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28 June, 2009

Trip to Seatoller, the Honister Pass and Derwent Water

I forget whose idea it was to go camping in the Lake District this weekend, but it was a good one; it's been too long since the last such overnight trip.

Though heavy showers were forecast, the core of the National Park was understandably popular on an initially dry Saturday in late June, and after K. rang a few campsites, we headed towards Seatoller, in Borrowdale, the only site which wasn't rather full or booked (useful to know: the Seatoller Farm campsite doesn't accept pre-bookings). We also checked an old 'bandit camping' site beside Ullswater, just in case we couldn't find any legitimate spaces at all.

Seatoller Farm wasn't too full; with an arc of three tents and a camper van, we managed to achieve a degree of privacy from other groups. My first impression of the site was that it was fairly large, but a closer look revealed that it's more 'spread-out' than just 'big' – an extensive area of wet ground in the main field is unusable, which means it'd be impossible to pack-in tents in uncomfortable proximity or for large groups to annex large areas, giving a more pleasant atmosphere than many Lakeland campsites.

Arriving at ~19:00 there was no time (or intention) to do much with the evening, other than pitch the tents, barbeque meat and enjoy the company. However... I was restless and annoyed by midges, so went for a short walk. Well, a run. Up the steep first third of the Honister Pass. Which was rather invigorating, and didn't seem to impair my ability to hold the camera steady in the failing sunset light.

The following morning was... leisurely. I began a second walk alone, towards Seathwaite, but thinking we'd all do something a little later, didn't go far. In hindsight perhaps I should have continued, as we 'only' went for a swim in the (surprisingly deep and non-metaphorically breathtakingly cold) Grains Gill. Enjoyable – I'm certainly not disappointed – but I would have liked to do, well, more.

Passing Derwent Water on our way back to Keswick, the M6 and home, A&A (thanks for the lift!) and I stopped at Great Wood, to have a picnic on the Calfclose Bay lakeshore: another opportunity for photos, mainly of dramatic approaching rainclouds.

I hope it's not so long until the next time.

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