Saturday 2nd September 2023
Day 1
Ravenglass to Wasdale Head Inn – 14.5 miles

“I woke up this morning feeling fine, with something special on my mind!” That was me humming to myself 48 hours ago, having just looked at the weather forecast for the next two weeks. One hour later, after begging my wife to set me free, I rang the boss to give him the bad news. I then spent the rest of the day planning the itinerary and pre-booking campsites and evening meals. The following day my wife and I were running around like headless chickens buying essentials and getting all my gear ready; my poor family, the things I put them through. However, with their help and of course the boss for giving me time off at such short notice, my Lakeland Way adventure would never have started.

I’m now in the process of putting my gear in the car ready for my wife to take me to Ravenglass on the west coast of Cumbria. It’ll not be easy to leave my family behind as I’ve never spent this much time away from them; maybe my wife and daughter are looking forward to a break for freedom? or will they pine for my return? It’s probably best not knowing either way!

Here I am at the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway turntable, the starting point of the Lakeland Way. Believe it or not, I’m actually pulling my stomach in on this shot. Maybe I’ll look a tad different at the end? On my Coast to Coast walk in 2011, I actually put on a stone in weight, but that was with the luxury of using a luggage transfer company and staying in posh hotels and b&bs. However, this walk is going to be very different as it will include carrying all my gear and camping each night.

So off I go leaving my wife to run the fort for twelve days.

I’ve only walked a few hundred yards out of the village and I’m already living off the land by stuffing my face with succulent blackberries; maybe I didn’t need to carry all this food after all? It looks like the crumbling walls and arches of the Roman Bath house have gained some temporary supports after recent concerns of collapse.

Walking over the grassy hill of the old Muncaster deer forest is as pleasant as ever; don’t forget to look back though, the view of the Irish Sea and the dunes is wonderful.

There’s not much colour to witness in the Muncaster gardens in September, but a belly full of blackberries has certainly made up for it! Like I did on this occasion, you may hear on the speakers the bird displays on the estate. It is tempting to buy a ticket and have a wander about, but I have many miles to go to reach Wasdale. However, there are refreshments and toilets available if you forget to go at Ravenglass.

After the short walk along the A595, it’s a gentle climb up Fell Lane towards Muncaster Tarn. Halfway up the track on the right and under the canopy of trees, the Lakeland Fells appear for the first time. This is a wonderful approach.

On a tree, just a few yards from the edge of Muncaster Tarn, a sign reads: “No public right of way”. However, I’m sure a little sneak for a photo will not result in being shot! From there it’s a nice gentle descent to the valley of Muncaster. If you have time, there’s a golf course on your right; now that would spoil a good walk! The route is now low-level walking, following the valley floors of Muncaster and Eskdale all the way to Boot.

As I approach Muncaster Head, a large tree which was felled and left by the track provides a good seat. This was a good opportunity to eat some lunch and reflect on my journey so far. Although I’ve only done 5 miles, Ravenglass already seems a distant memory; it’s strange that is, but it’s probably because of the variation of the route so far. It’s very warm now with a gentle rustle of wind in the trees, and not a single human to be seen. I feel a little ache in the back of my neck from the heavy pack, but I’m sure my body will adapt over the coming days. Time to move on though, and much ground can be covered fairly quickly through Eskdale.

After crossing the River Esk at Lord’s Bridge and entering into Eskdale, I’ve stopped at the pools next to the ruins of Red Brow to bathe the feet. Not that they deserved it having only done 7 miles like, but it is an opportunity not to be missed. The River Esk is beautiful here, cascading its way down the valley where it then continues to the estuary at Ravenglass. I only stopped for 20 minutes but I feel totally refreshed, and the feet are certainly thanking me for the dip.

It’s Saturday, so the path from here and around Boot might be busy with walkers and tourists. Think I’ll don the shorts and show some leg!

