Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"High Spy" with my little eye...and lucky Lucie.

The cairn that beckoned..."High Spy"
"Once upon a time," wrote Beatrix Potter, "there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little Town." There is, indeed, a Little Town, in the heart of the lovely and pastoral Newlands Valley, just fifteen minutes from Keswick. And it's very little. It's also the trail head for a great hike up and along the high ridge to "High Spy", in the English Lake District.

The weather today was CAVOK, ceiling and visibility OK - but it was way more than OK. The skies were blue with just occasional clouds passing through. The sun shone brightly, the air temperature was around the freezing mark, the winds were light - a perfect day for being on the hills.

The sun sparkled off the thin ice on the trail.
Gaining elevation, Keswick and magical Derwent Water appear, tiny islands dotting the "blue" waters.

Skiddaw and Blencathra behind distant Keswick.
"Catbells", at 1,481 feet, is one of the most popular hill walks in the country - it's no wonder. A quick climb...and views that will be savoured forever.

The summit of "Catbells" (centre left)
The peaceful Newlands Valley lies far below. The most "direct" route is an impressively precipitous drop!

Evidence of past mining operations on the slopes. 
The 360 degree panorama is simply breathtaking.

Distant trails, across the valley, invite "tomorrow's challenge".

Jagged slices of rock protrude from the ridge.

The cairn at "High Spy", at 2,143 feet, commands a "forever" view.

With the sun due to set at 1603 hrs, there are just a few moments to reflect...

and then it's time to retrace steps,

as shadows of mountains, are cast on mountains.

It is truly a magical landscape.

According to Beatrix Potter, there is a hill behind Little Town, "a hill that goes up, up, into the clouds as though it had no top."

I think Lucie was very fortunate to live at that farm in Little Town. :)

Total km: 11.2
Total ascent: 601 m (1,971 feet)


  1. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! The Lake District at its very best....

    Really great stuff Duncan :o)

  2. Haha! Thanks Ian. The Lake District was certainly "showing off" today - pure magic! It's raining now, but that's OK, we know what it can do if it tries! :) Warm wishes. Duncan.

  3. Lake District looks beautiful....it was my favourite part of England but never really got to stop and enjoy.

  4. So very beautiful, L. The fields and valleys below even have a Swiss-like appearance. It wouldn't seem at all unusual to hear an alphorn ringing through the hills. Makes me crave cheese and chocolate! :) D.

  5. Duncan never pictured Englas as such. Didn't think there was room left for such beauty over there. Cheer's and thanks for the view.

  6. It's a marvellous area, Lee, a stunning region of natural beauty and topography. Great to hear from you! :) Duncan.

  7. Beautiful views! Your reconfiguration is making mine look somewhat Lay. Your inspiring me to up the pace!

  8. Haha! Thanks Lee. I think you're doing just great with the different and diverse layers of your exploring. Don't forget, we've got about 40 years to "reconfigure". I love Annie Dillard's quote at the top of this blog. There's simply no time to waste, so much to do, and still so many opportunities to contribute. "Relaxing" always did seem like such a waste of time to both of us! :) Again, thanks for that. Duncan.