Eden Valley lockdown walk

Date walked: 27/03/2020

I am very fortunate to live in such a beautiful area as the Eden Valley. Never have I appreciated that fact so acutely as now, in the grip of this awful pandemic, when we are all trapped in our immediate localities. With the situation and our understanding of it changing by the day, it's difficult to keep a sense of reality. But the reality we must all try to grasp is the terrifying, herculean task faced by the NHS and all health and social care workers. Our foremost thoughts must be with them, along with the most vulnerable among us, and our actions tailored accordingly.

Equally, it's important to try to stay positive. Not so easy, perhaps, when we have little idea how long this will last, how big the death-toll will ultimately be, or when, with conscience, we'll be able to set foot on a high hill again. But we stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, which is inevitably there, even though it's distance from us is impossible to tell. How long is a piece of string? When things do eventually get back to something approaching normality, no doubt our freedom to be active in the hills will be treasured all the more; and our new experiences will be lit with an intensified sense of appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of the places from which we have been exiled.

In the meantime, one of the things that can help us to stay positive is the permission we still have to get out of our houses for some exercise, provided we observe all the regulations and guidelines. Over the past week or so these guidelines have been somewhat liberally interpreted, with people from far and wide flocking to the most popular beauty spots in their cars, making social distancing almost impossible. Perhaps they weren't to be blamed, since government advice at the time wasn't exactly clear. But it has become clearer, as it has become stricter and more strictly enforced. Our daily exercise quota may be taken only from our own doorsteps - no driving to the start of a walk. It still isn't quite clear where the legal limits are, though. The government seem to be relying on people's good sense. But one person's 'good sense' is another's wanton irresponsibility. How long should we be out for? How far should we walk or cycle? Should we cycle to the start of a walk? However unresolved these questions may be, it is clearly in our interests not to exploit such ambiguities with too much alacrity, lest we forfeit the modest liberties we still have, and which, no doubt, will become increasingly precious as the lockdown continues.

Some of these uncertainties were circulating in my mind on Friday 27th March, when I decided to go for a walk. It was one of those immaculate Spring days of warm sunshine and cloudless skies, and I was due some exercise. I packed a small daysack - which included a tube of hand sanitiser and several pairs of latex gloves - and set off from my house with a vague idea of where I wanted to go. The route, based on a local stretch of the River Eden and its tributary, the Lyvennet, was improvised as I went along and modified according to circumstances. Social distancing was very easy. It would have taken a deliberate effort to have gone within 10 metres of anyone else. Most of the time there was no one in sight. I put on a pair of latex gloves whenever a gate needed to be opened, or a stile couldn't be crossed without holding on. With hindsight the walk was probably a bit longer than it ought to have been - I didn't plot the distance beforehand. I'll try to keep future lockdown walks shorter. But all in all it felt a lot safer than going to the supermarket, and infinitely more rewarding!

Out of the house at last, through the village of Culgaith

Into the field

Zoomed view west - snowy Helvellyn just visible on horizon

Back on the road at the level-crossing

Blencathra peeping hazily above the trees

Crowdundle Beck

Bridge over the Eden; start of riverside walk

"A lone a last a loved a long the..."


Heading towards the Temple Sowerby by-pass (A66)

'Red River' by Victoria Brailsford

Oglebird Scar

Nice grassy bank

Back down to the river

Over the footbridge

View of the Eden (upstream) from the footbridge

Path through the riverside pastures

Route continues on the other side of the road

A deer very much aware of my presence

Sheep in a field without grass

Roadside daffodils (near Mansgrove Farm)

Bolton village; turn right at the crossroads

Path from Bolton to King's Meaburn

Cross Fell

Crucial stile, easy to miss

Muddy track leading to King's Meaburn

King's Meaburn

History of King's Meaburn

Heading down to the Lyvennet

At the ford; turn right here

Footbridge over the Lyvennet

"There are 29 sweet reasons why blossomtime's the best."

