Sunday, 7 May 2017

7 Sunset Trips

Steve has been putting up with my wayward ways for 15 years now - really the man deserves a medal - but I warned him when we first got together that I didn't plan on growing up anytime soon.  This mean he still finds himself embroiled in my "crazy ass plans" from time to time, but it also means I still get childishly excited about a good sunset and am hopelessly romantic enough to enjoy watching them together.

Be warned though, a Cumbrian sunset often requires a good degree of tenacity and several layers of warm clothing - but the results are always worth it. 

1.  Hampsfell

This one is right on our doorstep so I had to include it first.  The photo above was taken on the evening we all lit beacons to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee, which explains why there are so many people on top of the Hospice.  It was an absolutely perfect evening and the fells looked utterly stunning as the sun went down and, as the beacons were lit, we could see right across to Birkrigg Common and down to Warton Crag.  It wasn't the most perfect night though - we were still fairly new to the fell and managed to get lost taking a "short cut" down, resulting in us wading through a huge blackberry bush and climbing a large wall - no one said romance was easy!

2. Wansfell 

The thing about Wansfell sunsets is that after you're done admiring the view there's a really big, clear and easy to follow route back to the car.  This photo was taken from the south side of the fell at High Skelghyll and from there the track will lead either down to Waterhead (near Ambleside) or around to Troutbeck.  If you're up on top of Wansfell Pike it's more of a challenge, though there's still a relatively straighforward route back down to either Ambleside or Troutbeck - but you will need a head torch and lots of warm clothing as, even in the summer, it will get cold quickly once the sun has gone.

3. Whitehaven

Whitehaven is only a 40 minute drive from Keswick and absolutely worth it for the views.  There is tons of interesting history in the town and a beautiful walk up along the cliffs to St Bees Lighthouse - with plenty of places to pause and spot a range of sea birds along the way.  Once you're done head back to the town, grab a bag of chips and settle down to watch the sunset from the harbour walls - there are views over to the Isle of Man to the west and the south coast of Scotland to the north.  Perfect.

4. Windermere

This one is super easy for everyone to access, although the small car park there is now pay and display.  As you leave Bowness heading north watch for the car park on your left just before the roundabout to Ambleside (the perfect spot to turn around if you miss it).  From there you get a spectacular view clear along the Elterwater valley to see the sun set behind the Langdale Pikes away in the distance.  Many's the time we've been on our way home from a hike and pulled in there for 10 minutes to admire the view and finish off our flask of tea.

5. Red Screes Inversion

This was such a spectacular evening - just me and Steve above an inversion on top of Red Screes watching the sun set.  He took so many stunning photos that night with the clouds first glowing gold before deepening in colour to resemble hot lava pouring from the sky.  If you're heading high to see a sun set then do please make sure you're properly kitted out - this was a stunning evening but despite our many layers of clothing we were still pretty cold when we got back to the car.  (Our secret is to leave another flask of hot tea in the boot ready for our return)

6. Sandscale Haws

I'll be honest, this is a very new discovery for us, but what a place!  Just 5 minutes drive from Barrow and your surrounded by enormous sand dunes and spectacular views.  We walked all the way to the south of the dunes for a picnic on the beach and, after the sun had gone down we wandered back around the edge of the dunes enjoying views like this across to Black Combe (one of my favourite fells).  You'll need to check the tide times before you head out but, if you keep close in to the shore, you should be absolutely fine.

7.  Arnside

We have seen hundreds of sunsets from Arnside and they never get boring.  What I love about Arnside sunsets is the way the sun plays on the different patterns across Morecambe Bay at low tide - it's never the same twice.  There are so many places you can watch from - Arnside Prom, the pier, the benches out along the coastal walk or, if you have folks with you who don't love the great outdoors quite as much as you do, then there are ringside seats available at The Albion (and excellent food and beer too) but, be warned, it's a very popular place.

And all the others...

There were so many others I could have included, but then the blog would have been really long and boring, but here's a few more if you fancy seeking them out.

Duddon Valley