Around nine months after first walking the Kentmere Round, I found myself back in the South Lakes ready to walk those hills again. This time, I was with Sarah and her gorgeous rescue staffie, Chester, a.k.a. Chester the Adventure Dog. On my first wander over the Kentmere Round, Kathryn and I added in High Street (the route of which you can read in more detail here). Today, we would follow more or less the same paths, except instead of High Street, we would add on Gray Crag instead.
“A family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved.” This is how Alfred Wainwright described Cat Bells, near Keswick and we couldn’t wait to get exploring this little fell.
After our quick visit to Beeston Castle earlier in the year, we joined English Heritage knowing that we would be returning to explore the grounds a bit more carefully. The opportunity arose during the Easter holidays when we attended one of the many events held at the site – we went hunting for dragon eggs!
At the start of this year, my friend Flick was over from Ibiza. We decided to catch up whilst walking in the Lakes, because going from a pleasantly warm 12 – 15 degrees to single digits in Manchester wasn’t enough of a temperature change – close to freezing on the fells was what was required.
During the last months of 2017, I made plans to get up to the Lakes for a solo walk. I’m pretty cautious regarding the weather when I go on my own, and it seemed that every time I made plans to go, near gale force winds were forecast and I would end up cancelling at the last minute. After the third time of postponing it occurred to me that I didn’t actually know what it felt like to walk in 30 – 40 miles per hour winds. After a chat with Rick, I decided I would head up anyway. If it was too windy for me to feel safe, I would turn back and take myself for a nice low level wander somewhere.
My blog has just turned one year old! On 5th February 2017, I published my first post. It was about our first proper walk of 2017 – a stroll up Shutlingsloe with the help of some jelly babies. We didn’t make it. Arriving at a wall with a step stile covered in ice, we decided to cut our losses and head back to the car. Shutlingsloe would be there for another day. That day arrived a couple of weeks ago.
A holiday in October means there is no guarantee of the weather (not that there is any time in the UK really). The night we arrived in Wales, I stayed up late till high tide as we had arrived just in time for Storm Brian and the caravan site was on flood alert. I wanted to go to bed knowing that we weren’t going to float off in the night – we didn’t. The next day was still really blowy with showers so, not wanting to stay in the caravan all day, we drove to West Shore Beach at Llandudno.