A walk before the storm

The news has been full of dire reports of Storm Ciara for the last few days. We knew the main storm was due to hit on Sunday, so yesterday (Saturday) we popped out for some fresh air in case we’re stuck indoors later.

We had a few errands to run in Ambleside so sorted those out, then called into the Apple Pie Bakery for coffee and toasted hot cross buns (rather wonderful as it turns out). Then, fortified, booted and reasonably waterproofed, we headed off for a walk.

The storm’s “outriders” had already arrived in the shape of a blustery wind and the threat of showers so we left the high level routes for another day and chose to stroll to Low Sweden Bridge instead. This is one of two old packhorse bridges spanning Scandale Beck, a pretty tumbling mountain stream that hurtles out of Scandale and into the back streets of Ambleside. It’s not the longest walk ever but it does give some stunning views across the Rothay valley towards the high fells and there are some nice glimpses of the beck too. And occasional flashes of nature, even at this time of year. I spotted some catkins near the water’s edge, and a nuthatch which flew off before I could take a photo of it.

The weather held – just – until we’d taken the first few steps back towards the town. Then, with remarkable precision, just as we were at the furthest point from the car, the heavens opened in a sudden hail shower. Mercifully it was only a shower so we didn’t get too wet, but as we drove home the showers were already starting to merge and by 5 pm it was sloshing down.

And sure enough today the main storm has hit. The wind is now howling, it’s been sloshing down all night and is still sloshing as I write this at 9 am on Sunday, and the road to Ambleside is closed by flooding. So we’re very, very glad we made the effort yesterday.

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