High Lane Logo Walking Away 2013
The Sunday Walk
The Monday Walk
The Tuesday Walk
Click for Walking Group in 2013

Keswick, 30th June – 2nd July
The journey from junction 39 through Shap and Hackthorpe was a very pleasant surprise for a number of our walking group, who had not travelled that way before. The scenery once we turned off the A6 to Askham through undulating wooded parkland was English countryside at its best. Askham village added to this extremely beautiful scenery with its lovely greens, with whitewashed cottages on either side. What’s more the skies had almost cleared and the sun was shining.

  Twenty six walkers (and one guide dog!) met at the village car park, and
  set off from Askham village turning right by the River Lowther, and
  climbing gently to Lowther Park with views of the impressive shell of
  Lowther Castle (the roof was removed to avoid death duties so the story
  goes), and on to Low Gardens Bridges for lunch.  This idyllic spot,
  complete with crystal clear water and an ancient stone bridge provided
an ideal lunch stop to eat and watch for wagtails and herons.  After lunch there was a gradual climb through Heining woods and across the fields to Askham Hall and the village.  The village pottery proved almost as popular with our walkers as a pint at the Queen’s Head in the sunshine.

  The venue for our stay in Cumbria was the Keswick Country House Hotel
  (the late railway hotel).  An elegant lakeland hotel set in four acres of
  tended gardens and just a five-minute walk to Keswick town centre.
  After an excellent dinner, attractively presented and well served, Walter
  ran an interesting and lively quiz; searching for the Brain of Keswick - that
  went to Roy Tomlinson.

The weather forecast for Monday, the day of our main walk was not that promising, as 24 walkers made their way to Keswick bus station to catch the 10.25am open topped bus to Rosthwaite.  From there we walked North, first on a lane, then on a path through How woods, crossing a stream at Gowder Dub and on to the bridge at Grange village for lunch by the river in warm sunshine, tempting at least one person to go for a paddle.
Near Rosthwaite

Walter had carefully planned a series of options for walkers to select.  The first option, which only one person chose, was to catch the next bus back
to Keswick.  The second option, which a small group of 5 chose, was to
walk on for about a mile then to return to Keswick by lake launch from the landing stage at High Brandelhow.

  The third option selected by a group of about 10 walkers, continued on a
  contouring path above the lakeside road but below Cat Bells ridge and then
  descended to the landing stage at Hawse End to catch the lake launch back
  to Keswick.

The last option chosen by 5 men and one lady was to climb up to Hause Gate and onto the summit of Cat Bells 1481ft; then clamber down the ridge path, which was very steep in parts, to Hawse End landing stage for the lake launch back to Keswick.  The extra effort required in making the ascent up to Cat Bells was more than rewarded by the fine views from the top.  Altogether a great walk with lots of options, fine views and wonderful sunshine.  Once again dinner at the hotel was very good, after which a presentation was made to Walter for planning and managing the weekend.

Tuesday morning was quite dull in contrast to the previous two days, and rain threatened as the walking group assembled for our final walk from the hotel along the old railway track, (built in 1864 to carry coke from Durham to Workington iron and steel works, and marking the start of Keswick as a Victorian tourist resort).  The walk followed the course of the River Greta crossing numerous bridges and through wooded river gorges until we reached a junction taking us up towards Latrigg.  Here there was an option that no one took to continue to the summit of Latrigg 1203ft.  Instead the group returned to Keswick via a metalled track through woodland and back to the hotel.
Near Rosthwaite

The general view amongst the walking group was that this had been a very enjoyable Walking Away weekend.

Sam and Irene Chappell