The mountain dog that would not climb!

Hubby and I took Zack to Orrest Head yesterday. Orrest Head is a fell just outside Windermere, with the main walking route almost directly opposite Windermere Bus Depot and Train Station, making it very accessible to all and sundry. This fell was the first that the famous fell walker and author, Alfred Wainwright, walked when he visited the Lakes in 1930.

His  first encounter with the wonders of Lakeland happened on the 7th June 1930 when as a young man of 23; he travelled with his cousin Eric Beardsall from their home town of Blackburn, changing buses at Preston, to eventually arrive in Windermere. It was Whitsuntide and they ascended the lane from Windermere Bus Station to the nearby summit of Orrest Head, a hill 780 feet high overlooking the town.


orrest head alfred wainwright lake district

The sign for Orrest Head with a quote from Alfred Wainwright.

Hubby parked in a lay-by located just a little past the train station on the A591. A few yards from the lay-by was a gate with a sign pointing towards a different walking route to Orrest Head – not the one in the photo above. We began walking and soon came to a gate with a sign telling us to be careful should we come across a bull, cows and their young. Not very encouraging!

We walked - hopefully - along muddy trails to Orrest Head.

We walked – hopefully – along muddy trails to Orrest Head.

Undeterred, we walked on. Soon we were navigating muddy footpaths where the sun did not quite shine hotly enough to cake the earth. Then we came upon some stone steps with a small sign pointing to Orrest Head. Built into a dry stone wall, the steps were steep and placed rather far apart. Hubby had to give me a shove upwards for me to reach the first step. Zack looked askance at the steps and would not even try climbing them.

Since Zack would not climb the steps, Hubby decided to do a recce just to see whether there might be an easier stile to negotiate further along the fields. We eventually came across another set of steps – this time wider but possibly higher with larger gaps between the actual steps. Alas! Nothing would induce Zack to lift a foot, let alone all four, to try climbing over the wall. A mountain dog that would not climb! (Do take a look at the video which I will upload to our Facebook page.)

Look at Zack's knowing eyes: 'If you think I am going to climb up those steps, you have another think coming!'

Look at Zack’s knowing eyes: ‘If you think I am going to climb up those steps, you have another think coming!’

There was no choice for it: we had to backtrack all the way to the lay-by where we had left our vehicle. So, no, we never got to Orrest Head, but we hear the views are just wow!

orrest head, lake windermere, lake district

Lake Windermere and fells from Orrest Head, about a mile’s walk from Blenheim Lodge.

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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Telephone: 015394 43440

This entry was posted in Activity Breaks, Alfred Wainwright, Behind the scenes in a B&B, Blenheim Lodge, bowness-on-windermere, Climbing in the Lake Disstrict, cumbria, dogs, English Lake District, english lake district, fell walking, lake district breaks, lake district holiday, lake district scenery, Lake Windermere Views, may public holiday long weekend, pets, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Spring breaks, Walking breaks, windermere weekend breaks, woodland views and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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