Monday, 6 June 2011

Ashness - Seatoller walk

On the final day of our Lake District Borrowdale walking trip, most of the group opted for a 5 & 1/2 mile linear walk which involved taking an open top bus from the Seatoller terminus to the shores of Derwent water.

On this occasion we had a different walk leader and she had difficulty trying to point us in the right direction away from the Lake shore bus stop as the view here was so good. There was enough time given though to take in the scenery and have a few last thoughts about yesterday's windy experience as I looked towards the hill of Catbells.

I had walked most of the route before and was keen to try new ground in the middle section between Watendlath and 2/3 the way down the hill to Rosthwaite (for the benefit of the walkers amongst you ...where the Grange Fell path leaves to the north).

(The previous time I had walked the first section to Watendlath was also with a different large group many years ago, however on that occasion the weather wasn't pleasant or suitable for photographs !! Interestingly enough, I had covered the last section from near Rosthwaite with the same group a few years before on a day when the walk leader misread the distance with his fingers !! On this occasion we started from Seatoller and covered all of the hills going north to the left and dropping down into the valley before Catbells for the return route. A fellow walker bought a map measuring pen the following day and we both concluded that it was a distance of ... 14 miles !! Consequently, another section of this walk that had previously been unpleasant as we were longing for Seatoller car park to come into view !!)

Today's weather was ideal and I was up for finishing this Lake District Bank holiday weekend with a pleasant gentle experience after yesterday's wind.

We set off from the bus stop and passed Derwentwater Youth Hostel before climbing up through a tree covered slope onto the Ashness to Watendlath road

Ashness Bridge.... Derwentwater & Skiddaw
We were treated to one of the most popular views in the English Lake District immortalised by postcard publishers and Artists stretching back to Victorian times. (On a side note, when I was younger, my Mother went to an art class and painted this scene. On some of the postcards she had, the lake was more prominent ... maybe someone needs to trim those trees a little before it is lost forever in this view !!)

Surprise view
A little further on past the bridge, there is a deviation from the road to the right through the trees to a clearing at the top of a high cliff or rock face where the expansiveness of Derwentwater is breathtaking.
(One of the Keswick Launches can be seen left of centre on the lake.)

We continued up the Watendlath road a little further until the contours levelled before branching off on the pleasant footpath route to the village. It was at this point that the walk leader thought it was a good idea for a short break and what a break it was .....

"Are you going to throw that stick or not ?"

One of the group came with a Camper van and brought her dog Jessie. Fantastic dog and entertainment.

All too soon, we spotted a roof and that was a sign that we were approaching ..... lunch ... at Watendlath.

It was time for a last look back at where we had just walked from ( path on the left hand side at the base of the hill) .....

Watendlath Tarn
.... and settle down for lunch on the left hand side of the river bank with views the other way of this ...

A few friends joined us for lunch

After lunch, it was time for a quick tour of the very few buildings of Watendlath (the most famous thing being a plaque that denotes the home of Judith Paris chosen by the writer Hugh Walpole in 1931)....

...and to get some refreshment in the only place where you can spend money for miles.... The Caffle house tea room.

It was time to descend the hill into Borrowdale once more. it may be of interest that the distant valley  and the curving rounded ridge in the left of the image was the ascent & descent route respectively on the Allen Crags & Glaramara post two days earlier.

The Borrowdale valley floor signalled the arrival of Rosthwaite or rather afternoon tea !! ...

Carrot cake on sheep plates !!

Regular blog readers will know that this flavour is not quite top of the list, but hey, it was a relaxing day and with these views anything is fine !!

Rosthwaite house

The last section of the walk was a well trekked path being part of the Cumbria way. There was an unusual section that I remembered from the previous occasion where the path disappeared across rocks, sloping down into the river. There was a long rope attached to the ground to aid the un sure walker .... fun.

As the walk and the weekend was coming to an end, it was appropriate that we should see the rear of our accommodation from the path. (There was of course still a fair distance to cover on the approved path in a large anti clockwise loop to the right and in front of the distant trees before walking up the drive.)

Seatoller, our destination and home for the weekend .... which I didn't get a chance to photograph until it was nearly time to leave !

Seatoller street !!

After the drive down to the Borrowdale valley from Keswick, the most famous thing about Seatoller is the road sign that separates the mountaineers from the tourists on route to Seathwaite !! However, your transport may prefer that route unless you can catch the minibus to go over the torturous Honister Pass !! ....

"Borrowdale Bus Station" ... the other Seatoller sight !!

I'll finish the weekend with a video that I've just found on Youtube ... Enjoy.


  1. I think that Rosthwaite is the home of the guy I once saw on PBS TV with his border collies and sheep, which is the reason I first became interested in the Lake District. These are beautiful photos, love the one of the bridge, also the gate with the curved path. No way would I go over Honister Pass in a car, let alone a bus!!

    Thanks for posting that great video. I could listen to that rushing water all day!!

  2. Such stunning views! Just awe inspiring. I have to admit that Jessie is a cutie.

  3. Vert beautiful place! Really want to walk around this lake!

    It's so hot in my side, just imagine I'm living in your side now!

  4. Beautiful images J....
    Absolutely stunning.


  5. Beautiful scenes of the countryside--it is a lovely area. The lake is so nice and I love that little arched stone bridge. What a pleasant day you must have had. Very nice post. Mickie :)

  6. J, if I ever make it to England I'm going to study your blog for a long time. I love the backwoods approach!

  7. Your pictures are a display of splendid views from the Lake District and its landscape.

    Jessie is a beauty and yur slice of carrot cake does look... yummy.

  8. Really beautiful landscapes, J_on_tour! Is Jessie a Border Collie?

  9. beautiful landscapes.I guess it was an unforgettable experience.

  10. Thanks for the comment, I popped strate over, gald I did ;) Hi Jessie pleased to meet you, were you the dog in one of J's other posts? Not sure if I could walk that far!! I think it would lay me up for the week!!
    Lovely video, the dog in it is just like my new furiend Boomer he's getting to be quite famous around here, be sure to check out this weeks Saturday Steps when I get to meet him ;)
    Well I have to thank you cus having followed your blog, It helped me to see which way my blog would grow. You will just have to get yourself a dog, think of how many dogs would love I good walk like you go on. Oh taking of dogs on that video at around 4.23 there what looks like at WT or a lakeland might even be a Airdale, see I have sharp eyes for a dog ;)
    Have a Good Week
    Be sure to pop back before Friday of next week, I will be having a give away ;)
    See Yea George xxx

  11. Your photos make me want to be there right now. Fantastic images. Thanks.

  12. Oh my, what a beauty of landscape! The view from the Ashness Bridge is a dream come true for every painter. I should visit this places soon. But now, I go to France to see the Lavender fields and some other things. I wish you a wonderful summertime in your green paradise. Hugs from Luzia.

  13. Gorgeous scenery and photos. Love the collie too.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

  14. These are wonderful images. I especially like the collie posing for your photograph. I have to admit I was attracted by your eye, which is what brought me to your site. Smart.

  15. Beautiful landscapes and a very interesting description of this tour. I love the image with the view over this fantastic river!!

  16. Your pictures as always are gorgeous, but the portrait of Jessie is super excellent!!


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