Weekend

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Date night


 

What a lovely weekend it was. We finally had our first date night in well over a year. It was a last minute decision to go out for food and drinks and after trying several places we ended up getting the last table at Bangkok 7 in Kendal. We had salt and pepper squid and moo ping (pork skewers) for starters, and both shared beef penang and goong yang (spicy prawn salad), with egg fried rice and sticky rice - my favourite! It was delicious but next time I think I'd go for a different starter or instead saved myself for a mango and sticky rice pudding, something I've been craving in so long.

Speaking of Thai food, we actually booked our flights to Thailand for next Easter. I'm really hoping that we can go and see our family. It's been so long for me and time is precious. I already have so many ideas on what I'd like to do and see this time. I definitely want to visit new places and island hop in the South, learn to free dive and really just make the most of my time there because who knows when we will be back again.

Hope you enjoy these shots from the weekend, love L.

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All the lovely wild flowers and long grasses are out, which is crap for my hayfever but these birdeye speedwell were just beautiful. So delicate!

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I treated myself to some peonies from Asda. They were only £4 but they've come out lovely and smell amazing.

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Fluffy peonies cheering up my Monday morning.

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Food at Bangkok 7 followed by a couple of drinks at the new micro bar in Sedbergh, The Thirsty Rambler.

A lovely Sunday

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Dolly Wagon, High Crag, Nethermost Pike & Helvellyn


 

Well, this weekend was a good one for hiking and enjoying the sunshine. It surprisingly felt much longer than a 2 day weekend because we managed to squeeze so much in. Although, I'm so looking forward to my bed right now and a good nights sleep!

Today, Amy, Franchie and myself thought it would be a good idea to get some training in before Sunday 20th - the day we attempt 32 miles! Kelly, our fourth member was supposed to join us but had hurt her foot doing handstands... hopefully she's right as rain in two weeks time! As well as trying to get fit, the second purpose for today's walk was to try and get our bearings so we aren't taking any wrong paths on the day. We hope to do it at a much better pace than today, without a lunch stop too, as we'll be trying to eat on the go.

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Sand Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales

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A local hike and swim to Wild Boar Fell & Sand Tarn


 

My plan for this Saturday was actually to wake up early and head over to the Lakes but after a couple of spontaneous vino's in my Mum and Dad's garden, I struggled getting up and out of bed and I couldn't be bothered dealing with the traffic leading in to the Lakes. So we decided to pack a bag with some food and a picnic blanket and headed half an hour down the road to a little hamlet called Outhgill. We parked our car at the side of the road by a farm called Little Ing Farm. Across the road there is a bridleway that leads up on to Wild Boar Fell. It was a really lovely gradual walk up to the top and the views are beautiful. Once you reach the ridge line the views over to the Howgills and across to the Lake District are stunning on a clear day. We could clearly see Great End and Blencathra, or so we think! 

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Looking back towards the valley and Great Shunner Fell.

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Erik with Wild Boar Fell in the background & me on the cairn at the top of Wild Boar Fell.

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Sand Tarn - yes there really is sand!

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Obviously had to go for a dip. It was quite warm! Actually warmer than being stood in shorts and a t-shirt in the wind. It isn't very deep though but it is soft underfoot.

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The Howgills and the Lakeland mountains in the background.

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After our walk we headed to Ravenstondale to the Kings Head pub, where we met a couple of friends and sat out on the picnic benches enjoying a glass of fizz in the sunshine. I'm actually rather tired from the walk and the heat so it's an early night for me before a hike up to Helvellyn tomorrow morning with the girls in preparation for our 32 mile challenge in 2 weeks time. Speak soon, L.

Our First Wild Camping Trip of the Year

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Sprinkling Tarn from Wasdale Head | The Lake District


The 1st of June and what better way to end the month of May than with a wild camp, hike and a swim! We were so lucky to have such good weather for the bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I feel as though it's been long awaited after what feels like months of cold, rainy weather. I was prepared for it, I knew I wanted to get outdoors camping the week before and after searching through Instagram and Google for a good wild camp spot, I decided on Sprinkling Tarn. Even the name sounds magical, and that it really was.

