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Lake District SOTA Weekend 18/19th May 2019


I hope to be in the Western Lakes over the weekend. Maybe catch a few of you on 2m FM.
If anyone fancies a joint activation, PM me.


Just to inform of my intention to join in with this event. Windermere is about 45 mins from my new QTH so I’ll base myself at home for the event.

I’ll have a look at possible summits later.



I’ll be there and am looking forward to it.

I’ve booked a room in Windermere, near the town center (centre?) from Wednesday night, departing Monday morning. Heck, if I’m coming all the way from HB9, then a shorter stay isn’t worth it.

First, which is the best airport to fly into?
Second, I suppose I’ll need a rental car to get to Windermere and then out and about during my visit (or is public transport actually convenient?)
Third, if anyone cares to do some joint activations, let me know! I look at the map and see countless possibilities, not sure how to make the best use of my time.

73, BCNU


Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are probably the closest/easiest. Leeds/Bradford is only a little further away.


I’d pick Manchester, it’s the biggest in the area so greater choice of hire car etc. You can get direct flights from Zurich and there are plenty of 1 change flights. Direct flights with Swiss and 1 change via Schipol with KLM. I try to pick “real” airlines in preference to the cheapo ones.


I second Manchester - it is the closest airport and the train journey can be done in between 2 and 2.5 hours. There is one connection required at Oxenholme (just outside Kendal) to switch from the West Coast Mainline to the local Windermere line which starts at Oxenholme and terminates at Windermere.

You might find flights to Glasgow are slightly cheaper but the train ticket will be slightly more expensive.

Buses stop at the train station in Windermere and drive off in various directions. The obvious one to take would be the Keswick bus that provides numerous possibilities of summits including Seat Sandal, Fairfield, St Sunday Crag, or you could take the bus to the top of Kirkstone Pass with Red Screes on the left or Stony Cove Pike and High Street on the right. Or carry on that bus then you can approach St Sunday Crag from Patterdale or turn right and Place Fell is awesome for views and not too hard on the knees.

Regards, Mark.


So, are most folks looking to stay in a specific area of Windermere? Seems like there’d be some after hours co-mingling as well…so wanted to make sure that whatever hotel/BnB I book after hours is going to be near/with others…

(FWIW, looks like a lot of rooms available at the moment for that weekend)


HI Jamie

My non-ham XYL and I are booked in at Rocklea Guest House, Brookside, Lake Road, LA23 2BX for 3 nights 17/18/19th May. bY Booking direct on their website and paying a deposit saved a few pounds on the booking.com price. This is a stagger from the current Saturday meeting venue The Brookside Inn, but as I am not a big drinker I will walk rather than stagger!

I will be just be using 2m FM with a handheld and long whip for the LD weekend, with most of the day time being spent walking and not sitting in one place. Not sure what summits I will target at this stage - you could take a look at the WOTA Programme as well, Wainwrights On The Air which is a localised Lake District Ham Radio Awards Programme focussed on the 330 Lakeland summits made famous in the late A Wainwrights (“AW”) 8 walking books covering the Lake District. Most of the SOTA summits count in the WOTA Programme but there are many more which AW chose for their viewpoint and not their prominence, like in SOTA. The WOTA scheme is 10 years old and is currently having a refresh after Mark M0NOM offered to take over as Website manager.

73 Phil G4OBK


Manchester airport has another huge advantage; it’s very close to three of SOTA’s most popular summits: Cloud G/SP-015 (>1500 activations), Gun G/SP-013 (nearly 800 activations) and Shining Tor G/SP-004 (>750 activations). These summits were key to getting the SOTA program started and all three can easily be done within a day.

If anyone flying into Manchester wants to do these iconic hills, PM me.



A few people have said how many rooms were available and I found that there were a huge number of B&B and hotels, very few had availability. Now I can see it’s because I only wanted 1 night on Saturday and many of the places only want to let out rooms for 2 or 3 nights minimum.