I’ve arrived at the stepping stones over the River Esk, near St Catherine’s Church. During a heavy storm in spring of 2022, a few of the large boulders had moved out of place and have since made the crossing almost impossible. I just made it across on this occasion, but it was tricky. The route can be avoided however, by taking the diversion to Girder Bridge a short distance upstream.

I’m now at the Boot Inn enjoying a cold pint of Pepsi. Not a bad price either considering that it came with WiFi, a toilet and a top up of my bottle with clean drinking water. I’ve just pre-booked my evening meal and breakfast here for day 11 and day 12, as I didn’t get the chance when planning my journey on Thursday. Having had a chat with the landlord, they don’t normally provide walk-in breakfast, but if you pre-book they will try to accommodate you. There are two lovely pubs here in Boot.

I’ve now walked 9 miles from Ravenglass. On the wooden finger post just after passing Boot Mill, it states that it’s “5 miles” over the moors and down into the next valley.

This is the wonderful old packhorse route between Eskdale and Wasdale. It is also known as the “corpse road”, however, this theory has been debated in recent years. It’s getting late now but I know from previous visits that I can cover much ground over these moors.

Having just crossed Eskdale Moor I’m now at Burn Moor and sat by the tarn. It’s very warm with little wind, and my sweat is collecting the sun cream from my forehead and kindly discharging it into my eyes! This damn weather! Not to fear though, ahead I can see the high fells that surround the valley of Wasdale. A hearty pub meal is not far away now.

Just descending into Wasdale now. Over to my left is Wastwater, which is very still and like a sheet of blue glass. Ahead, Wasdale Head and the surrounding fells are in clear view and looking as magical as ever.

I’ve arrived at the wonderful stone bridge over Hollow Gill (Holland Bridge).

I’m only one mile from a hot meal, shower and a bed for the night; well, actually it’ll be a Neo Air mattress in a tent! I’m aching more now around the neck and shoulders; hopefully as the days go on my body will get use to carrying the extra weight in my pack. I’m in very good spirits though.

Arriving at Wasdale Head Inn was a bit of a shocker. It is a Saturday of course and the last weekend before the kids go back to school, so I should’ve known better. As I walked past the main camping field it was rammed with tents, and the back of the queue for Ritson’s Bar was all the way outside. I called at reception and was told that I could pitch my tent on a small grassy area directly behind the hotel. This was a blessing if truth to be told, as I had the whole area to myself.

I pitched up and then returned to the bar at 7:30pm, only to find that were no tables free at all, and people were still queuing hoping for one to come available. “There’s a burger van just around the back”, a staff member said to me as he squeezed through the queue of hungry people. So off I went to the burger van, only to witness the last burger being served to some lucky chap in front of me! “Sorry, but we’ve just run out of food!” explained the chief burger flipper. Pasta and soup it is for me then.

It’s worth noting that when I rang the hotel I was told that they “don’t take any pre-bookings for tents or food”, and they will “always find a pitch and a table”. So please beware, especially on busy weekends, that you may have to wait a long time to get food or even go hungry!

The shower was nice and hot, which was a great way to finish a wonderful day. It was £1 for 6 minutes which is ample time. It has been a little noisy around the back, mainly with the odd drinkers and the cleaning of the burger van, but it’s starting to quieten down now.

All settled down in the tent now. I’ve just finished my pasta with chicken, chorizo and Ainsley Harriott soup, followed by a dessert of mixed nuts and raisins. The only little noise I can hear are people leaving the car park nearby, and the odd three-peakers arriving; they must be mad!

Off to sleep now, so will see you in the morning. Goodnight.

Sunday 3rd September 2023
Day 2
Wasdale Head Inn to Chapel House Farm – 12 miles

Morning, and what a beautiful peaceful morning it is after the hustle and bustle of the three-peakers. Many were still arriving late last night and heading up to England’s highest mountain. I do hope everyone got down safe and sound; the weather was certainly in their favour.

