Jo and I have arrived at Honister Slate Mine and our transport is ready but no Ann and Roger and no driver!
Are you sure this will take 4 passengers as well as the pilot?
We never did find out what the safety pin was for!
Mark Weir (Pilot, owner of Honister Slate mine and local entrepreneur) takes out the dual controls in case Roger decides to take over control.
It is a tight squeeze for three of us in the back
Honister Youth Hostel in the back ground
last checks before lift off
The Honister to Seatoller road
Turning to head for Ann and Roger's home at Loweswater
Honister slate mine - now a major tourist attraction with mine tours, shop, cafe and not one but two "via ferrata" (a sort of rock climb where novices are protected by harness and steel cable for the length of the climb)
heading over Fleetwith Pike
Buttermere and Warnscale Bottom
Fleetwith Edge to the right
The High Stile Ridge with Pillar mountain beyond
We all had headsets - helicopters are notoriously noisy
The fields of Buttermere with Crummock Water coming into view
Crummock Water with Rannerdale Knotts and Grasmoor to the right
Passing over Mellbreak with Whiteseide now in view
Looking down on Mellbreak
We have passed over Ann and Roger's cottage at Loweswater but (in the middle seat) I can't get a sight of it.
The slopes of Whiteside with Hopegill Head coming into view
Hopegill Head and the ridge to Whiteside
The Hobcarton Valley with Ladyside Pike
The new Mountain Bike track created in Whinlatter Forest - much steeper than it looks!
Approaching the Vale of Keswick and Derwentwater
Portinscale and Derwentwater
St Johns in the Vale with High Rigg to the right and the Dodds and Helvellyn to the left
Heading along St Johns in the Vale - Thirlmere now in view
The tiny hamlet of Fornside with a bit of air turbulence!
Beckthornes, Fornside, Low Bridgend Farm, The Green at Legburthwaite and castle Rock all in view.
from the left - Fornside Farm and holiday cottages, my home, Fornside Cottage (set back above the other buildings) and Fornside House to the right.
The top of the whaleback ridge of the Dodds with Fornside Farm below
Watsons Dodd, Stybaroow Dodd and the Helvellyn range
Still a bit of snow left from a month back
We landed for a minute on Watson's Dodd to check a door latch!
Ullswater comes into view
heading north along Ullswater
The two caravan sites below Little Mell Fell where Jo has a caravan
The "Quiet Site" at Watermillock - Jo's caravan is clearly visible - but I won't identify it.
Heading back over Calfhow Pike above Fornside
The distinctive outcrop of Calfhow Pike - the one bit of rock amid seemingly endless peat moorland
Great How and Thirlmere
Bridgend Farm, Great How, Fisher Place, Thirlspot and Thirlmere
Thirlmere with Helvellyn above to the left
Derwentwater with Bleaberry Fell to the right
Honister Crag - there are mine tours underground and two Via Ferrata up the face - they can be booked at the Honister Mine shop or visit Honister.com Sadly, planning permission for a zip wire from near the top of the crag down to the mine buildings was refused in the summer of 2011 a few months after Mark's sad death.
Ann DID enjoy the flight despite the expression!
Mark heads back home at the end of his day's work
Our flight had lasted just over half an hour - to drive to the places we covered would have taken half a day!