I’ve had Abrahams Tea Round on the to do list for a while now so when the chance came up for a recce of the first two legs with George Fisher it was an opportunity not to be missed….
Abraham's Tea Round is a 30 mile with 12,000 feet of ascent route that takes you from the front of George Fisher, over to Buttermere and back again in a lovely scenic journey through the local fells.
Starting at the front of the shop and heading clockwise, the route takes you over Catbells and Robinson to Buttermere - Leg 1 and 2
The day was scheduled to start at 10:00 and thankfully the weather forecast was good so we wouldn’t get drenched and hopefully would have good going underfoot.
We met upstairs in Abrahams Tea shop (hence the round name) and were given a brief introduction from Dave Troman (George Fisher Ambassador) and Matt Le Voi (Mountain Leader/Photographer) about what to expect from the day, Dave would lead us and Matt would take some video/pictures as we moved through the landscape. Recommended kit list HERE.
L-R: Dave, Matt, Chris, Dave, Louise, Ree, Garth, Jessica, Rebecca and Katie
We set off from the shop on the first leg at a steady pace weaving our way through Keswick avoiding the crowded market and heading along a dirt track to cross the suspension bridge which leads into Portinscale. Here I noted that if you were doing a true tea round you could possibly consider making one of the first stops in this village however sadly we didn’t and carried on down the valley in the direction of Catbells.
The tops to touch are displayed above the window in Abraham's Cafe on the top floor of George Fisher
Running along the road at a steady pace we passed the turn off for the Nichol End Marine before turning left through a gate and heading steadily uphill. Here Dave mentioned to us about the uphill running technique where if your brain is telling you it may be worth running then you should try it and see if you truly can run it, as often you’ll be able too.
Reaching the top of the short hill (was able to run it) we continued along the footpath to the base of Catbells where we began to inter-twine our way through the many walkers who were also heading for the summit.
'First summit of the day, Catbells'
After a steady jog-walk we reached the summit of Catbells and had a quick discussion about nutrition from Dave along with an introduction to some orienteering navigation techniques which we could use to ensure we were heading in the right direction. From here we descended the hill following the old miners tracks towards Little town (another potential tea-stop) and the end of leg one. The pace had been smooth and thankfully there had been plenty of group discussions so I still felt relatively fresh.
'The next leg takes you along a lane and eventually along a track towards Robinson'
Here we were given the choice of a steady ascent along the ridge or the ‘tiger line’ which would take us along the valley before cutting steeply up to the ridge. The latter would be quicker in theory as you avoid some additional ascent taking this route and this is what we took. Climbing steadily, we quickly reached the ridge line of Robinson and then following a minor scramble along the ridge we reached the top. The views were stunning the sun was out and surprisingly there was no wind. Looking forwards we could see leg three of the round up Red Pike which was for another day and directly ahead was the steep decent down to Buttermere.
As we began to descend Dave again pointed out features on the landscape such as ‘re-entrants’ which we could use to guide us into the gully we needed to follow and quickly the ground became steeper, with the group moving at their own pace towards Buttermere and the valley floor. As we descended, I was paying more attention to the view than the slippery moss and subsequently found myself sitting in a pool of water, however thankfully nobody saw me so it can’t have happened! Carrying on further with the descent the ground again steepened and we continued down to the valley floor without further mishaps.
From here we left the tea round which continues around the lake towards Gatesgarth and instead headed along the shore of Buttermere to The Fish for lunch before the Taxi took us back to Keswick.
A thoroughly enjoyable day with thanks to Dave, Matt and George Fisher, hopefully legs three and four will be put on as recces in the near future which I thoroughly encourage you to attend.
As for me, I’ll be attempting the full round later this year and hopefully be back in time for Tea!
Matt created a video of our day..