Elterwater Weekend

Greater Langdale Beck

Doctor R had a birthday and decided to book Elterwater youth hostel for a weekend to celebrate. A sleepover for families. Marvellous.

The weekend was principally about celebrating then – catching-up with old friends, meeting new friends, eating fine food, a quick pint in the Britannia etc. But we did get outside too. On Saturday we followed one of my favourite short, low-level routes in the Lake District. In brief: from Elterwater village follow Greater Langdale Beck past Elterwater itself and then to Skelwith Force, on to Colwith Force and into Little Langdale from where there are several return options. I’ve walked it many, many times with lots of different friends. I don’t think that I’ve walked it in snow and fog before however. Or with quite such a large and diverse group.

At home, our snow had melted, although before we set off there had been flurries of new snow, so we’d packed sledges just in case, at the kids insistence. A few miles from home, up in Langdale, we found plenty of snow; old snow, partly consolidated – as much ice as snow in fact. The sledges got plenty of use.

A picnic! 

A stop for lunch and snowballs fights.

After lunch, the kids discovered the simple pleasure…


….of running downhill on firm but yielding snow.


From this point on, numbers slowly dwindled: the kids were offered, and mostly accepted, a lift back to the hostel. (Adults went with them – we aren’t completely irresponsible.) Others took a short-cut along a minor road. And after…

Colwith Force 

Colwith Force, most of the remnants of the party headed back leaving only three of us going on to seek out…

Cathedral Quarry 

…Cathedral Quarry (and, due to an unfortunate display of muppetry by er, the navigator, an unscheduled visit to Hodge Close Quarry. Whoops – must at least glance at the map in future.) (Photos of Hodge Close and more about Cathedral Quarry from a previous visit here. PhilW’s comment has useful info and an informative link.)

Little Langdale Tarn 

Little Langdale Tarn

On Sunday, having vacated the hostel, we moved on to Grizedale where many of the adults and the older children indulged in some high ropes course fun at Go Ape.

Sadly, somebody had to stay on terra firma and mind the kids who were too small for the ropes course. Since TBH was very keen to have a go, and only the zip-wires appeal to me (the rest seems to require a degree of agility and a desire to balance on wobbly bits of plank high above the ground, neither of which I have) I volunteered to supervise snowman-building..


…snowball fights around the playground…


…and tea and cake in the cafe. It’s a hard life.

Elterwater Weekend

16 thoughts on “Elterwater Weekend

  1. So there is still some snow about, hopefully still some left in a couple of weeks. Love that area and have a sepcial fondness for the Brittannia Inn. Great place for stag weekend 🙂

    You should have gone on the GoApe course, I’ve done a couple now and they are great fun

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    That was a week ago – I don’t know whether much of it would still be there. I could see the Howgills and Ingleborough clearly today and they were snow free.
    I’m also very fond of that area – it’s popular but it’s always possible to have a pleasant walk none the less.
    Go Ape – just not me. I can (just about) cope with exposure to heights on ridges etc (as you know) but there’s something about man-made structures and heights which freaks me out.

    1. Oh right, I thought it was the snow that fell on Friday just gone. Still – here’s hoping for snow anyway.

      You are getting too old in the head – freaks you out indeed 🙂

      1. beatingthebounds says:

        It’s nothing new – I love rollercoasters, but I hate waiting on the stairs going up to them when there are gaps and I can see down to the ground below. Wierd perhaps, but that’s the way I’m made.

    2. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh – and yes – I knew you’d enjoy being reminded about the Britannia. Things went downhill after that sunny interlude there I seem to remember.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’m at a disadvantage because my memory is rubbish whereas Andy remembers everything (even things that never happened). This time we are recalling his stag do – we camped at Chapel Stile, strolled into Ambleside taking in pubs en route, watched England play footie in a packed pub (England vs Italy). At some point Andy switched from beer to single malts (or so he thought – I had the kitty and decided that in the circumstances he wouldn’t notice if I bought blended whisky instead (I’m even tight-fisted with other peoples money – the shame!) – he didn’t: probably rubbing alcohol would have done.) We discovered that Ambleside had a ‘nightclub’. Andy did his Elvis impression (shaking hips and gyrating legs), fell over, we carried him back to the campsite. The following day we managed a fairly hefty walk over Lingmoor. Lunch at the ODG – my glasses fell into my lunch (I’d forgotten that detail). Andy will correct the errors and add more embarassing detail no doubt.

      1. Does Any do a lot of falling over then? (I’m thinking of the pogo stick incident as well here.) I bet he tells everyone he can always taste the difference between single malt and blended whisky too.
        And as for losing your glasses in your dinner…I’d have to be turned upside down for mine to fall off.

        1. Talk about me while I’m not here why don’t you. Honestly! 🙂

          Mark has it pretty much covered although he did miss the part where I was lurching about in the middle of a big main road trying to get run over so he gave me a large rock to hold to weigh me down and keep me out of mischief – and it worked!

          It was my stag do so I’m allowed to misbehave. I do fall over quite a bit. I have clumsiness in the genes.

          I must “share” some Mark related stories with his readership. I’ll just mention the word “Suardalan” to scare him a bit!

          1. beatingthebounds says:

            You should have seen him lying on the pavement hugging that boulder – he looked so sweet.
            I had a horrible premonition that you might bring that up. If we get in to tit-for-tat this could get very messy!

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