Wednesday, 10 March 2010


  Everyone knows that some of the popular walks in the Lake District can get very, very indeed at any time of year.  By far the majority of visitors heading for the lower lakes bypass Kendal and head straight on to Windermere before perhaps branching off to the Langdales or over Kirkstone pass to Ullswater. 
  As United Utilities turned off the region's electricity at 9 a.m. we decided to pack up early but stop off to investigate the valley of LONGSLEDDALE. It's situated just north of Kendal, literally minutes off the busy A6 but rarely visited.   Alfred wainwright, the famous writer of pictorial guides to the Lake district, wrote...
  "Down on the left (of the A6) and extending far into the hills, beyond a middle distance of scattered farmsteads and woodlands is a perfect picture of quiet rural charm....the valley of LONGSLEDDALE. This is a view of classic beauty and is always so no matter how often one sees it"
  The dale starts at Garnett Bridge cut through by a single track road for 5 flattish miles to the dale head at the hamlet of Sadgill.  Trail walkers and runners will park here and head off on the good trail which can be see behind me in this shot.   The trail climbs steadily for a few miles and many will then carry on over the top towards Mardale Head at the top of Haweswater where we turned in Sunday's half marathon.   Perhaps try that another day but for today Pat's welcome suggestion was for me to run the 5 miles back down the dale to Garnett Bridge where she would pick me up.

So I enjoyed a very pleasant 5 miler on a good road
seeing one solitary car.  With views to my right (west) of Kentmere Pike and Shipman's Knott which form part of the Kentmere Horseshoe.  Last time I was up there racing was back in the '70s!   I think the legs felt better today than they did all those years back by the time I'd climbed to those heights.
  45 minutes later Pat caught me up and within 5 minutes we were on the A6 and heading back home. 
  So that was LONGSLEDDALE, a hidded gem
just off but very close the beaten track!

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