Handheld GPS

Handheld GPS eTrex Summit HC

Handheld GPS eTrex Summit HC

Handheld GPS eTrex Summit HC

With so many handheld GPS receivers out on the market these days it becomes very difficult to find a good one. Most of the GPS receivers are very similar in their respected specification, although some can vary a lot in price.

As of writing I have to point out that I am old hat, get my boots on, Ordnance Survey map in my pocket and some lunch and go walking. Therefore it will come as something of a shock to now look at using a handheld GPS to find my way around. It could be just a man thing and that old sense of direction being great scenario, although when you do start to get out a lot on the fells and moors of the UK and the mist comes down, it’s no picnic being lost.

Having searched on line for a middle of the range and budget Handheld GPS device which would be of help for our ‘Lake District Walks’ we came up with the eTrex Summit HC and having been kindly loaned one of these receivers by Garmin it is now my intension to test it out and maybe incorporate it into my future walks and see how I rate it, so yes in time a full review will be forth coming from me. It would have been nice to have had such a device on my recent walk Helvellyn Via Striding Edge when the rain and cloud came in.

Key Features of Handheld GPS eTrex Summit HC

24 megabytes (MB) of internal memory

Detailed basemap

Crisp colour screen

Barometric altimeter and electronic compass

Weight is 150 grams

Batteries 1 Lithium Metal battery required . (Included)

Handheld GPS eTrex Manufacture’s Product Description

A staple among outdoor enthusiasts, handheld GPS eTrex Summit HC features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver for peak performance in any environment and includes 24 megabytes (MB) of internal memory, a detailed basemap, crisp colour screen, barometric altimeter and electronic compass.

Enjoy Clear Reception

With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, eTrex Summit HC locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. The advantage is clear — whether you’re in deep woods or just near tall buildings and tree’s, you can count on Summit HC to help you find your way when you need it the most.

Get Your Bearings

eTrex Summit HC has a built-in electronic compass that provides bearing information even while you’re standing still, and its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude. You can even use the altimeter to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help you keep an eye on changing weather conditions.

 Add More Detail

eTrex Summit HC’s basemap contains lakes, rivers, cities, interstates, national and state highways and coastlines. Summit HC also includes 24 MB of internal memory, so you can load waypoints and routes from the included MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager software and add map detail from Garmin’s entire line of optional MapSource mapping products. Its 256-color, sunlight-readable display makes it easy to distinguish map details — even in bright sunlight.

eTrex Summit HC: Lock onto the great outdoors.

Product Description

Garmin eTrex Summit HC WaterProof GPS Receiver (Atlantic)

I hope you will follow me in the use of our new Garmin Handheld GPS receiver and see how we rate it after some serious usage.

Camping Pods

Lake District Camping Pods

Lake District Camping Pods

Lake District Camping Pods

Pod camping can be a great alternative to the trauma of tent camping, with no tent to erect or wet tent to pack away.

Camping pods are a very eco-friendly way to enjoy the great outdoors of the Lake District. Pods are also more secure than camping in a tent as they have lockable double glazed French windows in which you can enter or exit your pod. The double glazed windows help cut down on condensation so you can enjoy the views from your camping home from home.

The roof of the pod is designed in a curved manner to deal with sudden Lakeland down-pours and the special roofing material cuts down on the noise from heavy rain. The pod walls being insulated with sheep’s wool usually making the camping pods practical whatever the Lake District weather. Within the roof construction of some camping pods is a special foil layer to help keep summer temperatures in check and heat in during the cooler months.

Most camping pods come with soft floor coverings such as carpet and at minimum a roller blind for privacy.

There is a small, high level window to the rear of the pod, this not only provides light but will help to keep the living area fully ventilated and aid through draft on hot summers evenings.

All camping pods have plenty of head room within, although can vary slightly in size. Most pods can accommodate two adults and small children. Forgetting the tent you still need to bring all your usual camping equipment, minus the tent of course.

Camping pods are affordable self-catering in the Lakes and offer a great alternative to camping yet come with all the fun and excitement that goes with camping outdoors.

Cooking and naked flames are not permitted inside the camping pods for health and safety reasons and the risk of fire. As with any outdoor camping holiday the cooking tends to be done outdoors and if the rain comes then maybe it’s time for a traditional Lakeland pub meal with Sticky Toffee pudding.

