Grasmere, Derbyshire Sunday 27th September 2015

Today’s Walk

Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock   Distance: approx. 9.0 miles

This is a classic high level point to point walk starting from the main car park in Ambleside (20p toilets available). We head off by Rothay Park on to Loughrigg Fell, enjoying the ever changing views of the area, finally ascending to the trig point at 335m for lunch. We then descend to Loughrigg Terrace (100 metres) giving us some great views of Grasmere & Rydal Water lakes. From the terrace we walk up the lane passing High Close Youth Hostel where we start our second (and last) gradual ascent taking in the fells of Dow Bank, passing Spedding Crag, topping out at Lang How at 414 Metres. From here we descend North East to Grasmere & hopefully a really, really well earned tea (or pint) & tiffin!

PLEASE note that although this walk is a little shorter than normal it does include approximately 600 metres (2,000 feet) of ascent for the duration of the walk!

Moderate Leaders: Leo and Jean Keenan   Distance : 8.0 miles

We will use the toilets in Rothay Park (don’t forget the 20p) before carrying on through the park and the short steep climb to Brow Head Farm. After skirting around Loughrigg Fell, we pass Loughrigg Tarn to join Loughrigg Terrace with lovely views over Grasmere. We then descend to cross the A591, up to Rydal Hall where we join the coffin trail back to Grasmere.

Leisurely Leader: Philomena Walker   Distance : 7.0 miles

This walk starts in Grasmere village and is a circular walk going around Grasmere lake and Rydal Water. We start by walking along the northern side of the lakes going past Dove Cottage and along the Coffin Trail to Rydal. We cross the River Rothay and then make our way back to Grasmere village on the southern side going along Loughrigg Terrace with great views across the lakes.

Easy Leader: Derek Lee   Distance : 5.5 miles

We start at Ambleside and walk to Grasmere via Rydal Hall (possibility of a cup of coffee here) through Dora’s Field over the River Rothay. Then a waterside path to Rydal Water, Red Bank and Grasmere lake to Grasmere village. A lovely low level walk through parkland and by lakeside with good views. No stiles. Please be ready to leave the coach at Ambleside, where we will stop for a few moments only to collect our rucksacks.

Notes On The Area

Grasmere, a village in the heart of the Lake District probably needs no introduction. It has one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District along with Rydal Water, and is well known as ‘Wordworth Country’. Grasmere Church is dedicated to St Oswald, after the 7th century King of Northumbria who is said to have given his name to a sacred well in the vicinity. The most interesting features of the church are its heavily timbered roof, Wordsworth’s memorial tablet in the chancel with its epitaph by John Kebble and Wordsworth’s grave in the south east corner of the churchyard.

Immediately opposite the church stands The Gingerbread Shop, built in 1660, and formerly the village school. It was attended by the Wordsworth children when the family lived at the Rectory. Grasmere Sports, a popular event that regularly attracts thousands of visitors, are held in late August, and include such events as Cumberland wrestling, hound trailing, and a fell race to the summit of Butter Crag.

Grasmere and Rydal are forever associated with the name of William Wordsworth, one of the ‘Lake Poets’ who settled in the area. He was born at Cockermouth on 7th April 1770. After his mother’s death in 1778 he and a brother spent 5 years at Hawkshead Grammar School. After the death of his father in 1783 he lived mainly at Penrith before going to Cambridge where he graduated in 1791. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Dove Cottage, near Grasmere, at the end of 1799. He remained at Dove Cottage after his marriage in 1802 and three of his five children were born there. In 1808 the family moved across the valley to Allan Bank and, in 1811, to the rectory of Grasmere opposite the old church of St Oswald. Two years later they went to live in Rydal Mount. In 1843 Wordsworth was appointed Poet Laureate. He died in 1850 aged 80.

Dove Cottage is open to the public, and the relics in the cottage and museum include some manuscripts of Wordsworth’s poems, a large number of portraits of Wordsworth, his family and of nearly all his friends. The museum also contains objects illustrating old Westmorland life.

Rydal Mount is owned by Wordsworth’s great-great-granddaughter and was opened to the public in 1970. The gardens were designed by Wordsworth and contain numerous rare trees and shrubs. A path through Rydal churchyard leads to Dora’s Field, so called because it was dedicated to Wordsworth’s daughter, who then predeceased him. The other famous resident of Grasmere was Sarah Nelson who invented Grasmere Gingerbread. Her mother was widowed before Sarah was born in 1815. Her mother, and later Sarah, scraped a living in domestic service. But Sarah became an accomplished cook and after a move to Grasmere with her husband and young family she invented the gingerbread in 1854 and started selling it at the back door. It soon became famous and people flocked to buy it, as they do today.