I only had about three hours of sleep last night; the pitch was nice and it was very quiet later on, but I think yesterday’s big walk was still going through my head which left me restless. Maybe I walked the whole route again in my head? It was about 6am when I woke, and after an urgent visit to empty the old bladder I began organising and packing my gear.

A few tears were shed in the late evening; as I settled in the tent I was surprised to see how much space I had in there. It then suddenly dawned on me that it was because I didn’t have my faithful friend with me. Frankie, my border collie and best walking buddy, sadly passed away a few months ago and this was the first camp without him. He had joined me on every recce for the Lakeland Way, so it’s very sad that he’s not with me to walk it all in one go.

I’m now sat drinking coffee around the back of the hotel, and the tent is hanging over the fence with the hope of reducing some of its moisture. From 8am at the hotel, they serve breakfast butties from the back door, so it’s worth hanging about a bit. It would’ve been nice to set off walking a little earlier to be honest, but the fact that I didn’t have a decent meal last night the thought of a bacon and egg sandwich was too hard to resist.

With a satisfied tummy and well-packed rucksack, I’m now heading towards Saint Olaf’s Church. It’s only about twelve miles to Borrowdale, so a little wander in the church and around the graveyard won’t hurt. I need to be at the Langstrath in Stonethwaite for 4pm for a lovely Sunday roast, so I best not hang about too long though.

Clouds shroud the big tops around Wasdale Head this morning, but it has forecast to be another glorious day.

I’m now on the old packhorse route to Sty Head and the view looking back to Wasdale Head is absolutely stunning. When I first joined this path, just beyond Burnthwaite Farm, I realised that my pack felt heavier than normal. This of course could be due to the fact that I’m rather tired this morning, but also my tent is still saturated; it’s surprising what a difference it makes if you can’t dry your tent before packing it. At that point I decided to ditch all my water to reduce some weight, and the plan from here was to solely rely on my water filter and collect water on the go. There are plenty of water sources from Sty Head onwards so I’ll be absolutely fine today.

Ahead the sun breaks through over the giants of Great End and Broad Crag, and the path is seen clearly rising on its journey towards Sty Head. This is truly a wonderful climb. Yesterday’s walk was a mixed-bag of loveliness, but today is a true mountainous adventure. The key here is not to overstretch and to take it slowly on the ascent with small strides; the leg muscles are tired and they need time to wake up, plus I’m carrying a lot of weight so the last thing I need is a torn calf muscle.

I’m further up the stony track now and the views are grand, especially over on my right towards Piers Gill which scars the landscape beneath the Scafells.

While waiting for my food at the Wasdale Head Inn this morning, I met this lovely lady from Manchester called Denise. We joined forces all the way to Sty Head and chatting about all sorts of things while enjoying the scenery.

On arriving at the stretcher box at Sty Head, we found ourselves in thick cloud. This was the moment I said goodbye to Denise, as she was planning on walking all the way to Keswick via Seathwaite, Borrowdale and along Derwent Water.

The cloud soon dispersed when I joined the path heading to Esk Hause. It’s been very slow progress so far, and according to my app I’ve only managed 1.1 miles per hour!

I arrived at my highest elevation of today’s walk, Esk Hause, exactly at midday. It’s all mainly downhill from here, but it’s very warm now and the bottoms of my feet are starting to ache. This is the downside to walking with a heavy pack over stony ground.

I’m now just a bit further down the path from Esk Hause, and over to my left I am rewarded with a fantastic view down the valley of Langstrath. How wonderful and inviting it looks. While sat here taking a well-earned rest, lots of folk passed me climbing the rock steps from Angle Tarn, who were probably heading for Scafell Pike via the ‘long route’ from Great Langdale.

I’m now on the path that leads to the summit of Stake Pass. This path connects the two old packhorse routes: one from Wasdale which continues to Angle Tarn and then down to Langdale, and the Stake Pass route which rises from Langdale and leads to Borrowdale via the valley of Langstrath. Before I continue on my journey though, it’s time to rest, eat and take the opportunity to don the shorts. The view looking back towards Esk Pike is fantastic; Great End is seen peering over Esk Hause.

