I’ve just returned from a few days under canvas near Kirkby Lonsdale.
This is a lovely part of the world, near the boundaries of Cumbria, Lancashire and North Yorkshire (ish).
It had even greater appeal for this trip in that it’s not a wannabe ‘outdoors-capital’ destination like Keswick or Fort Bill. I realise that such accolades are good for the morale of the tourism industry, but I grow weary of the phony nomenclature.
Besides, I was in no condition for Grade 2 scrambling… more Grade zero ambling.
In this rural enclave, waxed cotton and wellies rule over Goretex and trail shoes… although the wellies on show were 200 quid Le Chameaus as some of the local blue-bloods have a bob or two.
As you can see from the ‘still life’ photograph, evenings were spent candlelit and fuelled by plenty of Shiraz (not to mention Japanese and Islay malts).
But I did manage to stretch my legs, albeit tentatively.
Progress with my sciatica has been patchy, but here gentle walks brought plenty of reward. These excursions were crowned by the Waterfalls Walk out of pretty Ingleton. This is a managed trail and you pay to walk it. Although a little uncomfortable with this notion, the route’s ascents and descents were testing and I felt pretty good.
The real sensory gems of this walk, though, were the woodlands carpeted with bluebells and the pungent garlic aroma emanating from the thick beds of Ramsons.
My good form persisted for the rest of the week and now I am enjoying my third really good day on the bounce.
I hate to tempt fate, but perhaps an end is in sight. A trip to Edale at the weekend, maybe…