We’ve been out and about, mostly to our favourite dog walking place along the sea front promenade at Waterloo. We usually walk up along the wide stretch of grass behind the ever changing dunes, then walk back down in front of the dunes along the concreted promenade above the beach.
The forecast said rain, a glance out of the window said otherwise, so, after a knocked together lunch from yesterday’s leftover mushroom and courgette stew, tarted up with some spinach, pasta and smoked paprika, we headed out in the car for the coast.
The outgoing tide attracted flocks of waders, gulls, oyster catchers, black-headed gulls, and some I haven’t yet been able to identify, all running along the shore at the receding waters.
Inland as we turned from the beach towards the marina we passed pochards, tufted ducks and more black headed gulls and what I think could be a Bean Goose.
I stopped to talk to another dog walker with a pair of young Tibetan Terriers before turning back to complete the circuit by retracing my steps, returning to the shore.
It was hot.
Too hot to be out with the dogs. I promised them a late night walk after sunset but it was still too hot to be out. The next day would be hotter still, so I prepared for a very early stroll round Ufton Fields first thing in the morning. At least most of the walk would be in the shade.
Ufton Fields was an old quarry that has been left to go wild and is now owned by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. There is a single track circling the perimeter with a number of offshoots and areas for play and exploration. The track had become quite overgrown since I was here last.
The path winds round a couple of the larger quarry pits, surrounded by large woodlands before opening out. Not much sight of wildlife though I could hear a constant call of the chiffchaff, the angry ticking of a blackbird and the rasping flap of pigeons wings.
Once out in the open the brambles, shrubs and thistles dominated the walk, sometimes making it difficult to manage the buggy. If yellow is the colour of spring then the colour of summer is definitely purple.
The path began to widen as we made our final way through the woods and back where we began, hot and bothered. I had to wait for Max to catch up as he panted his slow way along the path. The day was already hot and it was not yet eight o’clock.
A Buggy Walk along a single track road.
A straight there and back journey from the car park near The White Horse Inn at Scales, just off the A66 to The Mill Inn at Mungrisdale.
The first part of the route lies above the noisy A66 and is not without traffic itself, in spite of a free and near empty car park at Scales lazy walkers will drive about 200 yards to cram into an offroad verge just to shave off a few steps on their way up Scales Fell by Mousthwaite Comb. Three times in that short distance were we stopped to pull over onto the rough verge to allow the cars to pass.
Once past the first gate though we almost had the road to ourselves.
The road continues past a row of cottages at Souther Fell Farm. and through several more gates. One taciturn farmer, practically dressed for working outdoors, collar up, cap down, so that only his eyes were visible, made the observation that there was a dog in a pram, and when I explained why he grunted in a way that indicated that the conversation, such as it was, was at an end.
Past another cottage and the same car, three times (the driver was out looking for members of her family who were climbing Souther Fell and who may have come down and were looking for a lift), and Mungrisdale came into view.
The Mill Inn is in the process of changing hands with a temporary landlord in situ for another week. Standard pub fare (cooked by Carlos) with what you would expect for a Cumbrian pub.
Mungrisdale did not escape the ravages of the recent storms. The river rose above road level and flooded the road taking away a footbridge.
After a pie and a pint, time to walk it off and retrace our steps.
On the way back we met some curious sheep, who decided to follow us for a while.
We had a brief glorious glimpse of Blencathra,
and sight of the North-Eastern Fells in the distance,
and spotted some paragliders over Helvellyn
On the whole, a far more enjoyable walk than I had anticipated.
Ennerdale, the most westerly, the most remote of the lakes in Cumbria’s Lake District, is the perfect place for getting away from it all – it lies on no major routes to or from anywhere and the only roads in to the lakeside are single track hillside roads full of twists, turns and precious few passing places. Chances are you will only meet like minded travellers, local farmers or environmental workers. Their is a single track along one side of the lake that leads away into the hills. Motor vehicles are restricted beyond a certain point to preserve the wilderness. This single track is ideal for a hardy buggy and is therefore provides the longest sustained single walk available for a three-legged sheltie and her companions.
The track starts from the car park at Bowness Knot already halfway down the lakeside.
This is a straight forward there and back walk and impossible to lose the path.