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Grange-in-Borrowdale, Bowder Stone, King's How, Jopplety How, Watendlath, High Lodore, Cumbria.
[10.7 km]  Wed 20 Mar 2019

Lat/Long: 54.547122, -03.155446
OS Grid ref: NY 25355 17488
Today is the vernal or spring equinox. The forecast was for cloud all day but at least rain wasn't included. I drove to Grange-in-Borrowdale and parked my car outside the chapel. Most of today's planned route is to follow a walk I did in February 2013. I set off south along the road following the faint path.

Grange-in-Borrowdale double bridge
He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast
For the dear God who loveth us
He made and loveth all.

W. Hodgson memorial 1878
The first point of interest is the memorial by the roadside to W Hodson dated 1878. I continued along the road and left at the track signposted up to the Bowder Stone. It was very impressive approaching the huge boulder through the slight mist. I was looking forward to climbing the steps to its summit but was very disappointed to see that the wooden steps had been removed. I commented in 2013 that one of the wooden rungs was missing. The entire staircase has now been removed, presumably through lack of maintenance. An adjacent notice said it was planned to replace it by Easter this year. I commented in my reports of my last visit that they should pay back some of the obscene parking charges into maintenance of such structures.

The Bowder Stone without steps today

The Bowder Stone 6 Feb 2013

Looking across the valley to Millican Dalton's cave

Wall on the climb
The track continued back down to the road which I re-joined for a short way before turning left between two stone gate posts. I commented the last time I was here the gate was broken and now it was just a few pieces of rotting wood in the grass. The path headed up the hill quite steeply across wet ground until meeting a much better path. It was easy to follow up the winding fell side and the higher reaches climbed up through the woods to the approach of Kings How. Id climbed into the mist and low cloud so I had no views other than a brief glimpse down the south end of Borrowdale when the cloud cleared momentarily.
A brief gap in the cloud
The summit of Kings How has no cairn and is featureless. I continued slightly north to have another look at the King Edward VII memorial and then descended steeply down to head east across towards Brund Fell. The stile at the bottom of the first descent was still surrounded by water so I crossed the fence a little to the left.
King's How and nothing to see
The path continues easily south then steeply up the fellside through a tangle of boulders in the mist to Jopplety How. I saw my first person of the day here, it was a man with a dog. I descended to head roughly east trying to avoid the occasional patch of boggy ground. Eventually I descended below the cloud and could see the small Hamlet of Whatendlath below. The minor path I was on reached the main path which soon followed to river to the delightful narrow pack horse Bridge into Watendlath.
King Edward VII memorial

Packhorse bridge at Watendlath
I joined the road here and wandered north. All the surrounding mountains were still covered in cloud so there was nothing to see. I reached a point where the path descended steeply off the road and headed down to cross Watendlath Beck at a wooden footbridge. The easy path continued into Moss Mire Coppice that then became fairly narrow through a sunken route, then descended down towards High Lodore along a zig zag towards the road. There were several people walking up as I descended. My original plan was to follow my 2013 route across the valley and cross over the south end of Derwentwater to reach the road on the other side
Leaving Watendlath along the road

Waymarker by the footbridge

Waymarker by the footbridge

View from the double bridge at Grange-in-Borrowdale
However recent rains had raised the level of Derwentwater and the path was still partly flooded. I checked through binoculars to see several walkers following while carrying their boots as they waded though. I decided it wasn't worth the wade so I turned left at Borrowdale hotel and followed the road back to Grange-in-Borrowdale. The occasional patch of sunshine broke through as I crossed the double Bridge. Before leaving I went inside the church for a short look at the displays on the history of the area.