Patterdale to Shap


Distance: 16 miles Time: 8 hours Spent an hour last night looking for our map and alerted several members of staff…found it behind the curtain. i think we were a little tired. For the life of us we can’t seem to remember what the weather was like this morning….oh yes it was raining. heavily, cats and dogs and sheep and cows. Breakfast done and wrapped up in waterproofs we set off for what the books say is a hard day. The walk out of Patterdale is fairly straightforward past Boredale Hause and a last chance to enjoy the views on a clear day. We seemed to go a little off track on the way to Angle Tarn but the aim of this walk is to get from West to East so we weren’t too upset. We’ve walked past Angle Tarn before and seen it on a beautiful sunny day with the picnicking crowds but there was something a bit special about approaching it in the mist with nobody else around, our own little piece of the Lake District. The cloud was definitely around us now and was set to be for the next couple of hours. Our intial aim on this route was to take the old roman road via High Raise and descend to Haweswater via Wether Hill and Bampton Common which would have given us a longer route on the high ground and less alongside Haweswater but seeing as the weather was not really in our favour we stuck with the “official” route and headed to Kidsty Pike. Just South of the Knott we met two groups of walkers who seemed to be a bit lost – one group said they sort of follwed us which would have been fine if we were all heading in the same direction. It was a day for a compass and at least a rough grasp of how to use it. Having walked High Street and Kidsty Pike before we were quite sure that we were heading in the right direction but there was something that just didn’t feel familiar and there was an unspoken feeling that we were getting a bit lost depsite our protestations that we were “definitely going the right way”. It was slow going in the rain, wind and mist and when we met two walkers coming towards us we asked where they had come from – Kidsty Pike was the answer. It was just there! It was clearing up! we could see Haweswater!!!!!! Hurrah! I think that was the single biggest euphoric moment of our walk – knowing that we could navigate and weren’t going to be on the news! When Haweswater opens up in front of you there is a feeling of “why haven’t we been here more often?” it’s a lovely view and although the walk from Kidsty Howes can take a while it’s not as bad as we seemed to remember. The walk along the lenght of Haweswater took a couple of hours and the autumnal colours and the sounds of the rutting stags made it a highlight of our walk – we even saw red stags on the ridges Whelter Crags. Once you get to the end of Haweswater there is an immediate feeling that you’ll be in Shap in a few minutes. You won’t, it takes bloody ages. It’s mostly a pleasant enough section but we were a bit tired and the heavy rain and thuderstorm did not help our spirits. Rachel’s words of encouragement ” it’s not far from shap abbey” or “it’s just over that hill” helped us get to our accomodation albeit bedraggled, straggled, soaking. Tonight we were glad to be stopping in the pub so we didn’t have to go out for dinner or to be more accurate – our pints! Lake District over it’s dead easy from here, according to one book tomorrow was to be like a rest day as far as walks are concerned. went to bed feeling content and confident about day to come.