Our annual Club Trip took us to the Lake District this year. Arriving in the quaint little town of Keswick, gateway to the Lake District, we felt that we were leaving conventional life behind for a while and about to explore one of the most amazing and tranquil landscapes in the UK; indeed it surpassed all our expectations! Our destination was Hassness House Hotel, on the shores of Buttermere. Though only 12 miles from Keswick, the journey took over half an hour by a narrow, twisting but scenic road, via Honister Pass. Hair-raising!
Hassness House provided an excellent base for our holiday, nestled away in splendid isolation with an amazing vista of lake and mountain all around. The name Alfred Wainwright is synonymous with the Lake District and we eagerly perused his Illustrated Guides to the Lakeland Fells, provided by the Hassness House library. During our stay, we walked part of the “Wainwright Coast-to-Coast” and
climbed Haystacks, where his ashes are scattered.
Over the next three days we spent a total of 19 hours walking in glorious sunshine, our labours enlivened by occasional readings from Wainwright’s Book Six. We completed the twelve-mile circuit of Crummock Water and through Mosedale, in 27⁰. We followed in the footsteps of Wainwright, climbing Dale Head (753m) High Spy (653m) and Maiden Moor (571m) before descending to the village of Grange, where ice-cream was devoured before getting the local bus back to our cars.
Some of us achieved their goal of climbing Scafell Pike (978m) while the rest of us took the long route up Haystacks (597m) from Honister Pass, stopping for lunch by Innominate Tarn and thinking of Wainwright.
Our evenings were self-entertaining – music was played, songs were sung (murdered, even!) and stories were told. All too soon it was time to depart, for Manchester and the flight home.