As I opened the curtains and peered out I noticed that the tops of the fells were hidden by cloud but it was at least dry, so I hoped for a dry and clear day‘s walking. Today was to be a fairly short day to Grasmere, climbing up and over Greenup edge and then either following a track down the valley or taking the high option over the ridge of Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag. As I set off along the track which climbs out of the Borrowdale by the side of the imposing and scary looking Eagle Crag, I needed a wee and decided to nip into a handy sheep fold. Unfortunately I realised, just in time, that a huge walking party were headed my way so I pretended to stop and have a drink until they moved past and out of sight.

Sadly their leader decided to stop them and give a talk on something interesting a few steps beyond the sheep fold (and still in full view of it) so I had to abandon my plans for answering the call of nature for now.

Leaving Borrowdale

The path climbs quite gently up to the impressive Lining Crag, a huge outcrop of rock keeping watch over a peaceful amphitheatre like hanging valley full of drumlins. I stopped for a breather and thought it would make a lovely spot for a wild camp. As I approached Lining Crag it looked at first as though the path may go gently round it on grass but no- it climbs right up it and I needed my hands in a couple of places.

Lining Crag- top left

As I took in the view at the top I was caught up by a couple with a cocker spaniel who were walking the Coast to Coast, plus an Australian couple- Di and Greg- who I had walked over Haystacks with yesterday. The path up to the top of Greenup Edge is not clear and the area is very boggy; I set off after the couple with the dog, who soon realised they’d lost the path. I spotted the cairn on top of a boulder that my guide book map instructed to watch out for and we set off through the bogs towards it. I spotted another cairn beyond this and basically followed the cairns to the top of the pass; I realised that everyone else was following me- no pressure then!

The view from the top of Lining Crag

The route drops steeply down to the path to Grasmere which I intended to take after a little snack- I thought I would have an ‘easy’ day after the heroics of yesterday… however the others all announced that they were taking the ridge route to Helm Crag. As they set off along the higher path, I looked down to the valley, looked at the ridge, looked down the valley and to the ridge again… hmm, it’s a lovely clear day again now… there will be a fantastic view over Grasmere from the top… it might be cloudy tomorrow… before I knew it my feet were walking me along the ridge path whilst my mind was screaming ‘what are you doing, you crazy bitch!!’

Walking along the ridge

The ridge path is not particularly difficult, just undulating and boggy in places, but when I saw Helm Crag at the end it looked a lot further away than I was anticipating! The sun broke through the clouds and dappled the fells in a most photogenic way, and I did have that gorgeous view of Grasmere.

Grasmere

I got slightly lost on the descent and ended up on the Poets Walk to Lancrigg Hotel where a restorative latte was in order. A footpath into Grasmere keeps walkers off the road- I passed my accommodation at Glenthorne House but it was only 4pm so I walked into Grasmere, intending to eat at a café. Unfortunately, although the cafes stayed open until 5pm they seemed to stop serving hot food at 3:45pm so I had to settle for pizza and chips in the 1769 Inn. I also may or may not have purchased some Grasmere gingerbread…

Walking into Grasmere

After checking in and taking a shower it was still quite early so I had a mooch around Grasmere village, finding William Wordsworth’s grave in the churchyard.

William Wordsworth’s grave

This was my most expensive night’s accommodation, I guess due to its location- my room was clean and comfortable but I did have nicer rooms and more amenities (such as a hairdryer!) for a lower cost at some of the other places I stayed at.

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