Tuesday, 17 June 2008

A weekend away

Since coming back from the Challenge I have not been feeling myself. And that reminds me of an Enid Blyton quote: "The next morning the Famous Five woke up feeling themselves again."

No - I have been feeling particularly rough - loss of appetite, nausea, and my hair physically hurt! Mouth ulcers (I have never in my entire life had a mouth ulcer!) I never go to the Doctors, but this time I ended up there twice in a week, to be told it was a virus. So, that means that there is no physical excuse for being grouchy, appallingly tired all the time, and wasting away!

We had booked a weekend away some time ago and since the hair had subsided to just achey, we went ahead with the weekend.

We were booked into the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - a fine establishment with comfortable old fashioned accommodation, but admittedly very poor food! But you don't go there for the food. The location is all: The ODGH is at the head of Great Langdale. There is no television, and no mobile phone signals. The National Trust owned hotel is surrounded by old fashioned hay meadows, alive with daisies and buttercups. You wake to the sound of birdsong in the lush trees and rhododendrons that surround you.

Phil and Tini were sympathetic to my reduced abilities so we planned a fine stroll that started at Wrynose Pass and threaded past Red Tarn with a few 'isolated showers' (ie just over us) and down into Oxendale through to Langdale for a light lunch at the ODGH. Huge electric blue clouds came and went over Crinkle Crags and Bowfell as we supped Black Sheep with fine pub lunches.

Looking down into Great Langdale

Then it was back up the hill to Blea Tarn and a delightful stroll through the lush bracken to beneath Hollin Crag and a steady plod up the hill back to the abandoned car.

Lynnie takes a breather beneath Hollin Crag

Then it was down into Windermere for the entertainment laid on by Lord Elpus and Miss Whiplash - knife throwing children, acrobats and French Drumming Human Mobiles, suspended from a huge mobile crane. Yes, Honestly! All followed by a firework party.

Next day, I am feeling slightly more chipper and so it's into Grasmere for a coffee then a full frontal assault on Helm Crag. Okay - listen fellas - this was a biggy for me - I have been as weak as a kitten for weeks and Helm Crag is nothing if not direct. A picnic was taken at the top, with hordes of families up there taking in the sharp views over to Helvellyn and Harrison Stickle. Then it was a wonderful wander along the ridge over Gibson Knott and then down the suicidally steep fellside to return via the soft hay fields to Grasmere and the ODGH.

A lovely weekend, that slowly straightened me out with a bit of hard work, great weather and great company.


  1. A splendid weekend indeed Alan. Lord E was amazed to discover that it doesn't always rain in the Lakes having nearly drowned on his last visit!

  2. Well done Alan.
    It must be so, so hard, living in East Anglia!

  3. Hello Martin, Sweet Thing!

    When I walk to my village pub, it's downhill all the way. I reckon its a good two meters below my house in about a quarter of a mile.

    The climb back up to my house a few hours later is really quite daunting, and must be prepared for in a proper manner, by taking on suitable liquids with the right amount of sugars and pain relief for the epic struggle back up the hill.

    It's all very well for you 'northern types', what with all your industrial spoil heaps and boggy moorland to clamber over, when taking the whippets out for their morning ablutions. Yes, you get all the training you need for your rufty-tufty backpacking.

    Just have a little more respect for us softy southerners who find it a struggle to climb the stairs!



Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!