views over Hawkeswater and on to the Pennines, the Lancashire coast and maybe even a glimpse of the Isle of Man through gaps in the Lakeland peaks to the west.

Selecting these routes from the map alone, not consulting guide books or the ubiquitous Wainwright guides, had the advantage of paths without people, in contrast to the well-tramped high level routes at the summits of the both passes.