The beautiful south

A few weeks ago we went south, first to Wasdale for 2 nights, and then across Hardknott Pass to Glenridding. It's a little too easy to get complacent about the charms of the fells if you live in Scotland, and each time I go back now it's a treat to discover new corners that I'd missed in the past. Here's a few of my favourite photos from a really superb week in a beautiful place.

This will be a view familiar to many who have walked up England's highest mountain. The hill was busy with folk on the three peaks challenge this weekend.

I'd actually never used this path, always having walked onto the Scafells by other routes. Midsummer alpenglow on the 2 pointy bits, and a chill in the air, I took off right up a gully.

I'm not sure which one - it's possible it was Lord's Rake or less likely Deep Ghyll - either way the choss and moss required a bit more focus than the usual way up onto Green How. A great evening to be out late.

I went back up to the summit of Scafell itself the next day. I'm researching for something very long term and needed to be sure of a number of descent routes off the hill. I've always found Green How to be a bit nondescript navigation wise, so it was good to spend a chunk of time to clear up my confusion.

The weather was a mixed bag all week, which was great for the light, but required being quick on the draw! Occasionally, I was fast enough.

Symmetry like this can't be accidental, can it? I always wonder if some of these erractics are not so erratic in their placement. Those who know the valley better than I will know where this is - a moody and humid Wasdale just before the rain began in earnest.

We switched tack and went east, to stay with my folks in a place they'd hired for a week. The light continued to do it's best to woo us in Patterdale on a brief stroll with the family.

On the last morning, whilst the cottage still slept, I crept out early and was on Heron Pike by 7am. A tiny trail from the back door, tucked away off the tourist routes, winding through crags, blaeberry, ferns and foxgloves, a hill before breakfast is the best tonic. The decent through the Juniper woodland near the defunct Greenside mines was an added bonus prize. If this priority BAP species can flourish here, in the aftermath of industrial and agricultural destruction, there's surely hope for a wilder, greener land.