Just arrived at the summit of Stake Pass and I’m joined by a lovely couple from Australia. Like Denise, they are planning on walking all the way to Keswick.

Anyone who has walked the Cumbria Way will recognise this scene. The beautiful valley of Langstrath from the zig-zags below the summit of Stake Pass. This section of path and the view down the valley are certainly the highlight of today’s walk.

I’ve now arrived at the foot of Stake Pass. At first glance I seem to have the whole valley to myself, but I know from past experience, and the fact that it is a weekend, there will be a lot of people at Black Moss Pot further down the valley.

Black Moss Pot is a very popular place for swimming and diving. I wish I could join them to cool these throbbing feet to be honest, but I must get to the pub for my pre-booked meal!

I finally arrived at the Langstrath Country Inn. My feet are killing me after walking along the stony track between Black Moss and the hamlet of Stonethwaite, but as a well-deserved reward for my effort I am served a delicious Sunday roast. A generous amount of beef as well, which wasn’t bad for £14.95, and they kindly charged my phone and camera. I actually stayed here for a couple of hours knowing the campsite wasn’t too far away.

It was just a short walk off the route to the campsite. The tent is up and I’ve just had a lovely hot shower. Chapel House Farm is my favourite campsite in Lakeland, and it just happens to be in my favourite valley of Borrowdale. I feel very much at home here.

Because it is such a lovely evening, I’ve took the opportunity to have a few drinks at the Glaramara Hotel, which is a 15 minute walk from the campsite. What a wonderful setting, and a great way to relax before settling down for some much-needed sleep.

Goodnight from me.

Monday 4th September 2023
Day 3
Chapel House Farm to Syke Farm – 11.5 miles

Morning all.

I was woken by beautiful bird song this morning, which was rather nice. Don’t you just love nature’s little quirks? Without doubt, it’s the best alarm clock I could wish for. This was in total contrast to last night’s shenanigans though….

As a child did you ever have a nightmare where you felt someone, or thing, grabbing your leg under the blankets? Well, this became reality for me last night. I had surprisingly fallen asleep around 10pm, but I was suddenly woken half an hour later by a hand grabbing my ankle. I turned in the direction of the tent door only to witness a menacing silhouette of a person, who whispered the words: “It’s me!” I paused for what seemed an eternity staring at this shape, but it wasn’t until the dark figure crawled in towards me that I realised it was my wife, Jaclyn. She then whispered in my ear and said: “I’ve brought your flip-flops love”. “Bloody hell Jaclyn, you terrified the life out of me!” I replied. “I didn’t want to wake the other campers” she said, trying to explain her method of putting her husband into an early grave!

When my heart stopped beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wing, I finally got round to thanking Jaclyn for bringing my flip-flops. Then, after a quick kiss and a cuddle, the “menacing silhouette” left and I settled back down in my bag with the hope of not having any nightmares.

I got to sleep again and was then woken by a late arrival to the campsite. I looked at my watch and it was midnight! This inconsiderate man, who parked near my tent with his rental campervan, finally finished rummaging through his gear and slamming the sliding door shut at 1:15am!

I’m not selling this ‘Camping the Lakeland Way’ very well am I?

Joking apart, it’s a glorious day with clear blue skies all around. I was woken by birds stirring into song first thing, which was rather nice. I’ve had about four hours of sleep, so that’s one more than the previous night, and I’m feeling good and looking forward to today’s walk to Buttermere. I had some soup, pasta, and a nice hot coffee for breakfast, and left the campsite at 9:30am. I know, it’s a bit of a lazy start, but there’s no rush today.

Firstly, it’s a short walk back to Stonethwaite to reunite with the Lakeland Way path. Then over Stonethwaite Beck to follow the old track to Rosthwaite.

