I found a walk at the south eastern tip of Windermere which I reckoned would be out of the tourist radar. I was right.Even at 11am there were plenty of parking spaces at Chapel House Wood at Staveley-in -Cartmel.
If we had had more time I would have liked to take a short walk round Staveley, a small but very pretty hamlet famed for it's house with a miniature railway running through the garden which is often opened to raise money for charity.
Our walk took us up a forest road and across boardwalks onto woodland paths.Through the trees to the right we could see the glimmer of water which turned out to be Simpson Ground resevoir where we stopped for a moment to take in the view and the silence.
After a slight unintenioned detour we found ourselves back on our intended path in synch with our walking book and carried on through the wood to a wall where we walked out of woodland into the open countryside with clear blue skies and green fields broken by rocky outcrops and ant hills dotted here and there so your line of sight ahead was broken until you walked round each one.
.We could see the limestone escarpment known as Whitbarrow scar on the skyline and, as we walked over the open fields we rounded a rocky knoll to see Sow How farm beyond which was a second tarn with two swans swimming on it and a solitary boathouse at one end.
From there we crossed sloping fields into deciduous woodland and found yet other tarn, this time it was cool and still.We could see the reflection of the reeds on its still surface. This tarn differed from Sow How Tarn.It was enclosed by woodland and surrounded by rhododendron bushes which had yet to come into flower and felt as though it was the relic of some wealthy estate.
We walked down past an old barn (which I later learned was called Heights) which had apparently been a Quaker meeting house until the 1920's (and which we commented would have made a good walkers accommodation in its isolation) and then down through more woodland and on to open countryside where we ascended to the cairn at Ravensbarrow.
We passed the hall discussing the likely pronunciation of its name and up the road to a path on the leftt which took us through woodland up the hillside through recently planted plantations to the road further along.By this time the sun was hot and it was heavy going.Our hearts sank at the next path which rose steeply up a slope to a telephone mast. We scrambled up (me a bit at a time) and stopped to catch our breath at the top) Once there it was much easier. We followed the pylon lines onto moorland, over a couple of stiles and through a gate which had no bars allowing the sheep and lambs to move freely from one field to another.A lone lamb was calling to its mother having obviously gone in search of some adventure. Passing into newly planted woodland we followed a well worn path until it reached a forest track. From there we walked parallel with the track until we reached the car.
It was a lovely and varied walk and there are several things I would like to go back and investigate such as St Anthonys church on Cartmel fell and the church at Staveley.