24th May 2018
Weather: Blue sky & sunshine all day. No wind in valleys, but a strong wind on the fell.
In Dufton: swallows flying in the morning sunshine; birdsong; a rabbit on the green. Walking on the country lanes I could have cried with delight at the sublime beauty of the hills on a spring morning with hawthorn in bloom. A lamb stood in a field watching me, it’s breath condensing in the cool ground air. A few minutes later a hillside dawn chorus, of bleating sheep.
A walk through tree-shaded lane before a long ascent alongside Swindale Beck (dry for quite a way up) until The Heights: a strong wind. Slightly misted views across Eden Valley to Lakeland Fells.
I met Keith Greenwood, from Kendal, at the summit of Cross Fell informing me it is the highest point on the Pennines. He called the Easterly wind “The Helm Wind” & said there was still snow up there 4 weeks ago.
I sat at the huge stone shelter for 30 minutes eating, admiring the extensive view across Eden Valley, during which another 5 people arrived: two Australian walkers, two runners and a young woman, who a couple of hours later introduced herself as Selina from Blackburn. She has talked with others I have met en route. One extended family…
But a long walk of several miles along a stony track across open Moor before Garrigill. Another village of houses clustered around a green space, similar to Dufton. It then became a lot warmer. A riverside walk, ending as the day had begun in a tree-lined lane.
A day’s rest tomorrow.
Stone Bridge at Cosca Hill, probably Brownber Hill behind
Above Swindale and the Eden Valley
Cross Fell plateau from Little Dun Fell
Greg’s hut, a mountain bothy (I did have a snoop inside), Skirwith Fell, looking North
Alstone Moor about 1 mile from Garrigill
Riverside between Garrigill and Alston
Started Dufton 07:20, arrived Alston 18:00 – a 30 minute stop on Cross Fell as well as a few shorter rest-stops.