Walking up Robinson

What do you do when you live in the Lake District and you dog-sit a 15 month old Border Collie?

You take her up the hills and mountains, known locally as the fells. Especially when the weather is not too hot and not too cold.  (Not too wet makes it even better.)

Above Buttermere

While enjoyable, walking around our local loop is insufficient exercise for a young Border Collie. These dogs were bred to work sheep all day, and this particular collie comes from a local farm whose sheep range far across the surrounding fells.

She is athletic with a huge amount of energy.  Smart, too.

I (Herdy Girl) am not fit enough (yet!) to walk up a big fell, and I’m a big scared baby when it comes to heights. So, Best Beloved took to the hills and reported back:

I parked along the road just above Buttermere, near St. James church.  The walk up High Snockrigg (not Snotrigg!) is quite steep. It will test your cardiovascular fitness. The next bit is boggy, Buttermere Moss. The weather is pretty dry at the moment, but I was up to almost the top of my boots in sogginess a couple of times.

Persevere, though. The views ahead are worth it!

From High Snockrigg: across Rannerdale Knotts, toward Crummock Water and Melbreak. Buttermere Village in the bottom left corner.

Looking down from High Snockrigg and Robinson, you really understand why this is called the Lake District.  Buttermere to the left, Crummock Water to the right with Loweswater in the distance beyond. And, in the other direction, you can see  distant Derwent Water.

Overlooking Newlands Valley toward Keswick.  Newlands is one of three local mountain passes.

The weather started to turn, so we retraced our steps down Robinson, across Buttermere Moss, and then down steep High Snockrigg.

Altogether it was about a seven mile journey with roughly 2700 feet of climb. An all round good walk.

I’m exhausted, but the collie is just about warmed up!

Where to next? View from the top of Robinson toward Honister Pass.

My enduring thanks to BB for taking our canine guest out for a good, tiring run.  She’s currently snuggled up behind his chair, napping.

I suspect BB will be nodding off any minute now!


Herdy Girl

An Afternoon Stroll

Sun-heightened Midsummer views tempt me from my work all day.

Hard to resist, so I promised myself a leisurely loop through Rannerdale when Best Beloved arrived home.

This Herdy lamb wasn’t letting us out of his sight.

There’s been plenty of sunshine, perfect for getting out and enjoying both wide vistas and beguiling details.

Bracken fern continues it’s summer growth.  It’s tall enough that the sheep can hide in it.

Can you spot her? Someone’s having a cooling dip.

Rannerdale Beck provides the background music for this walk, splashing and gurgling along much of the way.

I could gladly sit down and watch the water tumble by for an hour or so…

Must catch up!

Others aren’t so distracted, fitness requires movement and getting the old heart rate up.  Drat!

BB waiting patiently.

Not giving in to my clumsy tendency, I watch my step through the slightly rocky bit.  (I’ve a No Injury policy for the remainder of 2017.)

My companions are waiting at our walk’s midpoint, the footbridge over Rannerdale Beck. BB on the bridge, and t’other one is splashing about in the water flowing under it.

Further up into the dale. Not to be explored today.

Rannerdale Beck is on the left as we start the gentle descent back toward Crummock Water.

I prefer to walk the loop in a counter-clockwise manner. That way you can enjoy facing the tumbling beck on the way up, and then be thrilled by the expanding view of the lake on the way back around and down.

Glorious, especially if you can catch the sunset over Melbreak.

We’ve been spotted by a Herdy sentry!

No matter the weather or time of day, I’ve yet to be disappointed by the view. And it’s an easy walk for those of us who lack Fell Fitness or worry about falling over an edge.

The entire loop is under two miles – just enough for a quick injection of Lakeland Beauty.

Glowering and shimmering; Melbreak looms over Crummock Water.

Though the path up from Hause Point at Rannerdale Knotts can be a little narrow and rocky in spots, the walk along the southern foot of Grasmoor is along a wider track.

If you’re leery of fell walking, you could come up and return that way for the views. (The National Trust car park at Cinderdale is convenient for doing so.)

Other Herdy Girls enjoying the warm afternoon.

Full loop or hairpin walk, either way, you’ll want waterproof shoes.

To add to the enjoyment of this walk, you get to splash through a couple of small streams that come off of Grasmoor.  They’re clear and cold, unless it’s a rainy winter when they are turbulent and turbid.

Why is falling water so enticing? Surely, I’m not alone in this.

Since this June weather has been warm and sunny, the watercourses are quieter, but still lovely.

Playing fetch in the shadowy light – it’s about 8:45 PM.

The long summer days of northern latitudes are a real joy.  Plenty of time to enjoy the day once work is finished. It puts us in mind of the long, languid days of childhood summers.

Top of the hedgerow against the darkening sky.

The hedgerows are sprouting growth up and out, and narrowing the country lanes.

A little Red-tailed bumblebee. Bombus lapidaries, my chart tells me.

They are also filled with the buzzing of insects. I’m glad to see the bees pollinating the blackberries. I look forward to picking them, and making an apple and brambleberry crumble.

What silent communication is going on between these two?

And so we return home. Glad to have looped the loop.

There’s just time for a drink and a nibble before bed.


Herdy Girl

Keswick Mountain Festival

If you are able to travel to the Keswick Mountain Festival next year – Do it!

The Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) is the UK’s largest Mountain Festival – a heady mix of sport, music, food and fun held on the shore of Derwent Water, in what must be one of the most beautiful festival spots in all of England.

Note the setting – doesn’t get much better that this!

Sporty and On-the-way-to-sporty types will have lots to enjoy – taster events and challenging races on foot, bike and water are available to adults and young ‘uns.  There are also exhibitors, food stalls, a roster of impressive speakers, a mix of live music, and the chance to enjoy the surrounding countryside.

This was my first KMT, my Best Beloved’s second. (He’s Sporty; I’m just beginning the journey to rediscover my sportiness.)  We went as a sort-of-a date. So it was primarily dinner and a concert for us – we’ve a fondness for fiddle, whistle and pipes, and the setting is perfect for such.

Among the offerings, we chose to share a pizza from Woody’s Rustic Pizza. What a fun lot of people, and they make delicious flame-kissed, thin crusted pizza pies!

And they kindly let me get a close up of their mobile wood-fired oven in action.

One apology, though.  We practically inhaled our Marguerita pizza – so no photos of it.

Our second share was a Chakalaka Chicken Wrap from Safari, specializing in South African fare. Why?  Equal parts food description and how much fun we had saying ‘Chakalaka Chicken’.

And then we needed a drink. BB went the Taylor’s tent for a beer, I opted for a Yorkshire Tea from the fun folks at Oatopia.

We just had enough time for dessert before the Peatbog Faeries arrived onstage. With the sent of deep-fried dough in the air, it was inevitable…


These convivial folk were entertaining and served up some seriously tasty churros.

From the happy FryMaster…
To she who applied sweetness in the form of cinnamon sugar and melted Belgian chocolate. 🙂

Oh. My. Word.  These were so good.

I wish this photo was scratch-n-sniff. Delicioso!

At that point, we two stuffed people were joined by three lovely family/friends and a jolly lab named Poppy.

Poppy tugged her person up the top of the hill when the band came on, but the remaining four of us joined the jolly crowd to soak in some celtic-infused music and maybe dance a wee jig or two.

Headed toward the stage. That setting!
Quick close-up of the Peatbog Faeries starting off…

Our quick dip into the KMF was much enjoyed by both of us, and we hope to enjoy a bit more of what’s on offer next year.  They’ve not announced the dates for 2018, but I’ll give a shout out when they do.


Herdy Girl