Saturday, 13 August 2022

Little Langdale via Wrynose Pass

We both breathed a sigh of relief to have made it safely into Little Langdale. The road taken, Wrynose Pass, is not for the faint hearted. It is only one car's width wide, with few passing places and a steep drop down into the valley. Fortunately we turned right towards Little Langdale if we had turned left then we would have encountered the even harder pass over Hardnott. We have driven up and over Hardnott in our younger days, but the last time my husband said "never ever again". Both passes were built over 2000 years ago by the Romans. There is even a dramatically-sited Roman fort at the very top of Hardnott which was founded under Emperor Hadrian's rule. Hardnott takes you high up over the Fells, but once you begin to drive over the peak it is impossible to see the continuing narrow road ahead due to the very steep incline. For a split second it is like being perched in mid-air not knowing whether the road carries straight on, bears to the right or the left. In one of his books, Alfred Wainwright warns drivers who have come over Wrynose from the east to expect "an even tougher climb" over Hardknott, which he says should be approach with "the utmost concentration and caution". Both Hardknott and Wrynose have the reputation of being England’s two most outrageous roads. 

We unexpectedly came across a small car park. Stopped the car, pulled on our walking boots, and set off to explore the valley, our lunch safely ensconced in the rucksack. 

We appeared to have the entire place almost to ourselves, we saw no more than half a dozen other walkers. Fortunately at the beginning of the walk we met two men, and when we spoke to them about the hair-raising journey they advised us to continue along the road in the same direction, which apparently improves, rather than retracing our steps.

We were pleased that we were wearing walking boots as the valley path climbed higher and higher, but it was well worth the trek. The footpath ended with a view of this magical 'U' shaped valley, all beautifully laid out  before us.

Lunch eaten, we began making our way back along the narow road to collect the car for the drive down along the winding road into Langdale. 

Safely down, our thoughts turned to wondering what might be on the menu that night. We always looked forward to and anticipated the meals that the hotel served, all featuring delicious local produce.

Back at the hotel we were seated at our table looking out over the extensive grounds, when who should walk in but Susan Calman! the Scottish comedian, who was seated at the table next to us.  

She was accompanied by one of the Directors of her shows and some of the crew from Channel 5 TV. Apparently she had just been filming the last of her series "Grand Day Out in the Lake District" which will be shown this Autumn. 

P.S - Don't be deceived by these very green photos taken in the Lake District. Here in the Cotswolds it is a very different story. Our land is parched, the grass is the colour of straw and we have seen less than a teacup full of rain for over two months. The heat is stiffling, and there is a big concern regarding fires, everything is tinder dry. We are desperate for rain, it needs to rain for weeks and weeks.

36 comments:

  1. Sound like an adrenalin-inducing ride, Rosemary, not to be attempted after a pint in the local pub! There is a touch of bitter irony that in a country renowned for its wet days you are begging for rain. I remember one wag telling me that he never has a haircut in July or he misses summer! Not this year, I'm afraid.

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    1. Give me our lovely seasonal varegated weather any day - I don't like extremely hot or cold weather.

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    2. Cold I can handle - and do every winter. I can always dress up and stay warm, but heat is inescapable. I would gladly pass on summer! And they are only going to get hotter.

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    3. For some strange reason your comment went into 'spam' - I agree cold is better than heat. The current scenario is very frightening and yet many people appear to be totally unconcerned.

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  2. All that and Susan Calman too! A memorable trip.

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    1. We also met a group of young althletes who were part of Team England. They stayed the night at our hotel on their way to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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  3. An exciting car ride, a good hike, beautiful scenery and a celebrity sighting too! What a day!

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    1. It was a great holiday with lmany of memorable moments.

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  4. Beautiful set of photos. I'm always surprised at how downright dangerous some of the Lake District hill passes are, worse than any roads in the Scottish Highlands which usually have a barrier on the edges. Was over them a few years ago in winter conditions and there was nothing to stop you sliding over the edge. Hope you get some rain soon. Never thought I'd miss rain!

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    1. We keep on looking up at the sky and wondering when will it rain. The BBC say that there will be some next week, but it looks very hit and miss here.
      You have to actually drive those those roads to really understand just how difficult and frightening some of them actually are.

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  5. It sounds like the kind of road trip I'd enjoy.

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    1. The roads are certainly a thrilled a minute but it is good when you finally arrive at your destination safely.

