" " Lake District Trails and Ales: January 2010

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Microbreweries in Cumbria

Abraham Thompson

Barngates Brewery
Beckstones
Bitter End Brewery
Coniston Brewing Company
Dent Brewery
Derwent Brewery
Foxfield Brewery
Geltsdale
Great Gable Brewing Co.
Hawkshead Brewery
Hardknott
Hesket Newmarket Brewery
Jennings Brewery
Keswick
Kirby Lonsdale
Loweswater Brewery
Strands Hotel - Nether Wasdale
Stringers
Tirril Brewery
Ulverston Brewing Company
Watermill Ings Brewery
Whitehaven Brewing Company
Yates Brewery

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Blawith Knott, New Years Day - 2010

With there being so much snow and ice this Christmas in the Lakes for our traditional new year's day walk we decided to stay low and go for an old favourite. The Western Blawith Fells (Blawith Knott and Tottlebank Height) are not particularly challenging, but for very little effort you get fantastic views of all of South Lakeland, Black Combe, Great Burney, the Duddon Valley and the coast. Best of all, this beautiful part of the lakes  is pretty much off the main tourist trail (see our trips up Caw as an example).

You can walk for miles and miles on the Blawith fells, in fact all the way to Coniston (even via The Beacon which can be a day out in itself), and somedays not see anybody else at all on the trails.

There are parking places near the foot of Blawith Knott. A small stream coincides with the start of a path, but the ascent is obvious due to tyre tracks left by illegally ridden motorbikes on the fells.

If you see any motorcyclists on the fells, point out to them that they appear to have veered off the road, wait for them to next fall off and then walk all over them, apologising for inadvertantly straying from the path you should have been on.

Looking back from here you get a fantastic view of Black Combe and White Combe. After a 10 minute climb you are soon at the top of the first fell. The path then descends and continues towards the second fell, passing a small tarn (Lang tarn) on the way. The tarn was frozen solid and a great place to have a bit of a mess around with our border collie and the boys. The tarn is small and shallow so is a safe place for a bit of ice skating.


From there, a few footpaths that take you to the top of Tottlebank Height, or you can continue along the main footpath and continue right round the fell until you reach a farm, where you join a track that takes you all the way back to the start. This is a very easy but very enjoyable circular walk. You get fantastic sweeping views as you are on the south west edge of the mountain ranges.