Misty days in north-west England - March 2005
Foggy Fells Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The weather forecast suggested that this would be the year's first really spring-like weekend. I suppose it was - eventually, when we were setting off home again. We left home in bright sunshine - but as we travelled northwards, the clouds gathered, and mist covered the hills. After a quick lunch in Kirkby Lonsdale, we drove the short distance to Cowan Bridge, and set off up the lane to Leck Fell. We had intended following the route described in Wainwright's "Walks in Limestone Country" - and in a sense, we did. Can't comment on the views though - there weren't any, and I have to admit we got somewhat lost for a while at the top of the lane, so that we didn't find as many of the caves and potholes as we might have done. On the right path again, we descended to Leck Beck, whose roar we had been hearing on-and-off all afternoon - clearly there had been some rain in the previous days, and perhaps a thaw of lying snow. Passing some very fine falls and cascades, we made mental notes along the lines of "must come here again one day when we can see it" as
we squelched our way down, back to to Leck village and the car at Cowan Bridge. Joining the M6, we headed north to Orton, where we had intended to have a walk around the limestone pavements to the north of the village. The thick fog on the motorway didn't augur well though...
Friday: Leck Fell
Saturday: Claife Heights
in and out, up and down so that the walker is never quite sure what to expect around the corner. Nearing the end of the route, the path splits, offering the alternatives of the ferry or Far Sawrey, as well as views over the lake. The sun began to break through (at last!) as we gradually descended to the village, once again through open grassland. Finally, a pint (Hawkshead bitter - wonderful!) in the now-warm sunshine outside the "Claife Crier" provided an excellent end to a very pleasant ramble.
The fog had lifted somewhat - we could see most of the village, though the higher ground in the distance held little promise. We took the car up to the limestone area to see whether it was worth staying - it wasn't. Once again, the cloud base was well down. After some thought, we decided to abandon the higher ground and the limestone country, and drove to Windermere, crossing the lake via the ferry and continuing the short distance to Near Sawrey. Whilst it was hardly the sort of Lake District walk we were familiar with, at least there was a chance of staying below the clouds. The country between Windermere and Hawkshead is perhaps typical of lowland parts of the lakes - undulating country with little craggy outcrops here and there, plus numerous small tarns, but also a fair amount of forestry plantation. We took the path to Moss Eccles Tarn, home to croaking frogs, coots and some noisy Canada geese. Time for a few photographs - though the light could have been better... The path continues northwards past Wise Een Tarn, crossing pleasant open grassland, before entering the plantations on Claife Heights, above Windermere's western shore. By comparison with our previous day's wanderings, there is little chance of getting lost here, with clearly waymarked routes. Despite the plantation, this is an interesting route which winds
The lane to the fell Hawthorn in the mist Misty limestone Leck Beck Above Leck Beck Esthwaite Water The path to Moss Eccles Tarn Moss Eccles Tarn Moss Eccles Tarn Wise Een Tarn The path near the tarns In the forest Plantation Above Windermere View towards Bowness Path in the woods Aftermath of the winter's storms ...craggy outcrops...

View Claife Heights in a larger map

View Leck Fell in a larger map
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