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Day 9: Newton Stewart to home via the Lake District

We had a long day of driving ahead of us today, with approximately 300 miles to cover. We didn't want to just drive straight home though, so we made a reasonably early start from Newton Stewart. While overall we probably prefer staying in Hawick, the advantage of overnighting in Newton Stewart was that we could drive home via the M6, and that meant that we would be able to stop off in the Lake District without making much of a detour :)

Tim had found some National Trust walks in the Lake District online and we decided to try one which started from the small village of Hartsop. It wasn't a place we'd ever heard of before but we had a really scenic drive there, starting with a drive through the Galloway Forest Park as we left Newton Stewart, and then driving along the shore of Ullswater as we got closer to Hartsop.

The walk instructions started from a car park in the village, but that was unfortunately full by the time we arrived. Luckily an enterprising farmer had opened up a field and was charging £5 for parking. £5 felt a bit steep, but it did give us an opportunity to get change from some of the Scottish bank notes we'd acquired during the holiday. We'd deliberately taken cash out in Dumbarton in case we weren't able to pay for things by card on Islay and Colonsay, but then we hadn't actually ended up needing to use it.

Just the views from the car park itself were impressive.


From where we'd parked it was only a walk of five minutes or so towards the official start point for the walk.


The walk was quite easy initially, taking us along a small tarmac road.


The views were already spectacular without us needing to walk anywhere.


The road soon started to lead uphill.


It was a bit tiring, but the scenery made it worthwhile :)


We climbed increasingly higher.


The track was leading us alongside a small stream.


Before crossing the stream, the route unexpectedly required us to climb over a stone wall.


This hadn't been mentioned in the National Trust instructions!


I made it across in the end and then thankfully there was a proper bridge to cross the stream.


The path was then quite narrow for a while, taking us up the hillside and away from the stream.


This then led to a wider track, which was much easier to walk on.


We were walking towards Hayeswater reservoir.


The lake is actually natural, but was dammed and used as a reservoir for the town of Penrith until 2005.


It was in a really beautiful location and definitely worth walking to :) 


From the reservoir we had to turn around and retrace our steps a bit.


We passed the steep little path where we'd come up from the stream...


...and continued on a wider path which ultimately took us downhill.


On the way we passed little waterfalls on the stream.


The path led us back towards the village of Hartsop.


On the way we had to negotiate a field of cows.


I wasn't a huge fan, but luckily they just stared at us as we went past!


Then we were pretty much back where we had started and it was time to set off on the long drive home.


The Lake District is really beautiful and it was a great place to end the holiday :) 

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