Our first club trip of winter was an autumn visit to the English Lake District. The weather forecast midweek was poor but the great thing about the lakes is that they are very different from Scotland. Hundreds of scenic paths crisscross the region, dozens in every valley....many are sheltered with tree cover... wet weather alternatives exist in the form of pretty towns and villages to explore... free to visit underground caves, quarries and tunnels are a possibility... and despite the region's comparative overall size many more small rugged peaks exist here below the mist level within easy driving distance. This is Walla Crag, 376 metres, just above Keswick, and it soon became my small hill of choice when rain and gales awaited us on our arrival. Everything above this height was frequently obscured in mist and rain but I had a cunning plan.
With a strong nostalgic element to the walk therefore Alex kindly dropped me off at the Pencil Factory/museum in Keswick, seen above, before meeting up with other club members to climb Binsey, 447 metres, just north of Bassenthwaite Lake. This would take me away from trees, shelter and Keswick itself so I declined their offer to join them. Suggestion only works if you desire to do what's suggested in the first place.
West Coast Scotland still has a beautiful if bleak landscape in fine weather, but in heavy rain, drizzle or storm it can be one of the most miserable and unforgiving regions on earth, with little natural shelter, free to visit infrastructure or free entertainment available on offer.
Yes readers, I like the Lake District, especially in bad weather. So let's keep it pretty for the poor windswept Scots on vacation to shelter in :o)
As planned I didn't get rained on at all though the higher surrounding peaks were frequently lashed by heavy showers and invisible most of the day.
Talking of enjoyable nostalgia here's one of the best programmes of the last year, available on you tube. Each hour long episode covers a decade of change in Britain seen through the eyes of a likable family. Learned a lot with every episode, fun to watch, and just excellent in every way. Might as well start with the 1950s. Even if you just watch this for 10 minutes it explains what it's all about. A joy of remembering or an education for younger viewers who didn't live through it. P.S. The mum is not the best cook to wear an apron :o) Also available... the 1960s,1970s, 1980s, 1990s.