Sunday, 16 October 2016

Borrowdale (M6, not Keswick)

Thursday 13th October 

Favourite outdoor locations are the better for having been discovered by oneself, and better still, if by accident, rather than being told about them by another.

I can't remember my discovery of this Borrowdale, but I had driven past its source many times before I went to investigate, knowing nothing of it at the time. Since then I have walked up and down the valley several times and along the ridges high up above on both sides. There is an almost hidden entrance from the A685 south of Tebay which if you look carefully you can see from the M6. A Land Rover type track winds up to Low Borrowdale and High Borrowdale farms which I think are both unoccupied. From High Borrowdale the track becomes a footpath for a kilometre or so before another track leads out to the A6 Shap Road which was the way north before the advent of the M6.

The valley is well wooded and the twists and turns provide changing views - it is all delight. Wainwright said it is, "The most beautiful valley outside the Lake District." Well, Alfred you may have been pleased to hear if you were still here that with the recent extension of the Lake District National Park it it is now within the boundary, as far as I can tell from the very poor mapping available on the Internet depicting these changes.

Pete and I walked nearly as far as Low Borrowdale on Thursday in drizzly weather. We met a guy on a nostalgia visit, he having spent his childhood and early employment in the area working on the farms. He had noticed that the farm covering a large part of the south-eastern end had recently been sold at auction. Friends of the Lake District have been active in this valley and now with its inclusion in the national park it is to be hoped there will be no despoiling of this gem. Some years ago a planning application was turned down for a holiday accommodation complex at the north western end.

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Although the weather was drizzly it is worth clicking to see these photos enlarged which give a taste of the autumn colours and varied scenery within less than two miles of walking up this valley.






The distant peak is, I think, High House Bank just on the other side of the A6, and below a zoom to same



Haven't bothered to show our route. We set off from eastern end and walked to just short of Low Borrowdale


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