An unplanned excursion and one last hike

Thursday’s weather forecast was for more grey cloud and some light rain, so I decided to do a short low level walk instead of climbing another peak.  However, I missed the turning off the main road to the start of the walk and found myself on the road to Barrow. I made a quick decision not to turn back but to carry on and do a driving tour first before the walk. The road left the mountains and then followed a pretty coastal route, before reaching Barrow. I  had expected the city to be poor, and suffering from the collapse of the British shipbuilding industry, but instead it seemed quite active, and had some fine and well-maintained Victorian architecture from its glory days.  On the road back from Barrow I noticed a sign for Furness Abbey, so I decided to visit that.  The abbey used to be the second biggest in England, but was destroyed in the Reformation by Henry VIII.  The remaining ruins were very atmospheric – it helped greatly that I was almost the only visitor. I enjoyed my sandwich lunch  at a pretty spot by a small stream.  By the time I’d finished visiting, there wasn’t time to do my originally planned walk any more, so I headed back to the cottage.

Furness abbey ruins
Where I had my lunch
Shades of green….

Friday was my last full day in the cottage, and I opted for another classic walk – climbing the Langdale Pikes in the very middle of the Lake District.  I took a roundabout drive to get there, taking the smaller rounds around the west of Lake Windermere.  These turned out to be winding and very narrow, and a real test of my driving skills.  One compensation of my route was the opportunity to visit Hawkshead, a pretty small village with many very nice tea shops.

One of two pretty tea shops I visited in Hawkshead
On the road to the Langdale Pikes

The hike up to the Langdale Pikes was almost as enjoyable as Helvellyn.  The walk started up a broad valley, surrounding ahead and on each side by  almost sheer mountains, with the distinctive dome-shaped Langdale Pikes on my right. 

The view at the start of the walk
Looking back along the valley before starting the climb

Then I climbed up alongside a stream to a plateau, with views out to Scafell to the west.  Next came another climb to Pike o’Stickle mountain and a short, easy, hands and feet scramble up to the top.  The view from there was the very best I’d seen so far – a sheer drop on two sides, views back down the valley to the east, to Scafell to the north west and as far as the sea to the  south-west.  There were even seagulls for company, gliding effortlessly in the stiff breeze. 

The view from the top

The walk was supposed to continue with a climbing of the other “pikes”,  but it was getting late – all that time I spent having tea and cakes in the morning! I thought the view would be pretty much the same from all of the others, so I took a short-cut back down the mountain. I arrived back at the car park in bright sunshine and was very happy to find a nice pub with a beer garden and views of the mountains. I toasted my latest climbing success with a lager shandy and suddenly remembered that this was the first day of the week when I hadn’t rained at all.

One thought on “An unplanned excursion and one last hike

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: