Sunday 10th July 2011
Toilets: Public toilets at Rosthwaite, public toilets at Grange (not marked on my OS map), public toilets and numerous pubs and cafes at Keswick.
I was lucky enough to spend a quick few days in the Lake District. I had originally wanted to do the Cumbria Way, but it wasn’t possible to organise it at such short notice. Instead, I decided to spend one night at Borrowdale Youth Hostel and then a couple of nights at Keswick, giving me one day of walking with a full pack and pretending to myself that I was doing a multi-day walk.
I took a train up Penrith, then a bus to Keswick, and then shared a cab with some people who were also going to Borrowdale, although there is a bus to Rossthwaite. Borrowdale Youth Hostel is an absolutely beautiful place to stay. It’s very peaceful, although I can’t say it was quiet because there’s a fast-flowing river outside, but it’s certainly a lovely place to get away from it all. Also, being in a fairly remote spot with no mobile phone reception, it was entirely populated by walkers and cyclists, even on a Saturday night. I had a lovely evening in the common room, speaking to various people about their routes.
Unfortunately, upon arrival I realised I’d left my favourite long-sleeved fleece top either on the bus or in the taxi. Several weeks and phone calls later, it’s definitely gone for good. I hope some lucky person enjoys wearing it as much as I have for the last ten years…
After a bit of discussion I decided I would risk the walk without a fleece, as I was luckily still in possession of my waterproof, windproof jacket, and the weather forecast looked okay. In the end I didn’t even need my jacket; it turned out to be very hot. I just wore my t-shirt all day, and drank a lot of water. So off I set, with the lovely River Derwent to my right:
and the hills to my left.
The route looks very easy on the map, but after leaving the river, things got slightly difficult underfoot. I got into the woods and there was already a moment of doubt as I reached a wire fence. So many people had clearly climbed over it, though, that I followed suit and was soon on an obvious path. Half way through the woods I passed some caves.
Eventually I reached the picturesque village of Grange, complete with its little tea shops and two churches. There’s also a public toilet there, which isn’t marked on my map. Maybe it’s new.
It was then time to join the beautiful Derwent Water for the remainder of the walk. I met a group of people who had been at the Youth Hostel earlier; they’ve driven to Keswick and taken a ferry back to the southern end of the lake, and were now walking back to Keswick. I joined them for a lunch break, and then a lovely afternoon was spent walking along the lake.
I arrived in Keswick on a boiling hot afternoon and stopped to have an ice-cream. I went into the Youth Hostel to have a shower, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching a game of cricket on one of the most picturesque cricket pitches going.