Cumbria Way – Day 6

Keswick to Caldbeck

After breakfast it was outside and boots on ready to locate the trail that went behind the Pencil Museum

and across the footbridge over the busy A66. Up towards Latrigg passing Ormathwaite Wood the views were fantastic looking back over Keswick and Derwent Water in the distance.

As we were walking up the steep incline we met a lone walker from Chorley, Lancashire, who was doing the Cumbria Way. He was supposed to have been walking with others but they had let him down. He didn’t stop long as he was trying to make up some lost time.

The weather was overcast, but warm, as we walked on and around Latrigg and Mallen Dodd up to the car park where we saw fell runners heading on up towards Jenkin Hill, which was very steep. The path also provided more stunning views towards Thirlmere and St John’s in the Vale

before crossing Whit Beck

which was a lovely rest point and time for more picture taking. Then it was on and around Lonscale Fell – here the path is narrow so you need a head for heights and, as the next picture shows,

it’s not for the faint hearted. We walked

onto Skiddaw House,

a lonely YHA which opened at 5pm each day. As we had arrived too early for a cup of tea we walked on into the valley following the River Caldrew,

which was long and winding. On the path across the valley we met two Canadian ladies from Toronto

walking from Carlisle to Ulverston. The weather was cool but clear; the only other thing we had to watch out for was mountain bikers, lots of them. When we arrived below Coomb Height (a towering 627 metres) it was lunch time. As we hadn’t been able to buy any food because it was early Sunday morning when we had set off, we emptied our rucksacks of nutty bars, apples, Kendal Mint Cake, biscuits from the hotel, bananas, a chocolate bar and water. A most sumptuous feast was enjoyed by all! From here on it was up towards Lingy Hut,

a mountain rescue refuge,

at the top of Coomb Height. We followed Grainsgill Beck but not too closely as it was very boggy so we found an alternative path nearby. After a brief rest and an intake of oxygen it was off towards

High Pike passing Great Lingy the highest point of the walk at 658 metres . A most worthy high five achievement.

It was quite blowy on the top but the views were brilliant and we could see Scotland in the distance. We turned around only to see more fantastic views of the Lake District.

We stood a while before heading down towards low level countryside and the track to Caldbaeck.

The way looks obvious but you would be advised to check your bearings as that path actually leads you to Wood Hall Farm and Hesket Newmarket, a good 2-3 miles diversion away from Nether Row. We did a fair bit of road walking on narrow lanes and roads to Caldbeck,

arriving around six o’clock at the Briars Guest House. It was a quick shower before finding somewhere to eat in the village. The landlady recommended the Odd Fellows pub but as they stopped serving at nine o’clock it was a rush to get there in time. The place was almost deserted so we had no problems finding a table and we treated ourselves to steak and chips as a reward for the long day around Skiddaw. Also in the pub was the chap from Chorley. He was staying about a mile outside of Caldbeck and the farmer had dropped him off at the pub in his tractor. We chatted for a while until he had to go as his transport (ie the tractor) had arrived. It was 10pm and only one other person was in the bar so we decided to leave as our beds were calling.

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