Following the Coffins Part 2

I sat by the lake for a while enjoying the view and the sunshine and refueling. Then it was time to set off again. Not surprisingly it was busy as I walked along the lake shore with plenty of families enjoying messing about beside and in the water. Only after my trip did I discover via social media that Shazza of Sunshine and Celandines was also in Grasmere that day as well as a former collegue I knew through my work. It’s a small world as they say! Mind you, there were plenty of other people around.

At the foot of the lake I took the path alongside the river towards Rydal Water and carried on along the lower path along the lake shore. I’d made the decision to carry on to Rydal village and then return to Grasmere along the Coffin Route.

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On a hot sunny day during half term it wasn’t surprising that, like Grasmere, the lake shore was heaving with families.

Reaching Rydal I passed the church

Climbed the hill and turned off and cut through the grounds of Rydal Hall

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and then stopped at their cafe for a brew and get my water bottle refilled (they’re happy to do that for you). My blood sugar had now dropped so I munched on one of my energy bars.

I’d managed to bag a seat outdoors overlooking the river

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and this was the “view from the bridge”

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Rested, I walked up the hill and next to Wordsworth’s former home,

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and turned off down the Coffin Route.

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It was moderately busy as it’s a popular route that’s not difficult so attracts a range of people of varying abilities and there are good views across Rydal Water to Loughrigg and some of the higher fells beyond.

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Approaching Grasmere village towards the end of the walk I passed another of Wordsworth’s former homes – Dove Cottage.

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I arrived back in Grasmere which was now very busy with day trippers with queues outside the Gingerbread Shop and all the cafes and food shops. I sat for a while on a bench taking in the views of Stone Arthur and the other hills across the vally before returning to my car for the drive home (via Keswick Booths and the Tebay services farm shop where I did some shopping for a few tasty treats!).

A walk around Grasmere and Rydal Water

The day after my trip to London last week was forecast to be hot and sunny. Should I go into the office? Well, there wasn’t anything I needed to do that couldn’t wait a day so I decided that it would be far preferable to get out for a walk. J was coming with me so we loaded our walking gear into the boot of the car and drove up the M6 to the Lake District. We weren’t going to do anything too strenuous, but had decided to park up in Grasmere Village and do a circuit of Grasmere and Rydal Water, returning by the Coffin Route from Rydal.

The first stretch of the route is along a minor road, until, about half way along the length of the small lake, there’s a path that took us down to the lake shore. We then followed the shoreline to the end.

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The view back over to Helm Crag, Seat Sandal and Stone Arthur
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Looking back towards Silver Howe

We then followed the path through the woods beside the river on towards Rydal Water, a short distance away.

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Approaching Rydal Water we took the high path that runs parallel to the lake on the lower slopes of Loughrigg Fell.. About half way along we reached Rydal Cave, a large cave created by mining for slate.

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There are notices warning of the dangers of entry – there’s been rock falls from the roof in the past – but, like everyone else who was passing, we went inside to take a look. Much of floor of the cave is flooded, but the water wasn’t so deep and we kept our feet dry by walking on a series of stepping stones, taking care not to lose our balance!

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Leaving the cave the path descended down towards the lake .

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At the end of the lake we followed the track a little further in the direction of Ambleside before cutting down and crossing the river by the foot bridge

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A short walk along the main road was followed by a climb up the steep lane through Rydal village. We stopped off for a break at the cafe at Rydal Hall and then continued up the hill past Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount

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Rydal Mount

Just after the house we took a left turn on to the Coffin Road. This is the route along which the dead would be transported from Rydal, which didn’t have it’s own church and graveyard, to be buried in the grounds of St Oswald’s in Grasmere village.

Following the road up on th ehillside, looking down there were good views over Rydal Water

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with the Coniston Fells poking above the lower hills to the west.

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It was a reasonably easy walk, with a few rougher stretches, and we were soon back in Grasmere.

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We had a wander through the village back to the car park so we could drop off our rucksacks and change out of our boots. On the way I couldn’t stop myself having a look at the small independent book shop . Although quite small it has a good selection of books and ended up buying a copy of Curlew Moon by Mary Colwell. I couldn’t resist as the curlew is one of my favourite birds. The book describes the author’s 500 mile journey from the west of Ireland to the east coast of England to raise awareness of the curlew’s endangered status. I’m looking forward to reading it.

We’d decided to have a bite to eat before setting off for home and headed over to The Good Sport, a pub owned by Grasmere Brewery and which sells their beers and serves food, including dishes made from locally raised meat. They also sell a decent non-alcoholic beer.

We both chose the Herdy burgers made from local Herdwick lamb. It was rather delicious.

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After eating, we sat outside for a while in the sunshine with a cold beer (non-alcoholic in my case) before heading back to the car and setting off home. Back to work tomorrow, but only for a day, as I’ll be off next week, walking in Snowdonia. Fingers crossed that the weather is OK!

A walk over Loughrigg

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After our most excellent walk near Ullswater just over a week ago I was keen to get back up on the fells. A couple of Rugby League matches and some inclement weather meant we didn’t get out over the Easter weekend, but I decided to take an extra day off and risk the weather to go go up to the Lakes.  It was raining heavily during the morning as we drove up the motorway but we’d decided to visit Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal and then see whether, as promised by the Met Office, conditions would improve during the afternoon. It did, so after looking round the latest exhibitions and walking into the town centre for a bite to eat and a mooch, we got back in the car and drove over to Rydal, parking up in the White Moss car park.

