The Lake District Autumn 2016
Taking the train from London Euston I had a quiet carriage front facing seat, which was a good start. The train was heading to Glasgow & was packed. As the train took off I reminded myself that I must go to Glasgow for a weekend. I have been meaning to go to the yearly Celtic Festival hosted there every January; the live broadcast of various gigs on Radio 3 every year, is as close as I’ve got to it.
Arriving in Penrith the cold hit me immediately.
In the grand scheme of things it goes like this, Northumberland borders on Cumberland, and the distance between Newcastle and Carlisle isn’t far. I forget how alien the North & Scotland is to some people from the South, but to me being from Newcastle, Scotland was my neighbour. It’s funny when visiting one place it can make you think of another. Just saying!
With all these thoughts whirling through my mind my bus arrives at Penrith, it is Halloween and pitch black. I arrive at Keswick & meet up with the walk leader, who shows me to the B& B.
Keswick is essentially a market town, and filled with shops selling, walking clothes, lots of pubs and B &B ‘s. It wasn’t until the next morning that I saw the hills surrounding the town. A fine sight.
The first walk we did on day 1 was taking a bus from Seatoller and walking to Castle Crag
Castle Crag is a hill in the North Western Fells of the English Lake District. It is the smallest hill included in Alfred Wainwright’s influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, the only Wainwright below 1,000 feet (300 m).
The second day was a bit strange, some people wanted to do serious climbing, others (me included) wanted to walk. Consequently we spent far too much time being stuck in a field of Cows with their young calves.!Some solace was found eventually near a peaceful stream where we could sit and watch the water flow, listening to the birds sing. It was lovely to be away from Police Sirens, and car fumes. Clean fresh air and peace and quiet.
Circuit of Derwentwater from Keswick
The following day the rain started and we did a 10 mile walk up the hills surrounding the lake, looking down and all around. The rain in this context wasn’t a problem. It really was very beautiful.We had caught the end of the Autumn light and milder weather, before returning to London to resume with the daily grind.
As much as I love natural landscape. NYC is calling my name. It’s been 30 years since I visited and stayed in Harlem for a month. Back then I was working part-time as a library assistant in London and was based a lot of the time at Waterloo Library, where I read a lot of books. I had gone to Harlem having been inspired by reading James Baldwin. As well I had met a girl in Brixton who recommended a hostel for travellers in St Nicholas Avenue Harlem. It cost $3 a night- at that price I stayed a month.
Funnily enough in Keswick I met an Australian woman who joined us on the second night; a well seasoned traveller; Pam recommended a new place to me in New York in the meat-packing district. I looked into it when I got back home. Something has stirred there and I have decided it’s been a long time and am going to visit next year. It’s a great city to walk about.
It’s been an interesting year and it seems to have gone fast but at times not moved at all. I haven’t climbed Mount Everest, or swam the Seven Seas, but in my own way I have managed to make some positive changes.
At some point after Xmas day I will at least get out for a coastal walk & visit somewhere different. In the meantime the festive season starts here and much to do.!
I would like to wish you all a Happy Xmas- my next blog will be New years Eve, or thereabouts.
Check my Up & Coming Walks I usually post a couple of the South Bank Walks & a Meet up Walk, on a regular basis. You can always email me if you would like to come out on a walk.
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Until next time