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  6. Magiska bilder! Jag här har vi torka också, ALLT är gult och löven börjar falla. Värmen helt galen - dag efter dag. Du förstår varför jag försökte mig på en regndans?? Ja det hjälpte föga...
    Kram från Titti

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    1. Jag är glad att du gillade bilderna - ja, jag fruktar att vi nu behöver något mycket mer än regndans.

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  7. Thank you for the warning about those roads. Amazing to think that they are so old. It’s lovely to see verdant green; oh to be there at the moment. Lucky capture of your comedienne! B x

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    1. I would not want to put anyone off travelling along those passes as they both have such spectacular scenery. As long as you take great care, I really don't think there is a problem, although you do tend to have your heart in your mouth for much of the time.

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  8. Thank you, once again, Rosemary. I love that view of the u shaped valley. The drive sounds quite hair raising. We have only recently discovered Susan Calman's Grand Day out programme (on before our usual viewing time) and thoroughly enjoy it. We have recently seen one in the Lake District but presume it must have been an earlier one. We love her infectious zest for life.

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    1. I didn't realise that she was seen overseas - she is actually a very interesting character. She was a lawyer who worked in the USA on death row, and then became a Corporate Lawyer, but decided to give her legal career up and have a different life.

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    2. That's interesting. We always try to watch her programmes as well as Joanna Lumley's and any other programmes on the English countryside. My stepdaughter, in New South Wales messaged me at the weekend that she had just seen Joanna's programme on the Knepp Estate. She gave me Wilding by Isabella Tree for my birthday so we will be interested to see it.

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    3. Thanks - I will watch out for that one too.

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  9. It looks spectacular! What a wonderful trip, Rosemary, although I rather fancy I'd have gotten out of the car and preferred to walk or scramble the hair-raising bits. Is that a waterfall behind your hotel? How it must run when the rains come!

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    1. Although that is a hotel, it is not where we stayed Pip - that building was in Langdale, we were much further away in Kendal. However, you are correct it does have a waterfall in the far distance behind it.

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  10. Beautiful scenery, very pretty from your photos and very green. Heard on our news that there has been no rains in some areas.

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    1. The wait for rain here continues, we are really hoping for rain this coming week. The forecast says there will be some but it looks to be very hit and miss for us.

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  11. Gorgeous photos of a beautiful area, especially if, like you, it's possible to find an uncrowded bit. I hitched a lift over Hardknot once in a plumber's van - I expected to be impaled on lengths of copper pipe at every turn. The only famous person I've ever encountered on a walk was Janet Street-Porter, though that wasn't such a surprise; we could hear her from about half-a-mile away!

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    1. That's amusing John, but I am now left wondering whatever happened to her?

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  12. Glorious place! I hate roads like that. I've mostly experienced them in Europe. Absolutely terrifying.

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    1. We are always happy to find ourselves in the Lake District, it never lets us down. We have very narrow roads here in the Cotswolds, and those in Devon and Cornwall always come to mind, but the ones over the Fells with their deep valleys are something else.

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  13. Fotos lindíssimas mostrando umas paisagens deslumbrantes. Elogio quem as fotografou.
    Blogue muito fresco, bonito, de que gostei muito.
    .
    Cumprimentos cordiais e poéticos
    .
    Pensamentos e Devaneios Poéticos
    .

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    1. Obrigado pelo seu comentário gentil - estas fotos foram tiradas por mim há pouco mais de duas semanas.

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  14. My goodness-that valley photo is amazing! such a beautiful area. xx

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    1. We really love the Lake District - there are so many exquisite valleys and fells that you can enjoy almost to yourself.

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  15. Dear Rosemary, Such breathtaking beauty. Again so beautifully photographed by you. There exists, in Southern Utah, a road just like the one you experienced. It is called "Moki Dugway", a 3 mile gravel switchback road. Should you want to come for a visit, I can show you the way. My post of 3-23-2021, entitled "Re-visiting"" introduces you to a stunning part of the world.

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    1. Dear Gina - If it wasn't for special blog friends like you then I would probably give up. Thank you for the good news re: your email which I shall be replying to soon.
      I have just checked out your post "Re-visiting" and can well imagine the road 'Moki Dugway'. In the same way as the road that we travelled it probaby gives you plenty of heart stopping moments, and is a relief when you finally arrive safely. I was also reminded of the stunning landscape on your doorstep, and would love to see it. I will pop back because I noticed that you have done a post that I have missed.

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  16. The scenery is just amazing. Beautiful landscapes!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment - glad that you enjoyed these landscape photos from the English Lake District.

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