19 March 2018

Rydal and Grasmere

We recently crossed off another couple of lakes from my 'walk round every lake in the Lake District challenge'. Completing two lakes in 1 day, Rydal and Grasmere.

We started the walk in Grasmere village and parked the car here. Mark had consulted a map online previously and has done bits of the walk before so had a vague idea. The great thing about round the lake walks is that you don't normally need a map as the way is obvious, follow the lake!

We walked out of Grasmere along the road a little way before we got to a gate leading down to the lakeshore. On my challenge blog post I stated that I wanted to walk as close to the lakeshores as possible.

I must confess that perhaps we cheated a little with these two lakes, as technically we didn't walk round the entire circumference of each one. Rydal and Grasmere are right next to each other and really small lakes, it makes such a nice walk to loop them together. So we walked round them both in a circle, so missed out one of the edges of each lake.

The route can be found here: https://www.walklakes.co.uk/walk_76.html

And according to the above it is 5.6 miles and takes just over 2 hours.

It's a relatively flat, easy walk and also stunningly beautiful naturally.

I also must confess we probably didn't walk as close to the lake as possible. The far shore of Rydal heading back to Grasmere the nearest place to walk was the road. Walking down Lake District roads is about a million times prettier than walking down any road in the city, but still if there is a nicer route possible we are going to pick that one.  The route along Rydal back to Grasmere we followed the coffin route which is quite high up over the lake.

The walk starts on the very lake shore of Grasmere. There are very obvious easy paths all the way along and perfect picturesque pebbly beachy sections. We did this on a week day in winter but I assume in the middle of summer at the weekend all along would be full of walkers and sunbathers.

Naturally we had to pose on these little stepping stones!

Honestly these quacky guys would just not hold still for a quick photo!

The walk at the top end of Grasmere turns into a pretty woodland area.

The paths are really nice and smooth all the way around, with many I am sure fine for wheelchair users or pushchairs.

Rydal is very close to Grasmere so we could see the next lake as soon as we got out of the woods at the top of Grasmere.

As you get to Rydal water there are many paths that lead in different directions. There are quite a number of different ways round and about, so tons to explore. But our objective was to walk round the lake as close to the shore as possible.

I think personally Rydal Water is the more picturesque of the two.

Even on this cold and crisp day there were people picnicking. It really is a perfect spot!

At this little fork the path round the lake continued ahead but here we made a little de-tour to the caves.

The Rydal caves are a fave spot of Mark's and somewhere he brought me on a very early date, could have even been our third date, we were not even 'Facebook official' then. We've been back since but it is always nice to visit these caves.  The path up is a bit steeper than the round the lake route but nothing unmanageable by a moderate fitness level.

The caves are huge and spectacular, well worth the de-tour!

We stopped for a spot of lunch on the top here too. But we were quick as it was rather nippy when we were not moving. Brrrr....

I do love a gate!

At the end of Rydal water you come across a bridge and it pops you out on the main road. The village of Rydal is just to the right or Grasmere to the left.  We crossed this road and went up a road just past the church to find the start of the coffin route.

Even though this was quite a way from the lake, this part of the walk was the nicest bit for me, such a pretty path and with that view looking down to the lake it was beautiful.

We stopped for a little while and watch the farmer in his quad bike with his two collie dogs gathering in all the sheep. I was amazed! The sheep were all over the path and in different fields, some right up the steep bank. With a few whistles and shouts the dog knew exactly what to do, darting up the side of the bank, coming in behind the sheep and stopping, crouching really low and then darting off again. He rounded up them sheep no bother at all, so interesting to watch. I just love it when animals have jobs!

This path was mostly smooth but with a few rockier bits, so maybe not the best for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

We did marvel at the idea of this being a coffin route though. So the church in Rydal was not permitted for burials so coffins had to be transported from Rydal to Grasmere and they went along this path. I presume there was no road in those times. There are 'coffin routes' all over the lakes, I presume all over the country too! Some of the path was fairly steep and rocky I could not imagine carrying a coffin along here, wow.

We stopped for a drink on a bench and saw this little Robin guy sat on a branch staring at us, can you spot him?

As the path neared to Grasmere village there were a few very beautiful cottages tucked away. We then came across this rather large house hiding in the bushes and a few further rather large houses even more hidden away, wow, the dream, right!

As we dropped down into Grasmere itself the road we went down had some very picturesque  ancient buildings, I couldn't help but to snap a few.

Grasmere itself is a very pretty little village, a very popular Lake District honeypot area.

Naturally we stopped for some famous Grasmere gingerbread. I do not believe I have even had Grasmere gingerbread before. It was a bit different to how I expected, very hard instead of cake like. But delicious. I was rather taken by the super cute little old fashioned shop though. I was too shy to take a photo inside, but if you are in the are you MUST visit, it's so cute!

We purchased a pack of gingerbread for ourselves and one for Mark's folks, as they were feeding Meg whilst we were away.

I loved loved loved this walk! Super happy to cross off two lakes in one, even though we maybe cheated a bit! This would be an ideal walk for any 'beginners' to the lakes challenge. It is a really popular spot so you never feel away from civilisation, the main road just near by and with Rydal and Grasmere (and their many many tearooms) at both ends it's ideal.

Have you walked round Rydal and Grasmere?

1 comment:

  1. One of my all time fave locations for photoshoots! Just love the place! :) :)


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