Day 4 UKc2c

31 Jul 2013 – Lake District-Cumbria/2

Tuesday 30Jul 2013 – Day 4 Grasmere – Patterdale 9m/14.5k 0830-1400hrs

Treat to have the extra time for this shorter mileage day. Got up at 0600hrs as usual to hear the rain, dozed for another hour or so and the rains stopped by the time the feet hit the trail.

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Leaving Grasmere with the view of Helm Crag in the background and slowly ascending a rocky path with the new path under construction parallel to this path across the stream.

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Long climb uphill but was worth all the effort with weather and views like today. Whoever built the stone way further up is an angel. Unlike the rugged ones just on, these are quite a luxury. Turning back to say goodbye to the delightful village of Grasmere.

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Took me 2hrs (others will do in 1hr!) to get up to GrisedaleTarn and it was nice to see a lone camper by the tarn. Must have been peaceful in spite of the rains during the night.

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Heading downwards towards Grisedale Valley to be pleasantly surprised by this Ruthwaite Lodge.

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These stone fences and houses never fail to impress me. And more so now as some of the fences go all the up to where it would take me 2hrs to get to the end of the fence! How on earth did they manage to carry those stone all the way up to these mountains.

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Into Patterdale village passing by St Patrick’s Church where there will be an organ recital tonight. Will try to stay up to attend.

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The centre of the village. Staying in a real working farm app a quarter-mile from the main drag, hopefully not too much baa from the sheep tonight. Pass by this sign post to the farm. Am told that the Red squirrels are a native here!

Night: Tue 30Jul at Noran Bank Farm Patterdale, for B&B +a packed lunch GBP35 S$68

Do not know if there will be time, energy or fast internet access to blog with so many words again! Have been told that tomorrow will be the roughest day of the whole hike… !!!

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze – William Wordsworth

Days 1-2-3 UKc2c

Here-There-Everywhere - This-That-Everything

30 Jul 2013 – Lake District-Cumbria

Saturday 29Jul 2013 – Day 1 St Bees – Ennerdale Bridge 14mi/22.6km 0730-1630hrs including breaks

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St Bee’s Head – cliffs with seagulls and the companion of the Irish Sea for app 2hrs on this glorious day.
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Other hikers on the cliffs, St Bees Lighthouse and the coastline of Scotland in view.
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An old lonely bench on the UKc2c 🙂 Birkham’s Quarry and heading east away from the coast to the Lake District.
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Passing the Church at the village Cleator and took a few extra steps deterring to  the Ennerdale Country house Hotel for a cup of coffee and to use the restroom.  Well worth the detour! Heading back to the path, met some locals who had more than enough beers and sun and who insisted that they should be photographed…
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Gradual climb to Dent Hill, a cairn at the top with good view back toward…

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St Bees

27 Jul 2013 – Stonehouse Farm

References – various online sites
Unforgettable Walks to take before you die: Steve Watkins and Clare Jones
Coast to Coast Path: Henry Stedman with updates by Chris Scott
A Northern Coast to Coast Walk: Terry Marsh
Passing thru’3 National Parks (Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors), thru’ hills, moors and valleys in en entire country, this 301km/191mi starts from St Bees by the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay by  the North sea. UKc2c is a testament to the dedication of UK’s most famous walker Alfred Wainwright who in 1973 made this walk possible.
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St Bees: between the 6th-9th century, Bega, an Irish princess fled here to avoid an arranged marriage with a Norwegian prince. And so the legend goes, she landed here and lived as a hermit and became famous for her good deeds.. She approached the local land owner Lord Egremont for land to build a convent.
Egremont was not generous and promised Bega all the land covered by snow the next day, considering as it was to be mid summer’s day. Miraculously snow did fell that day and Bega was able to get the land and built the convent.
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St Bees Priory, app from 1150, a blissful and serene place to visit. Was there when I arrived and again the next morning to get inside to make peace with whatever there is to make peace with before a serious hike 🙂
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St Bees School founded in 1593 by Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York and Canterbury during the reign of Queen Elizabeth !, and such a charming school in an ideal surrounding. Glad to have taken the extra day here to catch up with family and to see this delightful village, highly recommended.
And so the story goes, what a lovely story and a beautiful village to start a hike from…
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Nights: Thu 25-Fri 26Jul in St Bees/Stonehouse Farm: 2 nights+2breakfasts+1packed lunch GBP76 S$148
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays – Søren Kirkegaard

Milton Keynes – Manchester

26 Jul 2013 – To St Bees

Thu: Train from Milton Keynes – Manchester 1.5hrs – St Bess (change in Carlisle, with 10mins delay and made the St Bess just in time!) 3hrs, GBP36 S$68.

