Although only a small group, we made our time in the Lake District count with three beautiful hikes around this brilliant landscape, all planned and led by Tassilo.
Organised by yours truly, we left London Euston on a Saturday morning in mid-July and caught a cab from the Windermere train station to Elterwater Hostel which would host us for the next two nights. A former YHA hostel, this place was one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in, with impeccably clean facilities and a self-catering kitchen harbouring three (!) stoves and two ovens. Heaven for the cooks.
We left our bags in the common room and set out on our first tour – what we were meant to see (apart from lakes) we never really knew as it was raining cats and dogs and we spent most of our time huddling under one of the umbrellas, debating whether or not to go the longer distance (“NO!”) or take a shorter way back to the hostel (“Yes, please”). I think we collectively took twenty photos.
But we were rewarded on the next two days with beautiful skies and enough sunshine for a tan (or sunburn for the ginger). On Sunday, we completed a circular hike of the Langdale Peaks with some truly stunning views and enough leisure time for a post-lunch nap in the sun. After a meandering approach we got sweating climbing the path at Stickle Ghyll and were glad for the winds at the top. We followed sheep tracks and parts of the route of a cross-country race: these brave souls did 42km of jogging up, across, and down some hills. I felt rather ungainly in my hiking boots but was eternally grateful to our sturdy footwear and gear when we decided to descent down a random side of the mountain that had us crossing a dried riverbed and march through hip-high fern. I took an outraged photo of the “public footpath” sign at the bottom of it, surely this has to be the least well maintained footpath in all of the UK!? We ended the day with a barbecue (and some bonus karaoke/dancing by the Germans) outside the hostel and a pint at the pub just down the road.
On Monday, we followed the small river running through Elterwater and then climbed steeply up to the peak of Loughrigg Fell where we had more stunning views – we had a good guess and thought we could see pretty much all of the Lakes, we definitely made out Windermere and Keswick. We continued down the Fell and completed a circuit of Rydal Water and Grasmere, where we stopped for some ice cream on the go, and then it was full speed ahead to cross the smaller Silver How hill before we made it back to Elterwater and had to grab our bags before catching a train back to London.
It was an amazing trip with some really good views and some good exercise, but much more importantly, some great food and many good laughs and wacky stories about home.
I am looking forward to our next trip to Weymouth!