When I got to the Lakes on Monday I went to check out where the walking forum meeting place was for the following morning. The hostel was a few miles away and I wanted to make sure that I could drive along the shortest route between them, because the road looked very narrow and very steep. We were meeting at a pub called The new Dungeon Ghyll in Great Langdale. The only parking there was at the National Trust car park and it was £6.50 for the day.
I didn't want to pay that, so I found some free parking at Elterwater, parked the car and walked the six miles to the hostel and back. The road was going to be fine to drive backwards and forwards. The first two photo's are of Grasmere Lake.
When I got back to the car I met up with some of the walkers for a drink, they were staying at the hotel. Then I went to the hostel for the night and came back the next morning for the meet up. Luckily I was early enough to get free parking in a layby, you have to be early because there are only five spaces, and they soon get filled. We set off in miserable weather, only me and Tracey had shorts on though. I reckon if your legs get wet it's better than having wet fabric stuck to them, and it was too warm to get the waterproof trousers out. Here is the gang.
After about 20 minutes or so, I seemed to be struggling a bit. The route was a steep climb on massive, wet boulders, you had to keep looking at your feet to make sure you didn't slip. I was getting a bit out of breath, feeling a bit sick, and the pace was a bit too fast for me. It wasn't much fun, not having time to look around, and always looking at your feet. I didn't want to hold everybody up so I decided to drop out, and went back down. On the way down, I wondered if I had given up too easily, as I saw young children on their way up. I almost turned round to go back up and give it another shot, but the area we were in was off my map and I didn't feel confident enough to tackle it without. So I went down. This was one of many waterfalls.
Not to worry, I thought, I will have a walk along the valley, and do what I usually do and make it up as I go along. I set off along the Cumbria Way, this is a little bridge over Great Langdale Beck.
The weather was much better at a lower level, and I was able to walk in just a teeshirt and shorts. The edge of Elterwater Lake was a popular place.
I came into Skelwith Bridge and the path went through a slate factory, they cut slate to various sizes and make signs as well as paving slabs.
This is Skelwith Bridge, it was beautiful, so I lingered a while and had rifle in my nosebag.
There were lots of cottages like this one, but I suspect there are hundreds rented to holiday makers, I bet the place is very quiet in the winter.
I carried on south and did a circuit of The Tarns, it was a very pleasant walk around the whole lake. I stopped to have a chat with a lady who was walking by herself, and gave her the address of the walking forum, as she seemed quite interested.
It was late when I finished, I didn't get back into the hostel till 8pm, but it didn't matter as it wasn't wildly exciting. All I did was get my meal, Super Noodles and a tin of mackeral fillets, then I read a book. The hostel was full so there were lots of people milling around in the kitchen, some of them were cooking very elaborate meals, I can't be bothered faffing around when I am away.
I was a bit sad that I had missed out on gaining height and not enjoying any views over the lakes. Although I had a great walk, it was 15.5 miles, to get the best out of it you have to climb. I decided I would go up onto a mountain for the last day. There was a nice young man at the hostel who told me about a fantastic walk he had done the day before, he showed me on the map. This would do nicely I thought.
The next morning I walked into Grasmere, and called into the famous gingerbread shop. Someone had told me how delicious it was so, I had to get some. The gorgeous smells were wafting across the road.
The lovely smiley lady serving at the counter.
I took the Coffin Route to Rydal. So called because they used to take the coffins from Ambleside to Grasmere for burial.
I came across several felled trees which had coins hammered into them. I'm not sure how this tradition started, or why, but I reckon if you had a pair of pliers with you, you could make a few bob, ha ha.
This is the fabulous Rydall Hall, only time for a quick walk round and a few photo's. The gardens are immaculate.
Looking back at the stile I have just crossed, can you see it down there, between the two walls.
The highter you get the better the views. That is Windermere stretching out into the distance. The ground is covered in ferns with sheep playing hide and seek.
Now I can see Rydal Lake down below, and Windermere in the distance.
The view down Rydal Beck is fantastic, it looks like there is a piece of spaghetti down there.
I feel like I have been walking for ages, and I am not quite sure how far along the path I have come. I am looking for a left turn to come back down. I know I have passed Heron Pike, but where is the turn? There are a few people walking the same route in reverse, which is handy because I can ask them what is up ahead. This photo is looking back at where I have come from.
At last I have come to Great Rigg and here is the pile of stones. What a relief, and I can see the way down from here.
One happy bunny.
This is a nice gentle descent, another view of Rydal Water.
And a bit further down the forest comes into view.
Time is getting on now, so it's straight back to my car at the hostel. I have been lucky with the weather again, it got a bit windy on the top for ten minutes when the clouds came over, but apart from that it's been lovely all day. 8.57 miles with a total ascent of 2702 feet. In total I have walked 30 miles and seen some wonderful scenery, I'm pleased with that.
A few snaps of the hostel before I leave. The entrance.
A few snaps of the hostel before I leave. The entrance.