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View over Grasmere from Dale End
View over Grasmere from Dale End

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Route No 130Saturday 26 February - Saturday 5 March 2005
Grasmere, English Lake District

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South Eastern area at 1:25000
and OS Explorer OL4 The English Lakes North Western area at 1:25000

We rented a holiday cottage for the week at Dale End overlooking Grasmere with absolutely fabulous views from every window looking out across Grasmere to Helm Crag and all the surrounding hills. The tops of the hills from about 500m were covered in snow with the orange of last years' bracken on the craggy hills below the snow line, blending into the green of the walled pasture land down to the lakeside. Our walking plans were rather curtailed this week as I was definitely feeling a bit groggy after a particularly nasty and longlasting tummy bug. (Yes - the world really did fall out of my bottom)

| Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday |

Sunday: Loughrigg Fell and Ambleside - 10km.

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service

Collecting firewood from the storm damaged trees
Collecting firewood from the storm damaged trees

Grasmere and Helm Crag
Grasmere and Helm Crag
We left the car behind this morning and walked from our cottage down the road for a couple of hundred metres to map ref. NY 335062 where we turned on to the permissive footpath around the edge of Grasmere towards Loughrigg Fell. We followed the path below Loughrigg Terrace and up to the cave at map ref. NY 354057. It's part of an old slate quarry. From the cave we dropped down to the path beside Rydal Water and followed the track and then the lane towards Ambleside. At map ref. NY 370044 we turned off the lane over a stone footbridge to walk along the footpath into Ambleside where we found a pleasant tea shop for some lunch. After lunch we retraced our steps over the stone footbridge and crossed the road to climb up a steep access road passing Brow Head Farm and on to Loughrigg Fell at map ref. NY 355042.
Here we turned right to climb up the fell to the trig point at map ref. NY 346051. The whole fell is criss-crossed with footpaths and you just have to choose your own way to the top. After sitting for a while to enjoy the view we made our way down to Loughrigg Terrace and back to our cottage via the lakeside path. It had been a lovely start to the week. The whole walk was about 10km and took us about 3 hours plus a leisurely stroll around Ambleside at lunch time.
Carrion Crow on the edge of Grasmere
Carrion Crow on the edge of Grasmere
Slate quarry cave above Rydal Water
Slate quarry cave above Rydal Water
Robin on a mossy wall
Robin on a mossy wall
Heron looking for frogs in a boggy field
Heron looking for frogs in a boggy field
Footbridge to Ambleside
Footbridge to Ambleside
Jackdaw feeding in the sheep pasture
Jackdaw feeding in the sheep pasture
Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell
Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell
Descending from Loughrigg fell to Grasmere
Descending from Loughrigg fell to Grasmere
Me on Loughrigg Fell
Me on Loughrigg Fell

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Monday: Grizedale Forest - 6km.

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service

Coniston Old Man from Grizedale Forest
Coniston Old Man from Grizedale Forest

Sculpture above Grizedale Forest visitor centre
Sculpture above Grizedale Forest visitor centre
This morning the weather was a bit grey, so after a lazy start we drove to the visitor centre at Grizedale Forest, map ref. SD 335944. We left the visitor centre on one of the way-marked trails to map ref. SD 330942 where we turned right along a series of forest tracks and paths to map ref. SD SD 325954.Here we turned left along a forest road with good views across the valley to the Coniston Range and Coniston Old Man. At map ref. SD 323935 we turned left again following the forest road to map ref. SD 327937. At this point we joined a way-marked trail to climb up to the view point at map ref. SD 325943. By the time we reached the top it was starting to snow and the sky was looking quite threatening. As we left the top we met an elderly couple with three spaniels that were doing the usual spanial frantic search of the undergrowth with heads down and tails wagging. One of them had been a bit too enthusiastic and had run onto a broken branch impaling itself by the shoulder and causing quite a nasty deep tear.
The owners were worried that the animal seemed unable to walk and had started to carry it down the hillside on a steep rocky path. It was about 1km back to the visitor centre so we volunteered to help and took it in turns to carry the dog in a sling made from an old fleece jacket. The owners took the dog in their car to the vet and we did not find out what happened to it after that. The walk was about 6km and took us about two and a half hours including our dog rescue exploits.
Our intrepid dog rescue in progress
Our intrepid dog rescue in progress
Old man of the forest sculpture
Old man of the forest sculpture
Old man of the forest sculpture
Old man of the forest sculpture

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Tuesday: Elterwater - 12km.

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service

Cobbled track to Elterwater from Grasmere
Cobbled track to Elterwater from Grasmer
The weather was much better this morning and we left the car behind again and set off from our cottage to map ref. NY 333063 where we took the path over the hill to Elterwater village. The path begins as a cobbled track between dry stone walls through some woodland and we were delighted to see two red squirrels on the wall top. As we approached they climbed into the safety of a tree and looked at us from the branches. From Elterwater village we followed the path by the river (Great Langdale Beck) to Chapel Stile where we spent some time in the tea shop for our morning break. We then continued upstream to Oak House at map ref. NY 308057. Here we followed the path back down the valley across the fields and along the lane to map ref. NY 325044. We followed the road back into Elterwater to the car park beside the bridge over the Beck, and set off downstream on the footpath beside the Beck.
We passed Elter Water and continued to Skelwith Bridge. At map ref. NY 343034 we turned off the road up the hill to Loughrigg Tarn. From the tarn we followed the track and the road to map ref. NY 340055 where we turned off the road onto a very pleasant track through the woods down to Grasmere and back to our cottage. The whole route had been about 12km and had taken us four and a half hours including our stops.
Red squirrel just visible amongst the branches
Red squirrel just visible amongst the branches
Great Langdale Beck at Chapel Stile
Great Langdale Beck at Chapel Stile
Woodland track in Great Langdale
Woodland track in Great Langdale
Circular saw bench for ripping down whole tree trunks
Circular saw bench for ripping down whole tree trunks

Langdale Pikes seen across Elter Water
Langdale Pikes seen across Elter Water

Elter Water
Elter Water

Loughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn

 

Wednesday: Crummock Water - 11km.

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

Our first glimps of Crummock Water
Our first glimps of Crummock Water
This morning we drove over the Honister Pass to Crummock Water where we parked in the National Trust car park at map ref. NY 172171 on the edge of Buttermere village. The trouble was I didn't notice it was National Trust until after I had paid at the ticket machine. If I'd noticed in time I could have simply left my National Trust membership card in the windscreen. (It was £4.50 for the day - that'll teach me to be more observant!). We set off around the edge of the lake to map ref. NY 160199. Here we took the lakeside path to the outlet weir at map ref. NY 151208. We crossed the footbridge over the River Cocker and continued on the lake side path all the way around the lake to map ref. NY 167165. Here we crossed the bridge and followed the track into Buttermere village.
At the road we turned left to walk the last few hundred metres back to the car park. The whole walk was about 11km. and took us about four hours including a short lunch stop beside the lake.There had been a few light snow flurries during the day but the weather was getting darker with more organised snow showers so we set off back to cross Honister Pass before the snow made things difficult. We had our traditional cup of tea and toasted tea cake back at the cottage.

Herdwick Ewe
Herdwick Ewe

Old hay rake
Old hay rake
Robinson
Robinson
Crummock Water
Crummock Water
Crummock Water
Crummock Water
Holly berries by the lake
Holly berries by the lake
The path round Crummock Water
The path round Crummock Water
Blackthorn in flower
Blackthorn in flower

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

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Thursday: Rest Day -Windermere and Coniston.

Coniston
Coniston

The weather was on the gloomy side again this morning, and I was still a bit wobbly after my infection so we decided to have a rest day to-day and drove into Windermere for a look round. I don't enjoy looking at shops so we soon moved on to Bowness and then Coniston with several tea shops along the way. We had been commissioned by our son to visit a local butcher in Coniston to get him a supply of Cumberland sausage. When we found it the sausage did look good so we bought some for various family members (including me) to take back to the fridge in the cottage. All being well we will have a final walk tomorrow. It's a shame we haven't been on any of the tops this time but we'll be back.

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Friday: Little Langdale - 8km.

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service

Storm damaged trees in Little Langdale
Storm damaged trees in Little Langdale

Part of an old disc harrow
Part of an old disc harrow
It was quite a pleasant morning for our last walking day of the week. We drove to Elterwater village and parked by the beck at map ref. NY 328047. We followed the path by the beck downstream round Elter Water to Skelwith Bridge. We crossed the bridge over the River Brathay and turned off on to the footpath at map ref. 343033. We followed the path for about 1km to the road at map ref. 330029. We turned right onto the road and after about 150m we turned left off the road at map ref. NY 329030. We followed the path through the woods to the lane and along the lane to Stang End at map ref. NY 318028. I had planned to go further up Little Langdale to the road near Fell Foot at map ref. NY 299031, but I felt I'd done enough for today so we took the path from Stang End across the valley to the road at map ref. NY 318033 and across the road to follow the path up to the lane at map ref. NY 319039. From here we followed the lane back into Elterwater to our starting point.

A rather short day but very pleasant. The whole route was about 8km and took us 3 hours including a couple of stops.

Little Langdale
Little Langdale

Lichen covered branch
Lichen covered branch
More Storm damage in Little langdale
More Storm damage in Little langdale
Little Langdale
Little Langdale
Track from Little Langdale to Elterwater
Track from Little Langdale to Elterwater
Bridge over the beck in Elterwater
Bridge over the beck in Elterwater