I have so many pictures from our time away in the Lake District, far too many to post, but here are just a few more with some details of our various walks during the week.
The week started quite unsettled and wet – well, this is the Lake District so that’s only to be expected 🙂 ! It worked out well because there were a couple of towns we wanted to revisit anyway, and bad weather days were made for that. Its funny because we remember Ambleside as being a really nice place but either it has gone downhill since we last visited or our memories are failing us. On this trip, we found Grasmere much nicer, although we may just have caught it on a good day when there were less tourists.
That evening, the weather improved so we took a walk up to the fell top above Elterwater to take in the sunset. The picture is at the top of this post and as you can see, it was a somewhat ‘rugged’ sunset.
Our first ‘real’ walk was a lower level walk around Elterwater and Little Langdale. We followed Little Langdale Beck, a delightful stream, along a made up path which made for easy walking, until we reached Elterwater itself. The lake bears the name of the village or vice versa, as the village probably took its name from the lake 🙂 ! The lake was so calm and clear and we stopped to take photos of the reflections…….until the rain came and spoiled the pristine mirror like surface. I’d like to say that we got reflections of the Langdale Pikes in the ‘mirror’, but unfortunately they had their heads in the clouds.
When we reached Skelwith Bridge, we turned and headed west along a lovely track following the River Brathay, stopping at Colwith Force to take pictures, not an easy task because the sides were steep and slippery. The wagtails had no trouble as they just rock hopped all up the gorge. It was such a nice spot that we decided to have lunch there.
Further up the valley, we came across some old quarry workings and took a detour to explore. There was an array of tunnels and caverns, the main one being the well known Cathedral Cavern which was, well, cathedral like! The caves were damp, and one particularly so as when you shined the torch, the moisture droplets were so dense they visibly hung in the air. When we reached Little Langdale, we turned north to cross a pack horse bridge and an old clapper bridge, and shortly after, came on to a country lane near the Three Shires Inn. Naturally, we stopped to ‘re-hydrate’.
It was actually quite surreal because the pub had a TV set up outside so we sat in the sunshine drinking Wainwright Ale and watching the Wimbledon Men’s Final to the backdrop of the Cumbrian mountains. Its not often you get to do that in the middle of a walk 🙂 ! The TV was actually set up for the Euros and we just reaped the benefit of that.
Eventually we dropped down to Great Langdale Beck but the walk wasn’t quite over because we had the most almighty downpour of rain, so much so that we had to shelter under the trees. From there it was a short hop back to our cottage…..and to the final of the UEFA European Championship which sadly England lost!
I said in my last post that we had made a decision to head for the less popular fells in order to avoid the crowds and one of these was a great circuit around Wetherlam. We started from Tibberthwaite on what was to become a really hot day, so much so that half way up, I had to change into the shorts I carried in my backpack – sometimes the old quarry buildings can be useful 🙂 ! The climb was unrelenting and steep but well worth it for the amazing views. The way up was via mine tracks and ridge walking, and the last section involved a scramble needing hands and feet. By the time we reached the top, it was lunch time…..and rest time too for me!
After lunch, we continued around the head of the valley but of course it wasn’t level as it dropped down into a col and then climbed up again to Swirl How. We passed a sight there which caused us to stop and silently reflect. It was the remains of a Halifax Bomber that crashed there on 22nd October 1944, causing the death of 8 crew members. The remains have been turned into a memorial.
The views were staggering, taking in the whole of the Little Langdale Valley, Coniston, Windermere, and we could even identify Pen Y Ghent in Yorkshire. From there, it was all down hill as we followed Wet Side Edge down into the valley, passing Little Langdale Tarn on the way back to the car. The late afternoon/early evening light was just glorious, taking on the ‘golden hour’ warm glow as it slanted across the landscape, highlighting the contours and shapes.
It wasn’t the end of our walk because when we got back to the car, we decided to explore the old Tibberthwaite mine workings. These were amazing, with steep cliff faces of multicoloured rock. It was a great end to the day’s walking.
In addition to these walks, we also spent a day walking the Langdale Pikes, and another day exploring Lingmoor Fell, and I have already alluded to these in previous posts. We were in Cumbria for 6 nights and in that time we managed to do 7 walks totalling around 50 awesome miles as well as doing some more ‘touristy’ things too, so it was a great week.
Here are links to my previous Lake District posts:
On Lingmoor Fell
The Wanderer Returns
One of the things I like to do is to do a series of sketches to summarise my memories and some of these are above. The whole trip was amazing and we have even more memories to add to those from our earlier visits over many years. We enjoyed it so much that we have already booked a week in the same cottage next year and we can’t wait to go back!
Stay safe, and thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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Wetherlam is one fell I have yet to do. I descended from Swirl How down Prison Band (opposite way to you, plus you’d have bagged Great Carrs before descending Wet Side Edge) and I never ascended over Black Sails to it. Still its one on my list for the future
Yes, I forgot to mention Great Carrs. Wetherlam is well worth exploring, we loved it…..partly because it was so quiet after the Pikes.