The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What a difference one day makes.

 We have the Duddon Valley fell race next week to assist with and so to be invited up there this weekend ensured we knew what the current status was.
We arrived Thursday night, missing the probable Friday rush getting away for the Bank Holiday weekend and we planned to leave on Sunday again avoiding traffic problems.
We were staying with friends Alan and Tina in Seathwaite.
 Once settled in we departed to renew old acquaintances at The Newfield Inn and to sample a beer or two.

 Music night with a Blues Band has been arranged for post race entertainment next saturday in the beer garden at the Newfield, no entrance fee, so all do come along. It’s a good night. Start around 5.30pm and ends at some point after midnight or slightly beyond depending on the weather.

 We set out on a walk hopefully to view some red deer that can be found if you are lucky. I have seen them on a couple of occasions but Sheila hadn't.
Ready to set out, it was extremely windy but we didn't realise just how windy until we got a little higher. And packing the daysack resulted in a realisation that i had left the camera sat on the computer desk. So all the photo’s are taken with Sheila's Samsung Galaxy S3 phone.

 The "paths" we were on are not official paths but we knew we wouldn't get into trouble.
The rain was sweeping in, we had good vantage to watch the scenery disappearing. Then 5 minutes later it eased and became sunny. What didn't alter was the wind. It was fierce, almost blowing us over. Definitely not a day for Striding Edge.

 Unfortunately with such a strong wind blowing in the direction of our travel, any deer would have known we were there way before we spotted them. We were cautious and quiet and hid ourselves in the trees and behind boulders but we were unlucky. We didn't spot any deer. We did spot a Buzzard and a Wheatear being blown around badly as well as a Meadow Pipit.
The weather meant that we got chilly quite quickly and although a flask of coffee was helpful we just wanted to get out of this battering as soon as possible.

Making our way down, the rain once again reminded us that summer is struggling to make its presence felt. The view down the valley disappearing to nothing. Once on the valley floor the wind was easier and we sheltered to finish the coffee.
We crossed over the stepping stones over the River Duddon and made our way back.

Today I had another walk planned in my head that once again did not go over marked paths. Some of it I hadn't done before. When we were discussing the route over breakfast with our hosts, it turns out that Alan, who is a regular walker, also hadn't walked on this area.
So he decided to come with us.
The day was an absolute beauty. Wall to wall sunshine, warm without a breath of wind. It remained like this the whole day.
What a difference a day makes!

 As we gained height the views got better and better. On one side Scafell right round to Broad Stand looking stunning. On the other Grey Friar round to Caw.
 The ground was dry, very dry. We found 2 Meadow Pipit nests with 7 eggs in total.

We crossed Tarn Beck by the bridge below the waterfalls and slowly followed the beck up to level ground below the dam.
We were warm and found a good spot to stop and have lunch. The view stunning.

 With care we crossed a couple of walls and tried to find the route of the old pony track that pre-dates the current water board track up to the tarn.

We found it. When you realise it, the route is obvious if very faint and although the new track has been built over the old one in parts, you can follow it for some way.

Further on we stood in the remains of a Ancient Long House. Age TBA at this time. We stood and looked around to try and understand why the people built it where they did. They picked a good spot. Protected and sheltered.

Once we crossed Long House Gill and met the Walna Scar Rd, we encountered many people. Not unexpected on a Bank Holiday.

But for us our walk was over. We had not bumped into a soul all day until the Walna.

One of the most pleasurable days in the Duddon.

We had just a couple of hours to enjoy a G and T, have a bite to eat, before heading off to Ulpha village hall for an evening of good music and real ale with Roger Davies.

Thanks to Alan and Tina for everything. See you next week for the fell race.


  1. The Duddon valley is lovely. Fantastic photos.

  2. Its like my second home. Considering all the pics were taken on a phone. Sheila is pleased with what she took. Thanks Dawn.


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