Saturday 23 April 2016. Jacqui’s sore shoulder had recovered sufficiently well to allow her to walk with me for a second day and to do the walk up Ingleborough that we had planned to do last week. I particularly wanted to do this walk as it would take us up Ingleborough from Sulber Gate, a route that I should have done on my Dales High Way a couple of years ago but which I chose not to do in favour of walking around Ingleborough rather than going over the top. It made sense at the time as the alternative route saved me a few miles of road walking at the end of a long hard day.
Starting from Clapham we made our way through the tunnels and up the hill to the start of Long Lane. The history of these tunnels is documented here. Long Lane is aptly named as it does go on for quite a while but by way of compensation there are good views across Clapdale to one side and Thwaite Scars on the other. It was a bright sunny morning but with a chilly breeze. The sun would disappear later in the day and the wind-chill on top of Ingleborough would be quite intense. We stopped for coffee at Long Scar before briefly crossing a wall to take in the splendor of Moughton Scars with Pen-y-ghent away in the distance.
Turning just beyond Sulber Gate, the serious climbing began with a steady slog up past Sulber Pot and across Simon Fell Breast. We knew that it would be too exposed to have lunch on top of Ingleborough so we stopped on the way up enjoying the shelter of the last remaining wall before plodding on across the open fell. There were quite a few walkers close to the summit, either going up or coming down. As predicted, it was close to freezing at the top of Ingleborough (2,375ft) so, rather than making for the true summit at the cross shelter, we quickly headed for the path that would lead us back to Clapham. The descent over Little Ingleborough was notable for the many steps and it came as some relief when we hit more level ground close to Gapping Gill.
We bypassed Trow Gill on the way down towards Ingleborough Cave. Rather than returning via Clapdale Drive (60p charge) we chose to make one final ascent up to Clapdale Farm for the last section of the walk back to Clapham. The walk was just under 10½ miles with a total ascent of almost 2,200ft.
The weather for this holiday has been remarkably kind with no rain in the Lake District for the last 10 days. I managed to do 16 walks in the last 3 weeks and the total miles covered is 124 taking me to over a third of the way to walking another 1,000 miles this year.
Ingleborough – walk route
Friday 22 April 2016. The author of today’s walk described it as one of the loveliest walks that he’d done for some time. Well, I would say it was an okay walk but perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the other walks undertaken in the Lake District this week. On a more positive note, I was joined by Jacqui for this 8.7 mile walk from Sizergh Castle. The total ascent was just over 800ft.
The first part of the walk was on tarmac and a little too close to the noisy A591. It improved considerably as we walked through Levans Park where we stopped for coffee beside the River Kent. Oddly both Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle are closed on Friday and Saturday although this didn’t seem to have too much effect on business at the Castle’s café. Levens Hall is famed for its Bagot goats and black deer, both of which were seen on the walk north out of the park.
More road walking took us past Sedgwick and alongside the River Kent. There was a cool wind blowing from the north and we took shelter in the lee of a wall whilst having lunch. After crossing the A591 it wasn’t very far across fields back to Sizergh Castle.
Sizergh Castle – walk route
Thursday 21 April 2016. I started this walk almost 10 months ago, on my birthday, but after half a mile or so I felt so ill that I had to abandon it. I’d been on holiday in Keswick and had been using the bus to get to some of my walks. I guess that I must have picked up some sort of bug which wiped me out for the rest of the week and put an end to anymore walking for a while.
As Grasmere is only 14 miles from my caravan site, just outside of Windermere, it was a good an opportunity to return to the walk up Silver How and to see what I’d missed last year. I parked outside the village of Grasmere on the temporarily closed A591 in order to save on car parking charges but needn’t have bothered as the cost of parking has been reduced to £1.50 all day in an attempt to attract the missing tourists back to the village. I suspect that car parking charges will return to normal (£8?) when the A591 reopens on 13 May.
Having walked half a mile into Grasmere, the walk started in earnest and on leaving the village I had a climb of nearly 1,000ft over the next mile. Needless to say I had a few photo stops along the way and had a first lunch break at the top of Silver How (1,295ft) basking in the sunshine and the satisfaction of having ticked off another Wainwright. There were great views from the top, particularly looking down on Grasmere and Rydal Water. This seemed to be a popular route today although not excessively busy and I had the top to myself for some time.
The next part of the walk was a meandering trek across a series of minor summits from which I could look down on Elterwater. A second lunch stop was had on one of these minor summits where I finished of the last of my coffee and water. It was a really hot day and, still having some way to go, I was concerned about becoming dehydrated. I looked in at the Youth Hostel on Red Bank to see if I could buy some refreshments but to no avail, so I replenished my drinks bladder from the tap in the self-caterer’s kitchen. The last part of the walk took me along part of the Loughrigg Terrace before dropping down to the shore of Grasmere for the walk back to the car. The route was 7¼ miles with a total ascent of just over 1,600ft.
Silver How – walk route
Monday 18 April 2016. It was too much to hope for that I would be able to enjoy the same bright morning as yesterday. Today it was windy with frequent showers. I didn’t want to spend the whole of the day indoors so at 11am I set off to do some food shopping in Windermere with a fall back plan of doing an afternoon walk, weather permitting. I’d done my shopping by 11:30 and it was touch and go if the rain would hold off.
I took a chance and set off along quite back lanes and tracks on my way to Ambleside. I decided to travel light without my backpack in the hope of getting some refreshments at Troutbeck after 4 miles of walking. My luck was in and I was able to get a pot of tea and some cake in the village café. This made the last 3 and a bit miles into Ambleside all the more pleasurable. This part of the walk through Skelghyll Wood with views across Windermere is one of my favourites and I’d gladly walk it more often given the chance. The walk which was just under 7¼ miles had a total ascent of 1,200ft and was a very roundabout way of getting to the shops in Ambleside. I have to say that I was disappointed with what was on offer and didn’t add to my extensive collection of outdoors clothing and equipment.
Windermere – walk route