Dow Crag, which stands high above Coniston offers fabulous views down to Goat's Water and across to the Old Man of Coniston, as well as the long sweep of Coniston Water. Dow Crag's dark clefts, chimneys and buttresses have offered immeasurable pleasures to climbing enthusiasts over the generations, with the possible promise of a cooling swim in Goat's Water afterwards. 

Our trip up to Dow Crag offered glints of sun and warmth, marred only by very strong winds. Rock-climbing in strong winds in a mountain setting can turn a relaxing excursion into a mountaineering adventure and by the time we had completed eight pitches, and down climbed  Easy Terrace, we decided to bypass Goat's Water. We had been watching the uninviting waves blasting across the surface from the winds, which were being funnelled off the hills into the combe. 

We headed down to the warmer climes of Coniston, and the next day picked up the swimming with a vengeance. Swimming out from the pebbly beach at the southern end of Grasmere with a client, we took advantage of the mild conditions to complete two lengths, stopping every now and again to enjoy the views and watching a heron fly off,  all with the sun kicking through the clouds every now and again. In the afternoon, we had a lazy time by the side of Loughrigg Tarn, enjoying a quiet swim and spending time with the ducks.

A fabulous weekend in the hills and in the water.