Helms Crag From Grasmere
Sunday 6 May
Glorious day, and we stayed longer at Will’s parents than we thought we would. However, the traffic up to the Lakes was light expect everyone was making the most of the wonderful May Bank Holiday.

We headed to the Lakes in the little Peugeot lent to us by the garage who were still trying to fix the car.  It turned out to be a trusty steed and did a fine job of transporting us around the Lakes although it did complain on some of the steep narrow lanes we navigated!

Our self catering cottage in Ambleside ( link to Rothay Cottage was delightful. Spread out on three levels with the lounge area on the top floor affording us great views of the surrounding mountains.  Needless to say the outdoor stores did well from out visit as we upgraded Mikes waterproof top and a variety of other “essential” bits of clothing!

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge 7 May

Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Lake District - Helvellyn

  • Distance 13.09 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 160 m
  • Peak 931 m
  • Climb 975 m
  • Descent 975 m
May 7, 2018
Although Mike had hiked in the Lakes many years ago he never got to climb Helvellyn and this iconic hike via Striding Edge was a major ambition of his for this short break.

As it was the weather was perfect, unusual for a public holiday, and there were quite a lot of other people on the trail. Even so we managed to have sufficient space on Striding Edge and there was only one place where there was a bit of a log jam between hikers descending and others ascending.

We decided to descend via Swirral Edge and then climb Catstye Cam before descending down via Red Tarn Beck to Glenridding. Celebrated a great hike with a beer on the terrace of a hotel overlooking Ullswater. A (hopefully) happy double wedding reception was underway with a boat trip for the guests next up!

Great Langdale Fell
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Great Langdale Fell - Lakes

  • Distance 15.92 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 65 m
  • Peak 135 m
  • Climb 300 m
  • Descent 297 m
July 22, 2018

Looking back to Elterwater

All good things come to an end and the glorious spell of weather was over. So we decided that rather than going high we would hike from Elterwater up Great Langdale Fell to the Hikers Bar at Old Dungeon Ghyll, Mike thinks he many have camped there many years back when he was last in the Lakes. As it was not really lunch time we carried on up the valley for a bit just to see the views and have our tea!

The bar itself is a tad run down and probably resting on its reputation from way back, not much on offer on the menu but that was not surprising given there had probably been a run on everything over the weekend. We did have a couple of very tasty sandwiches.

Then back to Eltewater the other side of the fell, waterproofs got used and we had a lovely pot of tea and cake at Elterwater. Interesting history to the village as it used to make gunpowder for the quarries.

Easedale Tarn
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Following Easedale Tarn-from Grasmere

  • Distance 13.27 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 68 m
  • Peak 333 m
  • Climb 434 m
  • Descent 435 m
May 9, 2018

Easedale Tarn (before I stood in the bog!)

Today the weather was still a bit mixed so rather than go on one of our pre-planned hikes we got the maps out and our thinking caps on and picked the hike up to Easedale Tarn from Grasmere. The walk up to the Tarn was very pretty, through idyllic Lakeland scenery grazed by lots of sheep, waterfalls, stone walls, steep sided valleys etc. We walked round the lake, picking our way through the wet bits with mixed success. Early on I stepped into a bog patch (should have noticed it from the bright green colour) and got one leg very muddy and wet. We found a place (slightly sheltered from other hikers) where I took my boots and trousers off for Mike to try and clean up whilst I transferred to waterproof bottoms. Fortunately we had a flask of tea to drink and get warm again.

Further round the lake we found a small ruined stone smallholding where we had another tea break. Still early in the day so we made our way to Small Easedale Gill and hiked up the valley until we found a semi sheltered spot for lunch and then made our way back to Grasmere and the inevitable café for some tea. On our route up we came across a group of Americans who were hiking the coast  to coast path. They asked what was the circular route taking in the ridge to the North. Had to admit we had no idea, and did not even know there was a circular route up there… but it got us thinking and planning. So that became the next days hike.

Helm Crag Ridge, Sergeant Man and Easedale Tarn
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Helms Craig to Sergeant Man - Lakes

  • Distance 16.61 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 68 m
  • Peak 720 m
  • Climb 847 m
  • Descent 846 m
May 10, 2018

Helms Crag summit

This was a longish day with plenty of up but it was worth it as we were rewarded with stunning ridge views. There were very few people on the trail after Helm Crag itself and it was good to feel we were experiencing more of a wilderness side to the Lakes, especially as we went off trail to get to Sergeant Man after the junction with the route down to Small Easedale Gill. That was a bit of a navigation error, however by the time we realised we had already climbed some way up a side valley and realised that it was a much shorter (albeit steeper) route than via Greenup Edge to High Raise (which was our original route and destination)

Sergeant Man was a far more interesting outcrop than High Raise looked to be, so we decided to continue on and head down to Easedale Tarn and back to Grasmere.

Although we had changed our plans due to the weather, and did not do some of the iconic hikes we had initially planned on, this hike was a real gem. The views along the ridge after Helm Crag were wonderful and the hike down to Easedale Tarn was very picturesque, although slightly challenging on slippery rocks and grass in places.

As the forecast for Friday was for storms and high winds we cut short our break and headed back to Andy and Sue’s the next morning. Car still not fixed so plan b of getting a one way rental to Heathrow put in place. It was a short break but we both really enjoyed our time in the Lakes and agreed it would be an area we should return to given it is so easy to get to from Manchester

A compilation of some photos from our hikes