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Thank you KV & Christine for putting me up and for all their kind hospitality.  Drive from Godmanchester – MiltonK Station 1hr. MiltonK is a new station and the only station I have seen where one has their bicycle undercover. According to the police, it looks tidy and we were thinking more on the security side 🙂

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Manchester P Station is a brand new station and like many modern designs, they lack something!  Had some time to spare and took a short walk around the area which has more character. The fire station and the church across the road are more impressive for these ageing eyes 🙂 🙂

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St Bess is a total contrast from the other 2 mentioned stations, charming and welcoming village.  A walk to the starting point for the hike was quite delightful after a whole day on trains and stations.

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Fri: how lovely to meet up with cousin YEO Yat Soon (9th auntie’s only child and son) & family who are starting their summer holiday in this area. The last time we meet was in 2000 and now he and Helen are proud parents of 2 lovely girls. Spent the afternoon catching up and getting to know Merle and Mei-mei who was having an ear infection. Poor baby and she was in such good spirits. Appreciate them for taking time to meet and tkx to Yat-Soon for bringing a box of old B/W pix from his mother’s times from SIN for us to look thru’.

If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city – Charles Caleb Colton

Days 1-2-3 UKc2c

30 Jul 2013 – Lake District-Cumbria

Saturday 29Jul 2013 – Day 1 St Bees – Ennerdale Bridge 14mi/22.6km 0730-1630hrs including breaks

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St Bee’s Head – cliffs with seagulls and the companion of the Irish Sea for app 2hrs on this glorious day.
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Other hikers on the cliffs, St Bees Lighthouse and the coastline of Scotland in view.
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An old lonely bench on the UKc2c 🙂 Birkham’s Quarry and heading east away from the coast to the Lake District.
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Passing the Church at the village Cleator and took a few extra steps deterring to  the Ennerdale Country house Hotel for a cup of coffee and to use the restroom.  Well worth the detour! Heading back to the path, met some locals who had more than enough beers and sun and who insisted that they should be photographed…
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Gradual climb to Dent Hill, a cairn at the top with good view back toward coastline. Steep decent to a valley walk and down to road into Ennerdale Bridge.

 

Night: Sat 27 Jul at the Cloggers/Ennerdale Bridge, Cumbria GBP35 S$68. Thank you David for the load of an excellent map and for your advise.

Sunday 28 Jul 2013 – Day 2 Enneradale Bridge – Honister Pass 11mi/17.7km 0700-1500hrs 

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Soggy and wet as predicted by the weather forecast, no regrets listening to David’s advise by taking the route on the other side of Ennerdale Water.
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Heading to Black Sail Hut (most remote youth hostel in England), took a longer break there than usual to get out of the wet boots. Wetter and dangerous accent ahead to Loft Beck, concentrating every step so as not to fall. It is times like these with wet feet and focusing on every step makes me wonder if the sanity is in tact 🙂
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The sun came thru’ towards the end where Honister Slate Mine and the youth hostel are in sight. Rains are again the forecast tomorrow, so best to take pix of the descent to Honister Pass, the YHA to rest the worn-out body and  where the journey will continue tomorrow. Was touched by David from The Cloggers/Ennerdale Bridge to make sure that I arrived safely.

Night: Sun 28Jul at Honister Hause YHA/Seatoller, Keswick, Cumbria GBP18 S$35

Monday 29 Jul 2013 – Day 3 Honister Pass – Grasmere 12mi/19.3km 0700 – 0430

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Wet and soggy at Stonethwaite, more like a stream than footpath!
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The group who crossed my paths since St Bees, ie the past 3 days but today they will head on further to Patterdale.  Will miss their company. Rough climb to Greenup Edge-rocky, slick and wet. No pix, just concentrating on every step.  Unfortunately on the cloudy side when the top was reached.
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Heading towards Grasmere and to Broadrayne Farm, an independent hostel with internet and washing machines. Grasmere, town known for its association with English poet Wordsworth who was inspired by the Lake District but will not have the time of energy to visit the his grave.

Night: Mon 29Jul at Broadrayne Farm/Grasmere Keswick, Cumbri GBP21 S$40

Covent Garden

23 Jul 2013 – Apple Market

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Tue: Happy 2nd Birthday James my 5th grandchild/USA (Linn & Jeff’s #5). For a moment I thought the pix is of his sister! Just goes to show that either time has gone by too quickly or that the eye sight is going downhill with the rest…

Mon: welcome to the royal baby who arrived on one of the hottest days 22 Jul 4-24pm followed by a night of thunders and storms; much-needed rains after over a week of hot dry spells. Will the baby be named James?? Also the day where the bombing and shootings happened 2yrs ago in Norway.

