A LONG WEEKEND IN THE LAKE DISTRICT, PART Four
It’s Monday morning already. You’ve seen Grasmere, been over Kirkstone Pass, spent the day in Penrith, seen the Winter Droving and passed a pleasant afternoon at The Lakes Distillery. Your temporary place of residence has to be vacated by 10 am but you’re in no real rush to get home and the little teaser of Friday’s drive along the Ullswater shoreline has whetted the appetite for more “Lake District”.
How to end your break on a high without expending too much energy after the excesses of the previous 3 days? Easy, walk a short section of the Ullswater Way. Starting at Aira Force you can walk to Glenridding in 1 to 1.5 hours, just over half of the walk is on a path along the lake shore. The views are stunning, the air at this time of year is fresh and bracing and, if you time the walk right, as you should, there is a bus or boat that will bring you back to your starting point, ready to begin the journey home.
The Ullswater Way is one of the things that The National Trust can rightly be proud of. The whole route is 20 miles, and can easily be done in sections utilising excellent car parking facilities, decent public transport or, for the ultimate Lake District “experience”, taking a trip back to your starting point on one of the Ullswater Steamers. These lovely old boats criss-cross the lake, plying their trade between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge stopping at Howtown and Aira Force. The bus is the poor relation, obviously, but it’s there if the steamers aren’t running for any reason.
The first part of the walk takes you through sparsely wooded bracken covered grassy fields. As usual, the ubiquitous Herdwick sheep will never be far away. After about 1.5 miles you will reach Glencoyne Bay and shortly after that you cross the A592 and follow the path along the water’s edge all the way to Glenridding. Along the way there are plenty of places to stop for a breather, one final photo opportunity or simply to admire the view. Although far from being the busiest of the “lakes” there always seems to be something happening on Ullswater, even if it is just a couple of geese having a paddle.
There are a couple of decent places to grab a bite to eat, including The Ullswater Hotel, which was the setting for the ABBC “drama” The Lakes, which might interest you, but, then again it might not. There you are then, 3 nights in The North Lakes, immersing yourselves in the scenery, the hospitality, the wonderful local food and drink and the sheer freedom of it all. Fully relaxed and batteries totally recharged you are now ready for the drive home.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these little travelogues and they’ve given you the urge to visit. If you do, let me know, a pint and a bit of a natter is always on the cards.
One word of warning, if you do stay in Glenridding for lunch DON’T have the mushroom bruscetta, foraging is one thing but these northern folk don’t know where to stop.
© Coloniescross 2017