Serendipity   13 comments

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

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After our antics of the day before we had an easy day at home and an immense BBQ lunch in the garden. An afternoon walk and swim seemed in order and we headed off towards High Dam. Its a place I’ve never been and its a well known and popular wild swimming spot. We figured a late afternoon visit would be quieter and a better chance of parking.

That was until a major accident closed the South Lakes road and we were forced into a rethink while driving. We followed Mark and realised he was heading to a parking spot and a walk up to a small reservoir above Staveley called Gurnal Dubs where he’d swum a couple of weeks before. After a challenging bit of parking on the narrow road we set off up the hill.

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It was becoming apparent that this was indeed a serendipitous turn of events. The late afternoon light was stunning with wide and expansive views of the this quiet and little known corner of Lakeland. By comparison, High Dam is largely in the forest and we’d have missed all the glorious sunshine.

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As we climbed the views just got better and better.

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After a steep pull, the angle eases as you reach the open fells, wonderful easy walking on grassy paths.

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I’d even managed to convince TJF to join us on the promise it was a short walk (this one was slightly longer than we had planned). I think that’s a smile!

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You first pass Potter Tarn and whilst it looks ok for swim there is much better further up the path.

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Crossing a wall our target came into view.

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It’s a wonderfully named tarn and much bigger than it would appear to be on the map. Just as well as there were a few groups enjoying its delights although the lateness of the hour meant we had the place to ourselves after a few minutes.

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Most of us went in for a relaxing swim although only me and Mark stayed in for than a couple of minutes (it was quite cold)

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As the photographs show its a quite superb spot for a swim and you can swim quite a distance. I even managed a small jump from the wall near the boathouse.

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After the swim we settled for an evening brew and snacks.

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A more pleasurable hour I haven’t spent in ages. The situation was superb. Warm evening sunshine, an idyllic spot and great company. I was very happy indeed.

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We were just wondering if we should begin our journey back when the local midge population decided the buffet was open. We packed rather more hurriedly than we’d have liked but once in motion the midges left us alone.

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The evening views were still gorgeous. The heather and bracken setting off the lake and the blue skies above.

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Views across to the Howgills.

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And the Coniston Fells.

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I’ve never walked in this area and it clearly deserves more of my attention. The mix of small tarns, grassy paths and small outcrops is alluring.

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A panorama shot (click to enlarge)

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Potter Tarn again.

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Looking peaceful under the setting sun.

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Our happy little band enjoying the walk down in the evening light.

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One of the highlights of the whole summer for me. Sometimes unexpected changes to plans can deliver huge rewards.

13 responses to “Serendipity

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  1. I’ve walked in this area lots of times, but this was only my second swim in the tarn. A gorgeous spot, and as you say probably a serendipitous ‘choice’. I think we might have had much worse midge problems at High Dam. What sunny summer evenings were made for surely?

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    beatingthebounds
    • Sometimes it’s these small, unplanned moments that give greatest rewards. It was so peaceful and tranquil up there yet so close to the manic fleshpots of the Lakes. Just shows that there are still quiet corners with a bit of planning. Superb evening that will live long in the memory

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  2. You got some lovely photos – it is a lovely location – we go there a lot when we’re staying at Kendal. You’re best to park in Staveley itself though and walk up the road hill and then up the tracks across the fell. I’ve never thought of either swimming or paddling in there – I always assume non-rocky tarns will be silty and muddy.

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  3. Lovely

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  4. A lovely corner of the Lakes, I’ve only ever been to Staveley for the beer festival. Looks like I’m missing out on what’s up and behind it. I always quite liked Sour Howes and Sallows as Wainwrights so I’m sure I’d like this bit as well

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  5. That’s a great part of the Lakes. No big hills (unless you stray down Kentmere) but nice countryside, great views and usually very quiet – untill your tribe all turn up, of course 😂😂

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  6. Superb evening!

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