Date - 18th January 2020 Distance - 6 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Car park by Red Bank Road, Grasmere (NY 3360 0736)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Loughrigg 1101 335 NY 3469 0514



Tetley and Southey were sitting quietly reading their magazines.

"It was so good of you and Allen to arrange a subscription to the Lake District magazine. I do so look forward to its arrival and reading the articles."

"You are so welcome pal. After all you were adopted in the heart of the Lakes at Grasmere. And we got that walk to High Borrans and Kentmere from a recent edition."

"An interesting walk, even if the fells were lost in the clouds, and some new ground for us all", agreed Southey.

The patter of feet heralded the arrival of Shaun with Little Eric riding on this back and Grizzly, bearing the flasks and cake.

"Ooh, like Allen says, I'm gasping for a cuppa", cried Tetley, getting the mugs and plates.

"I'll help you fill the mugs", said Southey.

"Thanks pal", replied Shaun.

"What cakes are on offer today?", asked Tetley.

"Grizzly has made peach and apricot slice, while my offering is mincemeat slice", replied Little Eric.

"One of each please", said Southey. "I like them both."

Tetley too had helped himself, and was about to take a mouthful of mincemeat slice, when stopped saying, "where's Allen. The arch tea belly and cake stuffer. Not at all like him to miss out."

"I don't know", replied Grizzly. "But whatever we better make sure there is some for him when he arrives, otherwise there will be hell to play."

"He can smell tea a mile off", laughed Shaun.

A few minutes later our quiet was shattered by the whirlwind that was Allen bounding into the room, shouting, "I have news of our next walk, and you will all be very pleased about the area it is located."

"We want to know of course", said Tetley, "but first just calm down and have some cake and tea."

"Thanks pal, I was gasping for a cuppa."

"Told you", laughed Tetley.

One mug drunk, Allen held out his mug for a refill.

"There you are", said Shaun. "Now what is the walk news."

"Finally it seems the weather is going to settle down at the weekend, and Dad had told me that we are going to the Lake District. He says that he must make the effort to get on the hills again and see how he fairs. So we are going up Loughrigg. We will start in Grasmere. Along the road and through the woods then up to the summit. The return will be down to Rydal Water and along Loughrigg Terrace."

"Wonderful", cheered Little Eric. "Like the rest of you I have longed to get on the hills again and in the Lakes."

Raising his mug, Southey said, "here's to the best Dad in the world."

"Roll on Saturday", added Grizzly.


The Walk

We were up early, so as to be sure to be ready to set off and not hold Dad up.

"I'll help you get the picnic ready", said Tetley.

"Thanks", said Grizzly and Little Eric together.

"Will we be having it at the summit?", asked Southey.

"No", said Tetley. "Actually we will be leaving it in the car, as Dad does not intend to eat on the walk, being as it is so cold. We will picnic afterwards while Dad is in the cafe."

So on a dry bright if cold day we settled in the car. It was an ever so familiar route, bypassing Kendal the on to Windermere and Ambleside, and then to Grasmere. "What a joy to see the hills again", said Shaun. "Looks like we will get good views too."

Dad parked adjacent to Red Bank Road, the car park being almost empty when we arrived. The cost was £6 for 6 hours. "Quite a contrast to the £2.30 for 8 hours at Slaidburn", commented Allen.

While Dad got his boots on we snuggled down in the rucksack, ready for the off.

"It's left along Red Bank Road", instructed Shaun.

This road is narrow and not suitable for lorries and caravans as the signs indicated and a further warning not to follow Satnav for those kinds of vehicles.

Initially it runs close to the lake, and pointing Tetley called out, "there's Faeryland. Cafe and place to hire rowing boats. "it is a very long time since we went there."

We paused to look across the lake. "That's Loughrigg", pointed Grizzly."

Silhouetted against the sun Dad used his lens hood to get the shot as best as he could.

"How silver the lake surface looks", commented Little Eric. "There are similar effects at times on Bassenthwaite Lake, when Dad and Uncle Brian looked out of the room window at Armathwaite Hall."

"He is off there again fairly soon. He will miss being with Uncle Brian. I hope you do not feel too sad, Dad", said Allen. "Oh how we miss him."

Reaching an open section to the left, Southey pointed , "that's a fine view. There's snow on the fells too. Is that Seat Sandal to the left?"

"Spot on pal", agreed Little Eric. "Then to the right is Great Rigg with poking up behind to the left the snowbound Fairfield. They are amongst my outstanding Wainwrights." Then after a pause, "that was not intended to put any pressure on you Dad."

"I know lad", he replied.

Passing Lea Cottage, Little Eric called out, "there's a wall post box. Dating from Queen Victoria. I wonder when exactly it was installed?"

A Google search told us that being manufactured by W T Allen of London (indicated by the lettering along the bottom) it thus dates from between 1887-1901.

To the right the road was walled and banked and this Herdwick with its think winter fleece to keep it warm, was grazing. "Take a picture for the story", said Allen. "Pictures of Herdwicks are always OK with me, and after all you have been very good not to include sheep pictures in the last few stories."

Checking the map, Shaun said, "very soon the road will start to climb steeply. Here we go left into Deerbolts Wood."

Seeing the fork of tracks, he then said, "we take the upper track signed Langdale and High Close."

This house with its large round chimneys stands at the start.

As indicated by the sign the woodland is owned by the National Trust and a wide surfaced multi use track runs through. The lower track descends to the lake and runs along beside.

Dad strode on the track climbing steadily to a gateway the path then continuing ahead on to Loughrigg Terrace running left. Our way was clearly up the steps, starting the ascent to the summit.

"Right lads, here goes."

So with best foot forward, were were pleased to see that Dad made steady progress. "Not as taxing as I thought, lads."

