Thursday, October 27, 2011

Howtown to Glenridding - a lakeshore walk.

Taking the Ullswater Steamer from Glenridding to Howtown then walking along the lake shore back to Glenridding is one of those walks that have become an annual pilgrimage. We have had a couple of mornings that were rather frosty but by and large October has been very mild and the forecast for our allotted day was good.

The 1225 sailing was our aim and the journey down the side of the Ullswater to Glenridding seemed almost trafficless, so we had plenty of time to park before boarding the Lady Wakefield to Howtown. Being October the lake was not very busy in fact there seemed to be very little wind for the yachts.

Once at Howtown we sat on the lake edge and had a snack before staring the 6.5 mile walk back to Glenridding. The first short section of the walk has some great views up the lake to Pooley Bridge, Dunmallard and to the right Heughscar Fell. Despite being a lake-shore walk the route is constantly going up and down but rounding the first corner we look across the lake to Gowbarrow (another walk I must do again) and Aira Force hidden behind the trees.

Were back to shore level again now and heading for Sandwick, a hamlet of a farm and a few houses, tucked away on the southern shore of Ullswater (the lake lies roughly east to west). Streams always seem to make good resting places and little further on where the path crosses Scalehow Beck a number of people were already enjoying the babbling stream. Our lunch box was already empty so no need to stop here.

The path now meanders up and down through a wooded area, though still close to the lake, the wood consists of predominantly Birch with Elder and Rowan (see the story of the Rowan bough on our blog) as well as a few Junipers. Coming out of the wood you find yourself at the top of a rocky crag, above Silver Bay, with great views across the lake to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding. The walkers in front of us deviate off to Silver Point to enjoy another perspective of the lake but a cup of tea is what we need.

A mile further on we reach Side Farm and from here the path turns right through the farmyard towards Patterdale. As we enter the Farmyard the welcome sight of a small teashop is just what we need and of course a farmhouse sized piece of cake (I didn’t waste a crumb – delicious). It’s all level going now and just another mile back to the Ullswater Steamer Car Park. As we passed the Patterdale Mountain Rescue HQ the absence of a few of their vehicles probably meant they were out assisting someone. The local news next day confirmed they had assisted a 7 year old boy who had been hit by a falling rock on Helvellyn, he was flown to Hospital in a Helicopter – so I hope he has not been put off enjoying the Lake District Fells in the future. For further details of the missions Patterdale Mountain Rescue make and support them, use this link to visit their website.

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