That time of year and I start my annual, weekly pilgrimage to Ullswater.
In many ways I’m loathe to say how divine it is, its beauty being a particular lack of the regular visitors to the likes of Bowness (rolls eyes in distaste) or Ambleside (prays readers love Apple Pie House).
It is where much of the lost blog has taken place over the years and where I do much of my thinking about what to do next at newroomsonline. I took my best friend and her family as we’ve never done the walk before together and I’m really keen to share my love of the fells with my godsons in a way which is more than a mere account of where I’ve walked.
This is the gatepost to Ullswater Steamers – where the magic begins! Look carefully or you’ll miss the colour matched accessory – the fingerless glove.
We sailed from Glenridding to Howtown aboard the delightful and best vessel in their fleet – The Lady of the Lake.
When the light catches the surface of the lake on the last sail home, it’s like glitter floating…you really can’t beat it at all. We watched the Wammels tacking and gybing around Norfolk Island, folk out in canoes and kayaks from Glenridding Sailing Centre and of course, I pointed out the path that we would be treading – all 7 miles of it.
We also made use of the cake stand in the new pierhouse…..which I might add is looking stunning. Doesn’t seem too long ago that the whole village was swamped in the 2010 storms. Well done, Guys, a stunning job. I had a particularly divine millionaire’s shortbread.
Howtown always makes me start humming Pet Clark’s Downtown and always feel they should play it over the PA as you alight! There’s not a lot there…but there is a pub, and a nice beach for a picnic with more breathtaking views across the lake.
It’s a great walk. You can’t get lost, it’s well signposted and as my godson, George, noted, “Everyone’s always so friendly in the Lakes aren’t they? Everyone says hello.”
It’s one thing I’ve said often to my folks but I don’t think it’s just the Lakes. I think there’s a bonding between people who like the outdoors. Doesn’t matter if you pass a walker, a mountain biker or a climber, people always nod or stop to chat.
Three hard Geordie boys passed us on their mountain bikes with the muddiest, wet arses imaginable…and it was a really mild, dry day…..between us we asked why mountain bikers never use mudguards?
A few miles later we passed them again as they sat down to eat their butties and asked, “Why no mudguards?”
Apparently it’s just a preference. “Is it like a trophy? Having a really dirty backside?” I asked.
“I guess so,” came the response. I remarked that it must chafe as a result….no because padded cycling shorts ensure this does not happen….great blokes.
George had a bit of a vertigo wobble at one point. Having been gungho the whole walk, he only got nervous after I’d had to make an unplanned stop behind a gorse bush….ouch, and he’d time to think about how high he was off the ground at that point…which to be fair is probably the highest point on the walk but funny that he’d been fearless up to that moment. Mental note….don’t stop no matter how desperate you are!
We found a dead swan at Sandwick bay which I find terribly sad, nesting season and all the pairs out.
I called Tourist Info at Glenridding the following morning, simply because I had it in mind that you’re meant to report dead swans…isn’t it still a treasonable offence to kill one? That and sticking a stamp on a letter the wrong way up? LOL
Incidentally Cumbria police called me this morning to get an exact location of the swan so it must be important!
No more losses until we got to just above Side Farm…about mile no. 5.
I am assuming someone took these off for a paddle and forgot about them!
Last but not least, actually on the stile at Side Farm Camp Site…
Pointing the way home….
I woke up on Sunday, as ever, these days post any kind of activity feeling ancient with creaking bones and aching muscles. I don’t have bunions but feel like I should, that joint at the base of my big toe is more painful than I can describe. I slept badly, more proof that despite what people say about exercise leading to a sound night’s sleep, it’s all a load of rubbish!
Anyway do the walk – it’s lovely!