 


 

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The route

There are two quick ways you can approach Sprinkling Tarn, one being from Seathwaite or the other from Wasdale. Both are similar walking distances but it is a little more of a trek for us to get to Wasdale. But because Wasdale is my favourite place in the Lakes, we thought we'd head that way and use Wasdale as our base to park our car and then spend the following day there too. There's plenty of parking space at Wasdale Head if you get there early enough or a little later in the afternoon when most people are back down from the fells. Do be mindful of locals and emergency services vehicles trying to get through, you will get a ticket if you park on grass verges at the Wasdale Head. From the shop, after picking up an ice cream and a couple more snacks, we headed towards Saint Olaf's Church - England's smallest parish church. If you have a moment to stop by and take a peek, you should. It's really quaint! From there you can see the path that leads right through the valley between Great Gable and Great End. It's a really nice steady route up, with amazing views ahead and behind. The first tarn you reach will be Styehead Tarn but if you're wanting to camp I'd carry on for a further 5/10 minutes on to Sprinkling Tarn as it gets the sun a little longer and the views are much prettier.

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What we packed

We wanted to pack as light as we could, which meant only the bare necessities. Tent, roll mats, sleeping bags, torch, 3 x Summit to Eats, a JetBoil (ad), water, extra clothing, milk & teabags.

We always really enjoy the Summit to Eat freeze dried food. Usually we take the vegetable chilli with rice but this time we tried the spicy arrabiata and I took some grated cheese too. They were delicious and filling and all you have to do is add boiling water! We use a Jetboil (ad) which is easy to use, compact and brings water to the boil in 100 seconds per litre! Both are ideal for multiple day hikes and needing to pack light. We did have a water filter but Josh lost it last time he went walking, it was a little pump that filtered the water clean so you could literally drink water out of a bog if you had to. Not that I'd ever want to and hopefully ever need to but they're a great piece of equipment if you are heading out into the hills on a hot day. This is the one we had here (ad) and will be repurchasing again.

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Next day route

The following morning we woke up early, made a brew, packed our bags, rolled up our tent and headed towards Great End. This is a nice leisurely walk from Sprinkling Tarn with amazing views of Derwent Water. Nearing the top, the terrain really changes from grass and nice paths to stones and some really big pieces of rock. You really have to be careful not to get your leg jammed because it's leg breaking stuff if you do! We got to the top of Scafell Pike at around 9:30am. By this time there were a lot of people around, although the route we took was much quieter.

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On our way down alongside Lingmell Gill, Josh spotted a few little waterfalls and the perfect little pool for us to cool off in. It was like a little infinity pool, with the best view of Wastwater. Although it was right next to the path, it was hidden by a huge rock so everyone was just walking past whilst we enjoyed a swim in our undies. We soon dried off and were one of the first to arrive at the Wasdale Head Inn for a beer and a cider in the scorching sunshine. I was glad to be back down before lunch time and heading home before, although another night or two in the hills would have been lovely. One day we'd love to do a multi day hike/camp, perhaps get dropped off somewhere and make our way back home over the mountains and the fells.

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Well, I'm sad the weekend is over but I'm grateful for the sunshine and coming back to our own home, even if it does need a good hoover and clean. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, fingers crossed this is the start of our summer! Speak soon, L.

A morning run in the Howgill Fells

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Exploring the countryside on my doorstep


Hi! Hello! How have you been? I feel like I've just been so busy lately but when I think about what I've actually been doing the past few weeks, there isn't much to tell you. Today I booked the day off work to make it an extra long bank holiday weekend. I wanted to get a run/hike in, in preparation for the 32 miler me and a couple of friends have stupidly signs ourselves up to in a couple weeks time. I tried to run (jog) what I could, but it was too hard up hill for me. Starting from Sedbergh, I followed Settlebeck Gill up to the fell wall and then crossed over to Crook, where I followed a sheeps path right round the front of Crook and into the valley where the path runs parallel to Ashbeck Gill. You eventually reach a small dam where you can then start climbing up to Sickers. There's not much of a foot path but there is a clear route up. Once you reach the top of Sickers, it's really flat and the views are amazing. From there I made my way towards Brant Fell and once I caught my breath I started to run over to Arant Haw. It was a really lovely morning, I didn't bump in to anyone else until I'd made it all the way back down Arant Haw. I love how quiet the Howgills are and how easy the terrain is to run/walk on. I can't believe it's took me until now to even venture further afield than the usual Winder walk and to truly appreciate the stunning landscape around us.

