Touching Clouds

Watching the world go by at 2000ft

The Seymours hiking in the Lake District

On our first morning in the Lake District we awoke to glorious rays of sunshine beaming through the small window right by our pillows. Our family philosophy is to make the most of the opportunities presented to us, and so we all agreed that we should do the ‘big’ walk, in case this was our only good weather day.

Black Combe sits on the South Western corner of the Lakes, bordered by the sea on two sides, and with a 2000ft peak it offers a commanding view of the rest of the mountain ranges to the North East, including Skafell.

Black Combe also overshadows the cottage we were staying in, with one of Wainright’s celebrated trails starting right outside our door. So, donning daypacks with our supplies of sandwiches and batternberg cake, we set off.

Alick, a friendly local had given us some guidance on his favourite routes, and following his notes, we shortly left the main track, and headed up on what increasingly looked like a sheep track.

Zoe (7) is very physical with amazing grit and determination, but if we had been able to see the full extent of the hike ahead of us, I suspect we might not have completed it. However the route that we took meant that a series of local maxima (false peaks) repeatedly made us think we were nearing the summit, and gave us the impulse to make ‘one more push’, time and time again.

As we neared the summit, we could see a cloud layer forming above us, and fearing a loss of visibility we picked up pace, with the kids both running the final stretch once the trig point was spotted.

Using the picnic blanket as a wind breaker, we all spent a long time, blissfully watching the clouds forming overhead from the sea behind, rolling past us, with their shadows dancing over the mountain ranges in front.

As per Alick’s advice, walking the route this way round, meant the longer, steadier path for the return leg was filled with the most captivating panorama of the ranges to the North East.

The home straight afforded us a view of the much steeper track we’d ascended, and a great sense of achievement, especially for those of us with shorter legs.

What a view. What a day

Words: Ben Seymour

Photos: Emma/Ben Seymour