Camping Pods Value For Money

Some of the Lake District campsites and caravan parks offering camping pods come with heating and battery operated lighting and rent for around £30 to £50 per night per pod. Please note that some of the online booking websites do charge a fee, so check you are happy with this before booking.

Man’s best friend the pooch is accepted at a lot of the camping and caravan sites offering camping pods, although check before booking.

Most pods have a small decking area to the front of the cabin which is great for alfresco dining, chilling on or even sun bathing weather permitting. When that Lakeland rains set in for those inevitable rainy days the decking can offering some form of shelter from the direct elements.

You can find camping pods set within the Grizedale Forestor close to Castlerigg Stone Circle and even on family run farms such as Gill Head Farm.

The Quite Site is a ‘David Bellamy Gold’ site which now offers camping pods for its guests.

With any pod situated within the Lake District comes a spectacular backdrop of Lakeland scenery in one of England’s finest National Parks making this a great base for any short weekend break or school holiday get away.

Comfort Camping Pods Value For Money

No matter what type of outdoor activity you like and enjoy when visiting Cumbria, be it walking the fells, canoeing on Ullswater Lake, mountain biking or taking the children to places such as Go Ape, a camping pod can be just perfect for your needs and meet the whole family’s requirements.

Camping pods are very popular with families and it may be advisable to book in advance to guarantee the dates you require as I believe there are few weekend vacancies for the busy summer school holidays this year. While the number of available pods is growing demand is always likely to be greater than availability, so book as early as you can.

There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within the Lake District and Cumbria with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs all offering a variety of good choice. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to your desired Lakeland setting.

Camping pods offer great natural settings with the birds singing or the stars above your head on a clear Lake District evening.

Derwent Water

Derwent Water Viewed From My Cat Bells Walk

Derwent Water Viewed From My Cat Bells Walk

Derwent Water Keswick

Derwent Water is one of the smaller Lakeland lakes, whilst being set within one of the most beautiful valleys of the Lake District as the lake occupies part of Borrowdale and is immediately south of Keswick. Derwentwater is surrounded by some stunning scenery and the very popular fells and walks such as Skiddaw and Cat Bells walk.

Derwent water measures approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long by 1 mile (2.6 km) wide and is some 72 feet (22 m) deep, with several islands within the lake, one of which is inhabited, and that being Derwent Island House, an 18th century residence, which has a National Trust property and has a tenant, although open to the public on five days each year.

Derwent Water is fed by the river Derwent from the catchment area in the high fells at the head of Borrowdale. The lake is very beautiful to take pictures of with absolute calm in the early mornings and a mirror effect of the fells upon the water, and often times at dawn the fells will be a stunning red colour as the sun rises, with swirls of mist upon the water, although you can find waves splashing against Friar’s Crag when driven by a southerly Gale.

Derwent Water Launch

Derwent Water has a regular passenger launch operating upon the lake, taking passengers between various landing stages. There are seven lakeside marinas, the most popular stops being, Keswick boat landing, Portinscale and the Ladore Falls. Should you stay upon the launch as it makes it way around the lake to enjoy this journey, it will take approximately 50 minutes round trip.

There is very little car parking around the Ladore Falls so taking the Derwent Water launch is a great way to see the lake and also incorporate this in to seeing the Ladore Falls, although this is best done after rain for a more stunning scene.

The most popular way to enjoy the beauty of Derwent Water, whilst visiting the Keswick area is by walking the shores and footpaths around the lake, or sit upon a bench and watch the toing’s and throwing’s of the launch at the Theatre in the Park jetty and the Lakeside Car Park which is a pay and display, as always.

Should you wish to get upon the water under your own steam you can hire rowing boats, and motors boats. Derwent Water is a peaceful place for the family, whether picnicking, fishing, swimming or simply walking.

Should you be looking for a Lakes walk I can personally recommend using the Derwent Water launch, embarking from Lakeside car park jetty and disembarking at Hawes End, to then walk one of the classic Lakeland fell walks of Cat Bells walk which I completed recently as was rewarded with some of these great pictures of Derwent Water. The footpaths around the lake follow the banks through some extremely attractive woodland offering truly spectacular views, which makes Derwent Water on of the most popular Lakeland areas for walkers.