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This is the little dam at the top of Ashbeck Gill. I was expecting something much bigger than this!

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At the top of Sickers and looking over to Wild Boar Fell.

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Crook in the foreground and Winder in the background. I've never seen the two from this perspective!

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The top of Arant Haw.

Ahhh, I'm so glad it's a bank holiday weekend and the forecast is looking good for the next couple of days. We are planning on wild camping one night over the weekend, which I am SO looking forward to. If we do go, it will be our first camping trip of the year. I'm hoping the spot we've decided on won't be too over crowded but it is quite secluded, so I can't see it being busy.. who knows with everyone making the most of the British countryside when we can't really go abroad though! Speak soon, L.

Let’s catch up

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Photo dump from the past two weeks


 

Good evening lovelies, how have you all been lately? I can't believe I last posted two weeks ago. I had a couple of posts planned but never managed to photograph the content I wanted for them, so those will have to wait for now. Instead, here's a handful of photos I've taken over the past couple of weeks.

Our home is really starting to come together now. We had flooring laid last week, the main bathroom tiled and my Mum made the gorgeous green floor length curtains for the living room. I adore them! This weekend I attempted making my first cushion since leaving college. I'm so pleased with how it turned out, now to find tie to make the other 3!

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The cherry blossom has made an appearance and it just looks so gorgeous. Every time I walk past or drive past it brings a smile to my face.

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The downstairs plied and ready for the herringbone flooring to go down and Erik being the biggest baby.

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Managed to enjoy a drink or two in my parents garden. They have started work on their house and are getting a patio and glass doors fitted which will make such a difference. I can't wait to see it finished.

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This mornings little jog by the river and through the woods. It was so nice to see the sunshine again after having the worst weather lately.

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I picked my camera up again this weekend to start vlogging and also to start using my camera to photograph again. I really miss using it! I'd love it if you could subscribe to my channel here. Speak soon, L.

What’s in my beer garden bag

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What's in my

beer garden bag


Because the beer garden has become a bit of a thing now that we are allowed out to socialise in groups of 6 outdoors, many of us are now flocking to our nearest pubs, cafes and restaurants to catch up with friends and family we haven't seen in so long. Whether it be for a lunch date, quick pint, evening meal or hot chocolate, it's hard knowing what to wear to feel comfortable but also put together, or is that just me?

At the beginning I really struggled with what to wear and what to take along with me. Thankfully our local is a 1 minute walk, which is great if we are cold because we can run and make it back in less than 30 seconds, no joke. But for those of you who aren't as lucky to live next to your local, then here's what you need to take along with you.. you just need one of those Mary Poppin's bags to fit everything in...

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SHOP THE POST

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Afternoon drinks and food at Botanica

Layers

The best way to experience a British beer garden is to layer up! Start with something like a body suit that tucks in, that you wouldn't mind showing off in the afternoon when the sun is on your face and your feeling the heat. Then add a thin long sleeve, not too warm but keeps that gentle breeze off your arms. Then I'd go for a fleece or a hoody, something that's going to make you feel snug. And lastly, a proper jacket just incase it gets to those Arctic temperatures. It ain't warming up anytime soon, so take my advice or freeze if you wish!

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Long socks

One of the worst things for me is when that cool breeze picks up and your little tootsies start to get cold.. especially those ankles! I have terribly dry skin on my legs as it is, so the cold really does not help. A long pair of socks with your trainers or just in your bag to put on later will really help keep you warm and if you've got a pair of joggers or long jeans on, tuck them in as well. We don't have to worry about being fashionable by this point, let's just be cosy!

