All good things must come to an end…
My last day in the Lake District and my last Wainwright. I decided to finish my trip with a trek up the fell I can see from my breakfast table in Haven Cottage - Wansfell Pike.
Before hitting the path proper, I take the route past Stockghyll Force (a ghyll being a waterfall). They’ve not had much rain in these parts over the last month, so the ghyll is not all that forceful, but flowing and beautiful nonetheless. It appears to be a popular attraction judging by the number padlocks attached to the fence at one particular viewing spot.
The walk up Wansfell Pike from Ambleside is steep and strenuous (read slow going… first gear all the way) - it rises roughly 335m (1,100 ft) in just 1.3km (0.8 miles) where the path leaves the road to the summit. To put that in perspective, it would be like travelling from Penrith (approx. 35m above sea level) to Springwood in the Blue Mountains (approx. 370m above sea level) over a driving distance of 1.3km versus the actual driving distance of 17km.
Despite the effort required to ascend from Ambleside I was not alone - far from it in fact. Wansfell Pike is a very popular walk (especially on a long weekend… which it happens to be this weekend), so lots people of all ages were slowly making there way up with me - including families (sometimes three generations), many with their dogs.
There were also a few lunatics running the route - though running in the opposite direction (presumably because the ascent from the Troutbeck side is less arduous). Those running it might be training for an upcoming event, which will see a couple of thousand lunatics running up and down fells for 50 miles, with the craziest of them running for 100 miles in July. It’s a non-stop race with those tackling the 100 mile run starting at 6:00pm, which will see them running some very precarious routes in the dark! Mark (who along with Amanda owns and operates Haven Cottage) has signed up for the 100 miler.
It was a great walk to finish on - the hard work going up rewarded by a gentle descent coming down (just the way I like it). I stop for a pot of loose leaf tea at the Old Post Office Tea Shop in Troutbeck before the last 2.5 mile stretch back to Ambleside.
P.S. Tomorrow, I drive back to Oxford to drop off my hire car, then jump on a train back to London. I head home on Friday… I might add to the gallery but don’t be surprised if this is my final blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed my holiday as much as I have!