This is a Lake District issue and to some extent Yorkshire Dales also. In the summer proprietors are reluctant to let rooms on a weekend for one night, if they accept a one night booking invariably they must then have to turn away 2 or more nights bookers coming in later. Long standing issue this - Grasmere, Ambleside and Keswick town are the worst places to try for one night B&Bs / Hotels on a summer weekend. When we were doing the C2C the only way round it when we hit Grasmere / Ambleside on a weekend, was to stage out using a friend for transport to the White Lion in Patterdale, so it was walk to Grasmere, car to Patterdale than back to Grasmere next morning by car to restart the walk through Grisedale via Fairfield and SS Crag and walk into Patterdale. The advantage was we could leave our stuff at the White Lion at Patterdale as we were staying two nights.

73 Phil


I understand the rationale behind it Phil. I hadn’t noticed it which was why there was a limited room choice when I first started looking. Extending the booking window and loads more places become available. I booked a place for just Saturday a couple of days back though but I can’t stay longer unfortunately. But this gives me the chance to activate on the way down, stay overnight and meet people and then activate on the way back.

I may bring along my FT290Mk1 and TR2300 as there’ll be plenty of simple S2S QSOs to be had. And the 23cms… and 13cms… Oh eck, getting complex!


I have the issue of 2/3 nights minimum when recommending places for other events organised here. It’s worth noting that pubs & inns tend to be more lenient in this practice, but clearly you have a much more limited selection.


Even caravan/motorhome sites in these areas generally have a 3 day minimum booking requirement. At high demand times this goes up to 5 days minimum.


I ran into something similar in Wells UK when we first went thru two years ago as a touron. Could not book a single night on the weekend, which was fine by me, there was some fun stuff to explore around Wells so it was worth it, but I could see the higher tourist areas being that way…


As a semi local can I offer this? Whilst the central fells are without a doubt lovely, they are also rammed with people, cost a fortune and on my ‘avoid’ list unless you’re first up. The less well trodden places might give better options and potentially fewer booking issues. There is a newish premiere inn in Cockermouth that will give a worse drive/park to the central fells but good access to Skiddaw and Blencathra for example. Equally Penrith might be worth looking at if you plan to look east or north.

Like @G3CWI I’ll be on the west. Pillar, Kirk Fell Great Gable and Scafell are all within spitting distance of each other. There are also a bunch of WOTA summits there as well. Perhaps we need to co-ordinate Richard so we don’t end up all on the same summits at different times. Not sure where to go yet, but it’ll be west.

Also look at Liverpool airport. Not too much in it for travel time to the lakes (once you’re past Preston its generally easy going on the M6) and my Geneva ticket I booked the other day was a third of the price of one to MCR


Herding Cats

I can see it being a problem if we all end up on the same summit mind :smiley:


Who’s going be first? :wink:


Why not just sit for example on The Calf or Cross Fell in a small tent in the North Pennines for the day and work everything you can hear on 2m?! Many S2S available I believe, if that is what floats your boat. I’m sure someone will try this method on the Saturday - not me as I like walking as does my XYL - she wouldn’t sit in one place all day!

I think we should stick with Windermere as a base - plentiful accommodation for visitors and driving to chosen summit(s) early morning should not be too much of an issue to my mind. Individuals could do what they wanted and stay wherever, some radio hams aren’t that sociable so they may not want to attend the Saturday Social anyway. Each to their own!

73 Phil


Oi! That’s my plan! Driving down from the North I was thinking of doing something GM/SS to start with. Criffel would be a good one but I did it relatively recently. The other SS summits are things like Roan Fell or Ellson Fell or Caldcleuch Head etc, terrible bog trots so they’re out. That makes NP summits look good for bagging LD activity, maybe Cold Fell (10 years since I did it), Cross Fell (11 years) or maybe Nine Standards Rigg (never done it).