The Paper Bridge

I’d heard about a paper bridge being built in Grisedale as part of the Lakes Ignite Culture festival, so thought I would check it out. You can read the news release about it here.

Patterdale
Patterdale cricket ground

I had parked in Patterdale overnight so that I got an early start and got up at 6 am after yesterday’s experience and the sky was already bright but no sun, but it looked promising so I set off the 2-3 miles up Grisedale to where the bridge has been built.

I love Grisedale, it’s my favourite route to Helvellyn as there’s no through road so only foot traffic apart from the odd farm vehicle.

Grisedale
Grisedale

The walk was very pleasant as the sun came out a few minutes after leaving the van and with a strong breeze it made for lovely walking conditions. Jack of course was more interested in the sheep than anything else but he stayed close to the track.

You can see in the photo that the weather over Helvellyn was still dark and brooding, in fact several times I felt spots of rain falling but the sun from behind me kept the clouds at bay.

The Paper Bridge at the foot of Helvellyn
The Paper Bridge at the foot of Helvellyn

This is a longish view as I approached the bridge to give you an overview of it’s geographic location. Some people have loudly criticised the fact that it is 3 miles along the valley but the whole purpose of the bridge is to tease people into exploring places they haven’t been before. From Patterdale there is road for a mile or so and then a very good track the rest of the way to the bridge so it’s not like it’s hard going. The views are tremendous and who knows, it might encourage people to come out more and enjoy the lakes.

The Paper bridge
The Paper bridge

1 other person passed me on the way there and from a distance I saw him clambering about the bridge. It stands out a mile with it being bright red but the last hundred yards to it are sodden ground so by the time we got there Jack was muddy up to his belly. What a sight.

Yes, that bridge is made up of 4 tons of paper, the sheets compressed and shaped into an arch. Clever engineering for paper but for at least 1,000 years this is how bridges and other structures were made: no nails, no glue, no mortar, not even dovetail joints.

The Paper Bridge
The Paper Bridge

I took a closer shot here so that you can see the individual sheets of paper  even from about 60 feet. I’m not sure I’d call it art, but it certainly is an attraction.

I chose the right time of day too. Friends who took photos later on have crowds of people in which shows that as an attraction it has worked.

 

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Fitz park parking in Keswick

I mentioned some time ago that the Keswick football club was letting people park in their car park and charging £3 per full day by using an honesty box. Given the sheer greed of the local council’s parking fees I think this was a massive step forward and I use and pay for the parking there regularly, partly as it’s cheap, and partly as I want to let the footie club know that I support their decision, and of course any money can go to helping them out.
It’s not just Allerdale council, all of the lakes has disgusting parking charges now and I really hope more and more places like the football club offer their parking cheaply.

Another one to do so is Fitz Park Trust. Their car park is in fact adjacent to the footie clubs car park, accessed off Crosthwaite road. The same deal is to be had, £3 per day although you can pay for an hour and 2 hours as well. They have a proper pay and display machine there and apparently all money goes to the Fitz Park Trust to help look after Fitz park. Now, whether the council has set up this trust as a back door way of raising money for parks I have no idea, but the deal is good so what the heck.

Finally, the Pencil Museum has also opened it’s car park up to anyone for a fee of £4 daily. If you visit the museum and take your parking stub you can get £1.50 off the entry too.
There’s a large space of clean and flat waste ground next to the tarmacked bays and motorhomes tend to park there. Again for all day parking this is not a bad deal however like the other car parks mentioned, there is no overnight parking allowed.

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Keswick

Keswick
Keswick

My friends are up in the north for a funeral, so we decided to meet up and spend the day in Keswick as I was over here anyway. Although it was cold the sun was out and we enjoyed  walk around the lake almost to Ashness bridge before having to turn back.
That’s one of the beauties though, you don’t have to have a specific goal in mind or target to reach in Keswick. You can go for a walk and enjoy just being there no mater how long you walk for.

Catbells
Catbells

There is often a great sunset in winter as the sun goes down over the Newlands valley, lighting up Causey Pike and Catbells.

I recall some years ago taking 2 hours to get up Catbells I was so unfit. I still struggle now but there’s no question of not being able to do it. The views are amazing from there, I think it’s time I was back up it again soon.

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Welcome Jack :)

Dog stands by lake watching swans
Jack swanning about

Jack seems to have taken to life in the van as if he was born to it, (which he almost was!) and he appears to be content. He’s playing  a lot, sleeping even more, and chewing me loads! I’ve been to get him chipped by  vet in Skelton, who didn’t even have a debit card machine and sent me off to the post office to get some cash. I told him the lifestyle I lead living in my van and traveling here and there, he stated he could see no harm that would come to the dog and then started the long process of inoculations, checks, worming etc etc that a new puppy has to go through.

Once that was all complete I decided to have the weekend in Ullswater as it’s one of my favourite places. I parked in Glenridding and took Jack to the lake for his first visit. As you can see, his instincts are all in place. I was not sure whether he wanted to play with the swans or eat them, although the swans seemed sure of the latter so they stayed a healthy distance away.

Must get rid of that awful collar. I’ve never understood how people can try and control animals with a thing round their neck. I’d like a decent harness for him.
As you can see below he’s not frightened either! He loves people and other dogs, he’s just so sociable. He’s settling in nicely too, I don’t think I’m going to regret getting him.

Jack meets a Jack Russell and makes friends
Jack making friends

Happy Birthday to me

Happy birthday to me, 47 today 🙂

I’m not really celebrating, I am still in the Lake District and absolutely loving being here. Vodafone signal is iffy in most places, but never mind I’m managing. It’s very different to what I imagined, a little lonely today as there’s no-one to celebrate my birthday with, but hey ho I chose this life I can’t complain 🙂

Lake District here I come

I was saying last week that I haven’t been going far from home, well I decided to have my first proper trip away this weekend, I’m going to the Lake District. I love the Lakes and have camped there and gone hiking there for years, so it’s the natural place to go.

Picture of 5 cows in a field staring at me.
Who are you looking at?

I have decided to go to the Ullswater area as that’s the area I know best and I love it round there. I’m not sure how I’ll be on parking, it’s mostly National Park so they may not like me parking overnight. Nevertheless I’m quite excited about my trip it will be the first one since moving into the van, god knows why I waited so long!