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Walking the Lakes

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Wastwater sunlight, used with permission of Dave Massey

Running a small business can be a challenge, particularly if every item is made to order with your own fair hands. Depending how busy we are, the initial happy thrill of receiving a new order can quickly be overshadowed by a sense of foreboding - when will I make this ring? Has the customer got their size right? Will they be happy with the finished product? Etc etc. As our family's livelihood depends on the quality of the product and the level of customer service we provide, there's more than a bit of pressure to get things right!

I love making rings, it's a hobby that started paying for itself and then became a job, but I've learned over this last year that no matter how much you love your job - you need some time away from it to truly relax and stop yourself burning out. To this end I've set myself a goal, which should have the combined effects of bringing a bit of much needed balance, improving my fitness, and ramping up my knowledge of the Lake District - I'm going to walk the Wainwrights.

Now let's be honest here - I'm a 19 stone asthmatic who hasn't done any proper walking since my DofE gold expedition of the Yorkshire three peaks, over 20 years ago. I didn't even do that properly - we missed out Pen-y-ghent entirely and instead found an accomodating pub near a campsite where we could spend the afternoon drinking Theakstons in peace! That was a good afternoon though.

Despite living in the South Lakes for over 5 years now, we haven't really explored beyond the typical tourist destinations of Coniston, Keswick, Grasmere and Windermere. It was only last year during a much needed night away in Eskdale that I laid eyes on Wastwater in real life for the first time (despite it being the star of the first mountain range ring I made), it was awe inspiring.

Our first mountain range: awful quality inlay but it laid the groundwork for things to come!

Noting that at this point I don't even possess a pair of walking boots, I'll be making a careful start. First up (after a boot fitting and purchase) will be to start breaking them in with a gentle stroll up some local outlying fells; Hampsfell and Humphrey Head, coming in at 725ft and a whopping 173ft respectively. I have a soft spot for Humphrey Head, having nearly lost one of my new trainers in the sand beneath its feet a few years ago, in a poorly judged (and short lived) couch to 5k effort.

At 10 1/4 miles it's not the longest walk, nor is it the hilliest, and yes I know they're not part of the 214, but they're close to home and it's a start!

I've got Mr Wainwright's guide to the southern fells winging its way to me as I type, so once I'm comfortable with some of the local outliers I can make a start planning routes into the Lakes proper.

I'd love for anyone reading this to follow my journey - I'll update it after each walk. No promises that it will be weekly, because life, but at least two a month is the goal to start with.

Thanks for reading, wish me luck!


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26. Juni 2023

Good luck Rob. 214 to go slow n steady is the best advice. Will be following you on your journey.

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