A Chill Day in Cockermouth

Breakfast at 9am today. There was no butter left at the little buffet and no yoghurt which I like to put on top of my porridge. Boo. We asked staff but they didn’t have any left. Maybe we were a bit late today? Not a good start, but the day should get better.

Left 10-ish with blue skies above to climb an outlier Wainwright near Cockermouth. Nice and easy and hopefully not busy at all. Easy driving for 50 min on A roads mostly, even got a Starbucks on the way for a needed caffeine boost.

Binsey is one of the small north western fells at 447m and well away from any settlements, car parks, pubs or cafés. Still, it didn’t seem to be as unknown as I had thought.

Eight cars or so were squeezed around the gate to the path. Still me managed to park up further on along the narrow single track road.

I’ve done 73 Wainwrights so far and Binsey surely must be the easiest. Doesn’t get easier than this. A grassy ascent at a not too steep angle leads up to the top. At a leasurely pace and some loose lead practice and a short break at the top it took us 90mins up and down.

What it lacks in challenge it makes up with in views. And this part of why I never neglect the small hills around the fringes of a mountain range. Often you get the very best views by just going up a little bit.

And views indeed was what we got at the windy top. Skiddaw and the hills that make “The back o’ Skiddaw”. Catbells, and most of the other hills of the Newlands Round, Blencathra and Helvellin and more. It was grand and well worth the little effort.

Grand views from the top. Photo doesn’t do it justice.

With only few sheep around and equally few of their droppings Merlin was pulling a lot less and also had little interest in poo. Making progress here. Good boy.

It was rather busy for such a small hill and had more dogs than humans at the top. Once we had our fill of the views we walked back down as the fresh wind on slightly damp sweaty skin made us a bit cold.

Drove the 15mins into Cockermouth to spend the rest of the day there. Parked near the River Derwent and walked along it for a short bit before crossing a bridge and entering the high street which was lined with shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Found a tearoom and had a break with some food and drinks. Then walked along the River Cocker, through a little bit of woodland and onto an open green space. Being mid afternoon definitely time for a bit of a chill. I dozed off for a bit whilst Rich kept Merlin entertained.

Back in town for 4pm we walked over to The Castle Bar, hoping to get a table for food later. Like so many places they no longer served food in all areas and out of the bar, the garden and the restaurant only the restaurant could be served and it was not dog friendly. Shame. We really liked the pub a lot. Very cosy and with a nice flair. Only drinks for us then.

Rich walked across the road to see if we had more luck at The Bitter End, but they were also booked out. Decided to go for Indian take away then running out of options. After more research for dog friendly dinner places online to book for Fri-Sun Rich stuck his head into “Beer” the local craft beer shop with 300+ craft beers and other goodies and managed to only buy us two cans each.

Decided to book The Bitter End for tomorrow and the ordered our Indian. The 45 mins wait we spent walking to the car to drop off stuff and having a quick drink at a local boozer on the high street.

With hot curry in a bag we finally set off for our hotel. Merlin had become a bit irritable now after a long day with no proper sleep and sure enough sparked out on the back seat after grumpily rearranging his blanket until it was somewhat right. Humph.

The curry was excellent and with full bellies we just chilled on the bed failing to find anything to watch on the streaming services.

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