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A blanket

Some beer gardens may not have heaters or blankets to offer and personally I'd rather use my own blanket anyway. You can pick up decent throws from various high street shops, such as TK Maxx, M&S and Asda to name a few. I sometimes resort to one of Erik's several blankets but I do think it's time to purchase my own.. because who wants to wrap themselves in dog hair?

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Please excuse the lack of curtains, skirting and flooring here. Work begins again tomorrow and we should have flooring and hopefully curtains by the end of the week. Oh and that door needs a paint too!

Bits & bobs

Sunglasses, lip balm, tissues and hand cream. These are things you may just have in your every day handbag but me being me, I don't own a handbag I use every day so I tend to forget this sort of thing when popping out the house and then wish I had it! It's also that time of year when hayfever will soon be rife, so pack those tissues, nasal sprays, antihistamines and eye drops if you're a sufferer. Nothing worse than a runny nose and itchy eyes when you're trying to enjoy a cold one.

Sunrise hike & early morning swim

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Aira Force & Gowbarrow Fell | The Lake District


 

Another weekend and another great forecast! The weather always seems to be at it's very best first thing in a morning so I couldn't resist getting out and about early doors. I met with the three girls I'm completing the 32 mile challenge with in June at 6am this morning and after 2 large glasses of Rosé the night before, it was a bit of struggle! But then I saw the sunrising from our Velux windows at 5:30am I just knew it was going to be a brilliant day, so I splashed my face with cold water, brushed my teeth and out the door I went. I do wonder what Erik thinks when I wake him up so early poor lad! Although I know he thoroughly enjoys meeting his friends, Buddy, Henry and Penny!

I'd first been to Aira Force in November, as a last minute birthday outing and whilst Googling at the time, I found that Gowbarrow Fell was behind the waterfalls. I typed in 'Gowbarrow Fell' into Instagram places and the views that other walkers had posted were incredible, so I had to go and see it for myself! You can find the route we did here.

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The Route

The route takes you up alongside Aira Force, through some woodland. It's a really beautiful shaded walk and if you get there early enough like we did, it's great for the dogs to have a good run about when there isn't anyone else around. Once you've followed the stream as far up as you can, you reach an open field and then you follow the foot path up on to Gowbarrow Fell. It is a nice gentle walk, although a little steep and rocky in places but it looks like a stone footpath is in the making, to make it easier for us hikers.

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How I edit my photos

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Helm Crag | The Lake District


 

I said I wanted to witness more sunrises this year, so when Sarah messaged me asking if I fancied a sunrise walk, how could I say no? The forecast was looking good and I was eager to get back out in the hills again. If only I didn't have to wait for weekends! We were unsure where to go and had a few locations in mind but because Helm Crag is only a short walk to the summit from Grasmere it would mean we would have the rest of the day left to do whatever we wanted, so it was perfect!

We met at the car park at 5:45am and made our way up, following the signs to Easedale Tarn and then on to Helm Crag. It only took us around an hour to make it to the top and for an hour walking the views were just incredible. You can see over to Helvellyn, the Langdales and beyond! We spent a good hour up there, taking lots of photographs and then sitting down with a hot chocolate and hot Vimto watching the sunrise. It was just so peaceful and quiet, which always makes morning hikes all the more special because not many people tend to be out.

 

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Photos in this post are taken by myself and Sarah.

 

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The apps I use for editing

When I'm editing, I try to keep my photos as 'real' looking as possible but just more aesthetically pleasing. I use VSCO to edit all my photos, which I've used for years. It's now a pay monthly/yearly app but when it first came out you could actually buy collections of presets. It's a very easy app to navigate and you can even upload your photos on to your own profile, similar to Instagram.

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My favourite walking gear

Arcteryx backpack here (ad)

Rab fleece leggings here (ad)

Similar fleece here (ad)

Similar boots here (ad)

 

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Which preset?

Sometimes I check the 'for this photo', where VSCO give you a couple of suggested filters for the photo you are editing, but usually I use C7, which is quite vibrant. However, it often makes some photos looks quite cold which I never really knew how to adjust before.. until I discovered white balance. Using this filter can help you adjust how yellow or blue the image is, as well as how green or pink the image is. In this photo I upped the yellow and the pink, to make it more dreamy.

