Keswick Circular

 ‘A’ John Chesterfield  ‘B’  Anne Chesterfield

54 members travelled to the Lake District with a weather forecast of heavy rain.  The coffee stop was at the Houghton Hall Garden Centre.  As we reached Penrith, the weather suddenly turned wet and the tops of the fells were shrouded in mist.  The ‘A’ party, 17 in number set out during a downpour. After lunch 23 set out on the ‘B’ walk; luckily as the rain stopped. Although overcast it was very warm and clammy.  The walk was through Keswick town centre to the leisurepool and onto the Cumbria Way footpath. We followed stony tracks to Briar Rigg village and further on we crossed fields carpeted with buttercups to Ormathwaite and then Applethwaite.  We stopped in a field for our fruit stop but were disturbed by 2 pot bellied pigs, one of which had a ring through its nose.  Although one or two ventured close to scratch the pigs’ backs, the group retreated to the next field for the stop.  Here we saw 3 buzzards soaring above our heads and watched a yellow sea king helicopter flying on to the fells on a training mission. At Millbeck we followed a quiet country lane picking bright red wild strawberries in the hedgerows. We crossed the A66 and followed a track to the River Derwent which was in full spate after the heavy rains on ‘Thunder Thursday’. The riverside path was closed at one section but we followed the field boundary where in places the grass was knee high. We rejoined the footpath and climbed a stile to emerge right on the hard shoulder of the A66. We carefully crossed this busy road and descended into a field then crossed over the River Derwent via a suspension bridge. A well defined field track led back to Keswick.  A day of on and off showery rain with very humid conditions. An evening stop was spent in Hexham. Today’s outing was charged at half fare.

Flowers: agrimony, dog rose, elderflower, forget-me-not, herb robert, nipplewort, red campion, sow thistle, tufted vetch, yellow vetchling. Other: 3 buzzards, raspberries, swallows, wild strawberries.

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