March: A Glimmer of Sun!

Well, I'll spare a long spiel about how sporadic the weather has been as once again this month, it has been the talk of social media! I will say however that I am really appreciating the somewhat longer evenings, especially when they have a fantastic sunset! The weather getting better has also meant that I have been able to get out to more places rather than sticking to road walking, although I have spent a lot of the time just enjoying the sun without my camera!

After compiling my list of mountains etc to climb/walk/visit, I decided to tick off Cunswick Scar, as although we have seen the signs for it on the way to Scout Scar, I have never actually been! Scout Scar is one of those walks which I tend to save for a sunny yet quiet day when an easy walk and somewhere nice to sit for a brew is required, so it was nice to go somewhere new in a familiar area! Cunswick Scar did not disappoint, and has replaced Scout Scar as my go-to walk! There are several pathways up and around the Scar, but we decided to head to the end of the scar which overlooks Staveley and the central Lake District fells. This walk is of easy terrain and there is enough variation in plants, trees and the curvature of the scar allows you to see plenty of the surrounding area, which makes it such a lovely place! I always found with Scout Scar, that as beautiful as it is, it is quite repetitive and it is more of a wind trap than Cunswick – I was happy to see my hair didn’t look like it hadn’t been brushed for a month after going on a walk for once!

A few days after our initial visit to Cunswick Scar, we could not resist visiting again but taking a different route, and instead cutting down into Scout Wood rather than continuing to the end of the scar. Again, this was a very peaceful woods however it was a bit steep and muddy in places! No doubt in a month or so this woodland is going to be filled with beautiful flowers so I can’t wait to go back! Again, this walk gave you beautiful views of the Lakeland fells, in particular the Langdales, as it takes you through more woodland, fields and quiet country lanes before curving back up to the scar up Gamblesmire Lane, past an old lime kiln and several geocaches! Our next visit to Cunswick will be via Serpentine Woods, Kendal Fell and then ascending Cunswick Fell upon to the Scar and back down Gamblesmire Lane. I would 100% recommend that if you are in the Kendal area that you visit here, especially if you tend to visit Scout Scar! You will not be disappointed!

The main thing I enjoy about this time of year is all the hidden gems on my doorstep or just a few minutes drive away. I guess I kind of take these places for granted in the winter months, but that is also due to them being highly inaccessible due to mud, bogs and all the rest alongside my laziness when it comes to cleaning my boots! The river Kent runs through a small village just down the road, and there are many trails along the river or across the fields to where the old canal line used to lie. Sometimes this area can be quite busy as it close to a caravan site, which is built on an old gunpowder works site - some of the ruins are still there - and there is a cute little farm shop with a nature trail leading you towards the river, but we barely saw a soul when we made a couple of visits to the area this month. There were a few geocaches in this area which we had not yet managed to find, and this has allowed us to explore more areas along the river which we would not normally have found! We found a quaint little spot by the river where we sat and had a bit of our coffee flask whilst watching fishes jumping in and out of the water! Absolute bliss!

I am surrounded by woodland, fields and the end of the Lancaster canal is only a few fields away in such a picturesque village with little streams, an aqueduct and some stunning houses which make me want to play the sims! Some of the houses in the village have the St Sunday's beck running through their gardens, and they all have a stunning array of bridges, outhouses and decking which only adds to 'the sims' feel! The houses at the other end of the small village face onto the canal, and similarly have some wonderful boat jetis or seating areas on the opposite side from the footpath. This is one of the main areas in which I show friends when they come to visit, and this time was no different as a university friend came up from near Manchester and we enjoyed the last of the March sunshine in the smallest woodland by my house! This wood was less frequently visited than the other, despite the public footpath linking to many other walks, many of which are the main routes from the Lancaster canal. The trees were slowly starting to bloom, and a few flowers were beginning to peek out of the long grass as well as the stinking lilies slowly starting to appear without their scent. We were sheltered enough from the wind that we were able to sit and listen to music and have a good old catch up with the sunlight breaking through the budding tree canopies above!

I have been wanting to visit Brougham Castle for quite a while, and at the end of this month I finally got to tick it off my list of places to visit! We decided to make a day of it and had a small list of places we wanted to visit along the way or on the way home! We drove through the village of Askham and stopped by a tiny church which had seen better days, but had some fantastic gravestones dating back over 200 years and a mausoleum for the old Earl of Lonsdale. I am not usually a fan of taking photos within Churchyards, but this one was particularly old and there was no one else around, and I felt these aged graves were a slice of history which should be preserved! We also had a little walk along the river in Askham, before heading off to Brougham Castle via King Arthur's Round Table! Brougham Castle was fantastic, it was a beautiful sunny day so the vibrant red bricks contrasted really well against the blue sky, and it even seemed to warm up slightly for us as we began to explore! Majority of the time we were the only people in the castle/around a particular area so I was glad to get some shots of the castle from the higher floors! A lot of the castle walls were built using the stonework from the old Roman fort which the castle was built upon, so when you are walking around if you look carefully you can see numerals and other carvings in the wall! Brougham is a truly beautiful place, with 360 degree views all around - particularly as the castle is built next to where two rivers connect!

After visiting Brougham Castle, we stopped near Shap to have our lunch in a quaint little layby which overlooked the Eastern Fells. Whilst we were eating lunch, we saw an old steam train go past, and with aid of google, we worked out what fells we could see and what bodies of water laid between them. After having a discussion as to what to do next, and inspired by the vista in front of us, we decided to head towards Haweswater Reservoir instead of home! Neither of us had ever been to Haweswater, so it was exciting to visit another new place after the castle! The drive took us through quaint villages, tranquil woods and as we climbed higher and higher, we could soon see Haweswater glistening between the mountains! We slightly underestimated how long the reservoir was or the distance we had to drive to the car park at the end, but we stopped in a couple of pull-ins along so that I could take photographs, and of course took a moment to appreciate the view! There were very little space to park when we finally reached our destination, but we had a little stroll along the road before heading home. By some form of a miracle, I managed to get some really nice photos hanging out of the car window with my camera of Haweswater framed by the beautiful mountains!

I am so excited for April and for spring to grace us with its presence! Expect a boom in my macro/flower photography the next couple of months!