A unique feature of the Cotswolds is that it harbors the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. This…
Four Family Rambles in the Lake District
The Lake District, with its lofty hills and wide lakes is an impressive place to spend a holiday. We’ve recounted four of our adventures to give you a taste of some of the walks you can take there.
Elterwater is a nice flat ramble. We discovered a conveniently close parking lot just across the street from the trail. The narrow trail wound down a gentle slope through the green-mantled woods. After a while we came to a gate. We continued down a footpath through a cluster of cows and alongside a massive rock. A gravel path led past a marshy bit of ground and a long stream with two majestic swans.
Another gate took us past several blackberry bushes, which we indulged in happily. At another point in the path, rock steps led us down to a small, rocky strip of beach, a great place for skipping stones.
Eventually, a gate at the end shows you to the end of the trail and the Elterwater bridge.
2. Loughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn is an easy, fun walk perfect for the whole family. From a tiny parking lot, we wandered along the road, munching blackberries picked from the bushes. A gravel road meandered through a little wood and past some fields. We clambered over the stiles on the fences and traipsed across a some sheep pastures.
A lake near the fields – Loughrigg Tarn – provided some stunning photo opportunities. We loved being able to get so close to the sheep. If you want to climb the fell, continue on the main track, but if you have younger children, it will probably be too strenuous for them.
3. Orrest Head
The Orrest Head viewpoint gives a splendid panorama of Lake Windermere. We parked near the Windermere Hotel, then walked down the road and into a muddy, squishy cow pasture. Skirting around the side of it, we made our way to the far end, trying not to anger any cows, who mooed in a threatening manner. Luckily, we came unharmed to a clump of woods. We slogged through the path, which had been turned into a stream of water from the prior day’s heavy rain.
We were momentarily confused when we came to a low stone wall. It hid the stile we were meant to climb. The path led over the stile and up some rocks into a fern covered glen. Just behind it was a bare expanse of rock. Climbing up it, we turned around to get our bearing. Before us spread the whole of the shimmering lake. On the way back down, we went along a gently curving road through the woods and ended up at the Windermere Hotel. We were glad that the rain had stopped so that we could enjoy the beautiful view of the Lake District!
4. Rydal Caves
These massive caves are only a short walk away from the parking lot. It’s a popular stop in the Lake District, so expect more people and arrive early. To get to the trail, follow the road going left from the parking lot. It leads past fern covered walls and a few houses. Keep straight until coming to a gate. After this gate, keep left at the fork, ignoring the trail leading down to a lake. After walking for a while, you’ll come to the first cave. We did not visit this one since you had to go up and down some steep cliffs to access it. However, the second cave lies right on the trail. We shouted to hear our echoes, leaped across stepping stones, and counted the fish in the water.
These were our four favorite hikes in the Lake District. We would love to hear what yours are!
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