Much of the surrounding land is now the property of the National Trust, the lake itself was one of the Trust’s earliest acquisitions. The nearby Scarfell Pike was donated to the trust in memory of the men of Cumbria who gave their lives in the First World War.

For accommodation there is the 220 year old Barrow House Lake District Hostel which is an old mansion and ideally situated for a relaxing family or group break. Boasting extensive grounds with a large play area and woodlands, children will find plenty of space in which to enjoy. To book a hostel or hotel please look at our hotel and hostels pages. Whilst Keswick offers a multitude of Bed and Breakfast facilities.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of Derwent Water please visit Derwent Water on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

Please feel free to comment on this Derwent Water, share or even hit the Face Book like button.

Lake District Walks Derwent Water Video

There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within the Derwent Water and Keswick area with Campsites near Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to Penrith and the Eden Valley. Whatever time of year you visit Keswick and Derwent Water you will find a friendly place to stay.

I trust you enjoyed my article on Derwent Water.

Cat Bells Walk

Cat Bells Viewed From Derwent Water

Cat Bells Viewed From Derwent Water

Cat Bells Walk Keswick

Cat Bells is majestically poised above Derwent Water and quite arguably one of the most popular of all the low level Lakeland fell walks at 451 metres (1,480 ft); a mountain in miniature. The ascent is well rewarded with breath taking views over Derwent Water to the east and the Newlands valley to the west and back over the town of Keswick to Skiddaw and Saddleback (Blencathra walk), although Sharp Edge is not visible.

The renowned Lake District writer and walker Alfred Wainwright acknowledged the popularity of Cat Bells among fell walkers of all abilities by saying;
“it is one of the great favourites, a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved. Its popularity is well deserved, its shapely topknot attracts the eye offering a steep but obviously simple scramble”.

Sometimes it is hard to fathom why generation after generation certain walks remains ever popular, although some are immortalised by writers such as Wainwright and Beatrix Potter into the national heritage and I believe it is good to know why these walks have become shrine like to those seeking the outdoors. To have the wind blowing in your face and knowing the famous have walked these very same footpaths gives food for thought.

For those with long memories or young children will be interested to learn that Cat Bells was the home of Mrs Tiggy Winkle. With several of Beatrix Potter’s earlier publications drawing their backgrounds from the area around the Newlands valley and Derwent Water, where Beatrix Potter spent several summers before 1903. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903) was inspired by the red squirrels which still frequent the woods on the shores of Derwent Water, Owl Island where Old Brown lived in the story being St Herberts Island. The connection is strongest with The Tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle (1905). This story is about a small girl called Lucie who lives at Little Town in Newlands. One day she meets washer woman (or washerhedgehog!) Mrs Tiggy Winkle, who works in a kitchen behind a small door on the side of Cat Bells. The real Lucie being a daughter of the vicar of Newlands whom Beatrix Potter met on her visits here.

Cat Bells Historical Connection

Cat Bells has long had its historical deep rooted past which brings people of all ages back time and again to walk these well-trodden footpaths. There are those who walked Cat Bells with their parents and return with their children and it is this lifelong connection which I believe makes such walks as Cat Bells part of the national heritage of walks if there was such an accolade.

There is ample parking around the base of Cat Bells and usually a farmer’s field wherein you may park, with currently a very reasonable £3 for the day fee for the privilege.

From here you will clearly see the ascent of Cat Bells directly in front of you and the cattle grid. There is a wooden footpath sign at the road junction which clearly indicates the start of the route. Leaving the road you will see a wide bridleway track to start with before the path commences to climb very steeply through the zig zags.

Very quickly you will start to climb and Derwent Water will come into plain view and the higher you climb the more of the Lakeland panorama comes into view. A memorial tablet will be passed for Arthur Leonard (founder of the Co-operative and Communal Holidays and ‘Father’ of the open-air movement) and eventually you will reach the first summit.

The footpath continues onwards and upwards along an undulating ridge to a final climb to the summit of Cat Bells.

The summit of Cat Bells can be a busy spot in high season and is a great place to swap walking notes with other walkers.

Continuing beyond the summit of Cat Bells following the footpath towards Maiden Moor and at the intersection of the crossroads take the left hand track, whilst descending steeply on a path through the zig zags, there being a fence on short sections.

As the track continues downwards it bends towards the right, heading away from your walk starting point, whilst you may wonder if you are going along the correct route as it is unclear at this point where you well make your uturn.

As the path widens the tree line will come into view and a dry stone wall separating the open fell from the trees. Taking the path leading left which runs along the lower slopes of Cat Bells with superb views over Derwent Water.

The footpath eventually reaches the road by the quarry, but leaves again, although here you may simply follow the road back to the walk starting point or return to the lower slopes of Cat Bells.

Cat Bells Walks Video

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Cat Bells walk article please visit Catbells Walk on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

Please feel free to comment below on Cat Bells walk, share or even hit the Face Book like button.

I trust you enjoyed my article on Cat Bells walk.

Haweswater Reservoir Mardale

Haweswater Reservoir

Haweswater Reservoir

Haweswater Reservoir Mardale

Haweswater is a reservoir built within the valley of Mardale. The controversial construction of the Haweswater dam was started in 1929, after parliament passed an act giving Manchester Corporation permission to build the reservoir to supply water for the urban conurbations of North West England.

Prior to the flooding of the Mardale valley Haweswater was a natural lake, with the valley considered one of the most picturesque in Westmorland and many thought it should be left alone.

Originally before the construction of the dam Haweswater was about four kilometres long and almost divided in two by a tongue of land at Measand, with the two reaches of the lake being known as High Water and Low Water. This is now long gone with the building of the dam raising the water level by 29 metres (95 feet) and created a reservoir six kilometres (four miles) long and around 600 metres (almost half a mile) wide.

The Haweswater dam was the first hollow buttress design in the world and considered to be cutting edge technology at the time of construction and with the reservoir full it holds 84 billion litres (18.6 billion gallons) of water. The reservoir is now owned by United Utilities plc.

With the construction of the dam the valley of Mardale was flooded in 1935 with all the residents of the villages of Mardale Green and Measand relocating.

With the construction of the reservoir and dam came a new road along the eastern side of the lake to replace the flooded road lower in the valley. The road continues the length of the lake to the western end of Haweswater and terminates with a small car park. The car park is currently free and a popular starting point for walkers who wish to climb the local fells of Harter Fell walk, Branstree and the ever popular High Street walk.

The Haweswater valley is the only place in England where golden eagles nest. There is a RSPB observation post in the valley of Riggindale, where the pair has their eyrie, although I have not sighted any eagles on my walks within this location as of writing. It is rumoured locally that the eagles are now gone and how true this is I do not know.  Should you be out walking in this location and happen to spot a golden eagle please make a comment below.

Haweswater, Walking and Alfred Wainwright

The world famous Alfred Wainwright had this to say on the construction of the Haweswater dam in his Pictorial guide to the Eastern Lakeland Fells;

“If we can accept as absolutely necessary the conversion of Haweswater [to reservoir], then it must be conceded that Manchester have done the job as unobtrusively as possible. Mardale is still a noble valley. But man works with such clumsy hands! Gone for ever are the quit wooded bays and shingly shores that nature had fashioned so sweetly in the Haweswater of old; how aggressively ugly is the tidemark of the new Haweswater”.

For me walking the local area of Haweswater today is a very refreshing change as fewer tourists seem to be attracted to this mini oasis of Lakeland serenity.  There are no shops or tea rooms should the inevitable Lakeland heavens open with fresh clean water to downpour upon us, simply to wash away the mundane of life. Here is a place where solitude personifies and you can really hear your thoughts. For some untold reason you are happy to get wet here and unlike other walks and variations of routes a walk to the summit of High Street via Kidsty Pike holds a special thought for me.

Whilst considering the words of Alfred Wainwright and the clumsy hands of man it appears that this meeting head on of man and his needs, whilst contrasting the natural beauty of the Lake District has created an environment which the golden eagles have considered beyond all others within all England, should it be the preferred home of the eagle then I too consider it home.

My Haweswater On Film

Haweswater is a special peaceful lake and very different to all the Lakeland lakes and maybe it is at this point I advise the reader to visit Windermere?

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Haweswater Reservoir article please visit Haweswater Reservoir on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

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I trust you enjoyed my article on Haweswater Reservoir.

Ullswater Lake

Ullswater From Pooley Bridge

Ullswater From Pooley Bridge

Ullswater Lake

Ullswater is arguably England’s most beautiful of all the Lakeland lakes and is located within the heart of the Lake District National Park, Cumbria.

