I woke to the sound of rain, which concerned me as it wasn’t forecast for today. Hoping it would clear up I went down for breakfast, which I’d been told was served at 8:15am. I had just walked into the dining room, poured a bowl of cereal and was selecting a seat when a bell rang to officially signal the start of breakfast- oops, jumped the queue then!

I was joined by a mother and her daughter, who had a young baby. The mother had just completed a course at Glenthorne and as we talked we watched a red squirrel scamper up and down a tree in the garden.

On checking out and putting on my rucksack in the foyer I chatted to an Australian couple who were taking a rest day to explore Grasmere. Unfortunately the valve came off my bladder pipe and water started to spray everywhere so I had to try to fix it whilst still chatting as they hadn’t noticed!

As I set off along the minor road to cross the A591 the earlier rain had cleared, and although the tops of the fells were in cloud it looked as though it was lifting. There are two routes up Tongue Gill to Grisedale Tarn; somewhat typically for me, I chose the left hand route which is steeper but which promises great views back towards Grasmere (wouldn’t want to make it easy eh?)

Looking back to Grasmere

I was passed by a chap carrying his mountain bike and by a Scottish couple, Lynne and Andrew, who I had first met at breakfast in Borrowdale. There is a bit of a rocky climb to the top of the pass, where the lower route joins, but finally the tarn came into view. I asked Lynne and Andrew which route they were taking- there is a choice of three routes to Patterdale; straight down Grisedale valley, left over Dollywagon Pike to Helvellyn via Striding Edge, or right over St Sunday Crag.

St Sunday Crag

Andrew said that they thought they would go down the valley and have an easy day. I pointed to St Sunday Crag, which was now clear of cloud, and said that I was going to take the route over the summit. They immediately changed their minds, like I did yesterday, and we set off on the path towards St Sunday Crag. They are faster walkers than me so I soon lost them but I was grateful that the climb up St Sunday Crag is fairly gentle as far as Lake District ascents go!

Grisedale Tarn

I passed Di and Greg who had stopped for lunch near what we all thought was the summit. In reality it was quite a lot further on- every time I thought I was nearly there another false summit raised its head. I was enjoying it though as there were superb views back to Fairfield and Helvellyn with the serrated ridge of Striding Edge clearly visible, and ahead to Angle Tarn, where we will pass tomorrow.

Helvellyn and Striding Edge

It is always good to be in the high fells on a clear day, and when I bumped into Lynne and Andrew having lunch on the summit I joined them.

Summit views

There are particularly fine views over Ullswater from the descent of St Sunday Crag, and as I stopped for a rest to admire it, two jets suddenly thundered along the lake far below me.


Patterdale is a lot quieter than some of the other Lakeland valleys; it has a post office and pubs, but no tourist-type shops or cafes. I checked into my room at the White Lion Inn- a cosy little room with its own bathroom down the corridor- and wandered down to Ullswater, where I found a café and drank a latte by the water. It was such a lovely evening it was difficult to believe that it was supposed to rain all day tomorrow.

Ullswater lake shore

I ate dinner in the pub and chatted to another Australian couple walking the Coast to Coast- Ed and Carrie, before turning in for the night. Judging by the amount of bags that had been delivered by the baggage handler services, I guessed that there must be quite a few Coast to Coasters here tonight and realised that some would have walked from Borrowdale today.


The White Lion Inn

I felt I had made the right decision splitting this section over two days as if I had tried to do it in one I wouldn’t have had time to take the higher options and would have missed out on some wonderful views.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tagged with:

Filed under: Coast to CoastLong Distance PathsTrekking

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!