Even though only short, this old track between the hamlets of Stonethwaite and Rosthwaite must be one of the most delightful walks in Lakeland. Many folk who are walking the Coast to Coast path are heading in the opposite direction and stopping for a chat. Some were puzzled and thought I was going the wrong way, but I reassured them by explaining that I’m walking this new super-duper long-distance walk.

I arrived at the Flock Inn farm shop in Rosthwaite shortly after it opened at 10am. Note that the pooch is pulling his stomach in for the photo! I met this very interesting chap who was basically walking around the Lake District with no planning whatsoever. He was carrying very little regarding gear, and was simply turning up at places looking for food and accommodation as he goes. I had full admiration for him and wished him well on his journey.

After some lovely cake from the café I headed off in the direction of Castle Crag. It is very warm again this morning, and it wasn’t long until I stopped to don the shorts and apply more sunscreen.

What followed, initially, was a steep rock staircase through woodland, and then a narrow-winding path up the slate spoil heap all the way to the summit. I left my rucksack at the foot of the spoil knowing that it will stay in view for most of the time.

On the summit now, and not bad timing considering the lazy start and all the stops to chat with fellow walkers. I have the summit all to myself which is unusual but very nice. Castle Crag is the first of only two Wainwright fells that are included on the Lakeland Way; both follow the theme of the walk being of historical importance: Castle Crag once a hill fort and then a slate quarry, and High Street once a Roman road and an old trading route. From the summit I am rewarded with a splendid view of the Vale of Keswick and Derwent Water; I’ll be walking through Keswick towards the end of tomorrow’s walk.

It was then a much easier walk from Castle Crag to Honister Hause, following the old pack-pony route which was used to carry slate all the way to Keswick. Poor ponies! The surrounding views are wonderful, but the best of all is looking back towards Castle Crag.

I’ve continued with yesterday’s plan of collecting water on the go. This is making the journey much easier to be honest, especially in these extremely hot conditions.

Two hours after leaving the summit of Castle Crag I’ve arrived at the Honister Slate Mine café, which is a great place to relax and reflect on my journey so far. I’m happy with my progress today so there’s no rush for the next part to Buttermere. There are toilets here, WiFi, a gift shop, food, and even a lump of polished slate if you wish to carry it! I couldn’t resist a Cumberland sausage sandwich though, washed down with an ice-cold fizzy drink.

Climbing the steep mine road is tough going, especially in this heat, so it will be of great relief to finally reach the highest point of today’s walk, the ruined Drum House between Honister Hause and Dubs Quarry. From there it’ll be all downhill, all the way to the valley of Buttermere.

So far down the old miners’ track, I’ve stopped to collect water and rewarded the feet with a good bathe in a beck. The feet are quite sore now, so I can’t put in words how good this feels.

Further down the track, and just around the corner, the two lakes of Crummock Water and Buttermere dominates the scene. This is one of the finest views in Lakeland. The track itself, however, is rough, and it is so easy to twist an ankle on this section. Thankfully I’ve no need to rush this part down to Warnscale Bottom.

I’ve now reached the shore of Buttermere. From here it is 20 minutes of fairly flat walking all the way to the village and the campsite at Syke Farm.

I arrived at the campsite shortly before 5pm, however, I struggled to find a good pitch. I wanted my tent to catch the early sun in the morning to dry out, but all of the flat higher ground was taken. The campsite seems quite full, which is not surprising due to the great weather we are having. Instead, I pitched my tent in a shaded area beneath a canopy of trees. I sorted out my gear and had a shower, and then headed off to the Bridge Inn which is basically next door.

I’ve had an absolutely lovely day walking from Borrowdale to Buttermere, but after the hustle and bustle of the campsite, pitching up and a good scrub-up, it is very nice to sit here in the hotel and relax, and order some hearty food. I’ve managed to find a seat where there are two sockets to charge my phone, camera and power bank, which is very handy. This is one of those moments when you can just simply sit here, reflect on today’s walk, and the only thing to worry about is what to pick from the menu?

Well, I went for the “Hungry” version of the steak pie; crickey, you could keep a barn door open with that!