Track past the cottage, down the river and under Jackdaw's Scar

Path beside the Lyvennet

small cascade

River through the woods

The route to Morland closed off due to flood damage

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to..."

...Culgaith and environs

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Comments: 12

Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean

Attachment(s) Munros: Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban (Mamores)
Date walked: 12/02/2020
Distance: 12.3km
Ascent: 1199m
Comments: 12
Views: 1628

A Choise for Storm Ciara

Attachment(s) Grahams: Meall Mor (Glencoe), Sgorr a'Choise
Date walked: 10/02/2020
Distance: 14.4km
Ascent: 1124m
Comments: 2
Views: 527

Another Variant of the Coledale Round

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Barrow, Causey Pike, Eel Crag, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Sail, Scar Crags
Hewitts: Causey Pike, Crag Hill (Eel Crag), Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crag, Hopegill Head, Sail, Scar Crags
Date walked: 18/01/2020
Distance: 15.4km
Ascent: 1467m
Comments: 4
Views: 558

A Honister Round from Buttermere

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Brandreth, Dale Head, Grey Knotts, Haystacks, Hindscarth, Robinson
Hewitts: Brandreth, Dale Head, Hindscarth, Robinson
Date walked: 30/11/2019
Distance: 18.7km
Ascent: 1523m
Comments: 5
Views: 553

Rogan's Seat from Keld

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Hewitts: Rogan's Seat
Date walked: 16/11/2019
Distance: 19.6km
Ascent: 676m
Views: 67

Culter Fells

Attachment(s) Grahams: Culter Fell, Gathersnow Hill
Donalds: Chapelgill Hill, Culter Fell, Gathersnow Hill, Hillshaw Head, Hudderstone
Date walked: 09/11/2019
Distance: 22.6km
Ascent: 1117m
Views: 661

A Blencathra circuit from Mungrisedale

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Bannerdale Crags, Blencathra, Bowscale Fell, Souther Fell
Hewitts: Bannerdale Crags, Blencathra, Bowscale Fell
Date walked: 02/11/2019
Distance: 13.8km
Ascent: 951m
Views: 162

Mardale Head Skyline

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Harter Fell (Far Eastern Fells), High Street, Mardale Ill Bell
Hewitts: Harter Fell (Far Eastern Fells), High Street
Date walked: 19/10/2019
Distance: 11.2km
Ascent: 814m
Views: 148

Coniston Fells from Langdale

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, Great Carrs, Swirl How
Hewitts: Swirl How, The Old Man of Coniston
Date walked: 05/10/2019
Distance: 21.4km
Ascent: 1453m
Views: 150


User avatar
Location: Cumbria
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: Clachaig Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Loch Coruisk
Gear: Marmot Windshirt
Ideal day out: A round of summits with some scrambling thrown in.
Ambition: Complete the Munros

Munros: 237
Corbetts: 13
Grahams: 14
Donalds: 42
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 164
Sub 2000: 1
Islands: 2

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Trips: 4
Distance: 42.1 km
Ascent: 3790m
Munros: 2
Grahams: 2
Hewitts: 7
Wainwrights 7


Trips: 16
Distance: 241.95 km
Ascent: 18327m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 5
Hewitts: 17
Wainwrights 22


Trips: 13
Distance: 185.7 km
Ascent: 12938m
Munros: 5
Hewitts: 18
Wainwrights 19


Trips: 20
Distance: 324.06 km
Ascent: 21443m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 12
Hewitts: 54
Wainwrights 47


Trips: 27
Distance: 432.8 km
Ascent: 27445m
Munros: 25
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 12
Hewitts: 23
Wainwrights 28


Trips: 19
Distance: 302.6 km
Ascent: 16073m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 2
Donalds: 5
Hewitts: 18
Wainwrights 28


Trips: 13
Distance: 246.3 km
Ascent: 12584m
Munros: 10
Hewitts: 22
Wainwrights 22


Trips: 1
Ascent: 2365m

Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Last visited: Sep 13, 2020
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