Walk through this woodland enjoying the lateral light and dappled shadows, the foxgloves and the thistles; then breaking out to open moorland for a wider view. Brundholme Woods is between the gorge of the River Greta and the slopes of Latrigg, near Keswick.
Cloud on the highest peaks so we headed up Wasdale, then the steep path up Bell Rib to medium height peaks Yewbarrow (627 m.) and Stirrup Crag (616 m.), with views over to Sca Fell, Mosedale and a number of tarns as well as Wast Water below.
A bit of a scramble down Stirrup Crag to Dore Head and then a pleasant walk down alongside Over Beck with Brimfull Beck joining it bringing water from Low Tarn, that we had seen from the ridge.
Nearly down to Wast Water and the clouds cleared over Sca Fell, showing the two distinct peaks Scafell Pike (978 m.) and Sca Fell (964 m.), England’s highest mountains.
Thanks to Samuel for a great day out together
Wasdale in the south-west of the Lake District is one of the least developed of the classic valleys with lakes. Gable, the peaks of Green and Great Gable, is at the head of the valley with Scafell and Scafell Pikes off to the right. All are over 800 m. altitude and were swathed in cloud when we arrived, though this was clearing through the day of our hike. The Screes, which dip in to Wast Water, reminded me of the much vaster Hvalfjörður (fjord) that I visited in in Iceland, though without the Puffins.
Wasdale Hall, with its fine Lakeland gables mixed with mock-Tudor half-timbering, is now a youth hostel; my hiking mate Samuel was at school with the children of the family of the then YHA warden and so has followed the fortunes of Wasdale Hall over many years.
Further along our route, Lund Bridge is a fine old bridge that hasn’t been improved for road traffic, then the roofs of Woodhow farm remind me of Beatrix Potter’s classic description of a Lakeland farm far below.
Lucie scrambled up the hill as fast as her short legs would carry her; she ran along a steep path-way—up and up—until Little-town was right away down below—she could have dropped a pebble down the chimney!
Beatrix Potter, “The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle” (1905)
Our hike was followed by the most colourful sunset I have yet seen from Keswick, more than half the sky lit red by the setting sun.
Spot How Gill copper mine in Eskdale was worked from around 1850 for about fifty years and, at its peak, was the workplace of up to fifty miners. The copper ore they were seeking shows as a green-blue trace on the rock, a colour familiar to anyone who has seen Copper Sulphate in a school chemistry lab. The mine has long since been abandoned but the levels are accessible with reasonable care, and some wooden staging is still in place in the upper levels.
We returned via the picturesque Jubilee Bridge over Hardknott Gill and then Wahouse Bridge over the River Esk. Ordinarily these woods and valley would justify a hike in themselves.
I’ve not been underground and out of daylight for many years (except to tourist mines and caves) so this was a rare treat - thanks to Samuel for being my guide.