Lake District 2017: Day 4

Well, I didn’t run a marathon today, but it certainly felt a bit like it. Instead I hiked/walked about 12 miles over a fell, through a village, and along a coffin road. I didn’t set out to do quite so much walking, it just sort of happened. I tend to have trouble with decision making (ask anyone who knows how many things I buy and then end up returning to the store…), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I only had a general sense that I wanted to visit Rydal and Grasmere today and do some kind of walk.

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Overlooking Grasmere Lake from Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg Fell (pronounced “loff-rigg”) was on my list of things to do this week, so after researching the various routes to the top over breakfast, I settled on taking the trail up from Ambleside. The route is an old bridalway, so it was paved about half of the way. After that, there were numerous side trails and paths that could easily lead you in any direction. I headed toward what I thought was the top, only to discover once there that the summit was actually about another mile away. It was at the summit that I met a few other people, including a family who had come up the Grasmere side. Since I could see Grasmere and it’s lake from the top, I decided I might as well walk down that way, since I planned to visit there anyway. I’d worry about how to get back to Ambleside later.

By the time I got to Grasmere, I was pooped. The route from Ambleside over Loughrigg Fell is about 6 miles and thankfully, I found a tea room in the village to enjoy a scone and rose lemonade to recharge. I stopped in at the National Trust office to figure out how to get back to Ambleside. I knew there was a bus, but that felt like cheating, so I ended up walking the “coffin road” back through Rydal and onto Ambleside and Waterhead. The coffin road is so named because the route was once used to carry coffins from Ambleside to Grasmere for burial. The trail wasn’t overly strenuous, but there were a lot of ups and downs. My legs were protesting, but nevertheless I made it the 6 miles back to Waterhead, where I literally took off my shoes and collapsed onto the bed. Tomorrow will need to include a lot more driving and a lot less walking!

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Langdale Valley

I edited some pictures and made a brief attempt at a nap before heading out for dinner. The sun had finally come out, and it was a pretty ride out to Chapel Stile and the Wainwright Inn. I got to try a new (to me) cider and a chicken and bacon sandwich. I love British pubs. Nothing at home even comes close to the cozy rustic feel, this one complete with pillowed booths and a stone fireplace. After dinner, I continued further into the Langdale valley before turning back towards Waterhead. Since the sun was out, I headed up the road to Borrans Park and sat on a bench overlooking the water for about half an hour before calling it a day.