Our Next Walk

* Keswick, Lake District*

SATURDAY, 9th July 2022

The coach will leave Keswick at 5:30 p.m.

‘A’ (Strenuous) Leader: Paul Hogan

Distance: 11 miles

Because it is July and likely to be hot (and because Jimmy is doing Catbells in September!) and because Keswick has many amenities to get back to and enjoy, the walk today will be a long flat walk affording stunning scenery rather than an arduous steeply undulating and precariously precipitous walk.

We will walk around Derwentwater on the waymarked path taking us on an 11 mile scenic route around the “Queen of the Lakes”.  The walk passes through ancient woodlands and along the shores of the lake.  The scenery is stunning, with perfect picnic stops and options for add on’s en-route.

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‘B’ (Moderate) Leader: Derek Tyrer

Distance: 7 miles

Keswick to Latrigg

From the coach we head into Keswick with a few minutes’ walk to the public toilets (if needed).  We then head out of town, walking along the river in Fitz Park and then out to join the Cumbria Way.  After crossing the bridge over the A66 we go through the gate at Spooneygreen and then start a steep path up to Round How where we will stop to admire the view, and for a short lunch break.  After lunch we will continue the ascent up to Latrigg where we will stop again (lunch part 2) to take in the panoramic views.  We then set off on an easy path down to Brundholme Wood – the path through the wood is good but does narrow in places with a drop down to the river, so we need to take care.  We then join the disused railway cycleway which is a good, tarmacked path that runs alongside the river, back into Keswick.

This is a fantastic walk with wonderful views (weather permitting) but ‘no pain, no gain’ as they say!  The first climb up to Round How is a tough one of about 45 minutes, but we will be stopping lots of times!  The way back is much easier – just remember to bring plenty of water.

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 ‘C’ (Easy) Leader: Jackie Gudgeon

Distance: 4.5 miles

We are going to start our walk today with an adventure on a bus, so I hope you all have your bus passes with you!

We will take the 555 bus from the bus station at Booths as far as Chestnut Hill (just a few minutes but saves a mile and a half of uphill walking).  We then have a short stretch of main road which needs some care, followed by about one mile of lane (uphill) to bring us to Castlerigg Stone Circle.  We will have our lunch here surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. 

We then have a stretch of lane before crossing the A591 at Nest Brow, then following footpaths down past Castlerigg Farm (campsite), Springs Wood, Castlehead Wood and Cockshot Wood to bring us to the Derwentwater lakeside.  The walk can finish here from where you can explore the lakeside and wander through the town, or we can continue back to the coach park. 

Mostly good going underfoot, but care will be needed coming down through the woodlands.  Very short stretch of main road and one main road to cross.

We have no one to lead a ‘D’ walk this time, but if you walk through town to the lake, there are paths to follow along the lakeside with lovely views of the lake and mountains, and boating activity.

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When available please make sure you read the notes on the walks carefully – they will help you to decide which walk will be the most suitable for you. 

If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to ask the leader for advice.  For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others, please try not to join a walk which is beyond your capabilities.

Please respect the wishes of the walks leader and remain with the walk until the end.  If you are struggling – inform the walk leader so that he/she can make a decision to shorten the walk, have more rest, etc

* Notes on the area *

Keswick is the largest town in the Lake District National Park, and developed largely from its importance as a mining centre during Elizabethan times, when German miners were brought in to exploit the lead and copper deposits in the surrounding fells.  But, for most people, Keswick is a place superbly situated at the head of a splendid lake and beneath the gaze of one of Lakelands finest mountains, Skiddaw.  It is an enormously popular place, at the northern end of arguably Lakeland’s most beautiful valley, Borrowdale.

It has been said that towns and villages built from local stone blend into the landscape.  So it is with Keswick’s tortuous streets of beautiful buildings.  The Moot Hall was built in 1813 on the site of an earlier building and was, until fairly recent times, used as the town hall.  The Moot Hall houses the tourist information centre.  The town’s oldest building is the church of St Kentigern at Crosthwaite.

It is generally accepted that the Lakes in general, and Keswick in particular, were opened up to the outside world by the first poets and travellers to venture into the region – Gray, Coleridge, Keats, Southey, Scott, Tennyson, Ruskin and Stevenson.  To them, and those who followed in their footsteps, must go the credit (or blame) for bringing this remarkable town to the notice of others.

On the fells to the south-east of the town, is the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle believed to date from about 3000 BC, predating the great circles at Stonehenge and elsewhere.  It is commonly regarded as the most superb stone circle of the many to be found in the county.  Enthusiasts of stone circles consider Castlerigg, spectacularly set among the mountains of Lakeland, to be among the earliest stone circles in Europe.

As well as copper and lead, graphite was also mined in Borrowdale, where it was first discovered, and this brought about the establishment of a pencil factory.  Cumberland Pencil Museum, found at the Southey Works, Greta Bridge, illustrates the pencil story from the discovery of graphite to present-day methods of pencil manufacture.

Queen of the lakes, and held by some to be the most beautiful, Derwentwater is three miles long and just over one mile wide.  The lake has three large islands, all abundantly wooded.  The largest is Derwent Isle opposite the landing stage.  The other two are Lords Island opposite Friars Crag and St Herberts Island in the middle of the lake.  There is a smaller island, Ramps Holme, nearer the eastern shore, and the Floating Island near Lodore which appears at infrequent intervals.  Friars Crag, a rocky promontory about a mile from Keswick, is generally supposed to be so called because it was the landing place of the friars of Grange.  On the crag is the Ruskin Monument, erected in 1900.

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* Coach Pick Up Points: *

Burscough War Memorial 8.10 am

Ormskirk Bus Station 8.30 am (due to the current closure of the bus station – please wait by the temporary bus stops by Chapel Gallery, and please be in good time in case the coach can’t wait).

Skelmersdale War Memorial 8.40 am

 Skelmersdale Baths Car Park 8.50 am (due to the car park being closed – the coach will pick up at the bus stop on Northway near Asda – on the opposite side of the road to Bannatyne’s).

Upholland Labour Club 9.00 am

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NEXT RAMBLE: 

Saturday 13th August 2022, Llandudno/Conwy, North Wales

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