The surrounding area to Ullswater makes for a fantastic holiday destination and base camp with an array of great outdoor activities possible and available to experience and to suit all tastes and experience level.

The pristine lake itself provides a huge range of activities and water sports, including sailing, kayaking, fishing boat trips and much more. Whilst the surrounding area has some of the best walking country in the Lake District, with nearby fells including Helvellyn and the famous ‘Helvellyn via Striding Edge walk and the easier and very beautiful Aira Force walk and waterfall, situated on the western shores of the lake and is well worth the effort to go visit.

The Ullswater countryside provides a vast variety of walks from short ambles around the villages of Pooley Bridge and Glenridding and a browse around the shops to challenging hill walking. With local facilities to indulge a love of horse riding, you may take the strain out of seeing the beautiful scenery, or keep fit with some cycling or mountain biking for the more strenuous outdoor enthusiast.

The village of Pooley Bridge is situated at the northern end of the lake, with its narrow 16th century bridge straddling the River Eamont as it flows out of Ullswater, as it is overlooked by Dunmallard Hill, which was the site of an old Iron Age fort. There are several foot paths around Dunmallard Hill and it is possible to walk to Dalemain country house and the village of Dacre (the famous Dacre Bears are situated in the village church yard) as a Pooley Bridge circular walk.

Glenridding is a very popular village upon the shores of Ullswater, especially with mountain walkers, who can scale England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn and many other challenging peaks from the village and with ample car parking.

Glenridding, Ullswater

Glenridding, Ullswater

Ullswater Villages and Hamlets

With the many varied villages and hamlets located around Ullswater, this the second largest of the Lake District lakes you will find such destinations as, Pooley Bridge, Glenridding, Patterdale, and with the picturesque hamlets of Watermillock and Howtown. All having their own individual charm and character which sets them apart from others.

There is a wide variety of holiday accommodation available within easy reach of Ullswater, including lake side camping sites, log cabins, luxury lake side hotels, wonderful Bed and Breakfast, self-catering holiday cottages.  The Quite Site campsite even has the new timber framed camping pods which are a great alternative to pitching your own tent, although with a great feel for the camping experience without the tent.

Ullswater attractions include the Ullswater Steamer which offers trips around the lake calling at Pooley Bridge, Glenridding and Howtown. The Steamers operate an all year round service, being originally working boats which from the 1950 moved mail, workers and goods to and from the Greenside lead mine at Glenridding which closed in 1962. Today there are four steamers plying the waters of Ullswater, Raven, Lady of the Lake, Lady Dorothy and since April 2007 Lady Wakefield. People often catch the ‘Steamer from Glenridding to Howtown and then return on foot along the lake shore to complete one of the most popular and scenic low level walks in the Lake District.

Ullswater and William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth in 1802 after visiting his friend Thomas Clarkson who lived in a house on the eastern shores of Ullswater was inspired to write the poem “Daffodils” after seeing daffodils growing on the shores of Ullswater on his return journey back to Dove Cottage at Grasmere. Wordsworth once wrote of Ullswater “it is the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur, which any of the lakes affords.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Ullswater Lake please visit Ulls

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Home To William Wordsworth

One of the main attractions within the village of Grasmere is Dove Cottage which was the home of William Wordsworth from 1799 through to 1808, paying £5 per year rent. It was at Dove Cottage that William Wordsworth wrote much of the poetry he is best remembered today, including “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, whilst his sister Dorothy kept her famous ‘Grasmere journals’.

Dove Cottage was originally constructed in the early 17th Century and like many buildings in the Lake District is made from local stone with white lime washed walls to keep out the damp. For over 170 years the building was an inn called the ’Dove and Olive’. The inn closed in 1793 and it was not until 1799 that William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came to move in.

With the marriage to William, Mary Hutchinson arrived in 1802 and their three eldest children were born at Dove Cottage, John in 1803, Dora in 1804 and Thomas in 1806. Mary’s sister Sara Hutchinson and William’s friend Thomas De Quincy also lived at the small cottage.

