Arriving in Keswick for the start of the now traditional “Easter in the Lakes”, I was beginning to suffer the symptoms of a cold.
I had caught the 3:20 pm X4 bus from Penrith Station, having arrived up on a morning train from Euston.
If I was going to stick with my plan of a quick wander up Whinlatter for my first afternoon, I was going to need to rush, with only half and hour to get checked into my B&B and back out to the bus stop for the 4:30 pm 77A bus to Whinlatter visitors centre.
Not feeling inclined for a mad dash and with only a two hour window to climb Whinlatter before the final return bus, I instead decided on a little walk from town, and a return to Latrigg. The small fell overlooking Keswick was the first fell I had climbed on my first visit to the town, two years ago.
I was unpacked and out from my B&B at 4:45 pm, to lovely afternoon sunshine, heading for the Cumbria way footpath that leads out of town , over the A66 and through the feels north of Keswick on it’s way to northern terminus at Carlisle.
Looking to vary my route from that I took on my first visit, I headed right through the woods that blanket the lower slopes of Latrigg. With the majority of the trees steeply to my left, to my right was a nice view back down on Keswick and Derwent Water, as I made my way east, along the southern flank of the fell.
In line with the summit somewhere above and through the trees, a main path led north, steeply up between the trees and through the woods. I slowly made the steep ascent, keen not to overtax my body at the beginning of my six night stay. My GPS showed me the path was verging over to the north east, rather than heading straight up as indicated by the map, but having the device meant this was of little concern, as finding out where I was shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The path emerged out by a stile at the eastern end of the wood, and from here the route was obviously to follow the tree line upwards.
Behind offered a nice view down on the outskirts of town, Derwent water and Walla Crag, while ahead was just a steep bank of grass with a couple of sheep at the top looking down at me.
I used the metal fence enclosing the wood to occasionally assist with my upward ascent through the muddy boot prints of thousands of others. Reaching the brow of the hill offered a first look over to the Blease Fell flank of Blencathra, and much of the Skiddaw range, while a sign mentioned that the old railway path to Threlkeld was still out of action due to damage inflicted during Storm Desmond in December 2015.
A main path now led west, up to the summit of Latrigg, and the wind was blowing hard enough to convince me to stop and put on my jacket!
I arrived at the 368m summit at the same time as a passing fell runner, saying a quick “good afternoon” before shooting off again.
I wandered around for ten minutes, photographing the great views down on Keswick and up to the Skiddaw range, this time without the sprinkling of snow present two years ago.
For my return walk, I headed back to the Cumbria Way, finding a short cut on route to further vary this walk from my previous visit. In the distance a trio of very young lambs were running about with their mothers, while closer by, two older sheep run away as I passed on the grassy slope back down to the main path.
I followed the Cumbria Way all the way back to Keswick for a relaxing evening and to prepare for the first of five long walks I had pre planned.
All that was left was to decide on which one, and I had already narrowed it down to a choice between either Blencathra via Hall’s Fell and maybe Sharp Edge, plus Bowscale Fell and Souther Fell. Or Clough Head and the northern Helvellyn range via Fisher’s Wife’s Rake. With both walks starting from Threlkeld, I decided to sleep on it, see what tomorrow’s weather was like, and decided last minute if necessary!
Time: ~ 2.5 Hours
Altitude: High: ~368 m/ 1207 ft
Low: ~80 m / 262 ft
Distance: ~ 5 Miles / 8 Km
Wainwrights: 1 – Latrigg