It’s summer. You might not always be able to work it out from the weather, but it is. It’s midsummer’s day today (early because of the leap year) but it doesn’t really feel like it.
This morning, we caught the Keswick Launch over to Hawse End. Every time we catch the launch, it seems to rain, and today was no exception. As soon as we boarded, a shower appeared and accompanied us across the lake. We got off at Hawse End, and then took a stroll up Cat Bells, experiencing a couple more showers on the way up, and managing to keep ahead of a gaggle of school children (and their teachers). We last came up here in June 2005, so it was nice to be back.
Cat Bells is often talked about as the “beginner Wainwright”, and it’s easy to see why. A pleasant ascent from the road at Hawse End, with just a couple of scrambly bits near the top. If you’ve never been up before, you may get caught out by the two “false summits” that you have to overcome before you reach the actual top.
There are several other Wainwrights that you can carry on to should you choose, such as Maiden Moor and High Spy, or you can quickly descend down in to the village of Little Town for a spot of lunch. There’s only one option, which is the cafe at Little Town Farm Guest House, serving a selection of lunch options as well as cream teas and English Lakes Ice Cream (which we’ve been here before to enjoy).
Today we opted for toasties, both going for the ham and raclette cheese toastie, with an interesting side salad and some crisps.
I really liked the strong flavour of the raclette, but it was a bit too much for Mrs MOFAD, who swapped her remaining toastie for some of my salad. Raclette comes from the French word “racler” which means “to scrape” – as it is such a good melting cheese, it often needs to be scraped. I’m surprised it’s not used more in toasties.
And what should you drink after climbing a Wainwright? A pint of Wainwright of course. Although this beer now has less in common with the north west, as it’s now owned by Marston’s, and is brewed in Wolverhampton, so the Lancashire connection with Wainwright is now gone.
Still as reliable as ever, and the same can be said of the cafe – a lovely little place for lunch after a morning on the fells. Recommended if you’re in the area on foot – you’re unlikely to be passing on the road all that often!