Normally we enjoy a weekend of walking in the summer but this year we had so many children doing GCSEs and A Levels that we delayed it until now. And we were certainly rewarded!
We met up at the excellent Grasmere YHA on Friday evening and all enjoyed a good feed courtesy of the wonderful hostel staff. The weather forecast was OK-ish for the weekend and so we were optimistic for a good couple of days’ walking.
After a good night’s rest and then a fantastic breakfast, we set off for the first walk.
Saturday; Grasmere – Ambleside + return
The day started out overcast and cloudy but once we had struck out past Dove Cottage it blossomed into a wonderful day. Taking the old Coffin Route to Ambleside, we passed though farmyards and grassy paths, quiet roads and holiday lets before coming out onto a steep sided field with stunning views over Rydal Water.
Passing through Rydal Mount we descended via the lovely gardens and grounds of Rydal Hall before striding down to Ambleside itself. After a short break, we headed back to Grasmere, this time via Rydal Water. This leg of the walk was accomplished in fine bright Autumn sunshine and although on tired legs, we enjoyed every step. Rydal Water itself was stunning (see pics in the gallery), an absolute sheet of mirrored glass with stunning Autumn reflections.
Sunday; Lion and the Lamb (or Helm Crag if you’re a proper walker!)
A bit of a contrast today; thick mist and the summit well out of sight. Nonetheless, we set out fortified by another excellent breakfast from the YHA. We soon hit traffic; cow traffic. Cows exiting a milking parlour blocked our way for about 10 minutes as they leisurely ambled across a lane and back to their field.
Passing Ghyll Foot we started to climb steadily upwards through the mist, passing Turn Howe cottage built in 1577 and still looking foursquare and solid. The ascent from here was fairly steep but short and we were soon standing proudly atop Helm Crag. Or at least I think we were, the mist was so thick by this point we could hardly see anything. We ate lunch and celebrated Simin’s birthday before starting our descent.
It was a bit clearer on the other side of the summit and so we had great views back towards Grasmere as we returned to the hostel.