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Lake District SOTA Weekend 18/19th May 2019


My XYL Judy enjoys fell walking on reasonable paths, like you get in the Lake District, but she hates walking some of the rubbish routes we have to use to reach summits in places like the part of Scotland I am in now. She would not have had the nerve for sure to cross the water at the top of Grey Mares Tail yesterday, so if she had come with me she would have taken the car keys, looked at Loch Skeen and then returned to the car before me to wait 1-1.5 hours whilst reading a book until I reappeared.

Drinking is not that important on the Lakeland weekend to me, but a good venue where we can get together without disturbing the other customers is. If anyone has already laid money out on accommodation which they may lose due to a change of date or town, it doesn’t seem fair to change the weekend or town unless they are happy. And of course if we move the date now some of us may be pre-booked somewhere else, but others may come in who were booked up somewhere else over the original May 18th weekend. Lot of Bank Holidays around then also, and we must avoid them.

73 Phil


I don’t think moving the date is a sensible move. So far it looks like Andy @G6PJZ is the only one to have booked accommodation - and bless him he’s been very understanding.

I’ll obviously learn from this experience for next time - all part of the joy of being an organiser! Fortunately there is enough accommodation in the Lake District that moving to Windermere will make life significantly easier for those who have yet to book. Again I also think the good train connectivity will help those travelling from further away. There are then bus routes that take you to the foot of several summits.

The Brookside Inn can take a group of 10-15 easily with more if required although not sat in the same location. It is just one street away from the main road but because of that it doesn’t get mobbed the same when there are plenty of folk in town.

Regards, Mark.


Phil - having done Windy Hill on the Isle of Bute I get that completely. There was no path even though I was following the West Island Way - this was just a set of post markers. The Benchmark was floating in its’ own moat. I was up to my thighs in water at one point, up to my knees in mud at other times. Not a pleasant experience in November!

We are lucky in the Lakes for the most part when it comes to access for SOTA summits - although some of the less well trodden Wainwrights have more difficult access conditions.

In the Lakes I had a similar experience to yours attempting to get to G/LD-026 - Tarn Crag (Sleddale) via Buckbarrow Crag and the Sleddale valley. Next time I try and get there I will chose the less direct and probably substantially better route from Brownhowe Bottom!


I’ve edited the main post to provide some more information and an update on location.


I’m hoping to activate a summit on the Saturday.


Well so had I but I chose somewhere in Keswick last night with a no cancellation fee option. I have cancelled and managed to switch to a nice B&B in Windermere within a couple of hundred metres of Windermere centre and the Brookside Inn.

This has pulled me out of my SOTA shell again and I’m not sure about which summits to activate. I will likely do something on Friday on the way, probably a Parkrun and summit on Saturday and then a summit on the way home on Sunday.

73 Marc G0AZS


The 19th May is also the 1st Backpackers on 2m so a handy weekend to use. I have provisional domestic permission so will probably go from home and decide nearer the time if an overnight somewhere sensible is in order (or dubs hut bothy nr fleetwith pike).



Fellfoot Park run is probably the closest to Windermere.


Can’t cancel my booking, so negotiations ongoing regarding chauffeurs. Might have to use her car as she hates driving my “big bus”! I’ve just booked some nice holidays for us, so hopefully the goodwill force is strong at present :crossed_fingers: I suspect I might have to earn additional points for an evening spent in the company of multiple radio amateurs - ideas for group names anyone? :wink:

A Range of SOTA activators? Her suggestion, A Yawn :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Still looking forward to it!


Might suggest my wife does this too - brownie points! Thanks for the reminder


…and if that doesn’t suit, I just realised that the 18th/19th May are the dates for the Lakeland Orienteering Club 2 Day National Event. Saturday info is here and Sunday info is here.

We are spoilt for choice on activities as well as summits! The fells will be heaving…


I’ve just booked a room in Windetmere for Saturday night.

:heavy_dollar_sign: Gordon B… they know how to charge down in The Puddles but it’s refundable. :heavy_dollar_sign:


Hi Mark

Booked B&B in the middle of Windermere for the event. Suggestions for somewhere for evening meals would be appreciated closer to the date.

73 Allan GW4VPX


Is it worthwhile people intending to take part in this event to post their alerts?

73 Chris M0RSF


I was thinking about that earlier - absolutely when people are booked up and have thought about their plans for the weekend they should get them into the alerting system.

Mark. M0NOM.


…and is it asking too much if there was an allocated time on one of the days when we could all aim to be on a summit at the same time +/- obviously for a few s2s to be flying around or just leave it to pot luck the emphasis being mainly on the get-together in the evening?

Joint activations? or can that be for the Sunday, plan for it on Saturday evening

Just some of my thoughts



Doing a bit of juggling SOTA with family life. Fairly sure that providing the weather isn’t awful I’ll be out on Saturday ( I am thinking St Sunday, Fairfiled and Seat Sandal - but the last one might be a bit optimistic). Should be able to join you Saturday Evening - but on the alcohol free stuff before driving back home ( Only about 90 min drive ) Not sure about Sunday but could do some S2S from the NP hills, possibly Cross Fell if I’m up to it!

Thanks Mark



Okay, my flight is booked, landing in Manchester on 15/5 Wed morning, and going to pick up a car and head over to GW land to add that association to my list, (maybe Snowdon??). If anyone is interested in joining me on that, feel free to DM me. Thursday or Friday I will head up Windermere to join the rest of you all.

Looking forward to activating/S2S with you all, see you in the Spring.


10 - 15 attendess Mark - I think they may be oversubscribed… sounds more like there may 25 people or more if several bring XYLs in two. Callsign badges optional I hope, Pleased to see that some overseas visitors such as jamie N6JFD and Paul HB9DST are coming or considering it as a special trip.

I am on the cusp of booking Friday/Sat/Sunday night in Windermere. Finding a guest house with private parking, loads available, XYL to consult when she gets up…a hillwalker with no interest in radio but she puts up with it and me. It ain’t love, but it ain’t bad (JOKE)!

Decent boutique B&Bs at around £100 a night for two with hearty breakfasts or a litle more for a larger room. Lake District prices as expected…I tend to use booking.com myself, plenty of other agents or direct booking are available…

Now need to stake a claim on specific summits in the alerts, although on the days themselves the weather may make the decision for us.

73 Phil


Alternative guide to recognising fellow SOTA activators (activists?) in a crowded pub:

  • Hunched seating position (from carrying heavy loads such as batteries and also good for keeping out of the wind during prolonged summit stays)

  • ‘1000 yard stare’ (always listening for that faint DX through the local QRM)

  • Naturally seeks a position away from popular tracks (to the bar or toilets) making good use of natural features (eg fires, radiators, table and chairs)

  • Starts thinking about the next pub after speaking to 4 new friends (close friends in their immediate vicinity don’t count)

  • Talks a strange language of abbreviations (some of which take longer to say than the word they replace - XYL=wife)

I hope that helps Phil (and others)! :grin:

PS take care when approaching there may be security features such as dangling wires

PPS and please don’t ask me what the fishing rod is for! (I’ll stop there. Feel free to add your own guide points :wink:)