No more excuses…it’s time for Striding Edge and a bit more besides..


With a rapid Friday getaway from Sevenoaks I was in the Lakes by 16.00 hrs, so plenty of time for a swifty and a goulash in the Dog and Gun (Keswick).

Too excited on Saturday morning so up at 05.30 for a glorious sun dappled drive to Glenridding and to meet Jason, the intrepid guide who was destined to help me find my way up the fabled hillock – Striding Edge.

The walk, only 7.5 miles started in earnest at the Ullswater Tourist Office at Glenridding, taking in a fairly tedious ascent of about an hour but which had beautiful views back down to the lake.

Marching onto the often perilous Striding Edge, but with the newly acquired nickname of Rockweiler, I found the clamber up no trouble at all, two others in our party of four did get the fear half way up but no one bottled out with a straight up the ridge approach taken by all.  There were a few unruly mutts on the hill each attempting to trip up a few climbers, not your style ey Rufus?

The descent via Swirral Edge came about all too soon and was possibly a little harder than Striding Edge had been.  In the wrong conditions it is clear that this walk would be a significantly tougher nut to crack but on a clear sunny day in July it was a truly wonderful walk don’t be put off and do get in touch with Jason at Lake District Guiding if you need a guide.

The Borrowdale next, another stunning part of the lakes, with access to Scafell Pike and a heap of other expansive, challenging, fabulous hills.

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A Poppytastic, Lavenderliscious self styled circular, Otford to Eynsford and back again


(Error, it was Eynsford to Otford and back again)…

The only energy expended in the last week was a 20 miler to recce the Lavender at Shoreham so Sunday needed more than the promised 8.  First check all mutts to see if we had a willing walker, nope yet again not a sniff of interest so off to Eynsford in the trusty Polo sans man’s best friend…or was I?

No parking fees at Eynsford station, good news for these tough times…08.30 and off to Eynsford Castle (shut due to vandals) – Lullingstone Country Park – Shoreham and then Otford station to meet the gang.  Striding past the Poppies and along the riverside low route, with a bit of a detour on the golf course, sorry chaps, I made great time so had a 40 minute wait for the train that would deliver the other Lavender hounds.

Oh my goodness a little chap called Harry could tell I needed a mate to walk with, well he barely said hi and whilst he had nothing on Rufus or Grizzle he was cute enough and also loved a paddle.  (TJ my London pal had also decided to come on down and stride out after all, better-and-better).

This is a neat little walk with stunning views, whatever the season, but due to the Lavender and Poppies this year, wow it really was special.  The Lavender Festival at the Castle Farm Hop Shop is on next weekend as well, 9th and 10th July, and is worth a visit if only to get a slab of cake from the WI tent or a Lavender massage in the Lavender fields…bizarre.

Having had tea and cake (note this is only a feature on the festival weekends) we marched up hill and down dale and then onto Lullingstone’s Roman Villa, yet another must see, though time decided we mustn’t.

A lucky weekend with the weather and one of the nicest walks of the year, jump on that train to Otford and find out for yourself.

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