The first time i visited the lake district, i stayed at the Brothers Water Inn and immediately fell in love with the place. It has great views looking down Dovedale towards the slightly foreboding Dove Crag.
So it was from here that I decided to venture up Dove Drag to the Priesthole, a small cave situated on the north-eastern side which offers impressive views of Dovedale and beyond.
Although the weather was unseasonally warm for February, the sun blazed down and sweat poured off me, there were still patches of snow on the higher ground.
The route itself has a varied scenery which makes it a joy to walk. One minute I was walking a woodland path, the next I was passing waterfalls and streams.
The journey took about 2 and a half hours and the final 100 or so feet up to the cave were a bit of a scramble with snow in places making the rocks slippery so when I finally made it to the cave entrance I felt slightly relieved and elated all at once.
The cave itself goes back about 20 feet and there is plenty of space to Lay a bed for the night.
As the floor was wet, I laid some poly bags on the floor which had been kindly left by previous occupants.
I love the fact that there is an unspoken camaraderie amongst the cave dwellers with former occupants leaving useful items for future dwellers, indeed on my stay there were various food items, some milk and even a bottle of whisky in a big metal tin which serves as the cave’s store.
There is also a guestbook for you to sign and leave messages in.
The sun was setting so after I’d made my bed, I lit some candles and fired up my stove then settled down to a steaming mug of bovril and a sweet n sour chicken meal just as the lights of Penrith started to light the evening sky in the distance.
A beautifully peaceful end to perfect day. I slept soundly and awoke to the most glorious morning I could’ve wished for. As dawn broke and the twinkle of stars faded in the growing light, i noticed cloud had enshrouded the landscape. It was a perfect inversion, the peaks of the mountains poking through like small islands in the ocean. Mesmerising. A beautiful end to a brilliant trip that’s embedded in my mind for ever. Highly recommended!”y
Filmed by Terry bond
18 March 2009 15:14