A life without kids – Newlands Valley November 2013   5 comments

It was time for the annual and somewhat pathetically named “adults only” weekend when we all leave our kids to the tender mercies of grandparents and carers while we live it up in the Lake District as well as 40 (and now 50-somethings) can. You can check out previous adventures from September 2011 and November 2012.

Time for a change of scene this year and on recommendation from the Hardman and his missus (blog-name needed) we headed for Littletown Farm Guest House and what a cracking recommendation it was. We pretty much took over the place, a proper old converted farm-house with lovely rooms and they looked after us exceedingly well with some superb and filling meals at a stunningly reasonable price for the Lake District. The location is right in the heart of the Newlands valley with walks aplenty and car keys left firmly in the rooms.

Newlands Valley, Newlands Beck

Newlands Valley & Newlands Beck

Forecast wasn’t great but without kids in tow you need to make the most of it. ED had what looked line a fine route in mind to Dale Head via a high corrie west of Dalehead Crags.

Newlands 1

8 Miles

You can see the route in the photo below, traversing first right into the high corrie and then back left to pick up the ridge above the crags

Newlands Valley, Newlands Beck, Dale Head

Dale Head

It was grey overcast and very windy but dry, refreshing you could say, as we walked up Newlands Beck.

Newlands Valley, Newlands Beck

Resting already

We crossed the beck to pick up the high traversing path although we had early drop-outs as UF and TBH headed to Dalehead Tarn and return via Borrowdale. I waited patiently for a fall but as always no one obliged. People can be selfish sometimes

Newlands Valley, Newlands Beck

“One for the Crowd?”

They missed a splendid route with an easy angled path gaining height easily and quickly into the confines of a wild high corries that I guess sees relatively little traffic for the Lakes.

Newlands Valley, Newlands Beck

Newlands Valley & Newlands Beck

After a first lunch we traversed above the crags in spectacular style with the views even on such a grey day, magnificent.

Dale Head

Lunch 1

Unfortunately our arrival on the summit coincided with a spell of windy, miserable drizzle so we didn’t linger. Enthusiasm dropped and we thought about a quick return back over Hindscarth. Just as we started down it stopped raining and brightened up a little with even some very faint signs of sunshine.

Hindscarth Edge

Hindscarth Edge

Littledale Edge

Littledale Edge

Skiddaw, Little Dale

Skiddaw & Little Dale

Skiddaw, Little Dale


Re-invigorated we decided to extend the day to take in Robinson. As we descended the tops appeared and whilst not exactly glorious it was a whole lot better than we’d thought. The dark clouds were impressive and sunshine on Skiddaw gave promise. We found a hollow out of the wind for lunch 2, a stop we paid a price for later.

Littledale Edge

Lunch 2

Robinson was playing in the cloud with shafts of brightness. Quite impressive in a “it’s about to get dark sort of way”.


Robinson Summit


“What time is it?”

Yes, the usual dallying, chatter and extended stops had left us high on the fells with the light fading rapidly. Just like last year in fact. We manged to negotiate the steep tricky and rocky sections on the NE ridge in the last of the light and had to walk the last section along Blea Crags, High Snab Bank and back to the Guest House in the dark. No real problem and at least we’d made the most of the day. High quality food and some music quiz malarkey finished off a fine day

Forecast for day two was a decent start with a rapid deterioration and everything was delivered right on schedule. We took a the simple option of circuit along Rowling End and Causey Pike returning over Ard Crags or via Rigg Beck

Newlands 2

6 Miles

The views were superb while we were packing up but it was clear it wasn’t going to last.

Causey Pike

Causey Pike



Robinson, Littletown Farm

Robinson and our route down from the day before

Ard Crags, Rigg Beck

Ard Crags & Rigg Beck

By the time we’d reached the steep slopes of Rowling End the rain had started.

Luckily whilst it was pretty grey and overcast the weather never really broke down with nothing worse than spots of drizzle. It was a wild and windy walk along the ridge, in and out of the cloud before dropping down to the col below Ard Crags

Helvellyn, Derwent Water

Helvellyn north ridge across Derwent Water

Helvellyn, Derwent Water, Blencathra, Keswick

Helvellyn, Derwent Water, Blencathra & Keswick

Rowling End, Causey Pike

Rowling End & Causey Pike

A few hardy souls climbed it’s summit but the rest of us opted for an easy stroll down Rigg Beck, a wild valley that again I guess, sees few visitors and all the better for it.

North Western Fells


So that was that. Precious little sunshine but less rain than the pictures would have you believe. The North Western Fells are always much quieter than the rest of the Lakes and well worth seeking out. Fine high ridges and grand corries and valleys. Cracking weekend as always and great to catch with everyone. Already booked in a for a repeat visit next year

5 responses to “A life without kids – Newlands Valley November 2013

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  1. I think it’s always been a touch quieter over that way when we’ve been there. I remember a great circuit many years back, very similar to your day one wander.

    Anyway, November 2013? Are you getting dangerously close to catching up with your posts?


    • I fond of these hills, they are not as well known and yet still have the grandeur of the rest of the Lakes.
      I’m trying to write up a few over the weekend in advance while the weather is bad so I ca publish over the next couple of weeks. I’m only 13 posts behind now 🙂


  2. Ah – that’s a bit more like it, although there are still odd hints of that funny colour. Let’s call it ‘notgrey’ while we think of a better name. That was a superb weekend, despite the slightly disappointing weather – obviusly it could have been a whole lot worse.
    I think I shall adopt Chrissie’s suggestion and just publish my account of this weekend in November this year*. That must be how the walking magazines manage it.
    *Well, November some year. Maybe this one.


    • Who needs sunshine anyway? Well I do actually. To say I’m fed up of rain is an understatement. At least we can market the local area as “The New Lake District”.
      Only 2 months behind now……


  3. Pingback: Newlands Weekend | Beating The Bounds

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