28th December 2015

A windy walk to Watendlath

Time 9 to 11:30am
Duration 2 hr 30 min
Distance 5.8 mile
Ascent 900ft more or less
Walking with On my own
Near Borrowdale Road - Ashness Bridge - Surprise View - Ashness Wood - Watendlath Beck - Watendlath - road back to Ashness Wood - Ashness Bridge - Near Borrowdale road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Car park, bottom of the Ashness Bridge Road, Borrowdale

A nice and handy little car park that gets you into the Keswick end of Borrowdale, offering easy access to the Ashness Bridge / Watendlath areas and of course Borrowdale itself.

Parking is free, but there are only a limited number of spaces, most of which are often taken up by inconsiderate parking.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Just as I expected at this time of morning there was 'nee yan else aboot' at Ashness Bridge.

Ashness Farm.

Judging by the amount of stones on the farm track, I'm assuming they're using this as an alternative route in & out of the farm. Hands up if you can remember when this field was used as a campsite.

Here's a hazy view from Surprise View.

There's no chance of anyone (with any sense) walking across the Chinese Bridge end of Derwent Water for a while.

From Surprise View I continue along the road through Ashness Wood.

Maybe I shouldn't have but I did. All it took was one big step, helped a bit by the fence on the right.


Watendlath Beck was running just a little bit higher than normal today but all around there was evidence that the whole of the valley floor must have been underwater recently.


I'm almost at Watendlath now and I take this picture looking back through the valley.

As I was getting nearer to Watendlath I was wondering if the packhorse bridge would be in working order and what I was going to do if it wasn't. Well, it turns out it isn't but there's no need to panic, I see someone has done a fantastic job of (quickly) putting in a temporary bridge. I just hope all the other damaged or washed away bridges are replaced, repaired or have a temporary bridge installed sooner rather than later.

Stormy waters at Watendlath Tarn.

It was very peaceful in Watendlath today with the only other sign of life being the farm dogs, all of which seemed really pleased to see me.


The return journey was made along the road running between Borrowdale and Watendlath.

"Don't be shy, come out and say hello"

Well folks, although there are still three days left in 2015 this will be my final walk of the year. For the first time since I left school I've decided to work between Christmas and New Year. For the previous few years I've used precious holidays at Christmas, only to find myself sitting in the house watching the rain running down the windows. It just seems like a terrible waste so I've kept these days, along with quite a few others, until next year when I can pick and choose when to take them.

So what about 2015 then -
First of all I feel I should mention all the tarns walks I've done this year. Despite getting mixed feedback (good and bad) about these walks, I've really enjoyed the tarns project. As I said to someone in an email recently - "Some of them were new to me which makes me realise there must still be quite a few hidden corners of the Lake District that I've yet to visit. I knew all along that making the effort to visit all those tarns in one year would keep me off the 'normal' fells for much of the time but I felt if I didn't give the project my full attention, it would be far too easy to do other walks instead. It's just a shame that the weather has stopped me getting out and completing the last half dozen or so tarn walks I have left"
Without any doubt my favourite walk of the year was the one from Hawkshead on 3rd July, closely followed by the High Street walk on 23rd May. As for the rest, well, if I had to list them all in order of enjoyment, it would mean one of then would be classed as the least enjoyed walk of the year, and that wouldn't be right because I really enjoyed them all.

And, when 2016 arrives -
There's no project or theme for this year I'm afraid. Although, I do intend to spend more of my walks up on the fells themselves. As I said above, the tarns walks have kept me off the normal fells, so, now I think I need to balance things out. I'd also like to devise some linear walks using the bus services. I'm hoping this will make for some interesting and out of the ordinary routes.


Just before taking this picture I'd been quietly strolling down the road reflecting on the past twelve months. A significant birthday, a significant wedding anniversary and that question we always ask "where on earth did that year go". I wasn't exactly considering the idea of jumping off a cliff but I was dwelling a little too much on the negative side of reaching the end of another year. Then, two guys from a larger group of people said "hello" and "have you been up on the tops". After talking for a few minutes one of them mentioned "the walk you did on Barrow recently". Despite regularly getting stopped by people when I'm out walking, I'm still not sure what to say apart from thank you; or at least until the conversation gets into full swing.
After saying goodbye and all the best for 2016, I felt like our conversation had removed all the downsides connected with the year end. So, to cut a long story short, the last few hundred yards walked this year were done in high spirits and with a smile on my face. Sorry I didn't get your names but thank you.

Sadly, I feel the most appropriate picture to finish 2015 is one showing running water.

See you all in 2016 !!


David Hall -
Lake District Walks