Through The Viewfinder and What Alice Found There
This week I've been back home in the Lakes shooting some stuff for my University project, and on Wednesday my adventures took me to Tilberthwaite near Coniston. I visited the Ghyll last year but this time we decided to go a different way and explore Cathedral Cave as well as the quarries.
We parked at the same car park we used on our last visit but this time we took the road past the farmhouses, headed North East up the road, and then on reaching the farm yard we went through the lower gate on the right hand side. This path then led us on a really beautiful walk in and out of the woodland with stunning views of the surrounding fells. We also came across some Highland Cattle on the way!
The walk up to the caves took us between 1 and 2 hours because I was stopping quite often to take photos! But once we reached the cave it was definitely worth it! The entrance to the cave is just a small dark tunnel in the rocks so we headed inside and out the other end, bringing us out into the main part of the cave - it was a lot bigger than I expected! We were the only people there to start with so we had a good explore of this part of the cave, taking care not to step into the pool which is actually quite deep despite looking like a small puddle from a distance! There was also a small friendly Robin flying around - he was so curious and not afraid at all, coming right up close to me!
We then left this part of the cave and headed up the hill slightly to view more of the paths and tunnels from a ledge. We also found another tunnel going in at a different angle so we headed through there and climbed down into another part of the cave, which actually led us to another ledge looking down on the first part that we'd been to - it was great to see it from another perspective! A group of school children came in at this point, I presume to go climbing, so we left and checked the map to see which way we could walk back to the car.
We decided to take a different route back that headed up the hill and turned back on ourselves - the views from higher up were great, especially as we had such a clear day with blue skies! Eventually the path led us back to the farm yard and back along the road to the car park. We had a quick picnic in the field opposite the car then headed up the hillside to explore some of the old slate quarries. I love looking around these - you feel so small surrounded by the cliffs and huge slabs of rock!
We walked up the mountainside into each little quarry then dropped down to cross the bridge over the ghyll, and joined up with the path on the opposite side. This led us back down towards the car park again, with beautiful views all around and snow on the hill tops.
Overall the route took us about 4 hours but this included stopping on numerous occasions for photos and also for a picnic. It was a really enjoyable day out and I will definitely be visiting the caves again to explore some of the other passageways! I'd also like to go higher up the hillside past the quarries and see what else is up there...
Landscape & travel photographer from Cumbria, UK.