Glenridding, Cumbria Sunday 31st July 2016

Today’s Walk

Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock   Distance: 10.0 miles

This classic mountain day out involves the ascent of St Sunday Crag (841m or 2700ft) giving spectacular views of the surrounding area including Helvellyn. Please do bear in mind the height gain of over 2000ft involved before joining the walk.

We initially head west along the side of Glenridding Beck and then head up south to the lovely Lanty’s Tarn. Descending into the Grisedale valley we then make a gradual ascent of St Sunday Crag. The rest of the walk is now ‘mainly’ downhill as we take a descending path to the beautifully remote Grisedale Tarn. There is a short boggy(ish) bit here and we do have to cross the infant Grisedale Beck via some stepping stones near the tarn. We then merrily skip our way down via Ruthwaite Lodge climbing hut until we re trace our steps back to Glenridding again via the Lovely lapping Lanty’s Tarn (couldn’t resist)

We may be a bit time restricted today it depends how we go, but I’m hopeful ‘T & T’ or a pint is a possibility and perhaps a cool bucket of water to rest our feet in!

Moderate Leaders: Cynthia & David Prescott   Distance : 7.00 miles

This is a lovely walk along the Grisedale valley. We walk towards Patterdale with views of the bottom of Ullswater and then walk up the lane from Grisedale Bridge, keeping Grisedale Beck down on our right. When the views open out we continue up the valley until we reach a footbridge that allows us to cross to the other side of the beck and make our walk back. The path continues up to Lanty’s tarn and on to beautiful viewpoint that overlooks Glenridding and Ullswater. We then take the path to the left to go down a stepped rocky path. There are no stiles on this walk but lots of rocky and stony paths and tracks. No muddy fields. It goes uphill enough to make it a good moderate walk but there are plenty of level stretches or gentle rises and falls.

Leisurely Leaders Joan Mcglinchey and Margaret Black   Distance: 5.75 miles

This walk takes us out to Patterdale by crossing over both the Glenridding and Grizedale Becks. We start by walking up Greenside Road to then cross the valley over to Miresbeck for the rocky but gradual climb up to the viewpoint overlooking the lake – hopefully also the lunch stop. Then after passing by Lanty’s Tarn there is a pleasant grassy descent to cross over Grizedale before a very short but steep and rocky climb – which can be avoided if weather dictates – to reach the footpath which leads us around to the Patterdale Hotel. Before returning along the road back to Glenridding, we follow the circular pathway over the valley to Side Farm, worth it for the return view. While most of the walk is over well-defined and level footpaths or road, there are a couple of short challenging sections which are rocky and very uneven underfoot requiring careful treading.

Easy Leader: Hazel Anderton   Distance : 4.50 miles

From the car park, we go up through the village. Apart from a steepish part when going up thru the village it is mainly a slow steady climb as we go up Greenside along Glenridding Beck to the mine workings and the youth hostel following the route up to Helvellyn. Do not panic! We soon cross a bridge, then walk back along the other side of the valley above the stream, with some great views across the valley eventually making our way to lovely tranquil Lanty’s Tarn. Just after, there is another great view across Glenridding and Ullswater before we start coming down to the village. We did not encounter much mud or many stiles but there might be some water if it’s been wet. Most of the time the paths are good underfoot but there are one or two spots where you need to pick your way over rocky bits.

Notes On The Area

Glenridding is a small tourist village on Ullswater, in the north eastern part of the Lake District National Park, though it first grew in importance with the development of the Greenside Lead Mine. Lead ore was first discovered in the 1650’s, the first levels were driven by Dutch adventurers in the 1690’s and dressed ore was carried down to the Stoneycroft smelter at Keswick. Production at the mine, however, did not really begin until the late 18th century and the mine was not extensively worked until 1825 when the mining activity reached its height. Power was originally provided by waterwheels, with the water being supplied by the damming of nearby tarns. One of them, Keppel Cove, burst its banks in 1927 bringing disaster to the village below. Much the same happened four years later, when flood waters smashed through the concrete of High Dam. The village also suffered badly from the floods of last Autumn. By the early 1960’s it had become uneconomic to extract lead from the mine and it closed. Most of the mine buildings are now gone, but a few remain and see service as a youth hostel and mountain huts. The A66 to Keswick by-passes the area so Glenridding has remained a quiet village.

The area has much to offer walkers from gentle walks to more strenuous ones including the walk up to Helvellyn and Striding Edge. There are great views from the surrounding hills. The village is near the foot of Kirkstone Pass along Patterdale which brings you out to Ambleside.

Ullswater is second only to Windermere in length but far surpasses it for peace and solitude. Although a navigable highway, there are few motor-driven vessels on the lake as the speed boats and water skiers having been driven away by the 10 mph speed restriction imposed in 1983. There are two launches which sail the lake from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge, the ‘Lady of the Lake’ was first launched in 1877 and her sister ship ‘Raven’ in 1889. You can get on at Glenridding, Howtown or Pooley Bridge. Originally the launches were steam driven but today they are powered by diesel. At the northern end of the lake there is an underground pumping station which draws water off to feed the reservoir for Manchester at Haweswater.

Nearby is the beauty spot, Aira Force, and the popular valley of Patterdale, . The so-called Lake Poets greatly loved the place, and its attractions brought not only the Wordsworths, but Sir Walter Scott, Sir Humphrey Davey, and others. At Gowbarrow Park Dorothy Wordsworth noticed the daffodils that led to her brother William penning what is perhaps his best-remembered poem.