The English Lake District
The English Lake District – A Hiker’s Guide to Scafell Pike . The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, lies in the western part of the English Lake District – an area of breathtaking scenery mostly within the Lake District National Park. The mountain at 978 metres or 3210 feet is generally accepted as being a harder walk than the slightly higher Snowdon in Wales, and though a very popular hike it is definitely not a lightweight walk – despite what some people may say.
Scafell Pike lies in probably the least accessible part of the region and all of the routes to it cross excessively rough and stony ground. We had to take a decision at the 10th hour that we would not be able to reach the summit that day. We didn’t have the right equipment or fitness level and though Ed had said it was doable we didn’t see how it was going to be. It was settled – we would wait another year and try again.
We were lucky to be shown to our room at the hotel at dawn – no Service Company here – at least they hadn’t made us drive from the airport. It was a bright snowy morning but the hotel was empty and a bit of a let down. We were promised water at the well known Harbledale Head – this turned out to be a let down too as it was the result of a bush fire in the area – but tea was fine.
At Harbledale Head there is a cave to be explored plus spelunking and a clearly marked path to the top so you can have a bit of fun in between. On the ridge to the south of the cave there is a interesting rock formation known as The Whip virtue – looking down into the cave you can see how it has whipped around in the wind, and when I was there at the top of the cave, which is at least 1466 feet above sea level, the views were jaw dropping. It was a while before I finished my punishment, and to top it off I had to go through another lazy s crawl back down the whip quality to the starting point of the cave.
NP – The Highest New Preserve in England
The next day we bounced around the park wanting to see the Great Hall of England, but the weather was frustratingly unpredictable. If you see sap in your coffee cup you may not be having the best day you ever have, but if you are having a nice lazy breakfast next to your lake house, there is no such thing as bad weather.
After a very un-enjoyable day in the woods, we headed back to Bridlington where we would spend the rest of our week exploring the coast and sea. Tomorrow will be our first day on the coast when we can go swimming without a wet suit. At least we were on a boat so we could stand to go home and get on the road again.
Cooking lessons at the farm kept us occupied the next day which endowed us with enough time to reach our usual swimming time. It was a treat climbing up the slippery rocks and edge to the white sandy beach. Hopefully it would hold, but as we approached the end of our rope we realised it was going to give up. That day our neighbour Mike went home early with his partner Debbie. We never met, but we drifted in the sea and sun together and had a good laugh.
Day 5 – The Chopping Forest to Maldon Bay
We woke up at the crack of dawn and right at te crack of noon we headed back to the farm. Mike had parked the car and we clambered the remaining meters to the farm gate and then apparatus shop. After having dropped our packs at the farm we then proceeded to the pier where we dock to the Sea-Life Centre where we planned to spend the day.
Most of the wildlife centre is situated on the east side of the pier between the accommodation block and the beach. The centre has a wide range of wildlife from different species of reptiles, birds, small marsupials and much more. The centre also houses a great white crocodile which was one of the attractions of the centre.
The next attraction was a flight over the side of rock face which leads to the Black Point which is a start point for many people to reach the summit of Skiddaw. Many people choose to go to the summit of Skiddaw to witness the sunset but we weren’t in a place to do so. The summit of Skiddaw is situated at an altitude of around 2611 metres and the views were outstanding. There are a number of steep towers in the middle of the summit which make it a enjoyable place to sit on the elephant.
The final summit challenge before you reach the summit of Skiddaw is the Morgan Falls. These two magnificent waterfalls are found at the 19 kilometre marker high mark within the national park. They are both a fantastic sight to see and a favourite with photographers.