Day 3 - Saturday 14 August 2021
Elterwater to Keswick (20.2 miles)
Crossing Great Langdale Beck via Elterwater Bridge at the start of what would be a long, long day - over 20 miles but the weather was set fair.
Looking back to Elterwater from the bridge. The village was once an industrial centre producing most of Britain's gunpowder needs from a large factory just behind the Britannia Inn. The buildings are long gone now but the odd bit of machinery can be found scattered about.
From the bridge the path heads to the right towards Chapel Stile & Great Langdale. Plenty of signs for the navigationally unsure!!
Great Langdale Beck at Chapel Stile and an ideal swimming spot for Fudge
The route crosses Great Langdale Beck to enter the village of Chapel Stile
Not been in here for a while - for obvious reasons. Once past Wainwright's Inn the route leaves the road to the left.
More signs to protect landowners from the stupidity of others. I think the Collie had just got off the swing.
Heading into the heart of Langdale hand railing Great Langdale Beck with the Langdale Pikes getting ever nearer
Nearing Dungeon Ghyll with Side Pike & Pike O'Blisco ahead and Crinkle Crags to the right
The Langdale Pikes above New Dungeon Ghyll
Side House Farm ahead as we descend to New Dungeon Ghyll
Crossing Great Langdale Beck once more as we near New Dungeon Ghyll
Near the National Trust Car Park at New Dungeon Ghyll we took the lower alternative path to the Old Dungeon Ghyll - the distance saving is negligible.
The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
Pike O'Stickle and Loft Crag from Mickleden
Another quick dip for Fudge - this time in Mickleden Beck. Bowfell is to the left, Hanging Knotts centre with Rossett Gill & Rossett Pike to the right.
At the head of Mickleden is this familiar cairn with its slate sign - Esk Hause via Rossett Gill to the left and the Stake Pass to the right. Having always taken the left hand path from here, we were looking forward to the walk to the right up the Stake Pass path.
To the naked eye there does not seem much of a path here but there is. In the past the path became seriously eroded by the trampling of walkers however there is now a natural rock pavement to walk on which is to the left and zig zags its way up the fell side.
The rock pavement is clearly visible now as we look back down Mickleden - meanwhile Fudge indulges in his favourite pastime of sniffing sheep shit.
A pause for breath for Fudge and I as we continue our ascent of the Stake Pass
Another view of Mickleden from our ascent
At the top of the Stake Pass is a grassy, stony plateau - for the keen eyed you may notice a pair of boots on a rock just to the right of Angie. Ordinarily we would have taken them down and disposed of them in the bin but they were surprisingly new therefore we left them in situ in case the owner was still nearby. Fudge continues to be in his element with the smorgasbord of sheep shit on offer in these parts.
Drumlins/Moraines galore as we cross a section of marshy ground at a watershed. The geological lumps and bumps are glacial and were created by the accumulations of dirt and rocks that fell onto the glacier surface or have been pushed along by the glacier as it moved.
Beautiful Langstrath now in view with Glaramara to the left and Sergeant's Crag to the right
The descent down to the valley floor, whilst steep is on a zig zagging path that drops 500 feet in less than a 1/4 of a mile
Stake Beck tumbles down into Langstrath
Now on the valley floor of beautiful Langstrath we were aiming for the bridge centre right at Tray Dub which can just about be seen
Fudge having a few lengths in Langstrath Beck at Tray Dub
The bridge over Langstrath Beck where there are two options to mull over. The official route of The Cumbria Way does not cross the bridge and keeps to the eastern side of Langstrath Beck. Crossing the bridge and turning right handrails the western side of the beck and in my opinion is the better path. Both routes meet the footbridge at Grid Reference NY2720 1264.
Looking back at our descent down to the bridge at Tray Dub
Blackmoss Pot - ordinarily we would have spent a few minutes here but it was busy
The route continues along Langstrath Beck with Long Band & Stonethwaite Fell to the rear and Heron Crag to the right
Eagle Crag & Sergeant's Crag across Langstrath Beck
The meeting point of the two paths that run either side of Langstrath Beck from Tray Dub. Once we crossed the bridge we would be back on the Cumbria Way. Fudge as usual wants to arse about in the water and is waiting for the command.
The Cumbria Way passes through the heart of the delightful village of Rosthwaite - the "capital" of Borrowdale. Yew Tree Farm is to the left with The Flock In cafe to the right - I wonder if they are open???
Of course they were!! We bought a couple of Diet Cokes and sat in their delightful garden and had a welcome rest.
This low door around the side of The Flock In obviously catches out the cafe staff on occasion.
The stepping stones over the River Derwent - the Cumbria Way crosses here however we stayed on the right hand side of the river and crossed via New Bridge a few hundred yards downstream.
New Bridge - what has Fudge spotted??
One of the many cave entrances hereabouts - not that way today Fudge
The village of Grange with King's How on Grange Fell to the rear
The route joins the Grange to Hawse End road at The Borrowdale Gates Hotel. Never been in here but because of Covid it was strictly residents only today.
Near Manesty the route leaves the road and heads for Manesty Park at the southern end of Derwent Water
Otter Island at Abbot's Bay with Skiddaw behind. Light was beginning to fade now but we were still feeling good.
He's been well behaved today therefore let's have a big hand for Fudge
The Alpacas at the Lingholm Estate. The Alpacas are open to the public - information can be found here and below
Portinscale - knackered now!
Heading through Portinscale towards the suspension bridge - now on our final mile
The suspension bridge over the River Derwent
Finally arriving at Keswick which, after a long but exhilarating day was very welcome. We treated ourselves to a Chippy Tea from The Kingfisher in town from where we then drove over to Elterwater to collect our other car. We finally arrived home about 2200 - a great 3 days.
Day 3 Data