Return to Whittle Wanderer

Grange-in-Borrowdale, Cummacatta Cave, Shepherds Crag, Lodore Falls, Ashness Bridge, Cumbria.
[12.5 km]  Wed 10 Apr 2019

Lat/Long: 54.547175, -03.155461
OS Grid ref: NY 25354 1749411
The weather forecast was good as I prepared to drive north to Cumbria. I had to de-ice the car windowsceen and it was just over freezing as I left. Passing Tebay on the M6 is usually colder than home but it was +3degC and back to 0degC when I reached Penrith. I drove through Keswick and south by Derwentwater to park outside the church at Grange-in-Borrowdale. It was just sub-zero and frost was on the ground. I set off back over the double bridge and right on to the B5289 Borrowdale Road.

Cummacatta Cave

Cummacatta Cave
I walked along just as far as the slate memorial. Through a gate on the left I headed a short way up the hillside to the slate quarry and entrance to Cummacatta Cave. I had a look inside and took some photos before continuing up the path. The last time I visited the cave was over 10 years ago on Fri 6th March 2009. As I climbed I reached the sunshine and wandered through the trees and over the rise to descend to the east of Grange Crags. The path soon improved to a track and I reached some cottages one with two large log piles by a wall.
Reaching the sunshine
I was soon back on the main road and turned right to walk to The Borrowdale Hotel. Behind the hotel up on the hillside was where Millican Dalton (1867–1947) used to camp and I had a copy of a photo with me showing him by his tent and Derwentwater in the background. I was hoping I could identify the spot. There was no access from the hotel but further along is the official path going up past High Lodore Farm. I sneaked off the path and headed south through a gate and followed a rough stony track diagonally up the hillside. I was looking for an alignment from the photo showing some buildings and Swinside (resection) in the distance.
Logpile

Site of Millican Dalton's camp

Millican Dalton (1867–1947) by his camp
As I got higher I recognised the buildings as the Borrowdale Hotel and I found what I considered to be Millican’s camp location. I couldn’t get a good photo of the distance because of bushes in the way. I returned to High Lodore Farm and up the stony footpath. I was looking for another Millican photo location of him with a wedding party by Shepherds Crag.
Jet training

View from the climb of Shepherds Crag
I took the minor branch path to the foot of some rock climbs where a young lad was being given climbing instructions for a male instructor above. I found another minor path heading up through boulders and a series of shelves. I was off the main path but this was a much more scenic route. There was no sign of the Millican photo location but I enjoyed the climb which took me to the summit of Shepherds Crag which was bathed in sunshine.
Lunchstop on Shepherds Crag
I had the whole place to myself and the views were excellent. I decided to stop for an early sandwich lunch. I descended east to Watendlath Beck and managed to hop across the boulder to the far side and a small and indistinct path. Just below was a dam which I assume collects water for the properties below. The path wound its way down through the trees and returned to the beck at the Lodore Falls below.
Descent through the woods
This is the location of the Lodore Falls Hotel and a large new complex is being built adjacent to the main buildings. There was a barrier up blocking the path but a muddy diversion was available. I followed it back to the road where there was a path running parallel to the road.
Lodore Falls

Derwentwater
I continued north by the road to a right branch up through the grounds of the Derwentwater Independent Hostel. It was an interesting white building and the path continued up to the right. It climbed up a series of stone stepped staircases following Barrow Beck and through the trees up to the Ashness Road.
Derwentwater Independent Hostel
I turned right and followed it to the famous and much photographed Ashness Bridge. Obviously I stopped to take a photo. A little way up the road was Bark House Mountain Base Hut. I hadn’t visited it before as it was only converted about 5 years ago.
Ashness Bridge
There were two attendant and I went inside for a look. A wood fire was burning in the grate and it looked very inviting. I took some photos, said thanks and continued up the road.
Mountain Base Hut

Mountain Base Hut interior

Ashness Cottage re-build

Ashness Cottage in 2009
The car parks by the roadside were all pay and display with a scale of charges from £1 for 30mins up to £7.50 for the day. I came to the site of Ashness Cottage which used to be a bungalow but is now being completely re-built. The new walls weren’t up yet but men were working on site. I stopped at Surprise View, which is just a viewpoint by the road, and after taking a couple of pictures continued to a track which had been re-stoned.
Surprise View charges

Surprise View

Grange-in-Borrowdale bridge

Painting by the river
It was signposted to Watendlath so I followed it to Mossmire Coppice Wood where I descended the path I’d been on a couple of weeks before. It took me back down to High Lodore Farm and the road which I followed directly back to Grange-in-Borrowdale.