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