Sunday started a good deal brighter than Saturday had. I expected to be stiff and sore following the exploits of the day before, but actually felt fine, but for one slight issue. I’d chosen to wear the same rather worn-out pair of Clark’s shoes in which I do most of my walking. I realise that might seem an unusual choice and some people might even go as far as to disapprove, but the shoes have been very comfortable, pretty waterproof and have looked after me well. Until now. I bought them in a sale and have had them for quite some time now. I knew that they were past their best, but I didn’t realise the extent to which the soles had worn thin. As a result, I now had a blood blister on the ball of each foot. They weren’t excruciating. I managed to scrounge some plasters from reception at the hostel and decided to wear two pairs of sock by way of compensation.
My walk started through…
…which was really rather wonderful. On both days of the walk, I was really struck by the immaculate and colourful gardens I passed, most of them stuffed full off flowering shrubs…
Rhododendrons and azaleas?
A and I passed this way at the end of the second day of our walk from Silverdale to Keswick, but it was a bit dark by then to see the flowers, so I’ve wanted to come back.
This section of the route, via Jenkin Crag to Troutbeck, is an old favourite and is very familiar territory.
Coniston Fells from Jenkin Crag.
Claife Heights and Latterbarrow from Jenkin Crag.
Looking down the lake to Gummer How.
Looking down the lake – Belle Isle seems almost to split the north and south basins into two separate lakes.
I thought, this being a National Trust property, I’d definitely be able to buy a cup of tea here, but it wouldn’t open for hours yet.
I’ve always admired this rather fine bank barn across the road from Townend. I hope that the National Trust won this too, and that it’s being looked after.
At this point, my route diverted, for a while at least, from the one A and I had followed. I dropped to a different bridge, well, bridges…
…over Trout Beck. These must have been destroyed in the flooding a couple of years ago. The new bridges look very robust.
I’m glad I stuck with Mister Turner’s route, because this section of path was new to me, and very beautiful in a low key way.
There are a number of houses here, above the RHS gardens at Holehird, which have the most amazing views.
Next on the agenda was Orrest Head, which, as always I suspect, was absolutely thronged with people.
The view north along the lake from Orrest Head.
The view south along the lake from Orrest Head.
Busy at it was on Orrest head, I dropped down into Common Wood on a permission path and soon was completely alone again.
I thought that these distinctive looking flowers would be easy to identify…
…but in fact they took quite a lot of tracking down. As usual, it was the excellent Wildflower Finder website which came up trumps. I think that this is Indian Rhubarb, an introduced species native to the western United States. Apparently the leaves, when they appear, are every attractive, which is why gardeners like it for damp shady areas in their gardens.
…on the lane just beyond the wood, was brimful of Cuckoo Flower, which is native, tasty and the principal food plant for Orange-tip butterflies.
Part of a stunning garden on the outskirts of Windermere.
The slopes of School Knott, above Windermere, proved to be extremely confusing. My map shows open fields, but trees have been planted, which are now growing quite large and there are paths everywhere, with some sort of de facto right to roam seemingly in operation. I stopped a couple of dog walkers and asked for directions, but ended up following my nose uphill.
Windermere and beyond from School Knott.
It’s a lovely spot, with terrific views, and, like Orrest Head, is another of Wainwright’s outlying fells. I noticed that some walkers were also climbing the higher Grandsire, although the map doesn’t indicate any access is allowed. It looks worth a look though, so I shall have to come back.
Grandsire and School Knott Tarn (?).
There is a path down to the little tarn though. So…
…that’s the way I went. It was warm enough here for me to be regretting that I didn’t really have enough time to stop for a swim.
Just beyond this point, I met a party of four on the Dales Way path, who asked for directions. They told me that they were walking from Bowness to Staveley (the one near Kendal, not the one I’d passed through the day before) and back. Since they were barely out of Bowness, they decided to amend their plans.
A fair bit of road walking followed, some of it along a busy road past Windermere Golf Club, which was unfortunate. Once I’d turned into the much quieter Lindeth Lane, things improved again. I met another lost party, a large group of ladies. I gathered they’d been a bit confused for some time. The explanation for how they’d lost their way was rather simple, but, in fairness, they’d missed a turn on to a path which I’m not sure existed on the ground.
I’d taken many photos on the next part of the walk, although it was very pleasant, through a mixture of fields, woodland and wood pasture with bits of scrub.
…are Podnet Tarn. The track which runs past has, by this point, become a metalled affair.
Nearby, Great Ludderburn Moss…
…Little Ludderburn Moss and Green Hill form a nature reserve owned by the lake District National Park Authority which, unusually, seems to have no online presence at all (the nature reserve that is).
On the map, it looks like the paths here link perfectly, but unfortunately, due presumably to the intransigence of some local home owners, there’s actually a detour by road before it’s possible to pick up a path to get back on course.
The detour goes right past Low Ludderburn, one of the houses in the area where the author and reputed spy Arthur Ransome lived, but I’m afraid I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t take any photos.
The next part of the route, a long steady ascent of Gummer How via a path beside Burrow Beck was an absolute delight. The path is obviously well-used, although it isn’t a right-of-way. The woods are full of moss-covered lumps and fallen trees.
There’s also quite a bit of…
…this shrub, which I thought was Wild Privet, but clearly isn’t since I just read that only begins to flower in June.
Oh. More research needed!
Edit: I’ve done a little more checking, and I now think that this is Bird Cherry.
It was late afternoon now and it had clouded up, the wind had picked up, there were a few drops of moisture in the air and when I emerged from the woods on to Gummer How, I realised that it had grown quite cold.
Still there were the views for compensation…
It was very satisfying to look back on where I had walked for the last two days.
Lakeside and Summer House Knott. Notice Bigland Barrow and Haverthwaite Heights behind – both long overdue a revisit from me.
Duncan Turner gives this day as 16¼ miles with 2891′ of ascent. It took me a good deal less time than the day before had, which probably puts some perspective on how long that was. I’d cut it slightly short by stopping below Gummer How, but MapMyWalk measured it as 28km which is actually a bit further. (But subsequently ‘lost’ the data, so I can’t include a bird’s-eye Google-earth map. (Andy thinks that this might be a problem with the antiquity of my phone, rather than one inherent in the app.).
It is an excellent route, thoroughly recommended. If you had more time you might incorporate Black Crag and Wansfell on either side of the head of the lake. If you are contemplating following in my footsteps, then please consider buying a copy of ‘Windermere: Walking Around the Lake’, not just because it’s a handy and informative guide, but because royalties from the book are donated to Holehird which provides a home for people living with disabilities and which is just off the route.
Talking of charity appeals:
In the summer, I shall be attempting to complete the annual 10 in 10 challenge. Briefly, the idea is to walk a route over 10 Wainwrights in 10 hours or less. You can find out more here.
The event is a fundraiser and I’m hoping to get some sponsorship for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. My Just Giving page is here. All donations, however small, will be most welcome. I should add that the sponsorship is not a condition of my entry and that I’ve already paid a fee to enter which covers all costs, so all sponsor money would go directly to charity.
A heartfelt thanks to those who have donated already. The event is getting frighteningly close, so I’ll shall soon stop pasting this onto the end of posts, I promise. I could really do with about another year, or maybe two, to prepare….