Friday 11th April – Walk from Glenridding to Howtown (7.2 miles)
It was a chilly 6 degrees(c) in the van when we woke up, on went the heating followed very quickly by the kettle for the morning cuppa’s. Today was going to be a bit of a challenge for us, the moment of truth, had all of ‘Shazza’s Expeditions’ paid off ? Now for mountain goats or regular fell walkers, our walk today is probably something that would be done as a warm up session before breakfast but for us this would be our first real fitness and stamina check. We were both a little apprehensive, this could end up hurting a little, or a lot !! but we wanted to give ourselves a bit of a test to see if we were anywhere near ready for the more demanding treks we were hoping to undertake in the Scottish Highlands. The plan was to drive ‘Wuxly‘ to our starting point at the ‘Ullswater Steamer‘ car park in ‘Glenridding‘, then walk around the Southern edge of the lake to ‘Howtown‘ a distance of around seven miles over some demanding terrain with several steep ascents and descents. If we got to our destination in good time then we would take one of the Ullswater Steamer ferries to ‘Pooley Bridge’ on the Northern point on the lake and after a look around return via the ferry all the way back to ‘Glenridding’ and the car park where we had left ‘Wuxly’. Because of the ferry schedules, if we didn’t manage the walk in good time it would just be a straight trip back to Glenridding. So how did we do ? Come on a ‘Virtual’ walk with us to find out !!
We entered the small village of ‘Glenridding’ and made our way to the starting point of our walk, the ‘Ullswater Steamer Jetty’
Would we still be smiling at the end !!
This was not going to be a ‘Walk In The Park’ !!
A reasonable enough start, a decent footpath, nice views and sunshine !!
We started with a small ascent, nothing too strenuous at this stage and we were already around the other side of the lake to that which we had started out.
Not quite on the scale of the cascades we had seen on our previous days walk.
Looking out across the Lake, you can just make out on the opposite bank the Steamer Jetty, our starting point !!
Oh yes, we knew those uphill climbs would be coming, but with a backdrop like this it was worth stopping and taking in the scenery from time to time (and catch a breath) !!
Occasionally the footpath would wind itself inland in the shadows of the steep crags and a much-needed downhill section !!
From our vantage point we could see the footpath snaking its way below us, almost parallel to the Lake
Even with the aid of stone steps the old knees were beginning to groan and creek !!
Not a bad landing spot for someone with a ‘Kayak’ perhaps and a nice picnic lunch ?
In some places the path narrowed but Shazza leading the way quite sure-footed.
Right then decision time ? Do I go over or under ?
Once that little obstacle had been dealt with, time to get on with a nice flat stretch of footpath and more glorious views.
One of the ‘Ullswater Steamers’
Phew !! A long slow incline but come on Shazza, no slacking girl there’s still a long way to go you know !!
And another climb !!
And another !! But here I am poised at the top with the camera and where is Shazza ?
Okay, so sometimes I need to just catch my breath as well !!
Stunning views, absolutely stunning !!
The occasional glimpse of a waterfall although our route didn’t take us very close to it.
A babbling brook with a grassy glade, the perfect place to stop and eat our picnic lunch I think !
And boy was I ready for it ?
The sort of scene that many artists would like to paint, if only I had the time to get my paintbrushes out………
Just enough time to enjoy the view though before we get a ‘wiggle’ on !!
Another obstacle in our way ? Not really, the footpath winds itself around the root base of the tree which looks as if it has been there some time, well long enough to build a footpath around it !!
Our walk dropped us right down to the bank of the lake, wish I’d brought my swimming trunks. Hey Shazza, fancy a spot of skinny dipping ……………….. ?
That’ll be a No then will it ?
That isn’t our ferry is it ?
Oh yes, the pecking order of the lesser spotted hiker picnic munchers !!
Yes !! We made it to the ‘Howtown’ Steamer Ferry Jetty and still time to visit ‘Pooley Bridge’ right at the top end of the lake.
Now this is the way to travel.
And this is the river that marks that we had arrived at ‘Pooley Bridge’. We had half an hour before our Steamer Ferry would whisk us the one hour journey back to ‘Glenridding’
The scenery was just breathtaking and yes that is snow on the peaks !!
Just in case you doubted the snow, a wee close up for you !
One last look behind before we dock and glad that we parked ‘Wuxly’ just steps away from the Steamer Jetty.
We had known before we started that by the end of the day we would be physically knackered and certainly once back in ‘Big Momma’ would just want to crash out. Fortunately, tonight was the night that the mobile Fish & Chip van visited the campsite so we had already decided what was on the menu for dinner ! and as a small bonus we would eat them out of the paper so no dishes to wash either, perfect. I stood under the piping hot shower for simply ages, not because I like hot showers but because I couldn’t move my legs !! No not really, although I anticipated the paralysis of my lower limbs to kick in by the morning. We enjoyed our Fish & Chip supper but there is little more to write about as we both just crashed out…….