Cumbria: Dodd Wood & Fell

The previous day we had hiked the Derwent Water Circuit and so today we decided to head to Dodd Wood & Feel, a small fell in the Lake District only a few miles away from Keswick. The fell is part of the Skiddaw mountain range and the wood itself has 4 walking trails ranging from 1-3 miles, the 3 mile walk leading you to the Dodd summit. Every trail is marked clearly with coloured spots to help you follow the correct trail as at some points they over lap each other.

Heading to the summit, the trail takes you pass the Upper Osprey viewpoint (a lower viewpoint is available on another trail close to the car park), part of the Lake District Osprey Project which aims to ensure the continued success of breeding Ospreys in the area. The viewpoints can be accessed on the trails all year around but volunteers provide information, telescopes and web cam viewing between April and September, which we were very fortunate to participate in and witness some chicks in an Osprey nest – Exciting!

The trail is steep in places with hills but the track itself is in good condition yet the views are completely worth it, panoramic and on a clear day you can see for mles around and all around once you reach the summit. Whilst many sections of the trail are wooded, still bring enough water with you on hot days as once out in the open there is no protection from the sun. Also, keep an eye out for red squirrels as a feeding station is located at the viewpoints to attract these rare creatures!

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After your hike, why not visit the pleasant ‘Old Sawmill Tearoom‘ located at the car park. A small, quaint tearoom with reasonable pricing and options to sit inside and out.

Cumbria: Derwent Water Circuit

A circular walk around Derwent Water (9.5 miles/15.3km) taking you through a picturesque landscape of mountains, clear water and views that allow you to see for miles around. Starting from a car park located next to the Theatre By The Lake, we went clockwise around the route following a variety of paths, tracks and roads.

We did this walk in late April, a very sunny day yet parts of our trail were muddy due to previous rainfall in the week and a slight detour (read: scramble) due to high tide blocking the path, with the trial varying from rough to moderate. We met lots of people on the trial, dog walkers and people on canoes, kayaks and boats on different sections of the water when the path runs alongside.

Below, enjoy a wonderful photo gallery from our walk:

 

Cumbria: Hope Memorial Camp (Review)

For a walking weekend, we stayed at the Hope Memorial Camp near Braithwaite (close to Keswick) in the Northern Lakes and the centre itself is a convenient location for walks in Whinlatter Forest and around Bassenthwaite with some walks able to start from the centre itself – Very handy! Set in 35 acres of land, the centre has heating, showers, dormitory accommodation and is self – catering.

This is the second time I’ve stayed here with a group of around 20+ people (we all know each other) and were able to spread out across all the rooms with around 2-3 to each room. Rooms vary from singles to one or two bunk beds per room or 1 or 2 rooms with 3 bunk beds. Each room is named after mountains/lakes in the area with each room having a window, lighting, a radiator and a shelvng unit for everyone to place their belongings with larger bags fitting underneath the beds. Whilst none of the dorms appear to have plugs, their are plugs to be found in the common areas and the corridor.

6 bed dorm

As well as the dorm rooms being off the main corridor (pictured below), the top part of the corrdior (kitchen end) is where the bathrooms for males and females can be found, as well as three individual showers which have a limited amount of hot water so please consider others when showering. The lights for the showers can be turned on by a seperate key and box, located on the wall before you walk in so check before you undress. There is also another shower further down the corridor if needed.

Due to severe flooding that affected many parts of the UK over winter 2015/16 including Cumbria, the centre had a temporary boot room in the second common area as the previous boot room was drying out from the previously mentioned flooding and was being rebuilt as the time of our visit. We still used this common room for evening activities including board games and watching films (all equipment was ours, not a service provided by the centre).

Corridor to common area & kitchen, shower and boot room/common area 2

With the kitchen not really being my department as I am not the best cook, particularly compared to other people I travel with, the kitchen is well stocked with plenty of bowls, cups, dishes, cutlery etc to cater for a fully occupied camp, it does fall a little on the small side when preparing and/cooking and during this visit we seemed to have issues with the oven but as this didn’t happen previously, we muddled through it as it meant heating the oven up just took longer than normal.

You do have to pay for your electricity before you depart which is on a meter, the owner will visit to check this and collect the money for usage. There is wi-fi in this remote location, £5 for the stay regardless of how many people connect but as this camp is in the middle of nowhere, don’t expect it to be fast.

Would I stay here again? Yes!