The Weather Gods were in benevolent mood for the third Tour de Derwent Water.  Bright blue skies greeted twelve LDWA aficionados in the car park at Portinscale (Grid Reference NY 252230).  The twelve glided via Nichol End and Hawse End to Catbells Terrace where they paused to admire the view and take a first photographic roll call.  From the Terrace it was down to Grange and then the Cumbria Way to Rosthwaite, calling in at Millican Dalton’s cave.  The cave, on the eastern flank of Castle Crag, consists of two inter-connected split-levelled caves formed by the slate quarrying process.  This cave was inhabited for nigh-on fifty years by Dalton.  To this day, Dalton's legacy can be seen in the upper chamber of the cave, where he carved his own epitaph into the wall above where he slept.  It reads ‘Don't Waste Words, Jump to Conclusions’.  Dalton spent his summers in the cave in Borrowdale, moving south to the luxury of a wooden shed in Buckinghamshire during the colder months!


After Rosthwaite it was time for a bit of cardiovascular exercise and then a descent to Watendlath.  The route then took the ‘clean dozen’ to Ashness Wood and the classic beauty spots, Surprise View and Ashness Bridge.  The eastern shore of Derwent Water beckoned then Friar’s Crag and the heaving metropolis of Keswick where the intrepid leader had to make sure that none of the party was lost to the pre-Christmas revelry.  Finally back to Portinscale via the ‘bouncy bridge’.  A magnificent winter’s day.  The scores on the door were 24 km (15 miles), 715 metres (2,350 feet) of ascent and a total time of six and a half hours.