We crossed over the river and set off to walk along Loughrigg Terrace, climb to the summit, walk across the broad top, down through Fox Ghyll, along the Rothay and then the shore of Rydal water back to the car.

Being the Easter holidays, there were quite a few people out and about.

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It wasn’t a great day for photos being mainly grey and overcast but it was an enjoyable walk and it was great to get back out in the countryside,

Looking down to Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace

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It was busy when we reached the summit, and very windy.

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Looking back towards Grasmere

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Over to Langdale with some snow still visible on Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

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Wetherlam and the Coniston fells with Elterwater in the foreground

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Windermere in the distance

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and over to the Fairfield Horseshoe

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We headed south over the fell. There’s a spider’s web of footpaths and it would be very easy to get lost, particularly in mist. But no problem today.

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Starting to descend we got a good view of the mountains of the Fairfield Horseshoe

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Descending down to the valley we followed the River Rothay towards Rydal. After the recent rain and snow it was in full flow

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Along the shore of Rydal Water

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Looking back towards Rydal Water, nearing the end of our walk

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By the time we reached the car it was almost 7 o’clock. We wouldn’t have got home before 8:30 so decided to stop off for a bite to eat at the Eagle and Child in Staveley.

 

 

A winter’s walk in the Lake District

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For the last few years we’ve taken the opportunity in January to take a shot city break, in London for the last 3 years and in Cambridge in 2012. During last year I made quite a lot of trips to London and so didn’t feel like spending more time there, so we decided to try and take a short break in the Lake District. By the end of last week the whether didn’t look too promising and we had snow on Saturday, so we decided against booking in somewhere but to “play it by ear”, and on Monday set off up the M6, not quite sure what we’d do, but with our boots in the boot of the car in case we had the opportunity to go for a walk.

As we drove north the weather looked reasonably promising. Cloudy and a little misty but it didn’t look like there’d be rain or snow so we decided to chance a familiar low level walk and so headed over to Rydal Water. We parked up and set off on the route we’d walked last February along the two small lakes of Rydal Water and Grasmere.

The fells were blanked with snow and the paths were covered with snow and “slush”, so were slippery, although walkable with care.

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Like last year, we crossed the river over to the west side of Rydal Water. There are two paths, one slightly higher up the side of the hill and the other lower down, that follow the length of the lake. We too the higher one first and then descending to take the lower one back along the shore of the lake.

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We then carried on along Loughrigg Terrace, descending down towards the road to Grasmere.

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We passed Allen Bank, one of the houses in the vicinity where Wordsworth used to live. Now owned by the National Trust, it was shut for the winter.

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We stopped off in the village for a brew and a cake and then headed back along the west shore of the lake and then along the river back to the car. It was starting to get dark for the last half hour and the photos I took using my phone camera took on a rather atmospheric blue tint – probably due to a combination of the bright snow covered landscape and low light levels. But we’d timed it well and got back to the car before darkness descended.

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A good 9 mile stroll.

In Wordsworth’s Footsteps

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A planned trip to Ireland was postponed last week meaning that I had two weeks which would mainly be stuck in the office. I was starting to feel stir crazy so on Wednesday I decided to get out. So I took the day off and we drove up to the Lake District for the day. We called into Blackwell to take another look at the current exhibitions and had some dinner. Then in the afternoon we drove along Windermere, past Ambleside and parked up at in the car park at the north end of Rydal Water. It was a misty, cold winter’s day, but the hills looked atmospheric cloaked in the mist, so we wrapped up and set out for an easy walk along Rydal Water and Grasmere.

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Wordsworth spent a good part of his life living around here – at Dove Cottage close to Grasmere and in Rydal Mount, overlooking the small lake of Rydal Water. So we can be pretty certain that at least some of our route would have been following in the footsteps of the poet.

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We set off through the woods and crossed over the river to take a walk along the west side of Rydal Water. there are two paths, one slightly hgher up the side of the hill, that follow the length of the lake, so by taking the higher one first and then descending to take the lower one along the shore of the lake, we were able to complete a loop that took us back to the woods where we started.

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Loughrigg fell

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Above the lake, about half way along, we came to this massive cave in the hillside

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It’s not natural but a former slate quarry.

There are a few smaller caves lower down

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Looking north along the lake

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A good location for a place in the country!

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Heading down to the Lakeside path we passed this traditional style building (note the round chimney stack) which is now a tearoom – unfortunately it was closed as it was off-season.

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Down by the river that runs out of the south end of the lake

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An atmospheric view

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Remnants of ice at the edge of the lake

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Looking back along the lakeside path

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Back through the woods

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Almost back to our starting point we followed the riverside path towards Grasmere

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Grasmere was shrouded in mist

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We followed the path along the western shore of the lake

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Just over halfway along the path runs out and walkers  have to walk along the road to reach Grasmere village. It would have been good to continue and get a brew but it was close to 4 and it would be dark before we cold set back if we’d taken that option. So we turned around and headed back along the lake and river to the car park.

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We stopped off in Ambleside on the way back for a coffee to revitalise ourselves before heading home

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