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Tools I use

Once I've chosen the filter and got the colours right, I make sure that the image is straight by using the adjust tool. One of my pet peeves with landscape photography is when a horizon, such as the sea, a lake, a field etc. are at an angle. This is a little hard to explain but if you'd like me to go in to more detail on this one just let me know.

Then I go in with the sharpness tool. I often up this a little if the image is a little grainy. You will find this when photographing in low level lighting. Sometimes over sharpening the image can look a bit over edited too, so I tend to stick around the 2.5-3 mark

The exposure of an image is something I always play around with too. I will often bring the exposure down a little as I prefer a darker image to a lighter image.

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Borrowed Josh's RAB down jacket here (ad)

Posting to Instagram

Whenever I'm posting to Instagram I often play with the shadow and the highlight tool. Both of which you can't do in the VSCO app. This just adds a little more depth to the images which I like. I don't do this for my blog though as I don't think it really needs it.

Creature of habit

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Waking up and getting outside to watch the sunrise behind the fells is just one of those things that makes me feel alive. Even more so when the weather is as good as it has been over the past couple of days.

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I managed to convince Josh to join me for an early morning run. We set our alarms for 6:15am and left the house at 6:45am.

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We made our way up Joss Lane, through the field and up to the fell wall where the sun was just peaking over the fells over towards Garsdale and beyond. It was beautiful and so peaceful.

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I really wanted a picture on the trig point and then all of a sudden Erik jumps up with me and actually manages to stay on too!

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This is the same route Kelly and I did on Monday which took us a couple minutes less than an hour. Josh and I took an hour to get up and down, although we didn't push ourselves as hard.

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The views over towards the Lake District were just stunning. It's making me want to be back up in those mountains again - roll on the weekend!

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I have two favourite times of the day. The first being out with Erik, either out walking or running really early when there are no cars or people around, when everything is silent and all you can hear is the birds tweeting. The second would be when I get into bed on an evening, with my hot water bottle wearing a fresh pair of pyjamas. All night after tea I wait for that moment, that moment I'm currently in right now and I just love it. I love routine and knowing where my day will take me. Now that I have a reason to really push myself with my fitness, I plan to take this route up and down Winder as many times as possible throughout the next 10 weeks so I'm really hoping that the weather will be kind and I can have more days like today, rather than the wet, cold, foggy days. Anyway, I am extremely tired, so I'm going to read a quick few pages of my book and go to sleep. Lots of love, L.

A Long Easter Weekend

It's so strange actually spending Easter here in England and being at home. For as long as I can remember, our Easter holidays were spent in Thailand celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year, so Easter was never something we celebrated and we certainly didn't get any Easter eggs! It was really lovely to be able to have some time off work seeing friends and family though, especially with the lockdown and restrictions being in place for so long. I've never had so many plans over one weekend as I had done this weekend but it felt good, even though I'm now super tired but I'm hopeful for a fairly normal Summer now. Anyway, here's what we got up to on Easter Monday...

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By the sea


Silverdale | Jenny Browns Point

We spent early Monday morning by the sea, walking along the beach front, listening to the waves and getting my nice white trainers all mucky from the sand. It was a cold morning, with snow falling in the early hours of the morning but still, we wrapped up and it was lovely to be outside and somewhere new! Silverdale is about a 40 minute drive from ours and because we set off fairly early, we managed to park our cars as near to the foot path as possible. The views across Morecambe Bay were beautiful! If the wind had dropped it would have been a perfect day for a picnic on the beach as there are lots of rocks to sit on.

I had packed a little picnic for both Josh and I but because my Mum and Dad made a last minute decision to come with us, we shared it with them, so when someone mentioned Arnside Chippy that's where we went for a bite to eat! It was really good and I'm glad we didn't over order like usual.

