Both Nathan and I are active people, and there’s rarely a weekend when we’re cooped up inside the house, probably because as children our families ensured that weekends were spent being out and about. Last month, we walked a really special route starting at Honister and along Fleetwith Pike in the Lake District, celebrating Cookie’s (Nathan’s father) final Wainwright Walk. In terms of walking, this is quite a big deal and a huge accomplishment; I was so proud to be a part of it.The Wainwright Walks are basically routes to the summits of the 214 fells and named after Alfred Wainwright, who identified them. So for this walk, the family gathered together, walked the final fell and celebrated Cookie’s success with champers, Sheridan’s and proper good sarnies. We had missed four special family members though which was our golden retriever, Neeni, who couldn’t join us for the walk as she had been very poorly, Grandma Cookson, Christina my sister-in-law and the bump, who were all looking after the princess.
For the big celebratory walk we had the pleasure of walking with Ann and Roger Hiley, as well as their gorgeous golden retrievers Harry and Dylan. Ann and Roger basically live and breathe the Lake District, and their love for the Lakes has lead them to share all their walking reports and amazing photos on their site Loweswater Cam. It was lovely to listen to their stories of the history and changes of Fleetwith Pike and the surrounding fells. Harry and Dylan were brilliant too, enjoying their walk and having a great time with Nathan. Fleetwith Pike is known for slate mining and has a lot of history to go with it- on the surrounding fells you could see the old mine entrances by the zig-zag like trails as well as overgrown entrances throughout the walk. In the 1750’s, this area was commercially quarried for its green slate, ceased in 1986, and found a new lease of life just under 100 years later.
With it being a slate mine, slate is everywhere, from small sheets leading the path, right through to huge boulders that act as markers and a totem to Fleetwith Pike. We also came across this slate shelter that once housed the miners that worked on the fells. Meters from this shelter was the huge dip down to the ground surface.
Reaching the summit, you’re welcomed by the beautiful view of Buttermere Valley, and in our case, a yummy bottle of champagne too! We were lucky to have had such great weather, and although it was slightly nippy, the sun was out and gave us the perfect view.On the way down from the summit, after a good celebratory rest with a glass of fizzy, we came across the made-up bothy for ramblers and campers. It had all the essentials like a bed, candles and matches as well as some joker placing a hooker inside. The weather can change to dramatically up in the fells, and can get particularly cold. Although Fleetwith Pike is only short walk in comparison to some of the other Wainwright’s, having a bothy along the route is useful in general.
The walk back was beautiful, seeing larger fells nearby as well as the zig-zag mine entrances we saw at the start, as it was quite the pretty finish for a wonderful family walk.We walked back down to Honister, where we stopped off at Honister Sky High Cafe for a warming cup of tea before heading back to Leeds. Harry and Dylan did exactly what we were all excited to do after a wonderful day out, of just getting cosy and snuggling up in the warm.
The Lake District is the perfect place to go to feel inspired, to clear your mind and just spend quality family time. For me, it’s the ideal way to get active and enjoy the beautiful scenery to go with it, as well as being a warm memory of Neeni, who isn’t with us anymore.