Thursday, 20 May 2021

Lake District, May, Day 3.

Ratherheath Woods were heavy with the scent of bluebells as we walked through at the start of our walk to the River Kent and the bluebell Woods on the other side of the river.  Today we were able to make use of the underpass under the busy main road and then continue down the exquisite, winding, green land under the railway and down to Bowston Farm.  Here we got chatting to the very friendly lady at the farm and she told us of the curlew nesting in their fields which were being monitored by the team from the Lythe Valley.  She was also the second person to extol the praises of the ice creams from Gelato in Stavely.  We smacked our lips in anticipation and continued on our way using the longer road route into the village in order to leave the curlew in peace.  In the village we soon found the microbrewery we had been recommended to visit by bridge over the river.  It wasn't open but we established that it was at the weekend and we made plans for a return visit in the car.  We continued along the Dale's Way by the river which we crossed by the bridge over to Hag Foot. This has recently been rebuilt after being washed away in Storm Desmond.  Once over the river we entered Beckmickle Ing Wood and followed.owed the path up to the narrow back road to Stavely.  Again it was awash with bluebells.  Our route the took along the road a short while before turning sharply up hills the the series of wood known as Dorothy Farrers Spring Woods, the main one being Spring Hag Wood.Although we have seen a lot of bluebells in the previous couple of days, they were nothing like this.  The heady aroma was amazing and mixed with the more pungent aroma of ramsons or wild garlic.  The hazy sea of cobalt receded into the distance wave upon wave of them, contrasting with the gleaming white ramson flowers that shone like beacons.  We had lunch here, took photographs and painted revelling in the flowers contrasting with the lime green of the fresh beech leaves and the more orange-yellow of the newly emerging oak leaves.  What a wonderful wood.  The path descended quite steeply to meadows and the road and path down into Stavely with expansive views over the Kent Valley and Cunswick and Scout Scars beyond.  The ice creams at Gelato were as delicious as had been promised: dark chocolate for me and white chocolate and raspberry for Heather sitting on the slate seat in the grounds of St Margaret's Tower.  After walking back to the site across the fields to the site it was time to doze in the sun with a cup of tea, but soon the sun was over the yard arm and it was beer o'clock and time to light the bbq.  An idyllic day.

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