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Training for a 32 mile challenge


The Howgill Fells

On June 20th 2021, the longest day of the year.. about 2 and a bit months from now, myself, Kelly, Amy and Francesca will be attempting to complete a 32 mile challenge which involves walking or running (most likely walking) the Ullswater Way and then climbing Helvellyn. I must admit, I am the least fit out of the group so I know I'm going to be that one who's a total pain in the arse, asking for plenty of breaks to stop and catch a breath so I'm going to try and get out walking and running as much as physically/mentally possible from now until then. Kelly and I did Winder Fell last night which took us 37 minutes to reach the trig point from my front door and 58 minutes in total to get up and down! I didn't think it was too bad but I would like to get that time down by quite a bit, so if anyone fancies a walk/jog/run up and down the fell over the coming weeks, let me know! Although, I'm not much of a chatter when I'm trying to run and breath.. ha!

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Good Friday | The Old Man of Coniston

Back in the Lake District


Coniston

With the forecast for Easter bank holiday weekend looking like a corker, I knew that I had to get back out in the Lake District mountains for a hike and a potential swim. So with my Dad, brother Alex and his girlfriend El all off work, we decided to head over to Coniston and attempt The Old Man of Coniston. I've actually done the Old Man years ago, which was one of my first blog posts I ever shared. You can find that here if you want to read a very brief post, with very poor imagery! It was a slightly different route to the one we did yesterday but this route was definitely more scenic and the perfect amount of time to be up and down by lunch time. I'd thoroughly recommend it for anyone wanting to get in to hiking, it's an easy route with only a little scrambling over some big rocks but on a nice day the views are stunning. Once you've reached Low Water, it's an ideal spot for a picnic and perhaps a swim if you're feeling brave enough. I'd recommend taking a swimming costume and a towel, even if you aren't sure you'll go in.. at least you have the option to! I'd also suggest taking a rather substantial lunch if you plan on swimming too. I was ravenous when I got out and ate my sandwich, crisps, a flask of soup, a biscuit and a yoghurt and really could have stomached something else!

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With a 6am alarm set, I was out the door by 6:30am with my banana, cherry and oat smoothie, topped with Granola, ready for a morning in the hills with my Dad, brother Alex and his girlfriend El. We parked at Walna Scar car park, which I totally forgot existed until El reminded us. It looks like you are heading off road when you get to the single road track to the car park but keep going, it is there and it will save your legs walking up that hill! There is a ticket machine to pay for parking but it wasn't working when we got there, so we all managed to bag free parking for the day.

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From the car park we headed towards Brown Pike, which was the first trig point we reached. It was a good hike up although strenuous but we haven't done any walking in so long that it felt tough to begin with. From here you can spot your first tarn, Blind Tarn. 

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From Brown Pike the next trig point you'll reach is Buck Pike and a view of Goats Water which is much bigger than Blind Tarn.

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I'm pretty certain, that the mountains in the background are Scafell, Scafell Pike and Great End but I should really research that so don't take my word for it!

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The next climb is to Dow Crag. This is a fairly gradual climb from Buck Pike and there is a bit where you need to scramble over some large rocks, which is fun when it's warm and sunny but perhaps not so fun in the wet and cold... so be prepared!

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... and then, after walking for a little while longer you'll reach The Old Man with an amazing view of Low Water and the zig zag path leading all the way down.

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Bit annoyed at my choice in leggings because they really don't go well with my orange Arcteryx bag but all my black leggings were in the wash. I really need to invest in a couple more pairs for this Spring/Summer!

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Braved it and quickly slipped in to my swimming costume to go for a swim. It was cold... in fact it was bloody freezing so it took me a while to get fully in but I am so glad I did. Erik on the other hand just watched from the shore.

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After a spot of lunch we headed back down but even though it was sunny and not a cloud in the sky, I had put my thermal top on and my Patagonia down jacket on. It took me ages to warm back up after stopping and having been in the water but half way back down I was stripping off again.

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Almost at the car park, it was a great view looking back towards the hills. It was super busy on our way down, so I'm glad we got up and down when we did. 

I really hope you've enjoyed this post. I would like to share more in depth posts on where we go and the routes we take etc. and I hope to get out hiking and camping much more this Summer. If there's anywhere you'd like to see in particular in or around the Lakes or the Yorkshire Dales that you haven't managed to get to or can't get to at the moment, please let me know and I'll do my best to plan a hike or camping trip. Speak soon and enjoy this glorious bank holiday weekend! Lots of love, L.