Tuesday was Dave’s birthday and although the weather wasn’t great we decided to take the day off and go out somewhere. ‘Somewhere’ proved to be Coniston, after an interesting drive avoiding fallen trees. We hadn’t been for over a year (even though it’s only about 12 miles away) so it was great to see the place again. First stop was a coffee in front of a roaring (and very welcome) log fire in the Meadowdore Café – an old favourite from days of yore when I visited the area with my parents. And then we donned boots and waterproofs and set off for a walk up the famous Coppermines Valley.
The weather at valley level wasn’t great – cold, windy and spattering with rain – but as we climbed it deteriorated. Coppermines (a hanging valley) isn’t all that far above sea level but as soon as we got up and over the lip, we met the wind. In spades. Howling straight off the snow-covered fells above, and bringing curtains of horizontal sleet with it. You might say it was bracing. It was also freezing, wet, and difficult to stand upright. We struggled along the miners’ track for a few hundred yards, took some photos of a sheep (those Herdies are tough), and decided enough was enough.
We thawed out soon enough over a pub lunch at the Black Bull, but it does make you wonder how the miners managed – not only having to walk further in bad weather, but then putting in a twelve hour shift of hard work afterwards, in clothes that were quite probably soaked right through.
Here’s a couple of photos to show what it was like. The blobs show how hard it was to keep the sleet off the camera lens!