Stravaiging The Lakes

Fri, Jul 8, 2016

I like to get down to the Lakes now and then, usually involving a very long and complicated public transport journey but this time I drove to Ambleside as I had to return via Pitlochry to pick up what was left of my photography exhibition with the John Muir Trust’s Wild Space visitor centre and gallery. That’s another story though. A rollercoaster of a ride and outrageous success even if I say so myself!

High Pike

Anyway, Monday afternoon saw me roll in to Ambleside for 3 nights at the Fisherbeck B&B. It’s a short walk from the lake, the staff are very friendly and the room was spot on. Thoroughly recommended if you fancy a nice clean and quiet room for a few nights at a good price too.

When I’m down this way I always split it between a hill day and a culture day and Tuesday was the hill day. A bimble round the Fairfield horseshoe.

Up to Low Sweden Bridge, then up onto the ridge in blazing, far too hot sunshine, to Low Pike, then High Pike, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and a wee rest near the top of Fairfield.

Looking east from the Fairfield horseshoe

There were a few folk out but it appeared most were beginning at the Rydal end as that part of the ridge was much busier. I lingered by a nice moss and lichen coloured rock, as is my want,

On Fairfield

then wandered up to Fairfield as the mist cleared although there was a biting NW wind scouring over the plateau. Last time I’d been up here it was a screaming gale that almost blew me over a few times on the descent to Grisedale Hause.

Looking west from Great Rigg

Today it was much better, the views were extensive and very lovely indeed and on the way down the ridge I stopped to look down Stone Arthur to Grasmere, my favourite place in the Lakes.

Grasmere from Great Rigg

The sheep were pretty tame and weren’t much bothered by the crowds on Fairfield summit

Contemplative sheep on top of Fairfield

and I often stop and think of them wandering up there in all weathers, party to the environment while I might be in some town, pining for the outdoors.

A wonderful walk down the ridge over Great Rigg and Heron Pike

On the Fairfield horseshoe

and the steep staircase down Nab Scar to Rydal and a return by the path through Rydal Park.

Some grub, some writing, some wandering and I sat at Waterhead Bay on Windermere, watching the Jackdaws with their pale blue eyes pick their way along the stony shore. I thought of Wordsworth and his inimitable poetry, how it reminds me of mindfulness and how far ahead of his time he was. Tomorrow was for Grasmere, the coffin road to Ambleside and lots of wonderful poetry but for this evening, it was quiet contemplation as the sun westered its way home across the still waters of the lake.

Waterhead Bay at Ambleside