Lake District walks: Silver How

Looking back from Silver How
Easdale from Silver How

Silver How (325m) is another walk we can do straight from our Grasmere hotel, and have done several times. It’s a steep, grassy climb but looking back at the views over Easdale (above) is a good excuse to stop for a rest. Then it’s on with the slog to the top –

– where your heroes were rewarded with magnificent views. In the panorama, there are four lakes – Grasmere is on the left with Rydal Water behind it. In the distance you can just see Windermere, and Elterwater is on the right.

We continued along the ridge from the summit, descending to Loughrigg Terrace at the opposite end of Grasmere from where we started.

From there, we walked on to Rydal where we knew the Badger Bar would provide a warming lunch and a good beer. It didn’t fail us. The bar also makes a feature of its “rockin’ loos” – go on, take a peek! You know you want to….

What did fail us was the weather. Our walk back to Grasmere took us via the old Coffin Road (so called as it was the route used to take the dead of Rydal to the church in Grasmere for burial), but we got so drenched that we didn’t stop to take any pictures. Another time.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks.

Lake District walks: Easdale Tarn

Easdale Tarn
Easdale Tarn
We do this walk every time we visit the Lake District, and have therefore seen Easdale Tarn in all weathers – and this was not the best: late March, cold and wet. The big advantage is that we can more or less fall out of bed and straight onto the trail from Lancrigg, our favoured Grasmere hotel (and what a bed we had this time!)

The path winds uphill alongside Easdale Beck, with views of Helm Crag to the right and Sourmilk Ghyll ahead.

From the Ghyll, the views back down to Easdale are very pretty.

After climbing 650 feet, the tarn appears, as pictured at the top of this post. From here, there are options. Normally, we cross the beck and go back down the other side, but there had been so much rain that the stepping stones were well under water. In the past we’ve climbed high above the tarn and returned by another route. Rather than tamely go back the way we came, we thought we’d give it a go again and set off along this path:

Before long, the weather took a turn for the worse – horizontal sleet and hail – and we decided to call it a day, turned around and went back the way we came after all. This is what we should have seen – taken in 2010, not much later in the year but in much better conditions:

Never mind! We passed the rest of the afternoon sampling the very good beer in the Lamb in Grasmere before wending our way back to Lancrigg for dinner.

I’m linking this post to Jo’s Monday Walks. Visit her blog to see where she’s taking us this week, and a selection from other walkers too.

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 3

I’ve been invited to take part in the “Five Photos, Five Stories” challenge by Jude of Travel Words. The challenge is to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph, and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

My five photos are from our recent Lake District holiday. The weather wasn’t very good so we visited a lot of houses. I’m taking them in chronological order and asking “Who lived there?”

Allan Bank – who lived there?

Allan Bank, Grasmere

Allan Bank in Grasmere was built in 1805/6 by John Gregory Crump. In 1808, he let it out to some very famous tenants – William Wordsworth and his family who lived there until 1811. This was despite William having referred to it as “a temple of abomination” during construction! The house was bought by Thomas Dawson in 1834 and then by Canon Rawnsley, founder of the National Trust in 1915. He died in 1920 and left it to the Trust with a lifelong interest for his wife, Eleanor, who lived until 1959. After that, there were more tenants (including a 1970s commune) until 2011 when a fire damaged part of the house. It has now been partially restored and opened to the public in 2012. It hasn’t been decorated yet, and there is no original furniture, which makes it a very relaxed place to visit – you can sit anywhere with a cup of tea and read something from the library, create a painting in the art room, or just watch the world go round and admire the view. I loved it.

As before, I’m not making a specific nomination, but if you’d like to do 5 Photos 5 Stories let me know in the comments.

Today’s featured blogger is Jessica at Diverting Journeys. She’s an American living in London who loves visiting museums – and reports on them in, well, a highly diverting way. I love her irreverent style. Her latest is Montacute House – head over to her blog for the low-down on that.

Benches with a view

Elterwater
Elterwater

Jude is looking for benches with a view for April’s Bench Series challenge. Having just come back from the Lake District, I could supply them in abundance – although I think the view of Elterwater above has to be the star. Just a few more, one from Holehird Gardens and two from Grasmere.

You can tell by my smile that a) I was enjoying myself despite b) the firmly zipped up anorak hinting at the cold, wet weather we had for most of the week. The trip will, I’m sure, produce much more blogging – but not till after the A to Z Challenge is over!

Grasmere

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I’ve known the Lake District since childhood, but John had never been till he went with me in around 1984. We took our bikes and stayed in Keswick and, looking back, I marvel at what we did. We cycled to Dove Cottage in Grasmere and back one day, and another we went down through Borrowdale, over the Honister Pass to Buttermere and back over the Whinlatter pass. Two passes on a bike! I can’t believe I was ever capable of such a thing. In the late 80s we had a couple of stays in Borrowdale and then nothing till 2004 when we visited Grasmere again and have been back almost every year since. We always stay at Lancrigg, a beautiful country house (above) with Wordsworth connections. Not only that, it is also a completely vegetarian hotel – the only time I ever go anywhere where I can choose from the entire menu!

I think every time we have been, we have done the walk past Sourmilk Ghyll (waterfall) up to Easdale Tarn. However, a weekend in early December is the latest we have ever visited so it was unusual to see it in snow. It was icy and cold at the top so we didn’t linger.

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The other walk we did was a circular one from Grasmere through part of the Langdale Valley to Elterwater and back. The beauty of the Lake District is that it is so compact that you can nearly always arrange your walking to pass near a good pub at lunchtime, and there are many good, local beers to try. In this case, we were happy to stop for good, warming soup and a pint at the Britannia Inn.

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Days aren’t long at this time of year, especially when you have lingered over a Lancrigg breakfast, so we were happy to spend the late afternoons pottering around Grasmere, purchasing items such as the famous gingerbread and a Tubular Fells poster. This shows all the Wainwrights set out as in the London Underground map and is very clever, not least in its double-punning title. We got this in the National Trust shop where I met Chris whom I had preciously chatted to on Twitter (@GrasmereVillage). Eventually, we had to leave the bright lights of downtown Grasmere and head back to our hotel for another delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep before heading home the next morning. I’m very certain we’ll be back.

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