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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Haweswater Re-Visited 13-7-2013

As the summer had actually arrived and Jill had a long weekend booked off we decided to get the big tent out and move home for a few days. After searching for a camp site that allows fires, was a bit up North and had very few rules and regulations we decided on Holme Open Farm near to Sedbergh, on the border of the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria. A working farm with basic facilities and not crowded, perfect.
Campfires as the sun goes down
 We had decided to revisit Haweswater after our earlier visit this year was hampered by the late winter's snowfall and we had to abandon the walk part way around the reservoir but left us with the feeling that we had to get back there to see it in all its summer glory. A bit of a drive from our camp site but that was no hassle on the car free roads. A forty minute drive saw us parked up on the lane just outside the quaint village of Burnbanks and the walk soon took us into the woods overlooking the dam
The path is easy to follow as it skirts round the bottom of Bampton Common and above the reservoir and you soon come out of the trees and get a good first look at the water and back towards the dam.
The weather was warm with quite a few clouds that kept off the burning sun. Quite a relief really as it would of been a lot hotter in blue skies, not that we're complaining after last years wash out summer and long cold winter, this was just what the doctor had ordered and long may it continue.
It was really pleasant and very quiet as we hadn't seen another person since leaving the car. We were making good progress and the views really started to open up and it wasn't long before we could see almost all of Haweswater laid out in front of us
There just seemed to be colour everywhere as opposed to winter when everywhere looked so white! Lots of green and also lots of purple fox gloves adding a splash of colour
We soon found ourselves looking directly across to the Hawsewater Hotel where we had stayed for a couple of nights in March and this is where we had our first rest of the day. It was now very warm so a rest and drink were very welcome as we were about half way down the reservoir
We stopped again at Whelter Beck Falls, just below Whelter Crags, to soak our hats in the water as it was now begining to really heat up as we were out of any breeze. Nice and refreshing :-)
 The track from here took us to Gate Crag with good views back down Hawsewater and also ahead to Mardale Head with the bulky Artle Crag and Harter Fell looking over
As we moved on, the ridge of crags that take you up and onto High Street came in to full view. This is one ridge walk that I fancy doing in this area and hopefully later on in the year. It really is a great looking place and relatively quiet compared to other Lake District fells
Another rest at Riggindale Beck and this time a good refreshing dip to cool off. No better feeling and up to this point we must of only seen about a dozen other people and all going in the opposite direction. A really great day to be out in such a really beautiful area.
It was in this valley, Riggindale, that we saw a herd of deer back in March. No such luck today though, in fact the only animals we came across were a few of the local sheep. It was so warm, it seemed the place had shut down for the day!
From here it was over the Rigg and down into Mardale head where the water levels reveal how low the Reservoir really is. As this reservoir delivers water to the Manchester area, I can see water rations coming into force before long if this hot and dry spell continues for much longer. 
After crossing the dry bed, it was on to the lane that takes us on to the hotel for a well earned refreshing pint, with great views of the valleys and fellside track that we have just been on :-) 
 From here it was another forty minute walk back to the car, passing the dam wall and then another relaxing time infront of the campfire as the warm sunny day gave way to the cooling air of the Yorkshire Dales
 It came in at about 10 miles and we were out for about 6 hours. Another great day in a great area.
Our earlier adventure round these parts can be found HERE


  1. Looks lovely mate. Another place on my list to visit.

    1. thanks as always JC. Lots of nice crags to get your hands on round there mate :-)

  2. Ditto JC. I'm gonna have to look this one up too. Cheers Andy

    1. thanks Lesley. It's a really nice place to do low level or something a bit higher up. Nice and quiet as well :-)

  3. That was a lovely read Andy. It's great to see a report of someone doing part of the Coast to Coast the wrong way :), I'll tell you what though, that north western path is tough going in the heat, there's surprisingly much up and down along that stony path which catches out many Coast to Coasters.
    Riggindale looked inviting on one of those shots mate.

  4. Cheers Rich. Yes, there is a bit of up and down and we were quite surprised. Glad we cut the snowy walk short now as that would of been tough going! :-)