Ghurkhas, Showertime and a Secret Campsite

Glenridding Travel Blog

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Deserving a better deal!

I was up early and eager to head into Patterdale, but then changed my mind and headed to Glenridding instead, there seemed to be an unusually large number of people heading in the opposite direction.  Either it was not very good where I was heading or something else is going on.  They all seemed very keen to let me know how much easier it is to go down, and there were certainly a lot of pained expressions even just a few hundred metres outside the village!

I had intentionally chosen Glenridding I was able to grab a quick shower at the campsite for the princely sum of twenty pence, and then enjoy a decent coffee in Greystoke.  This was the perk of my delay yesterday, I now had time to waste in the village!  It turned out that the reason there were so many walkers out was they were there in support of Ghurkha rights, and there was a display by the 4th Indian Division near the tourist information centre.  I had a bit of a fright here though, when I attempted to take a photograph of the scene, my camera appeared all misted up and it was not the viewfinder.  I tried removing the lens indoors and letting it ‘breathe’ and wiping the various lens surfaces, but to no avail, much to my relief it just seemed to clear up on its own after awhile.

I made my way to Patterdale and then picked my way through a number of paths, joining the Coast to Coast path heading up the side of the valley to Angle Tarn.  There were a couple of men swimming here and I was tempted to take a dip myself, but I did have quite a long way to go, so gave it a miss.  Listening to their gasps and comments, maybe this was not such a bad thing.  I enjoyed some good weather and was only troubled by some intermittent drizzly showers, hardly worth getting the waterproofs out for.

I continued to follow the Coast to Coast over The Knott and a little further before I parted company with it eventually reaching my high point for the day which is appropriately called High Street by late afternoon.

Dad's Army?
  It was pretty quiet from this point on, I only saw three other people all day and enjoyed a pleasant walk in solitude along a fine ridge in good weather, it does not get much better than this!  I was feeling very strong and fit and moving very well, I could have walked all the way into Windermere and probably have arrived before 8pm, but there are not any campsites in Windermere and besides I wanted a wild site for my last night in Lakeland.

The only problem with this was that there did not seem to be many options once I had passed Blea Water, but I was mildly optimistic that something would turn up, possibly around Garburn Pass.  Thornwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke, all new peaks to me had soon been and gone and before I knew it I was looking around for a suitable place to camp.  Nothing really stood out as being up to Mallory Towers standard so I followed Garburn Road, which is actually a track down towards Windermere.

The only problem with this is that I was rapidly losing altitude and although wild camping is not officially legal in England and Wales, it is generally permitted above two thousand feet if you are discreet.  I tend to  keep my eyes open and notice quite a bit whilst I am out on a walkabout such as this and eventually noticed a break in the wall, and a narrow track which seemed to lead up to a flat area fifteen metres or so above the main track.  I decided to investigate this and it turned out to be a perfect little spot, if not officially permitted it was out of view from most places so I decided that here would do.

The evening was quite still and very pleasant although this meant that there was the mild irritation of mossies, are they unaware that they are not supposed to like my blood group?  I had noticed just by the main track that there was a bit of a stream running off some rocks, I knew it had to start somewhere so I had a bit of a look around a soon began to hear the trickle of running water, after a little more searching I discovered the source.  There was a bit of a slate quarry behind my site and the water was running down the back wall.  This required a scramble over some loose rocks and scree, a short climb up the lower part of the face and some precarious balancing to manoeuvre my ‘dromedary’ under the flow.  At the sametime I was being steadily showered from the water falling above me and splattering off the rocks, all the fun of the fair really.  I did not need as much water as normal as I only had a short walk into Windermere tomorrow so I climbed down as soon as it was three quarters full.

Apart from the mossies I had a relaxed dinner and sat around for awhile, took a few pictures.

The water source at my secret campsite
  It was obvious that the site was used by others occasionally, though I am unsure if they camped here, but there was evidence of at least two separate open fires.  It was probably groups of kids coming up here and partying.  When I eventually went to bed I was disturbed by a couple of men walking on a path above me, I do not think they saw me, but this along with the sound of motorbikes probably in the valley, but sounding much closer left me a little concerned.  I did not want anybody coming up to this place and discovering me at my ‘secret’ campsite, not because I was worried about my safety, but in case they insisted I leave, after all I was not officially allowed to be there.

This kept me awake for a little while but I did eventually drift off and although I initially woke at around 6am I went back to sleep.  I had originally intended to leave early in case somebody arrived, but I then reasoned so what?  What could they do, insist I leave, that was my intention anyway!

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Deserving a better deal!
Deserving a better deal!
Dads Army?
Dad's Army?
The water source at my secret camp…
The water source at my secret cam…
photo by: tridantri