Dove Cottage Grasmere Village

The Wordsworth family had many visitors to Dove Cottage being family and friends such as Walter Scott, Thomas De Quincy, Charles and Mary Lamb, Robert Southey and most frequent of all Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As a result and with the Wordsworth’s growing family this meant that Dove Cottage became too small, and in the May of 1808 they moved to Allan Bank, although still within the village of Grasmere.

On leaving Dove Cottage the Wordsworth’s were succeeded at the cottage by their young friends Thomas De Quincy and Mary Wordsworth’s sister Sara Hutchinson.

The downstairs rooms of Dove Cottage you may visit are the general living room, kitchen and buttery, while upstairs you may visit Dorothy’s bedroom, William’s study and the guest bedroom and the children’s bedroom. A guide will firstly take you on a 20 minute tour of the cottage and then you are also free to wander around the cottage at your leisure.

In 1891 the Wordsworth Trust was founded to secure Dove Cottage. The Trustees have built an award winning museum, first opened in 1981, which together with the Wordsworth library houses what is one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.

The Jerwood centre was completed in 2004 as a secure, long term home for the museums great collection.

Dove Cottage Tea Rooms

The Dove Cottage tea rooms provide meals and snacks throughout the day made from good quality locally produced foods, with evening meals being available during the high season. The tea rooms and museum are a great place to commence or finish some of the great local Grasmere walks such as Alcock Tarn Walk which is situated upon the fells to the rear of Dove Cottage.

A favourite walk of William and Mary Wordsworth was Easedale Tarn walk with the spectacular Sourmilk Gill.

There is an excellent shop located close to Dove Cottage selling books, gifts and crafts relating to English literature and the Lake District.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Dove Cottage at Grasmere article please visit Lake District Walks Flickr account.

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Ullswater Cottages – Middlegate, Watermillock

ullswater cottages middlegate, watermillock

Middlegate, Watermillock

Ullswater Cottages – Middlegate, Watermillock

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Ullswater lake, one of the most beautiful of all the Lake District lakes, with an elevated position on the northern shore of Ullswater with panoramic views.

This comfortable and cosy holiday cottage provides ideal self catering accommodation for couples, walkers and families.

The cottage is surrounded by fields and has lovely views of the surrounding fells.

Keswick is just a 20 minute drive away with its bustling town centre. There is boating upon Ullswater lake and outdoor activities locally. You are also only 10 minutes drive from Penrith for groceries and shopping.

There are walks from the door of this Ullswater cottage and it is less than a 10 minute drive to Aira Force and with Pooley Bridge under a 5 minute drive away.

Ullswater Cottages – Middlegate Accommodation Summary

Ground Floor

Main living area with gas log effect fire, separate kitchen and sitting room

First Floor

Two bedrooms, double and a twin. Bathroom with separate shower cubicle and bath.


Use of garden area for barbeque and private parking.

Ullswater Cottages – Middlegate additional information



TV and Sky with limited channels

Bed linen provided

Towels not provided

Central heating

Fridge freezer



Electric cooker, gas hob

Washer dryer

Middlegate Rental Prices

£395 Low Season

£470 Mid Season

£520 High Season

£590 Peak Season Bookings now being taken for Christmas and New Year – Deals available please contact James on 07790 799 865 to discuss.

Owner contact details and please mention Lake District Walks

Mob – 07790 799 865

Email jamescoxon1@btconnect.com

To enquire and book this beautiful Ullswater Cottages please contact the owner.

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn is most probably the most famous of all the Lakeland fells, whilst being the most visited mountain, and the summit we all wish to reach. At an altitude of 3,117 ft, Helvellyn is the third highest peak in both the Lake District and England.

That being said there is a magical aura attached to Helvellyn and Striding edge, even a sense of adventure when you set out upon this walk of walks. No matter where your starting point is, although Wainwright did state, “from the East, however, the approach is quite exciting” and it is with this exciting thought firmly fixed in my mind and adventure that I chose my route of Helvellyn via Striding Edge.

At this point I do believe you need to know a little about the author as you may be using these meagre notes as reference for your own forth coming adventure to the summit. Being no seasoned aficionado of hill walking, rather an individual who loves to get outdoors and away from the day-to-day stresses of life. I believe this helps me to give a realistic view of this, and all my walks from a vantage point that is good for most of us out there who will set foot upon the Lakeland fells.

