Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Walking with ravens

Sunday wasn't supposed to be up to much weather-wise, so we hadn't planned anything special. In the event the sun shone, the wind dropped and there was no sign of the promised rain, or even much in the way of cloud.

On a whim we decided it was too nice to stay indoors, dug out our boots and tackled the little fell at the back of Windermere, School Knott. It's only a tiddler at about 750 feet above sea-level, but the nice thing is there are a number of ways up it so you can vary the route. This time, we approached from the back, having first staggered up to Lickbarrow and then cut across the fields to Old Droomer (wonderful names...). After that we took part of the Dales Way, following a stream and crossing a ford in the direction of School Knott Tarn.

The air was wonderful - fresh yet warm in the sun - and everything smelled clean. Sheep munched the grass practically at our feet, the gorse was out, and when we hit the fell tops we heard the unmistakeable call of a raven. Looking up, we saw four different ravens circling overhead. Given how rare those birds are, it was an amazing and special sight.

The views from the Knott were amazing, too. The previous day's haze had cleared and we could see for miles in an unbroken 360-degree circle, including pretty much all the high ground in the north-west of England. The Conistons, the central fells, the eastern ranges, Shap, the Howgills, the Pennines... It may not be very high, but it's a staggeringly good viewpoint.

And we even made it home in time for a cup of tea and a sticky cake.

Just as well we took advantage of the sunshine, because yesterday was a typical bank holiday washout...

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