"That's great", cheered Allen.

The view back that we enjoyed was quite magnificent of Grasmere. "Wow, you must take a picture for the story", insisted Southey.

Then gaining more height the mountains began to come into view. "There's the Langdale Pikes", called out Tetley. "Looking majestic with the snow cover."

Nearing the summit the ascent levelled for a little way, before the final section to the trig point.

"Can we sit on top?", asked Southey.

"It's a bit too breezy pal", replied Grizzly.

"Added too that the trig point tapers at the top, and so there is not enough space for us all to sit", went on Little Eric.

So instead we gathered at the base to record reaching the summit.

Loughrigg not being too high and its proximity to Ambleside is a popular climb. A lady arrived just as Dad took our picture and kindly offered to take us with Dad. It is not often that he appears in the summit picture, so this makes a nice change.

More walkers arrived then, groups of ladies, and couples, and some commented on us, asking Dad if we went on all the walks. Dad of course replied yes. On request he kindly took the pictures of other walkers by the trig point. There was a nice convivial atmosphere here today.

Then we turned our eyes to the stunning views, particularly in the south-west to north-west arc.

In the valley below, nestles Loughrigg Tarn...

...where rising above and stretching away south is the Coniston range. "Wow, exclaimed Southey.

For information, Coniston Old Man is far left with the cloud dusting the top. In the centre is dominant Wetherlam, with behind from the left Swirl How and Great Carrs. "We have has some good days climbing those", mused Grizzly.

"Aye lad. I remember some snowy conditions and strong winds too. There was that day with Uncle Bob when there was horizontal hail on Swirl How."

We include this quite dramatic shot Dad took of Wetherlam and Swirl How in close-up.

Between the Coniston Fells and the Langdale Pikes, are the Crinkle Crags, here in close-up and white under the snow.

Then zooming out, the valley of Little Langdale can be seen, backed again by the Crinkle Crags and to the right Bowfell and Esk Pike.

"My oh my", breathed Little Eric. "We are so lucky to get such clear views today. And, as we have said before one does not need to be on the highest mountains to get such stunning views."

Finally it was time to tear ourselves away from the views, and commence our descent. "That's the path we want", pointed Shaun.

This took us towards the east summit. Dad paused to snap this final view to the trig point, before making the very short ascent to and over the east summit.

There are a seeming multitude of paths but Dad just kept heading east in the general direction of Nab Scar and soon Rydal Water that we were aiming for came into view.

Two walkers can be seen in the above picture. At there own admission they were novices, and stopped Dad to ask the route. He gave them general directions saying to basically keep climbing ahead and not go left. He showed them the picture of the summit, so that they would recognise the approach to reaching their goal.

Soon the main tourist path by Rydal Water came in view, arriving at it beside Rydal Cave, which we decided to explore again. It is actually a man-made cavern, which was formerly known as Loughrigg Quarry. The cave has been hollowed out of a rocky outcrop, where over two hundred years years ago, it was a busy working quarry supplying excellent quality roofing slate to the surrounding local villages.

Dad skipped over the stepping stones and soon we were at the back, Dad snapping this of the interior.

Looking to the entrance suddenly quite a few people were exploring too.

Pointing to a large flat rock, Shaun said, "will you take our picture sitting there."

"Sure lads, get yourselves settled."

Again we attracted attention, one lady asking if we went on all the walks and if we had names. So Dad introduced us. Their daughter stood to have her picture taken with us. Never shy, that's us and we love the attention!

Settled again in the rucksack, Dad recrossed the stepping stones and we headed north, keeping to the higher path at the fork to round the end of Loughrigg and come to Loughrigg Terrace.

Dad strode the path, stopping to look at the superb view of Grasmere, like the one included earlier, taken on the ascent.

"That's Helm Crag with the Lion and lamb boulders, with Steel Fell behind and right", pointed Grizzly. "That was a good day doing that round of the Greenburn Valley. Up Steel Fell then to Calf Crag and back over Gibson Knott and Helm Crag."

Reaching the end of the terrace, Allen said, "now we've done a full circle", as he pointed to the ascent route we had taken.

"That little waterfall looks pretty", commented Southey. "Worth a picture for the story?"

So now we just retraced our outwards route to the car. Nearing this, Shaun pointed, "that house is Allan Bank, once the home of William Wordsworth." The fell towering behind is Helm Crag.

Shortly before the car park we passed the Grand Hotel, where this stunning owl sculpture stands guard. "Impressive", exclaimed Tetley.

In contrast to this morning there was not a space to be had in the car park. We had to disappoint a lady and gentleman who asked, "are you leaving soon."

"I'm sorry but no", said Dad. "I am going to have some lunch now."

"That's fine, we understand, but had to ask are there are no other spaces", the lady replied.

We had our picnic in the car - sandwiches, cake and tea. Meanwhile Dad went to The Potting Shed cafe at Grasmere Garden Village next to the car park. Here he had a lovely ham egg and Emmental cheese sandwich on thick brown bread, followed by a large delicious piece of tiffin and all washed down with a pot of warming tea.

Standing guard here were more impressive wood sculptures. First of this stag standing proud on a wood plinth.

While below on either side are first this badger....

...and this rabbit being stalked by a fox.

Then off home us all very happy, and looking forward to more adventures on the fells as the weather warms and the days get longer.

"Thank you Dad for a super day", said Allen on behalf of us all.

"You are welcome lads. I am pleased how I performed on the climb, and no reason why I cannot take Little Eric to tick of some of his outstanding summits.

"That will be wonderful, but I reiterate again that I will not be upset if I do not finish the Wainwrights and Birketts", said Little Eric.

It was a grand day out.


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