Cumbria Again

I was driving back from Scotland yesterday in heavy rain, wondering whether to go straight home or stop off somewhere to do some Christmas shopping. As I drove down the M6 south of Penrith, the sky looked a bit brighter over to the south west…so I took a quick detour off the motorway at Shap and made my way over towards Ambleside. With no particular aim in mind (and shopping still on the cards), there looked like a tantalising bright area in the clouds, so I decided to carry on through Ambleside and take the road through Langdale.

At this point the clouds joined up again and it started to rain heavily. It was approaching noon, so I decided to stop off at Dungeon Ghyll to have lunch. I was the only one in the Walker’s Bar there, but there was a welcoming fire and a festive feeling. As I finished my snack, the clouds parted and I dashed off pretty smartly in the direction of Blea Tarn. Heavy rain had left the road flooded in places on the steep climb up towards Blea Tarn and the tarmac was washed away here and there. There were no other cars on the road and it felt a bit lonely and not a little spooky…but the mountains are so beautiful and the view was, as always, spectacular and I had now made my choice.

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When I came to a flood on the narrowest part of the road, only then did I wonder if I had been a bit foolish to attempt this journey on my own. There was no way I could turn round…and the prospect of reversing back down the steep windy road behind me was just too daunting. Whilst I was parked there wondering how deep the flood was and whether I could find a stick to poke into it to measure the flood depth, a car came from the other direction…and negotiated the flood successfully. We had a bit of a difficult job passing each other, wing mirrors in,  but then I managed to get through the flood and on to Blea Tarn about a half mile ahead…where I only managed half a dozen shots as one shaft of light passed over the Langdales.

Then the rain really came down!!!

Carrying on along the road, it eventually drops down to another favourite hostelry, the Three Shires Inn at Little Langdale, where I sheltered from the rain yet again over a cup of coffee. On the way I encountered a very large ram in the road, sauntering along as if he owned it and had nowhere else to go that day. He wasn’t bothered by the proximity of my car, not bothered by the sound of the engine revving behind him or the sound of my horn…so we proceeded at ram sauntering pace for about a quarter of a mile, when he turned, gave me a disdainful look and moved aside.

Passing through Elterwater village, the sun came out for about half a minute and gave the opportunity for a few more shots looking back towards Langdale. I think it was worth all the hassle, but maybe I’ll take somebody with me next time 🙂

Here are some shots:

 

© Christine Widdall