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Stonethwaite, Langstrath, Woof Cave, Tarn at Leaves, Glaramara, St Andrew's Church Borrowdale, Cumbria.
[15.9 km]  Tue 15 Jan 2019

Lat/Long: 54.515080, -03.143973
OS Grid ref: NY 26039 13911
The gloomy Drive North along the M6 seemed darker than usual. I left at the Penrith turn off to head west through Keswick then down along Derwent water to Stonethwaite. I parked a little further past the school where there is plenty of space by the road. I set off walking into the small Hamlet of Stonethwaite and its Telephone box. Passing the hotel I noticed that it was closed until the 15th of February.

Closed Langstrath.
Further on the footpath sign took me through a gate and onto a muddy track but I reversed my route back out through gate to follow the sign to Stonethwaite campsite which heads up a stony track. I followed the vehicle track to the campsite entrance but the metal gates were padlocked closed & there was no indication when the site may open. Tariff: adults 5 kids age 5 to 15 years 3. I continued along the rubble track heading up to Langstrath. It is several years since I've walked this way and when I came to an old barn which previously was unused it was good to see it is now called Tilly's Barn and appears to be refurbished to a Holiday Barn, although it was locked.
Tilly's Barn
At Heron Crag the valley splits and the left branch goes up Greenup Gill towards Lining Crag and on the Coast to Coast route. My route took me to the right up Langstrath and past the footbridge below Bleak How. I followed the stony track to a gate through the wall where the track ended and the path continued on along the wide green valley bottom. Further on at a stream coming down from the right there is a path to head upwards to a gate in a fence. There are two paths of the valley one either side of the river and Id just left the right path.
Langstrath

Shelter cave this morning

Shelter cave in Jan 2008
I climbed up the valley side following what looked like the route of an ancient path. I reached the wooden gate in the post and wire fence I found to my surprise that just 10 m to the left was a wooden style over the fence.
Over the fence the path continued to climb steeply and became more distinct with obvious boot prints. This is in line with my first objective which is to find the shelter cave below Cam Crag. It appears to be well known and frequently visited judging by the path. I soon reached the flat area on the top of the crags and followed a path in a depression to the tangle of large boulders where the cave is.

Visitors books
In memory of Malcolm Prentice 1943 to 20015 whose efforts Built this refuge for all to enjoy.
There was faint hint of an old wood fire which was a clue. I first visited it 10 years ago and found it quite easily from photos I'd seen on the internet. As the last time the metal entrance door is at ground level and was hidden behind a wall of small boulders. I carefully removed these and pulled the iron door out of the way. I'd brought my tripod and wide angle lens camera with me to photograph the interior. I crawled inside to find the original wooden floor was covered with old mats and someone had left a cheap sleeping bag behind. A few pans and cooking paraphernalia was lying around and it was very disappointing to see empty tin cans lying on the floor. Compared to the last time I was here the whole place was a mess. In the upper cave area there used to be a sleeping platform but that has now gone and some remnants of the old steel flue pipes were lying around. I took a few photos using an LED lamp and then crawled out back into the daylight. It took quite a bit of time to replace the door and stones to hide the entrance. Since my last visit a plaque had appeared and was fixed to an adjacent boulder.
The weather was still dull and overcast as I followed the hillside north firstly following the contour and then starting to climb steeply upwards. The last time I was here I follow the contour to a stone wall and followed that up towards Tarn at Leaves. However since then a new post and wire fence has been fitted heading steeply up the hillside so I decided to follow that to where the gradient eased. I climbed over the fence and headed northwest across open boggy ground to Tarn at Leaves.
Tarn at Leaves

North view from Glaramara. Skiddaw in the distance
When I got there I couldn't get across the outflow area so had to walk around the tarn and then head for the ridge in a southerly direction across Rosthwaite Fell. The path was intermittent but fairly easy to find but I'd forgotten how far it was to my next objective of Glaramara. After crossing a flat area I started to head up climbing to the west and then the dark shape of the east face of Glaramara appeared in front of me with the summit shrouded in cloud. It was fairly easy underfoot and eventually I reached the summit area in thick cloud so couldn't really see which was the highest point.
Glaramara cairn
I assumed it was a cairn of stones so took a photo and then began my descent heading north and steeply downwards. The path was well used and very easy to follow but I didn't drop below the cloud until I reached Thorneythwaite Fell when the views opened up across to Base Brown where I been last week. I had reasonable views up Borrowdale as I descended the path steeply down to Strands Bridge. At this point I reached the road and followed it to the campsite near the school at Stonethwaite.
Looking north to Derwentwater & Skiddaw
The campsite was closed and nobody was there so I walked straight across and through the farmyard to St Andrew's Church. I was glad to be able to get in as on previous occasions the door had been locked. I took a few pictures inside and also inspected the pulpit which has a brass plate stating that it was removed from the church in Mardale.
The plate reads:
In 1936 this pulpit was removed from the parish church of Mardale which was submerged when Hawes Water Dam was created.
I left the church and had a quick look in the graveyard but unfortunately I only found out later that in the graveyard is the grave of Bob Graham the famous marathon fell runner who lived from 1889 until 1966. A short way along the road I turn right and passed the school and then on to my car.

St Andrews Borrowdale

St Andrews Borrowdale

Mardale pulpit before removal (pre 1936)

Pulpit from Mardale
In 1936 this pulpit was removed from the parish church of Mardale which was submerged when Hawes Water Dam was created.
Stockley Bridge

Mardale pulpit in the left

St Martin's Church interior
 
It reads: