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Looking across Grasmere lake to the pass to Keswick
Looking across Grasmere lake to the pass to Keswick

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Saturday 5 May to Saturday 12 May 2007
A wet week in Grasmere
English Lake District


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

This week we had hired a holiday cottage in the centre of Grasmere village with a patio overlooking the river, that would be ideal for sitting out in the warm May evenings with a glass of wine and a fine view of the hills. My son, daughter-in-law and little grandson joined us for this holiday. They are expecting another baby at the end of June so my daughter-in-law won't be walking very far this week.

The church in Grasmere village
The church in Grasmere village

Sunday 6 May 2007
A gentle circuit of Grasmere Lake - 6km
Map: OS Explorer OL7
The English Lakes South-eastern area

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

Open this route in Google Earth

This morning was dull and showery with just a few bright breaks in the cloud. We walked about 200m from our cottage to the church in Grasmere at map ref. NY 337073. We walked down the lane opposite the church entrance passing a garden centre on our left. We followed the lane around Grasmere Lake for about a kilometer. There is no access to the lakeside on this part of the lake except to hire a rowing boat. At map ref. NY 335062 we turned off the lane to follow the path on the left down the edge of a field to the lakeside. There were other people about but not the hoards I had expected at this bank holiday weekend.

Looking along Grassmere lake to Loughrigg Fell
Looking along Grasmere lake to Loughrigg Fell

We saw a family of mallard ducks and lots of lovely spring flowers by the path.

We walked along the lakeside to the shore at the end of the lake below Loughrigg Terrace.

Looking across Grasmere lake to Loughrigg Fell on the right and the ridge up to Heron Pike on the left
Looking across Grasmere lake to the ridge up to Heron Pike on the left and Loughrigg Fell on the right
Looking across Grasmere lake to the pass to Keswick
Looking across Grasmere lake to the pass to Keswick

Woodland path near Grasmere Lake
Woodland path near Grasmere Lake

We crossed this busy main road to take the minor road opposite and climb up the slope for a few hundred metres. The road then began to drop down to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Centre on the edge of Grasmere village.

There were patches of bluebells everywhere. We made our way over the footbridge and followed the path to the car park by the A591 at map ref. NY 348064.

Bluebells below Loughrigg Terrace
Bluebells below Loughrigg Terrace

Walking along the southern shore of Grasmere
Walking along the southern shore of Grasmere
Footbridge across the outlet from Grasmere lake
Footbridge across the outlet from Grasmere lake
Bluebells everywhere
Bluebells everywhere
A glimps of Rydal Water as we climbed the slope towards the edge of Grasmere village
A glimpse of Rydal Water as we climbed the slope towards the edge of Grasmere village
Dove Cottage - the home of William Wordsworth
Dove Cottage - the home of William Wordsworth
Looking from Dove Cottage past the modern Wordsworth Centre
Looking from Dove Cottage past the modern Wordsworth Centre
We walked down past Dove Cottage and the modern Wordsworth Centre and crossed the A591 to walk back into Grasmere village and our cottage. It was still much too wet and windy to sit out on our riverside patio, but maybe tomorrow.
The Wordsworth Centre on the edge of Grasmere village
The Wordsworth Centre on the edge of Grasmere village

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Footpath from the car park down to the river Brathay
Footpath from the car park down to the river Brathay

On Monday morning the weather was much the same with heavy showers and short sunny spells. We drove to the car park near Skelwith Bridge at map ref. NY 340037. We set off walking across the road to follow the footpath around Elterwater lake.

Monday 7 May 2007
Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater & return - 3km
Langdale, Lake District

Map: OS Explorer OL4
The English Lake District Southeastern area
Route Map on 'Landranger' base map
from OS Open Space service

Open this route in Google Earth

Looking across the river to Lingmoor Fell
Looking across the river to Lingmoor Fell

Footpath beside the river Brathay
Footpath beside the river Brathay
The outflow from Elterwater becomes the river Brathay
The outflow from Elterwater becomes the river Brathay
Swan at the outlet from Elterwater
Swan at the outlet from Elterwater

Looking across Elterwater to the Langdale Pikes
Looking across Elterwater to the Langdale Pikes

The rain stopped and the sun came out just as we reached the car park. It had been a pleasant stroll of about 2km. It had taken us over an hour but then my 18 month old grandson was walking most of the way.

We were within about 500m of Elterwater village when the downpour we had seen approaching down Great Langdale finally reached us. The rain was very heavy and my family mutinied (lead by my wife) and we turned back to the car park

Bluebells on the lakeside
Bluebells on the lakeside

Looking from the road near Loughrigg Tarn into Great Langdale
Looking from the road near Loughrigg Tarn into Great Langdale

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Some of the moorings at Bowness
Some of the moorings at Bowness

Tuesday 8 May 2007
Windermere lakeside stroll
from Bowness/Hawkshead ferry northwards -5km
Map: OS Explorer OL4
The English Lake District Southeastern area

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

Open this route in Google Earth

This morning the weather was more of the same! We drove to Bowness and parked in the car park at map ref. SD 398966 near the lake side. The piers where all the lake cruises depart is close to the car park and a little further on there are moorings for scores of private boats.

The piers at Bowness for lake cruises
The piers at Bowness to board lake cruises

Start of the path to the Hawkshead car ferry
Start of the path to the Hawkshead car ferry

This took us through some National Trust land to follow the lake edge path round to the Hawkshead car ferry at map ref. SD 395958.

We sheltered in a coffee shop with a children's play area for a long time until the rain eased off. Then we set off along the lake side path from map ref. SD 397964.

A lovely old oak tree on National trust land
A lovely old oak tree on National trust land

Small headland owned by the National Trust
Small headland owned by the National Trust
Lakeside path to the Hawkshead car ferry
Lakeside path to the Hawkshead car ferry
Looking across Windermere near the car ferry crossing
Looking across Windermere near the car ferry crossing

A family of geese on the lake
A family of geese on the lake

This cut off a little bit of road walking and brought us to the lane the runs northwards along the western shore of the lake. We followed this lane along the lakeside for about 2.5km.

We crossed the lake on the car ferry (50p each way per person). At the ferry ramp on the western side of the lake we followed the road for about 150m and then took the path by the lake edge.

Small wader at the water's edge
Small wader at the water's edge

Looking across Windermere towards Troutbeck
Looking across Windermere towards Troutbeck

A pushy swan demanding to share our lunch
A pushy swan demanding to share our lunch

We returned the way we had come and crossed back to Bowness on the car ferry. Another family walk with a decrepit grandad (me), a very pregnant young lady (my daughter-in-law) and my wife, son and grandson of 18 months who rarely walks in the direction we need to go. As you can imagine progress was slow and distance strictly limited but it was fun.

It was very pleasant strolling along the lake shore looking at the birds and the craggy hills with alternating black skies and patches of sunlight. At about map ref. SD 387980 we turned back This part of the lakeside is owned by the National Trust and it is possible to continue along the lane and then make your way back up the hillside and along the ridge back to the ferry ramp.

Returning to Bowness on the Hawkshead car ferry
Returning to Bowness on the Hawkshead car ferry

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The lane from Grange by the river Derwent toward Castle Crag
The lane from Grange by the river Derwent toward Castle Crag

Wednesday 9 May 2007
Grange to Castle Crag circuit - 5km
Borrowdale, Keswick
Lake District

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL4
The English Lake District North-western area

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

Open this route in Google Earth

I think we are going to have rain all week - more showers and a few sunny breaks again today. My daughter-in-law stayed at the cottage today to put her feet up and read a good book - she consumes books on holiday!

We drove to Keswick and out to Grange in Borrowdale at the end of Derwent Water. It's a very popular place and it was difficult to find anywhere to park. We should have parked in Keswick and caught a bus to Grange. Anyway we found a corner to squeeze into. We then set off walking from Grange at map ref. NY 252174 along a lane that followed the river Derwent upstream.

Our first good view of Castle Crag
Our first good view of Castle Crag

Young foal and its mum in a field by the lane
Young foal and its mum in a field by the lane

After about 400m at map ref. NY 249170 the lane forked and we took the left hand fork to keep close to the river. After another 400m where the lane had become a rough track there was an almost empty rough car park on some National Trust land at map ref. NY 249167. Along the way I had not noticed any signs prohibiting cars so I assume we could have parked there.

Violets by the path
Violets by the path
The foal posing for the camera
The foal posing for the camera
Bend in the river Derwent where the path starts to climb
Bend in the river Derwent where the path to Castle Crag starts to climb

Start of the climb away from the river Derwent
Start of the climb away from the river Derwent

The left hand fork follows the river and is part of the Cumbrian Way. The right hand fork is part of the Allerdale Ramble and starts to climb up the hillside following a side valley away from the river.

At map ref. NY 250166 there is a side stream flowing down the hillside to join the river derwent and a footbridge took us across the stream. Just beyond the footbridge the path forks.

The path to Castle Crag follows a stream up a side valley
The path to Castle Crag follows a stream up a side valley

The path climbs up through the woods . . . . .
The path climbs up through the woods . . . . .

We climbed slowly up through the woods and came out into a steep rocky valley. After about 200m the path to Castle Crag turned off to the left and the broad stony track of the Allerdale Ramble continued up the valley.

We took the right hand fork and stated to climb. It was a very slow process for me but the scenery is wonderful and just drew me on.

. . . . . .  the path emerges from the woods into a steep rocky valley
. . . . . . the path emerges from the woods into a steep rocky valley

. . . . . .  the path emerges from the woods into a steep rocky valley
. . . . . . the path emerges from the woods into a steep rocky valley
Huge cone of quarry waste  on Castle Crag
Huge cone of quarry waste on Castle Crag

Spiral path up the cone of quarry waste
Spiral path up the cone of quarry waste

The views just kept on getting better. On the top plateau there were not as many people as I had expected from the numbers climbing up. I think it's just big enough to absorb lots of people. We found a nice spot for our lunch with a good view over Derwent Water.

We climbed up the steep path built into the side of a huge cone of quarry waste from a slate quarry near the top of the crag. It was hard work and groups of much younger people kept streaming past us. I was very encouraged by a gentleman of 82 coming down from the top who told us it had been over 40 years since he last climbed Castle Crag.

Our lunch break on top of Castle Crag
Our lunch break on top of Castle Crag

View up Borrowdale from the top of Castle Crag
View up Borrowdale from the top of Castle Crag
Looking back to Castle Crag as we made our way down
Looking back to Castle Crag as we made our way down

Looking across Borrowdale to Rosthwaite
Looking across Borrowdale to Rosthwaite

A looper caterpillar
A looper caterpillar - we spotted it descending to the ground from a tree on a silken thread just like a spider.

On the way down we reached a ladder stile over a wall at map ref. NY 250157. We climbed the ladder stile and made our way down the hillside to join the Cumbrian Way beside the river Derwent at map ref. NY 252154.

Descending from Castle Crag into Borrowdale
Descending from Castle Crag into Borrowdale

Looking down from Castle Crag to the Allerdale Ramble route in the valley
Looking down from Castle Crag to the Allerdale Ramble route in the valley

We followed the Cumbrian Way for about 2.5km back into the village of Grange. On the way there were two men with a JCB repairing a footbridge. We has to stop and watch for a while because my grandson's favourite toy of the moment is a yellow JCB type tractor/excavator. The lane back into Grange meets the village street just where there is a good coffee shop where we had our usual finish to the walk.

Two men and a JCB repairing a footbridge
Two men and a JCB repairing a footbridge

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Thursday 10 May 2007

The weather got even worse today so we drove to Keswick for a look around and a new choice of coffee shops. We found an interesting Thai restaurant called "The Grove" that has a good Internet wireless hot spot so that I could use my lap top to get an up-date on my email. I spent a very pleasant morning responding to the backlog of route requests from this web site, whilst my wife read the paper. It was still raining when we left the cafe.

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Looking down on Kirkstone Pass just below the cloud base
Looking down on Kirkstone Pass just below the cloud base

 

My son enjoying the climb up from Kirkstone Pass
My son enjoying the climb up from Kirkstone Pass

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Friday 11 May 2007
The Kirkstone Pass Inn to Stony Cove Pike - 8km
(My son's walk today)
Map: OS Explorer OL7
The English Lakes South-eastern area

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

Open this route in Google Earth

This morning the weather was still pretty grim. My son was determined to do at least one decent walk this week so he set off to go up onto High Street from the top of Kirkstone pass, but decided that the top of Stony Cove Pike was far enough.There was no view in the thick cloud.His walk was 6 km and took just two hours to complete in the mist and rain. This was another unpleasant milestone for me. Normally, I would have gone with him, but with the deterioration in my health over the last few months such a walk was completely beyond me. So I went off with my wife, daughter-in-law and little grandson to the National Park Visitor Centre at Brockhole on the edge of Windermere lake where we spent a pleasant enough morning dodging the rain, walking in the grounds and entertaining my grandson on the swings.

GPS reading on top of Stony Cove Pike
GPS reading on top of Stony Cove Pike

The cairn on top of Stony Cove Pike
The cairn on top of Stony Cove Pike with zero visibility