I sat there for three hours in the Bridge Inn. The staff were wonderful, the food was great, and I got chatting with many walkers about their plans, my long-distance walk, and of course the great weather. What a wonderful evening.

Well that’s it, and I will see you tomorrow. Goodnight.

Tuesday 5th September 2023
Day 4
Syke Farm to Castlerigg Farm – 18 miles

Morning all. I woke at 6am to a very peaceful setting here at Syke Farm in Buttermere. I had a far better sleep than the previous two nights, so I’m feeling quite fresh and ready for today’s long walk to Keswick. I’ve just had a quick visit to the shower block, passing a gauntlet of snoring by the track, and now I’m sorting out my gear and hoping not to disturb anyone in the process; yet again, I’m packing away a very wet tent, which will probably be double its normal weight. This is not good because I have a steep climb and 18 miles to walk today, so I’m having no breakfast or coffee at the campsite, but instead I plan to stop further along the route to dry out the tent and to cook some food.

I managed to sneak away at 7am and I’m now on the track that leads to the western shore of Crummock Water. The objective of today is to ‘get ahead’ of the usual Lakeland Way stopover at Braithwaite and walk through the town of Keswick to Castlerigg Farm; this will help with logistics further along the route that includes two wild camps. The sun is not quite up yet, so at the moment the walk is unusually cool for me compared to the past three days. However, today’s forecast states that it’s going to be the hottest day of my twelve-day adventure, and knowing that I have a long walk and very sore feet, I best take extra care.

The sun is now with me and it didn’t take long for the valley to warm up. Ahead I can see High Ling Crag and Low Ling Crag; the latter being a boss of rock reaching out into Crummock Water, which looks like the ideal spot to peg out my tent to dry out, and to finally have some breakfast.

Chicken soup and pasta it is, followed by a much-needed coffee. All my gear is now spread out over the rock, including dry bags, towel etc, and of course my socks. What a sight! Thankfully it’s still very early so I hope I’m not spoiling anyone’s view.

Selfie time! Not exactly a mountain-man look, but I could do with a shave.

Back on the track now and feeling great after that stop. I stayed on Low Ling Crag for an hour; I know I used precious time so early on, but it was worth fuelling up, and drying the tent out so not to carry the extra weight for the rest of today’s walk. It was a wonderful experience sitting there for so long drinking coffee and admiring the views around the lake. At one point a swimmer had arrived at the rock, having just swum across from the eastern shore. I waved as he turned to go back across, but I’m guessing he couldn’t return the compliment due the danger of drowning.

I arrived at the northern tip of Crummock Water in good time and it was nice to see so many people enjoying this lovely weather. It’s a very popular spot for bathing and dog walkers, and for mums to meet up for picnics with their children. Beyond that is Lanthwaite Wood which I’m now walking along; the wooded terrace path is especially a great section of the route. This is a fine example of how varied the Lakeland Way is, breaking your journey into different sections of beautiful scenery.

It’s getting very warm now as we get closer to midday. My water is running low, but the next water source, Gasgale Gill, is not far away. On exiting the wood, on the approach to Lanthwaite Green, the formidable Gasgale Gill appears ahead flanked by Whiteside and the towering northern slope of Grasmoor. The gill itself is my passage to the next valley of Coledale and beyond.

I arrived at the foot of the gill and made the decision to take the short scrambling route by the cascades, rather than the usual higher traverse. It is worth going this way in these dry conditions, but care must be taken on the rock sections. It’s now midday and I’m sat relaxing at the beginning of the scramble, at the foot of the main waterfall. To be honest, I don’t want to leave because it’s so lovely to sit here bathing these sore feet.

I’m now well into Gasgale Gill, having just completed the scrambling section above the series of cascades. It is now fairly flat going on the midsection, however, in recent years the path has been subjected to many landslips due to many bouts of heavy and prolonged rain. Some small sections of the path have been totally washed away.

