Staveley – Potter Tarn and Gurnal Dubs Circular

It’s been amazing weather in the Lake District this week so after being inspired by the brilliant film ‘My Big White Thighs’ I decided this was my chance to get in early with a wild swim, walking up to a tarn that had been recomended by a friend.

The first part of the walk is a bit of a climb and I’d woken up feeling decidedly rough and wobbly. I know I said in my last post that I would take enjoyment over endurance anyday, but I guess sometimes endurance wins, or maybe just my pure bloody minded stubbornness!! It was a struggle but I was determined to get that swim at the top.

Up and Over…

With a bit of quiet swearing and a lot of self motivating(!), I made it up to Potter Tarn and had the place to myself while I had a drink and listened to the birds. This tarn has an interesting concrete dam which you can clamber up on. Apparently this supplies Croppers Paper Mill in Burneside and the present water level is around half of it’s 1990 level, which is when the dam was lowered. The outflow runs down to Ghyll Pool further down the hill and then goes on to Croppers.

I reached Gurnal Dubs just as another swimmer was donning their wetsuit (ha ha wetsuit??). She insisted it was lovely so the game was on. I found a secluded spot and was just about to whip my leggings off when she appeared around the bend with her partner following her along the bank… nearly got more than they bargained for!! After a little chat they went back to their beach and I swiftly changed and went in for a dip. .. oh my lordy, lordy it was COLD!! I did manage to swim for about five- ten minutes but then I stupidly decided to dunk my head under … I’m sure my brain froze for a second, I’m so glad I had my woolly hat when I made a quick exit. Amazingly though I did feel better than I had all morning!

Beautiful Gurnal Dubs
Woolly Hat – Forced grin!
Mini Trangia behaved itself today – hot drink needed!

A hot noodle pot and hot coffee later and I headed back down to take the Dales way back to Staveley (another little bit done!) This is a lovely part of the Dales Way running right alongside the river.

A shaky start but ended up being a great day, so glad I carried on.

The whole walk route can be found here: Staveley Tarns Circular

Dales Way – Bowness to Staveley.

Well, I wasn’t actually planning to do the Dales Way … It just so happens that this is one of the closest Long Distance Walks to us and happened to be a good place to be dropped off on Mr Gnomead’s route to work. Ok, I only did the first bit but I’m thinking that maybe I’ll carry on and do the rest in stages and see how I get on. I’ve started from where most people finish so I’ll be doing it back to front (not literally!)

Todays walk was from Bowness to Staveley (about 7’ish miles) with a stop to try out a new-to-me stove, which I’ll write another post about later. The whole route on this section was pretty well sign-posted and the only time I really needed my map was to figure out where I was along the route rather than finding the way. Most paths were obvious and easy to follow with some road walking (quiet lanes) so a pleasant walk with some great views. I’ll let the pictures do the talking …