Instead, we had to content ourselves on the days following our screes walk with some lower level ambles which I thought I would combine into one post.
The path we took started along the same route as the screes walk. We made our way through the woods at the back of the cottage to the bridge over the beck. From here, we came back onto the road which turns into the screes path if you follow it to the left This time we turned right, making for Easthwaite Farm.
I always find these sorts of woods slightly eerie, and on a grey day like this, that feeling was particularly strong. The ground was water-logged, and there were several points where we had to skirt around the edges of muddy pools.
The ascent of the slope was a bit of a slog. It was steep, grassy, and boggy, making it a rather unpleasant climb. That said, it was mercifully short, as the ridge isn't high, so even with the sodden ground, it wasn't long before we reached the top.
From there, the walk to Irton Pike was relatively easy going. It would have been positively straightforward on a dry day, but the wet ground did make it slower at times, as we tried to negotiate the bogs.
Irton Pike itself stands out alone at the very end of the ridge, poking its head up above another clump of fir trees which form part of Miterdale Forest. Because of its obvious position, it wasn't difficult to find our way, following one of a few paths that lead straight to it.
The climb up to the summit from the ridge is not at all challenging, but once we reached the top, we could see that it's a hill worth visiting. It offers panoramic views of all the surrounding countryside and the sea.
Buttermere and Scale Force
We walked through the main village, and past the well-known Fish Inn, before heading down to Buttermere itself, with the intention of taking the path that runs around the lake. Despite the miserable weather, there were still some stunning views...
We took the path to left, to walk clockwise around the lake. Much of shore is edged with trees, but there are still some points where you can get wonderful views of the surrounding hills.
However, we were glad we made the climb, as it was at that point that we spotted a red squirrel! For a moment, the husband and I had the most fantastic view of it sitting on the path right in front of us, but unfortunately it was too quick for us to get a photo. I'm so very pleased to have seen it though, as it's the first red squirrel I've seen in a truly wild setting.
After that excitement, my dad insisted we go down to the path and go back so that we could go through the tunnel, which was apparently carved out in the 19th century by a Manchester Mill owner.
I couldn't resist the suggestion in the end, and so we set off again, following a path that led straight on from the lake-shore path we had been following. We were soon nearing Crummock Water, the other lake that lies just north-west of Buttermere.
To be fair to my dad, it wasn't a difficult walk and was mostly on the flat. At one point though, the ground became so boggy that we lost the path entirely, and so ended up trudging across sodden, clumpy ground for while - all the time with my dad insisting we were on the path - only to come slap bang up against a fence. Of course, at this point I spotted a very well-kept path which was clearly leading to the waterfall and would have made the walk a lot easier!
Despite this (and there were several points at which we accused my dad of lying about the existence of the waterfall), once we actually got there, we discovered it had been well worth the walk. Scale Force is a very impressive and beautiful waterfall.
More from me soon, covering our walks up Great Gable and Scafell Pike, so keep an eye out.