It came to me a day or two ago, while walking on the fell above Rydal Water and, I confess, it was a bit of a shock!
I hadn’t realised that almost three months have passed since my last post. Goodness gracious, how time flies! How can I keep you interested in my musings if I don’t make regular updates to keep you amused?
I promise not to be so idle in the future!
Rydal Water, Grasmere and Loughrigg Fell – all beautiful in their own unique way
Anyhow, it seemed to me that summer is taking its time to arrive this year. Not that I am complaining, not at all. You see, I marvel at the wonders around me. No matter what the time of year – spring, summer, autumn or winter, each brings a unique feel to the world about us.
As I said, earlier this week found me a little ways north of here over at Rydal where I, and a group of friends, met for a ramble. Well, I say ‘ramble’ – it was more of a hike really but the word ramble helps to make for a more melodious title for this post! I venture on these hikes now and then and quite often, when halfway, and my feet feel as though they are on fire, and my lungs are bursting from my chest, I mutter words to the effect of ‘why do I make my body go though this?’. Then I look around taking in the most amazing view and, with a sigh, say ‘this is why’ and ‘goodness me, that was worth the hard work’!
Where was I? Ah yes – summer is late. Well, it is, but spring is here and is to be enjoyed. We have had a lot of rain here in The Lakes and everything is lush and green. On the hills surface water is running off and falling in torrents down gullies and waterfalls. My ramble this week started at Rydal Hall, an imposing grand house with gardens designed by Thomas Hayton Mawson. The Hall has a wonderful tearoom serving beverages of all types along with some very good cakes – if, like me, you enjoy a slice of cake now and again, I thoroughly recommend their Chocolate and Guinness cake, it’s the yummiest thing ever!
From Rydal Hall we rambled down to Rydal Water and ascended Loughrigg Fell. Near the base of the fell you will find Rydal Cave which is not really a cave at all but the remains of the long forgotten local slate mining and quarry industry. There is a pool at the entrance to the cave full of fish including, would you believe, goldfish! Onward and upward we went climbing to the summit of the fell – 335m above sea level. That, for the young uns out there, is 1099ft in ‘old money’!
Descending once more you reach the shores of Grasmere – an ideal place to share a picnic lunch with friends while chatting to Mr. & Mrs. Mallard and their brood of 8 ducklings. Follow then the flow of the River Rothay back to the north side of Rydal Water and you reach the foot of Nab Scar. Climbing part way up – 40m or so (135ft), you come across ‘The Coffin Road‘ a narrow stony pathway along which, in long ago times, the dead of Rydal where carried, shoulder high, by folk the 2 miles or so to the church in Grasmere for burial.
The Coffin Road has a decidedly eerie feel if you visualise the processions that journeyed this route in days past.
The eastern end of The Coffin Road brings you to Rydal Mount which is just a short distance from Rydal Hall and the end of your ramble. Rydal Mount was the home of the poet William Wordsworth from 1813 until his death in 1850 and is well worth a visit if you can spare the time.
Today’s journey has ended …
… until the next time.
Now, where did I say that tearoom was?!
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