17 Day Itinerary

Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.

Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House

Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

To Grasmere - 10.5 miles...just a light stroll!

Based on what I've read, in good weather this stage is a "Lakeland Classic"!  A straightforward climb up past Lining Craig to Greenup Edge, followed by a high-level ridge walk and then down to the valley to the edge of Grasmere.

This is a day I look forward to as I'm drifting off to sleep at night. The day will begin with an easy amble through level fields alongside Stonewaite Beck (a creek), with Eagle Craig an enormously looming presence across the water.  It looks colossal but by the time we get across Greenup Edge, we'll be looking DOWN on Eagle Craig and gain a whole new perspective.  This day is about up, up, and upper!

At Stonewaithe, we should join Greenup Gill, one long torrent of white water and waterfalls.  The gradient is said to increase just past Eagle Craig and then drops into a basin of glacial formations before a climb up to the top of Lining Craig.  Weather permitting, the views reach to Scafell Pike, England's highest summit (3,210 ft). We'll definitely sit and soak in the atmosphere before moving on.

The next section of the Walk is notorious for wreaking havoc that results in lost trekkers.  The boggy ground and indistinct cairns obscure the path even in the best of weather conditions.  I kid you not when I say that the guide books refer to fence posts with boots hanging on them as trail markings.... what if someone removed the boots?!?!  Where will we end up?  Narnia?

If by some stroke of crazy luck, we actually hit the trail, we begin our descent across the head of Wythburn Valley.  We should cross the upper basic of Wythburn and begin the steep descent into and through Lancrigg Woods along the Poet's Walk.

Wadsworth called Grasmere "the fairest place on earth" and it has become a much more popular, touristy village than I prefer but it's history and location along the Walk make it a mandatory stop.  We spend the night at Town Head Cottage... a lovely farm built about 1688.  Its a working farm house just north of Grasmere village and boasts spectacular views of Grasmere valley and the surrounding fells. It will be a most welcome respite with promises of great food and cozy beds.

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