May 23, 2013
The sky was grey this morning and it had rained overnight, so we were glad that we had a day to do whatever we liked. At breakfast we met the other couple who were staying at the B&B; they were from Australia and were on a 104-day trip. At the moment they were walking the Coast-to-Coast.
After we finished breakfast we decided we would walk along the valley to Seathwaite. As we went outside it was noticeably chillier than yesterday, and we could see fresh snow on the mountain at the end of the valley, which might have been Great Gable. Our path went over to Longthwaite first, past the youth hostel where we had stayed when we walked the Coast-to-Coast several years ago. After that we crossed the River Derwent on a footbridge and then followed a narrow road and a footpath through sheep pastures until we reached Seathwaite.
During the walk it was reasonably dry, but periodically we were pelted by showers of rain and hail. Seathwaite is rated as the wettest inhabited place in England, receiving over 130 inches of rain per year. Somebody had told us there was a good pub there, but we certainly couldn’t see any pubs there. In fact there was hardly anything at all except a few cottages and a grim-looking camping barn. But there were quite a few cars parked on the road, and we could see a group of people practicing rock-climbing nearby.
The walk back to Rosthwaite was pretty much the same, except that there was one shower which was long enough to make us stop and put on our rain gear. But by the time we reached the youth hostel the weather had cleared, so we sat on one of their outdoor benches and had our lunch. Back in Rosthwaite we stopped in at the Flock Inn tea shop and treated ourselves to tea and sticky toffee pudding. Very yummy indeed! While we were in there a heavy rain storm came over, but by the time we had finished our tea the sun was trying to shine again.
It was still early in the afternoon so we decided to go for another short walk. We hadn’t realized that Castle Crag was so close to us. Tomorrow we would be walking right by it, but it would be a bit of a detour to climb it then. So why not do it now?
We followed the Cumbria Way route across the River Derwent and soon we were at the path going up the crag. The sun was shining so it was warm and the scenery was lovely. The path climbed up quite steeply to a larch forest then levelled off a bit. From there we climbed up through piles of slate to the top of the old quarry. Here there were numerous standing-stone sculptures, and also some old stone walls which must have been part of buildings at some time in the past. Climbing to the top, we were rewarded with good views over Derwentwater to Keswick. Beyond, in the distance, we could see Skiddaw and Blencathra.
On the way down we decided to go around Castle Crag through the woods rather then returning the way we had come. High Hows Wood is supposed to be one of the most beautiful woods in the Lake District. Today because of the grey skies we didn’t get the “dappled patches of sunlight” effect, but the woods were still rather pretty.
For dinner we went back over to the pub again. Rosemary had chicken and ham pie and Paul had steak pudding, which were both quite good but not nearly as last night’s Lamb Henry.