Image via WikipediaWhat better way of finishing the year than a walk with John Morrell, the best walking guide in the Lake District. With strong winds in the weather forecast on the tops and rain later, John decided on a walk from Patterdale, over Beda Fell (just behind Place Fell) down to Martindale and back along Ullswater to the car.
We started the walk across the valley to the trekking stables where the kids spent a wonderful and very wet day many years ago. Then it was slowly up to Beda Fell with glorious views over the fells and Hellvelyn. We expected it to be a quiet day but we came across a number of walkers and some ten rather earnest people taking their Mountain Leadership test. Lucky them, they were to camp out in the rain and I hope they found a site sheltered from the strengthening winds. Soon we could see Martindale below with the two churches and one of the oldest yew trees in the country.
I remembered taking a young american girl to Martindale forty years ago and think it was to the older and smaller church. John and I were looking for a memorial to a local lad lost in the war and a friend of my Father. We found the beautiful window dedicated to the crew of the H.M.S.Glorious, sunk in Norwegian waters in 1940. There are brave men and women today fighting for freedom and brave today and so good to remember them amidst all the news of delinquent city kids today. The window is described as “The ship lies along the length of the window cleaving the seas, with the stars of heaven above”.
Outside we met a group of young ladies from Flixton Girls’ High School, Urmston, Manchester who were spending a week at Ullswater Outward Bound. They were very chatty and looking forward to a dry bed after spending a night under canvas – just a pity that they had not visited either church.
On the walk back from Martindale, we saw a lovely cottage to rent and then met another group of Flixton girls coming down from the fells – happy to be away from city life and enjoying the countryside. They were led by David from Ullswater Outward Bound who had taken them caving at Ingleton the day before.
Then we went for a drink at the Kirkstone Pass Inn but it was closed. I wonder what sort of business plan resource the owners use. The Queen’s Head, Troutbeck, made us very welcome and then it was back to Ambleside to plan walks to keep me fit so I can join John on his one week walk in the Spring.
What a way to end 2008 with lots of fresh if rather damp air, the best of the young and memories of my Father and brave, brave young men.
PS Thanks to Frog in the Fields for the spelling alert – I prefer typo!