GLW1506 : Aira Force, Gowbarrow and Dalemain

3rd & 4th August 2015

How romantic.  A stay in the place where we spent the first night of our honeymoon nearly 44 years ago- The Glenridding Hotel, Ullswater.

The weather forecast had improved from what we had been expecting so, after checking in, we set off first for Aira Force where it seemed that every man and his dog plus wife and three children had the same idea, judging by the state of the car park.

Despite the throng, it (the Force, not the car park) was still spectacular.

I was confident that on leaving the Force we would find the track to Gowbarrow deserted. That seemed to be more or less the case as we set off up the path that climbs above Lyulph's Tower, parallel to the lake.  I knew there was a story about the Tower but couldn't remember it to tell Margaret.  It shows how bad my memory is as it was only six weeks ago that the BOOTboys were there and I reported the story of the sleep walking lady and the inspiration she provided to William Wordsworth.  For more, see BB1522 : The Somanbulist and the Mells.

What surprised me as we steadily climbed the somewhat exposed path, was the plethora of people we encountered heading in the opposite direction.  It seems that they had all parked near the Force but were doing the walk the other way round, some following guide books.  Not Wainwright, as he describes the alternative as "much less attractive". True, they had the view to the head of Ullswater in front of them but would first have had a much steeper climb than us as we were to discover after taking in the panorama at the summit cairn.

We probably didn't make the most of the path through the woods as it dropped down close by Aira Beck.  Although not clearly shown on the map, it seems that there are crossing places that allows exploration of both sides of the beck and its falls.  We were on a track a little too high to spot them.  One day we must return.

Decorum requires I draw a veil over our stay at our honeymoon hotel other than to say that what the Glenridding lacks in sophistication, it was made up for by the positive attitude of all the staff we met.

On Wednesday morning it was pouring down but forecasted to relent so we headed north for a tour of Dalemain House.  Very interesting.  Home to the annual "World's Best Marmalade" competition which I have every confidence that Margaret will win next year.

There were lots of Lady Anne Clifford references that would have delighted Tony.  And, now it had stopped raining, interesting gardens that delighted Margaret.

Don, 4th August 2015


Distance: 5.4 miles   Climbing: 1,407 feet

Plus Dalemain!



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