A very hot day as we left Rosthwaite to walk up to Dock Tarn and Watendlath, so hot it is hard to believe that not that many days ago we were walking in the snow. But it was shady and very spring-like as we walked a short stretch of the Cumbria Way alongside Stonethwaite Beck, with bluebells and the sound of a cuckoo.
This is a very beautiful valley with dramatic views towards Eagle Crag, as we left the Way and took a very steep and rocky path up through the woods above the Willygrass Gill to Lingy End. Out on open heather moorland then for a short distance until Dock Tarn was reached.
A modest water but with a feeling of loneliness. Dock Tarn was very popular with Victorian visitors to Lakeland. A quiet and settled pool, with an islet and a pair of ducks.
A rocky path leads down to Watendlath, which in the heat felt much longer than it actually is. Watendlath Tarn, a delightful blue reflecting the unbroken sky. Mugs of tea then in the chaffinch-haunted tea garden, and very welcome these refreshments were on such a scorching day.
Watendlath has changed little since Hugh Walpole immortalised the place in his Herries novels. The little stone bridge was damaged in the December floods and is currently under repair. A temporary wooden footbridge stands alongside the older crossing of the beck.
We descended to Rosthwaite by the Watendlath Path, much of it a reversal of the way we’d climbed up just a few days before, with the calling of probably the same cuckoos we’d heard then. It seemed steeper going down than up.
Summer is, I think, a-coming in…