Drawing 189: Thirlmere, from Fisher Crag

Direction of view: N

Notes: Best taken now in winter / early Spring, as the larch tree obscures most of the view of the lake.  For easiest access, park at Armboth, walk south down the road for c200m to a place where two gates stand opposite one another.  Go through the one on the right, and cross rough ground for 100m to reach a good forest track.  Follow this right, and then follow the footpath on to Fisher Crag.

This view appears on page Armboth Fell 6 in The Central Fells, and on page 36 of Fellwalking with a Camera, page 46 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, and is the 48th photo in Fellwanderer.  In Memoirs, the photograph and sketch are shown together, and one is left to wonder how Wainwright drew the detail of Blencathra in the background from such a blurry photograph.  Maybe he used a different photograph of Blencathra (see also sketch 54 on this point).

Comments: I took this picture on slide film on 22nd July 2000, on a walk with Peter Messenger designed to collect “Birkett” tops on the fells above Thirlmere – my 999th walk (as per my diary).  Visibility sharpened after a hazy start, and Fisher Crag was our final port of call.

I visited Fisher Crag again on 22nd July 2016, together with David Johnson, who was a keen collector of photos of sketch locations for the Wainwright Society’s Sketchbook Project.  However, it was a dull day, with Blencathra in mist.  We also found that the larch tree shown above has grown considerably since 2000, and now obscures most of the view of the lake.  The cairn is also a poor shadow of the fine structure sketched by AW.

A final visit was on 5th May 2017 with Peter Watson – a sunny and windy day, when we walked from Steel End by Thirlmere up the Wythburn valley to Greenup Edge, then on to Blea Tarn for lunch, Armboth Fell, and so to Fisher Crag.  The pictures show the view from Wainwright’s viewpoint, and from a few paces to the left, which reveals the view of Thirlmere, but can’t include the cairn.