Forsaking one passion for another
If you spoke to some people who know me and asked them what my favourite things are, they’re likely to say football and Formula One. This weekend there’s the Monaco Grand Prix, arguably the most exciting race of the season, and a pre-tournament friendly between England and Norway in Oslo. This weekend I will be watching neither of these. I’m off to The Lake District.
I personally don’t think the Monaco race is ever up to much and please remind me the last time England played a properly good friendly game (OK, that Ghana game last year was alright, but apart from that…?). However, I’m not going to The Lakes to avoid these events (I’ll be listening on the radio), I’m going because a couple of years ago Emma and I drove through the Newlands Valley to Buttermere and I fell in love with it.
Setting off from Huddersfield, I’ll drive to Keswick, catch a bus to Braithwaite then walk to Buttermere, taking in the peaks of Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Eel Crag, Grasmoor, Wandope and Whiteless Pike on the way. I’m camping at Hassness on the bank of Buttermere and setting off to Hawse End landing stage via Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells to catch the boat back to Keswick. I can’t wait!
I do a reasonable amount of walking on my own as Emma works on Saturdays. I spent my 30th birthday at the top of a coastal hill in Mull. I walked over 14 miles in 5 hours in the South Pennines a few weeks ago but this is the longest walk I’ve ever done on my own, over 20 miles in 2 days with higher climbs and steeper descents than I’m used to. I’ve got a tent, sleeping bag, food and other gear to carry around with me (I went out with it all on that 14 miler recently to see if I could cope!) so it’s not going to be a stroll but I’ve got all day to get from Braithwaite to Buttermere (12ish miles via my route) and all day to get back to Keswick (8ish miles) so a gentle pace will do, especially as this lovely weather’s meant to continue. The main thing I’m worried about is that I might get to the campsite at 4pm or something and have nothing to do!
I’ve not camped since I was 14 when I was at an international scout camp called CampDowne ’96 and I’ve never stayed at a campsite. I’ve got a little one-man tent which I put up in the garden easily enough then it rained for over a week and I couldn’t take it down. Then when it dried out, I put it in the shed and some mice have moved into it! I’ve got to get them out tonight while hiding The Cat from them.
I’ll be writing about the walk when I get back on walkingabout.co.uk, though I’ve got a couple of others to write up first, that 14 mile one amongst them.
Wish me luck and safety! I might tweet a pic or two on my way, battery/network depending so follow me @scottbrown_14 if you like.