When we last spoke, I left you here, right at the start of the 2.5 circuit walk around the secret, hidden valley of Langstrath, where the quaint, sleepy village of Stonethwaite sits, deep in the heart of Cumbria’s Lake District National Park.
Words cannot properly describe this lovely stroll through the valley, next to crags, across a river and back along an animal track to the pub. So instead, I’m going to give you a pictorial view of this pastoral scene. With occasional captions, of course!
The walk starts on paved village roads, and then once you open the gate…
Nothing but dirt and gravel track. This little structure is known as the Alisongrass Hoghouse, once a home for, yes, you guessed it, sheep.
Did I trick you with my wordsmithing? A hogg is a year old sheep, my research tells me, so these little structures are not for pigs, but for housing the year old sheep in winter, keeping their little booties warm.
Now this structure keeps paying holidaymakers warm in this delightful remote location, a great jumping off point for the Cumbrian Way or, like us, a quick stroll around the valley. When we passed by, a couple of workers were there doing up the joint, likely updating it for even more well paying walkers.
Curving around the cottage brings you to the river.
A wider view of the scene. If we continued straight on, we’d be walking the Cumbrian Way. Instead, we are going left.
And the view of the river on the other side is not bad either.
Another fantastic accidental panorama:
Two Cumbrian Way walkers that we were sure to see soon at the pub.
A gate was once here.
Once we crossed the Gordon Hallworth memorial bridge, it was an easy stroll back, walking in the footsteps where so many others had trodden before us. With the mountain on one side and a wall on the other, it struck me that we were following a path that sheep herders and their flocks had followed for likely a thousand years.
Just stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and look back on where we’ve just been.
Exhale and smile – because the pub is just around the corner!