For most, it is the adventure of walking Striding Edge to the summit of Helvellyn which creates such a stirring of emotions for the walker who is willing to set foot upon this route, with a memory which will endure. The route has developed some notoriety over time and it is this reasoning that prompted my commencement of this walk and to dispel and fictional untruths whilst giving my personal thoughts on Helvellyn via Striding Edge.

This route to Helvellyn takes the Eastern approach starting from the village of Glenridding where there is a pay and display car park, although there is some free parking on the side roads, which is where I left my vehicle for the day.

I started my walk by crossing Glenridding beck upon the footpath and passing the outdoor shop on my left as I walked along the road with the beck to my right. The road turns into more of a track and then you will see the first signpost on your left to Helvellyn. Taking this path and heading for Westside on the OS map continue ascending through the small wooded area and at the crossing of paths take the path to your left making for Keldas. Here you will find a small picturesque tarn surrounded by trees.

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

The footpath here is clear to see and easy to follow as your footfalls take you towards Kennels and the Helvellyn ascent route from Patterdale. From this point onwards the track is well maintained and easy to follow, a near straight line to our goal.

The ascent is gradual as you climb the Helvellyn range from Patterdale and for those with an eye for fells may recognise High Street on the not to distant vista. Simply stop, turn around here and take in the stunningly beautiful views as that’s what its all about.

The wind can change; the weather with it and the trepidation of the walker grows as you come ever closer to the adventure of Striding Edge and the conquering of Helvellyn. Today I had fine weather as I climbed upwards and I was mindful of the changing weather and as my altitude increased I was presented with a wider view of the skies and the possibility of rain.

I believe these changeable factors are what make any walk to Helvellyn and Striding Edge the adventure it undoubtedly is, with my apprehension building.

Following the track upwards and coming into view you will see Eagle Crag and Ruthwaite Lodge before you reach Grisedale Brow and ultimately the convergence of two paths at a cross roads. Taking the left hand route onwards and upwards onto the beginnings of Striding Edge with a great view of the summit of Helvellyn clearly visible now.

I was advised prior to my Helvellyn adventure that you could drive a mini over Striding Edge and now I found my self at the elevated starting point looking downwards onto Striding Edge.

It is at this point I will say to each and everyone who reads this walk that, as in life there are many ways to circumnavigate any route, and yet again I am presented with variables here. The summit of Helvellyn is within sight and if you can only imagine some great body with curved arms held aloft, this is a similar view that presented itself to me with Red Tarn encompassed within the arms. It was my aim to walk the arms in a clockwise direction with the summit of Helvellyn being the top of the head, so to speak.

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn via Striding Edge can be a little daunting with drops on either side, although my advise here is to go at your own pace and simply make sure of each footing you make and keep walking. There is an easier route, although the route to take just draws you in and onto the tops like and adrenalin rush. The incredible feeling of standing in the middle of Striding Edge at your full height is awe-inspiring to anyone and if it does not move you, you are on the wrong mountain.

The rock is bare cold and exposed, even ragged and rough. The wind blows through your hair and you look for the route you will take with care and thought. This is no amble in the countryside of England, this is a mountain you are climbing and it sure feels that way, without doubt.

As a general rule the path is about three feet wide, although uneven and of unforgiving rock and I should imagine slippery when wet. With the surface being wet I would imagine this would add to the euphoria you feel when you complete this ascent.

The walking Helvellyn via Striding Edge is the highlight of this walk having now completed it and writing about, although in my opinion the last section is the most difficult as you drop from the ridge with approximately a 8 feet drop of rock to navigate. Having my dog with me on this walk I have to explain that this was the most difficult part, whilst a fellow walker passed my Yorkshire Terrier down to me (Thanks).

This being the end of Striding Edge for most, being the popular viewpoint. Yet in my opinion it is simply a reprieve prior to continuing on upwards. This then leaves the final assault on the summit of Helvellyn, to test your endurance and persistence, as this again is an arduous climb to the summit of Helvellyn.

Your personal efforts are well rewarded once you reach the top with a clear view of the summit and having walked the finest edge in the Lake District. Is it dangerous you ask, and my simple answer to this question would be no, although treat it with the respect it deserves and if its windy us a different route.

The famous wall-shelter is clear to see and a gathering point for lunch and discussion with those in your group or others who arrive.

