Swimming on a cool & windy autumn day

Summer has definitely cleared of, but the desire to continue swimming in the Lakes hasn’t!

However the days of just going to the lake have gone as now I need to follow in the steps of my friends and organise my swims around my baby. So today this meant going with someone happy to look after Evie whilst I swam, and then swap!

You would think this happy little bundle wouldn’t mind me going for a dip, especially when she had Josie as a doting babysitter!

However, hopefully just a ‘stage’, but apparently she cried for most of the time I swam….

Back to shore and a very quick change (it’s got cold) before consoling an upset Evie whilst trying to warm up.

But once she realised I was back to stay it was all smiles again! We all squeezed in to the much needed pop up wind shelter (I think I need one of these in my life) for a picnic

And it was laughs and giggles once more

Then sadly time for home, what a lovely way to spend a day, getting stupidly cold and catching up with friends!

Knipe Scar- a locals gem

I have been going up Knipe Scar, from Bampton or Bampton Grange, since I was a little girl. It’s a great hill if you want one a small one to do when carrying a baby. It doesn’t take long to get up, yet you know you have done some exercise getting up it, and it has fantastic views from the top.

There are a number of ways to get to the top, but from the knipe road beyond Bampton Grange, this signpost takes you up a guaranteed wet path!

Its a fairly steep ascent towards the top, the path winds through the bracken to the left of the stone wall.

From the top you can see south to the Howgills, across to Haweswater and High Street and over to Blencathra in the distance (Scotland on a very clear day)

Once again Evie bean missed the glorious views!

The limestone scar on top is where you need to be careful that monsters don’t jump out of the cracks as you are playing on them!

There is also a stone circle up here, but didn’t have time on this day to go & see it.

Making it a circuit, you go down the steep side towards Knipe, then cross the Knipe road to the rather fun wibbly wobbly bridge (but be careful of the trolls that live in the pipes!)

Then back along the river to Bampton, which often has beautiful reflections to enjoy as you wander back along it .

The Marmalade March – 5 miles

Just did a lovely local walk today with Evie and mum, on paths I had never been on before. A loop you can do from either Dalemain House (the home of the Marmalade Festival held each March), or from Pooley Bridge.

5 miles of undulating terrain, through fields, a bit of road , some wood and some track. Nice if you want something gentle, but parts not buggyable.

We set off from Dalemain across the fields , where we had a surprisingly good view of Askham fell.

Past a small lake / big pond

Then down to the river, which we had a couple of lovely picnic (and swim) spots

As well as a large family of swans, with a highly successful brood of signets

Evie checked our route before continuing on our way

And then it was up a small hill through the Dunmallard woods

We made a stop off at Dacre Church, which is worth a small detour to visit, very pretty

It also has four bears in the graveyard (or possibly lions – the jury is out). Nobody knows the reason for their existence but they are very old.

Past Dacre castle

Some old and unusual stone gateposts

And bambi!

Before finishing off in the medieval cafe at Dalemain (you’ll have to visit there yourself as no photos allowed). I can recommend the Gluten Free lemon drizzle cake!!!

Tarn Crag and Sergeant Man – 11/06/18

Meeting up with my Swim-Run pal Alex just outside of Grasmere, we decided to go for a Walk-Swim seeing as currently I’m not running, certainly not with Evie and a rucksack! The first part of the day was a repeat on one of our training runs three summers ago.

We set off up to Easedale Tarn at a considerably slower pace than in previous years. But the Tarn itself just as beautiful as we took it in turns to have a swim and look after Evie. It was such a hot day that we didn’t need to worry about being cold after the swims.

Continued upwards to Codale Tarn for a spot of lunch and another swim, also gorgeous. From here we considered our options and decided to go up to Tarn Crag, as it was the least likely summit to get to again without considerable effort.

Cracking views from here, we decided to keep onwards and do a circle over Sergeant Man as we had plenty of day left. It took a bit longer to traverse over the rough ground than expected and up to Sergeant Man.

However we finally made it. At this point I could happily have kept going except we had a time to get back for.

What we / I hadn’t anticipated was the time it would take me to get down with this load on!

The terrain was tough in sections, some really rocky sections to get down.

