The best of weekends in Lakeland

It’s been over a year since I’ve visited the Cumbrian fells. My last trip – for the other half’s 40th birthday – was a wonderful week of friends, campfires, canoes, great food and liberal imbibing.

During that trip I managed to squeeze in a couple of classic Lakeland walks – the Coldedale Round and Blencathra via Sharp Edge – although the card on my camera corrupted so those excursions didn’t make the pages of this blog sadly.

Last week we returned. A number of motivational factors aligned: we needed an escape, we had a new tent to ‘test’ and the forecast looked OK. I booked the Friday off work and we trundled up the M6 amid seemingly endless road works to Keswick.

Our destination was the campsite at Braithwaite (although we generally prefer a ‘wilder’ camping experience, the loos are top notch). Our home was a Vango Force 10 Mk5 Classic – a voyage into the ‘Old Skool’. More thoughts on this venerable shelter in a later post.

The clear highlight of the weekend was Saturday’s walk in stunning conditions, though. We’d planned to tackle the Coledale Round again, but compacted snow and ice on some slopes forced a rethink given our lack of walking spikes or crampons. Half an hour kicking steps for my walking partner to follow might have been a contributory factor too.

We consoled ourselves skipping along the ridge of Scar Crags and Causey Pike before scrambling and bum shunting off its rocky knuckle of a summit. A relatively gentle descent delivered us back at camp.

It was sublime.

Our Vango Force 10 Classic Mk5 at Scotsdale - Classic indeed
Our Vango Force 10 at Scotsdale – Classic indeed
Signs of the coming Spring
Signs of the coming Spring
Looking back to Braithwaite
Looking back to Braithwaite
Admiring the Coledale Round
Admiring the Coledale Round
The path leading to Stile End
The path leading to Stile End
The other follows my steps in the ice - all a bit hairy in places
The other half followed my steps on sketchy bits – all a bit hairy at times and a day for the spikes
Enjoying the Snow leading to Causey Pike
Enjoying the snow leading to Causey Pike
Descending from Causey Pike
Descending from Causey Pike
Looking to Newlands and tracing routes taken in the past
Looking to Newlands and tracing routes taken in the past

8 thoughts on “The best of weekends in Lakeland

  1. Great little walk. I recognised both the tent and the campsite from the first picture! Look forward to seeing your review of the tent. Such a subtle shade of orange!
    Regarding the campsite. I have stayed there twice and agree fully. The toilets are some of the best ever visited – under floor heating and all that!! Also ideal as there are pubs nearby and a bus stop for a trip to Keswick. Perfect for a base camp!

    1. My other half loves the colour… i just hope it keeps the midges at bay 🙂 This site is definitely our winter destination of choice. I don’t think I would enjoy it when packed in the summer though.

    1. They are indeed. Some have had the Fix the Fells treatment in this area. Not everyone approves but I feel their work is essential given how busy this area is… erosion is a real problem

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