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Phil Trafford Lake District January 2016.

Where was the trip?

Windermere Youth Hostel, Troutbeck

What was the date of the trip and how long did you go for?

3 nights starting Tuesday 26th January 2016

What was the weather like? ( eg hot, too hot, cold, windy, wet, snow)

Very went and windy. Unseasonably mild. No snow on fell tops, which is unprecedented for mid-January.

Was the trip organised or self-led? Please give details, if you wish, of the organisers and whether you would recommend them to others.

Self organised.

Describe the  landscape, eg hilly, mountainous, volcanic, flat? and also describe the vegetation, eg forests, agricultural, orchards ?

English Lake District.

What were the paths like, eg muddy, hard, overgrown, well signposted?

Waterlogged in places. Some foot bridges damaged in recent storms.

What was the leadership and fellow walkers like?

Terrible ( that's a joke).

All walk leaders were brilliant, never, even for a moment ,getting lost. Company was superb.

Overall, please grade the whole walking trip in terms of enjoyment and interest from 1 ( did not enjoy at all) to 10 ( brilliant)


Name of reviewer

Phil has kindly supplied the following account of the trip.

Visit to the Lake District. January 26th to 29th 2016

Scarborough group members Bob Clutson, Ray Johnson, and Phil Trafford, together with Jim Horlock, who is not a group member but is known to many of you for his help at our working parties, enjoyed a three night trip to stay at Windermere Youth Hostel. The hostel is at Troutbeck with panoramic views over Lake Windermere, so we are told. We did get a fleeting glimpse of the view when it stopped raining briefly!


As you will know, the recent storms have wreaked havoc in the area, destroying and damaging road bridges. There are many road closures caused by land slip and subsidence. If the infrastructure is not repaired in time for the summer season, financial disaster looms for many businesses dependent on tourism..

Youth hostelling is an ideal way to enjoy a walking break both for genuine youths and the young at heart like our party. Itís great value for money; lovely breakfast and dinners available and, most importantly, a dedicated drying room.

It was Philís turn to lead a walk on arrival, but the rain was very heavy, so we were in no hurry to get started. We stopped to have a look at Pooley Bridge, now bridgeless, where the residents in the bungalows on one side of the river now face a forty minute journey to get to the village on the other side of the river. Then on to Glenridding, which had featured on the national news several times, to find that the river was nearly bursting its banks again.


Enthusiasm for walking was not evident, so Ray suggested a visit to the Steamboat Museum at Bowness, which he had read about. However, when we got there, we found it still under construction and scheduled to open in 2017. By now it had stopped raining, although it was still blowing dogs off chains, so we parked down by the lake, with the intention of walking to the Hawkshead ferry, crossing the lake, and having a walk on the western side, before returning. On reaching the ferry, we found it closed due to high winds, so plan C was quickly formulated and we enjoyed a walk to the south-east of Bowness, returning on the final couple of miles of the Dales Way.

Bob led our Wednesday walk from the hamlet of Hartsop up to the summit of High Street and returning via the summit of Thornythwaite Crag. Crossing rivers was hazardous in the extreme. Footbridges had been damaged and the gentle becks had become raging torrents.

This was our fourteenth January trip to the lakes and it was the first time we had not found snow on the fells. However, we still enjoyed a great day with views north to the Solway Firth and South to sorecambe Bay, when the cloud lifted.

On Thursday, Ray led us a walk from nearby the hostel on a circular route via Kentmere Hall.


Another great day out. We decided to enjoy to go out for our last evening meal instead of eating in the hostel. After much debate, we ended up in Ambleside at a Thai restaurant, which we can recommend.

On Friday morning, we parked at the hamlet of Tilberthwaite, to view a sculpture by Andy Goldworthy.


We then walked through the old quarries and up to the Wetherlam ridge, although time did not allow us to complete the climb to the summit, which we decided to save for next year.





Phil Trafford



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