Then Evie needed feeding and changing…..

But we finally made it – an epic 7 hour fell day!

Arnison Crag 09/06/18

I was in Patterdale visiting a friend and thought I’d sneak in a cheeky walk whilst there.

Arnison Crag was not the walk I planned to do, I had meant to go up St Sunday Crag (much higher, in hindsight wouldn’t have got there). No matter how many times I looked at the map, it turns out I ended up on the wrong path. I didn’t work this out till later in the evening, asking for confirmation from some of my fell boff friends.

But the path went up (steeply) and the views were good!

It was slightly scrambly to actually sit on the summit (probably wouldn’t think twice about it if I wasn’t carrying a baby on my front).

And as I sat there, the thunder was booming and then I felt something I hadn’t felt in many weeks…. a big fat raindrop!

So Evie’s new piece of kit, the BundleBean, came out and I figured out how to put it on. Thankfully very easily.

Given the turn in the weather I made as rapid a decent as I could and wound my way through some beautiful woods at the bottom.

Which popped you out behind the pub in Patterdale.

Not the walk I planned, but a lovely one. And as it turned out a good one given the weather.

Nab Scar and Heron Pike 08/06/18

I had hoped to get up to Great Rigg today and do a loop. But I set off too late and had also arranged to meet Tim in Grasmere, so I had to settle for a there and back walk.

Setting off up the ridge is a very steep and stepped walk, which went on and on. However, another gorgeous day meant I could just stop and enjoy the foxgloves and the thousands of iridescent blue dragonflies flying around.

Stopping regularly also do enjoy the view as it got increasingly better

And then a nice platform for lunch, where Evie could have a wriggle and we could both feed.

Before continuing on upwards whilst Evie continued her all important sleeping !

Rather nicely, I’d had a text off my friend Salka, who was also in the area, so she chased me up the hill and we strolled on up to reach Heron Pike, the continuation of the ridge.

It was tough to turn around on such an amazing day, but cake was called at Greens Cafe, which do fabulous gluten free cakes. Tim wanted some daddy daughter cuddles and we got to end the day with a refreshing swim in Rydal Water and more blue dragonflies.

The BundleBean

When a friend of mine noticed that I had embarked upon the Wainwrights in the Lake District fells with Evie (at the time only a few weeks old), she knew it was a matter of time before the spell of good weather broke and I would need some waterproof gear.

I have a need to be outside and have some exercise and fresh air at some point every day, no matter what the weather. This means that Evie, on most occasions, will also have to be outside with me. And the problem with babies is that they grow. Rapidly. Which, although I am a fan of second hand clothes, could still become expensive to be getting decent outdoor gear, when she is essentially just being carried.

So this is where my friends suggestion of the BundleBean comes in. Designed to fit over any carrier and for children up to 4 years old, waterproof and snuggly, I thought it was worth a try. The hardest decision was choosing between elephants and polar bears (amongst others) for the design!

BundleBean

And what timing. When it arrived I put it in my rucksack and the next walk I did up Arnison Crag in June we got caught in a thunderstorm.

With the first raindrop falling as I got to the summit, I donned the BundleBean and hoped it would keep her dry. It was a good test as the rain really came down. Back at the car she was 100% dry.

From that day onwards the BundleBean is always there in my bag, allowing me to still enjoy getting out without worrying, even when it is windy and wet.

It has other uses to, like a picnic blanket.

An out an about sleeping mat that you can even squeeze a friends twinnies into whilst we picnic and swim.

A blanket for the pushchair

Or for when she is in the bike Chariot and it’s a chilly day!

It’s been used as a general warm blanket for when we are down at the lake (she is a bit small for her own Dryrobe yet!)

It makes for a good beach towel!

And very importantly, the design has thought about the parents to, as there is a fleece lined hand warmer pocket for when it is used on the front. Important, as if you are anything like me, whilst Evie is small and still in the front sling, I instinctively like to hold her as well.

We recently trialled it on the back as Evie is growing. I’m pleased to say it seemed just as effective keeping her dry in an alpine thunderstorm.

Evie is almost, but not quite, ready for the rucksack…. as we head into Autumn. I have no doubt I’ll be testing it further when using this as we get more rain.

BundleBean