Tuesday 26 April 2011

Keswick Rambles on Grisedale Pike

My first Keswick Rambles Guided walk of the new season.  We had a delightful day walking the western Lake District Fells with glorious views across to the coast and into the heart of the Lake District. 

scrambling to the top of Hobcarton Crag
The 77 Stagecoach bus (Honister Rambler) gives super access so that we could be dropped off a mile beyond the Whinlatter Visitor Centre in a perfect place to begin our walk. A grassy trail through the trees above Hobcarton Beck was followed by a steady grassy climb onto Ladyside Pike - otherwise known as Lady's Seat to match Lord'Seat on the opposite side of Whinlatter. Along the ridge and a short scramble later brought us to the top of Hopegill Head (Hobcarton Crag) and lunch.  After meeting no one all morning the Hobcarton Cafe - bring your own food - was busy with at least a dozen others enjoying this lovely view point for their lunch.

After strolling the long ridge along to Grisedale Pike we descended the grassy ridge to Hobcarton End completing our circuit of Hobcarton Gill. After tea and cake at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre it was a pleasant walk down through the woods to catch the bus back to Keswick from Braithwaite.

This walk is on offer again during the Keswick Mountain Festival in May and can be booked on http://www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/

Monday 11 April 2011

Coast to Coast day 3

heavy sacks the penance for good weather
Yesterday Skye and I had a wonderful day out joining friends walking the Coast to Coast path.  We joined them for their 3rd day walking some of the Lake District section of the route.  The weather has been very kind with wall to wall sunshine ever since they started and yesterday was just as good; the only disadvantage being heavy sacks when there is no need to wear fleeces and waterproofs!

I met them from their B&B in Stonethwaite and off we went up by Greenup Gill, past Lining Crag to Greenup Edge. We made good time and were soon descending into Far Easedale. I had suggested Helm Crag but Chris was happier with the easier route; Patterdale still seemed a long way away. It was OK for me with my light day sack but Chris and Pat were more heavily laden.

gentle ascent by Tongue Beck

Rather than going through Grasmere we followed a path through delightful woodland past Lancrigg Vegetarian Hotel (resisting tea on the terrace with difficulty!) and took the back lane to Mill Bridge. Having climbed to 600m and then descended back down to 100m we now faced climbing back up to 600m at Grisedale Hause.  However we needn't have worried, the path up the eastern side of Tongue Gill was a delight.  Good underfoot with extensive stretches stonelaid it was easy to walk and wasn't too steep.  Adding to this the delightful sounds of the beck that accompanied us I found this a much better way up to the Hause than the way up Little Tongue which I had used in the past. 

good stonelaid path up to Grisedale Hause
At Grisedale Hause we parted and I desended to Dunmail Raise to get the bus back to Keswick and Chris and Pat went down to Grisedale Tarn and from there to Patterdale where they were staying the night. It is a great pity that there is no direct bus service from Patterdale to Keswick.  Until 2009 there was an excellent summer service but unfortunately there was no funding for 2010 ands there is no service this year either.

I had a super view back towards Fairfield which I should have enjoyed again today with my Keswick Rambles walk today.  Sadly no one turned up outside the Moot Hall at 10am (I suppose it was trying to rain and horrid compared with yesterday!) so Skye and I walked back home again. The forecast was for a much better afternoon and as I write this at 1 o'clock the sun has come out and the clouds are lifting.  Don't forget that Keswick Rambles leaders will always be their at the adverised time to give you a good walk whatever the weather!
Fairfield and Grisedale Tarn