Day 6 …. May 13 …. Rosthwaite To Buttermere Via Dale Head …. 15 miles

Breakfast was at 8:30, so I did not get off till 9:15. Goodbyes to the four C2Cer’s. They went south and I followed the Cumbria Way north across fields and woods to Grange.

6th day - Over Beautiful Stone Bridge North Of Rosthwaite 

The CW path is on the valley floor but, eventually, I will climb up onto the ridge to walk a curving path past Dale Head to Buttermere, first going back south, then west. It was another beautiful day for walking.

There are two ways to gain the ridge, one at High Spy, the other further north up to Maiden Moor. I talked to a couple who said the first path was in terrible condition and highly recommended the second. Also, I wasn’t sure exactly where the High Spy path started. I later found out it left the CW path near the campground before Hollows Farm.

I detoured into Grange to look at the famous double arched bridge over the River Derwent, but trees hid the possibility of any decent photo.

Passing Lovely Village Of Grange Famous Double Bridge In Grange 

North of Grange, I turned west to make the long ascent to Maiden Moor. At the top of the ridge, a path to Cat Bells heads north; I turned south. Climbing higher and higher, I passed Maiden Moor Summit, then reached the summit cairn at High Spy.

Climbing Onto Maiden Moor And Then High Spy, A Continuous North/South Ridge High Spy Summit With Dale Head In The Distance, My Next Summit 

Just then, four guys came up the path from the campground and said “it’s not too bad, just a little scrambling.” But they are macho types and wouldn’t admit to any difficulties. They did look pretty beat and ready to take a good rest.

Denizens Of The Tarn Crossing Newlands Beck To Climb Dale Head 

It was a long descent to lovely Dale Head Tarn. I named it Duck Tarn because of the wildlife on the water. I crossed a wild looking Newlands Beck, then began the exceptionally steep climb up Dale Head to the summit cairn.

Looking back at my route over Maiden Moor and High Spy Ridges Dale Head Summit Cairn Looking North Toward My Ridge Route Two Days From Now 

Views all around were incredible. To the west I could see Hindscarth and behind it Robinson, both high ridges jutting north off the Dale Head ridge which runs west. South, I could vaguely see the peaks and ridges from yesterday, hiding among the clouds. Looking closer, I could see Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks just south of Buttermere (lake).

Looking East At My Route Over Dale Head Looking West At Hindscarth 

The weather became windy and cold, lots of clouds blowing by with intermittent sun, made it hard to get good photos. It was so cold I stopped to put on my earflap cap and gloves. Further along the ridge, a sleet storm lasted about ten minutes when an extremely large, dark cloud blew north. I detoured up to the summits of Hindscarf and Robinson, two little northward excursions along their ridges.

Back to the business at hand, my main path continued on to Buttermere village at the western end of Buttermere (lake), but my B&B for the night was closer to the eastern end so I started looking for the direct path down to it. This proved difficult to find but I teamed up with two fellows who were also trying to find it. Success!

Descending to Buttermere Water and My B&B For Two Days 

At first, it was an easy path but then dropped off the cliff straight down. I had to use my hands to lower myself in places. It was like this for about 1000 feet. I was very thankful to find the path leveling out and entering a picturesque bank of trees along a beck tumbling down from a ravine.

Soon I reached the Buttermere road and crossed over to find Dalegarth B&B on the lake. It was 4:45. Jeremy showed me to my room, not en suite but it was quite large with twin beds and had a wash basin. I cleaned up, sorted my laundry for Kelly, then was off on the lakeshore path to the pubs at Buttermere village. I reserved two nights at Dalegarth so I would have a day to visit the high country around the lake before walking to Keswick. There are two pubs in Buttermere, so I planned to visit one each evening.

In the evening, I stopped at the Fish Hotel and found Snek Lifter ale from Jennings Brewery. I matched it with a Prawn Thai Curry and rice. Both were excellent but what does Snek Lifter mean? The pub was busy and very convivial. I decided to scout the other pub, the Bridge Hotel, and found Black Sheep ales and two ales from Hawkshead Brewery. Also on tap was Old Peculiar (an iconic black ale), so I had a half pint for dessert, then walked back to the B&B. I listened to music in the lounge, looked at Trail magazines and wrote in my journal; a nice finale to the day.

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