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A lovely 15mins walk from Paul’s to the station, crossing railway lines, blissful residential areas and meadows. Got to the station in time for the 0723 train to realise that my return ticket was for off-peak hours. 1min walk to Ashtead Cafe for a 2 eggs and bacon breakfast started another perfect day.

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Thanks to Paul’s clear instruction from Waterloo to Covent Garden Market (started 7th century). In the 13th century, the monks’ ‘convent garden’ became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London and, for the next 700 years, Covent Garden became inexorably linked with fresh fruit and veg.

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Was just stopping by in between trains to check out stuff for the MacBook Air! Silly me, was looking for the Apple Store at Covent Gardens to discover that the Apple Market was not it. But found the Apple Store across from the market at The Piazza…

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Around 1200 the first mention of an abbey garden appears in a document mentioning a walled garden owned by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Peter Westminster. A later document, dated between 1250 and 1283, refers to ‘the garden of the Abbot and Convent of Westminster’  By the 13th century this had become a 40-acre (16 ha) quadrangle of mixed orchard, meadow, pasture and arable land, lying between modern-day St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane, and Floral Street and Maiden Lane.

The use of the name ‘Covent’—an Anglo-French term for a religious community, equivalent to ‘monastery’ or ‘convent’—appears in a document in 1515, when the Abbey, which had been letting out parcels of land along the north side of the Strand for inns and market gardens, granted a lease of the walled garden, referring to it as ‘a garden called Covent Garden’. This is how it was recorded from then on. Info from Wikipedia.

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Train from Covent Garden to King’s Cross. Decided to take a walk to be pleasantly surprised to an impressive St Pancras, originally a medieval parish, now a four in one, church, hospital, hotel and station. London is full of wonderful history and hopefully will be able to check it out more in cooler days some other time…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Pancras,_London

I’m not smart, but I like to observe. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why – William Hazlitt

Huntingdon-Ashtead

22 Jul 2013 via King’s Cross and Waterloo

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Fri: train from Huntingdon to King’s Cross 1hr changing Underground on the Victoria/blue and at Oxford Circle to Bakerloo/brown line to Waterloo. Been awhile ago on the Underground, fortunately no problems with these well-marked signs. Thanks to KV for such good directions.

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Lovely walk to South Bank with perfect blue sky for the pix. Had to make sure to catch the River Thames and Parliament House to not mistake the Eye for the Flyer!!

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Last time in the London area was 2004, 9yrs ago!

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Another train from Waterloo, under renovation but the exterior gradual never fails to impress me. Crowds are not too bad but in this hot India summer, a walk around the area including South Bank was a wonderful idea since there was time. 30mins train ride to Ashtead from Waterloo.

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Sat: lunched and walked around Polesden Lacey, an impressive Edwardian era house with views of the Surrey Hills. An elderly man was playing Chopin on the grand piano and Paul commented that the player must have been as old as the instrument, but still charming to have life music.

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The gardens are lovely and so is the caretaker’s cottage. Found a tree in the cherry orchard and the cherries were sweet and juicy and, yes we are allowed to pick them. Tkx to Paul for the introduction of another tiny wild orchid, Pyramidal. The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth) spent part of their honeymoon here in 1923.

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Mrs Greville, owner of Polesden Lacey was the setting for pleasure, leisure, gossips, luxury and discreet dalliance among the upper class remarked:

‘I never follow people into their bedroom’ but of course she did not mention who might be following her into her bedroom or the many other inviting places in the large gardens 🙂 The Grevilles had no children and after she died, the house was donated to the National Trust. To view the house and garden, GBP12 S$23 appreciations to Paul who guided me thru’ this beautiful location and he also is a member of the National Trust.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey/

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Good to see Paul and to meet his mother, an impressive 86yrs lady who cycles to care for her veg garden plot in the allotment. Thank you to Mrs Krause for her inspiration and for the beets.

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Sun: gardening and weeding at Paul’s allotment; good for the nerves in addition to having fresh organic onions, lettuce, cherries, raspberries, loganberries for Sun steak dinner today. Decent crab salad lunch at The Olive Tree Cafe*** located in Ashtead Park Garden Centre on Pleasure Pit Rd! Indeed it has been a total pleasure and appreciations to Paul and his family for their hospitality. Life cannot be better than it is 🙂 🙂 🙂

Return round-trip train and underground tickets: Huntington-King’s Cross-Waterloo-Ashtead and back to Huntington GBP31 S$60!

..what thrills me about trains is not their size or their equipment but the fact that they are moving, that they embody a connection between unseen places – Marianne Wiggins