I’ve finally reached the top of the mountain pass, Coledale Hause, and the highest point of today’s walk. To be honest, I’m exhausted after that climb. The last section of the path that ascends steeply by the final couple of waterfalls, was especially tough going. My right foot is now starting to cause me some pain; the combination of the extremely hot weather, rough terrain and the weight of my rucksack, are starting to have an effect on both feet, but the right one is far worse. The rest of my body is fine; my back and neck are coping fine with the weight, and my legs are feeling strong.

I wasted no time at the col and continued to start the descent into the next valley of Coledale.

I’m now further down from the col, and I have a grand view of the valley ahead. I cannot take water from this valley due to contamination from Force Crag Mine and the surrounding workings, and I am running low, so I’m keen to reach civilisation. From here I have a clear view of the old mine road which I’ll follow to Braithwaite, where I’m hoping to devour an ice lolly from the village shop. You certainly can’t beat that for incentive to crack on, especially in this heat!

The village of Braithwaite is now in clear view from the mine road. It didn’t take me long to reach the valley floor and start the walk along this old road. I was really looking forward to this section, and the next section between Braithwaite and Keswick, knowing both will be fairly flat going all the way. That little shop is getting closer!

What rotten luck, I’ve just arrived at the village shop in Braithwaite and it’s closed. I’m dehydrated and very tired, and I stupidly relied on the shop for refreshments. I’ll certainly not make that mistake again! Never mind, I’ll just march on through. Thankfully though, the walk from Braithwaite to Keswick, via the village of Portinscale, is fairly flat and only a couple of miles. Waiting for me there is a nice meal and a parcel from home.

I’m now in the centre of Keswick having just collected my parcel from the Spar garage. Surprisingly, the walk through the town seems a welcome change from the loneliness of the valleys during the past four days. No time for shopping yet though, I must head to Wetherspoons due to the fact I’m spitting feathers!

More bad luck; apparently all the fryers are “out of order” in Wetherspoons, so there’s only pizza, jacket potatoes and salad available! Anyway, while in here I’m going to have a good rest and take on some fluids. Firstly though, it’s time to open my wonderful parcel of fresh goodies, which includes meals and snacks for the next four days, gas, two baselayers, razor and gel, walking trousers, undercrackers and socks. What more does a man want? Well, some Compeed blister plasters would’ve been handy! This is something I knew I’d forgotten to pack, and to my shock, the lady at the Spar garage told me that due to it being so busy, and because of the extreme heat we’ve been having, apparently there’s nowhere in Keswick to buy them. All the shops, including Boots Chemist, have sold out of blister plasters.

I’ve spent well over an hour in Wetherspoons; that’s a lot of coffee, but I also took the opportunity to have a shave in the gents. The razor and gel, and a lot of my smelly stuff, are all going back in the return parcel for home. What a lovely surprise for my wife!

I’m now off to do a bit of shopping, but I also think it’s best to purchase some basic plasters to temporarily protect my feet.

After tucking into some chips and curry from the Old Keswickian, which went down a treat, I continued on my journey and headed for the eastern shore of Derwent Water. I’m now sat at the headland of Calfclose Bay and admiring the splendid view south over the lake and towards the Jaws of Borrowdale. From here I will follow the track rising through Great Wood and then continue to Castlerigg Farm, where I’ll be camping for the night.

I’ve finally arrived at Castlerigg Farm and just pitched in time to take this photo before sunset. What a lovely site this is; there’s a nice little shop, a fantastic clean shower block, and plenty of flat ground to pitch. It was 18 miles today, and one of the toughest day’s walking I’ve ever had in the Lake District, which was mainly due to the heat. I was limping quite badly on the final section through Great Wood, but I’m so glad for the hot shower and to lie down in my tent and relax. It’s been a grand day, tough, but so varied with wonderful Lake District scenery.

I’m now a third of my way along my Lakeland journey. It’s goodnight from me.

For part two follow this link: Camping the Lakeland Way – Days 5 to 8

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