You will see from my pictures that I just made it to the summit of Helvellyn as the rain and cloud came in. Within a 30 minute spell it went from good visibility to rain and poor visibility and back to good once again. I hope this comes across in my pictures and video, although it did not stop anyone from crossing Striding Edge to the summit of Helvellyn and lunch.

I left the summit of Helvellyn via Swirral Edge and here the path is good and clear. The footpath on the OS map takes you down via Red Tarn, although I decided to climb Catstye Cam and on a good clear day it is possible to see the Solway Firth.

Descending from Catstye Cam I was off the track and easily rejoined the footpath in the valley heading in the direction of the old disused mines and Glenridding Beck and the route back to my vehicle.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Helvellyn Via Striding Edge walk please visit Helvellyn Via Striding Edge on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

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Helvellyn Via Striding Edge

Helvellyn is a walk to complete time and again with renewed awe.

Harter Fell Walk

Harter Fell Walk

Harter Fell Walk

Harter Fell Walk

There are two fells by the name of Harter Fell within the National Park, one being situated in Eskdale (Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 4) and the later being at Mardale, this being the fell that is of more interest to this particular walk.

Harter Fell is most frequently climbed from Mardale Head, as there is good road access along the shore of Haweswater reservoir and currently free car parking available.

Should you be interested now in a walk to Harter Fell from Mardale and the car park at Haweswater there are several options available to you. Whilst consulting the Ordnance Survey map it was my original theory to make this a circular walk going in an anti clock wise direction, starting towards ‘The Rigg’ and then heading off up ‘Kidsty Pike’ (being on the Coast to Coast route) and a larger full days walk.

Therefore my original walk can also be read, being called ‘High Street Walk’ and incorporating the old Roman Road between the forts of Ambleside and Brougham, near Penrith a top of High Street.

For the longer walk both walks need to be consulted in unison as I have now split this walk in two parts.

This walk is now simply to climb Harter fell via Gatescarth Pass and to descend via Small Water and approximately 4 miles in length.

In uncertain weather it is always better to be able to increase or shorten any walk you undertake, and this collective walk with High Street is great for this purpose and also dependent upon personal fitness.

Leaving the car park at Mardale Head go through the gate and heading in an anti clock wise direction follow the footpath to your left with the beck also on your left. As you start you ascent of the Gatescarth Pass depending upon recent rain fall you will see some nice running stream water here which is very picturesque.

Harter Fell Walk

The Gatescarth Pass byway provided historic trade routes from Mardale to Kentmere and Longsledale respectively, although with the submergence of Mardale village beneath Haweswater reservoir in the 1940’s, the original purpose has died. The route still provides good excess for fell walkers.

Approaching a wooden gate upon the footpath simply continue through and maintain your ascent of the pass. There is then a point wherein the footpath bends of to the right and begins its ascent of Harter Fell. During your walk from the car park you will have had the pleasure of looking upwards towards the crag and rocky outcrop on your right. Now as you climb above the crag you will witness the difference in altitude and a new perspective of the crag that give the fells their own unique aura.

As you rise out of the pass your efforts will be greatly rewarded with stunning views of Haweswater Reservoir and The Rigg.

The footpath here is good and generally follows the fence line on your left hand side. Rising up onto the shoulder of Harter fell affords good views towards Small Water and High Street behind.

Travelling along the fence line the footpath is not so clear, although the route is quite obvious in its direction to the summit. The summit is marked by a cain constructed of stones and the salvaged steel posts from an old fence, and when encountered unexpectedly on a misty day, can be dangerous.

The summit of Harter fell struck me as odd with rock just sticking from the surface like deposited runes from some long forgotten time.

Looking from the summit it is possible to see your return route via Small Water descending down into the car park or alternatively you have a choice to extend your walk.

Leaving the summit the downward path towards Nan Beild Pass is clearly visible, although a rocky descent. It is advisable on wet days to take care and not slip upon the rocks. During your downward hike you will see Kentmere reservoir on your left as you approach the crossing of footpaths.

The last leg of the walk will skirt the beautiful Small Water. Look out for three igloo shaped shelters as you pass the tarn. These are well built as a refuge from bad weather and a reminder that Nan Beild Pass was once a regular thoroughfare for travellers before Mardale was flooded.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this Harter Fell walk please visit Harter Fell Walk on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

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Harter Fell Walk

I trust you enjoyed my Harter Fell walk.