map. We stayed at Stonefold Cottage, a converted barn on Grange farm which lies between Waberthwaite Fell and Stainton Fell.
As it happened, we chose the weekend when the British Isles were gripped by heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures which meant that once we had driven to Stonefold Cottage, we couldn't drive out as we wouldn't have been able to drive back again up the snow-covered hill. So we were confined to the immediate area, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by sheep, and our pencilled in plans for excursions to Coniston, Ravenglass, Jennings' Brewery, Sca Fell and so forth came to nothing. Our Associate Director, Christian, is not easily deterred however and he was up at the crack of dawn to walk up Waberthwaite Fell during Saturday morning's blizzard. The rest of us braved a walk for a couple of hours later in the day until sunset. On Sunday there was no wind or further snow but bright sunshine, so we tackled nearby Stainton Fell and reached Stainton Tower. (See photo; El Presidente remained back at base camp in the warm). We stopped off at Coniston Water on our way back south, where the view across the lake was stunning; completely windless at minus 7 degrees Celsius, causing water vapour to hover over the smooth water.
8 out of 10 for the cottage - points deducted for the lack of an open fire and the rate at which the electricity meter gobbled up the £1 coins. Half a point added back in for the hospitable welcome from the proprietor who set the table for afternoon tea and provided mince pies and cakes. Many thanks to our Deputy Chief Assistant Leader for organising the trip.