Door de valleien van het Lake District
Door de valleien van het Lake District, 8 daagse trektocht
Velen beschouwen het Lake District als het mooiste landschap van Engeland. Een pracht en praal aan meren variërend van langgerekte gletsjermeren zoals Windermere en Coniston Water tot 'tarns', prachtige ondiepe watertjes opgesloten in de holtes van de heuvels zoals Tarn Hows, Moss Eccles Tarn en Blea Tarn. U passeert ze allemaal! En dat terwijl u omringd wordt door een schitterend ongerept berglandschap (Cumbrian Mountains) zodat u eventueel een lichtere wandeling kunt verruilen voor de beklimming van bijvoorbeeld ‘The Old Man of Coniston ‘(803 m.) of de Helvellyn (950 m.). In de prachtige dorpen waar u overnacht ziet u hoe de Victoriaanse denker John Rusker heeft geleefd, waar de schrijfster van Beatrix Potter haar inspiratie vandaan heeft gehaald en waar de beroemde dichter William Wordsworth op school heeft gezeten. U steekt Lake Windermere over met de boot, loopt naar Hill Top en daalt af langs verschillende tarns naar Hawkshead, een onmiskenbaar schitterend dorp. In Coniston kunt u het rustig aan doen, maar u kunt ook lichtere of zwaardere wandelingen maken rondom het meer of in de bergen eromheen. Op weg naar Great Langdale krijgt u een onvergetelijk uitzicht op de Langdale Pikes Mountain met haar twee mooie meertjes. En al wandelend naar Grasmere komt u langs de mooiste meren van deze week: de Loughrigg Tarn en Loughrigg Terrace.
Day 1. Arrival at Bowness. Our walk starts at Bowness-on-Windermere, a popular lakeside resort.
Day 2. Bowness to Hawkshead. While your baggage goes on ahead (as on each day that you walk on to new accommodation), you start off along the lakeshore footpath to the ferry which takes you across to the west shore of the lake. You walk up through woods and across fields to Hill Top Farm in the hamlet of Near Sawrey; this was Beatrix Potter's home for many years and is now in the care of the National Trust. In 2017 house open daily except Fridays, garden open daily. See https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top for current opening times. There is a nice pub in the hamlet where you can have lunch; alternatively, you can continue the walk and picnic by one of the 'tarns' (local word for small lakes) such as Moss Eccles Tarn (recommended in good weather). Your afternoon walk continues past two other very pretty tarns (one with the intriguing name of Wise Een Tarn) and passes close to the summit and all-round viewpoint of Latterbarrow Hill, before descending to the delightful village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended school. The parish church (beautiful interior with wall paintings and Elizabethan woodwork) and the former Grammar School are both worth a visit. 8 miles/12.5km/4.5 hours walking time excluding stops; add 1.5km/30 minutes if including Latterbarrow. The day can readily be shortened to half the length by taking the bus from Hill Top to Hawkshead; there is even a bus from the Windermere ferry to Hill Top, should the weather or your inclination rule out walking altogether - but we hope not!
Day 3. Hawkshead to Coniston. This is an easy walk, allowing time before departure from Hawkshead to visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery (in summer 2017 open daily 10am to 5pm) where many of the writer's original sketches are displayed in rotation. See https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatrix-potter-gallery-and-hawkshead for current opening times. The walk leads up across farmland to the celebrated and undeniably beautiful Tarn Hows, the best-known of the Lake District tarns and something of a Mecca for visitors. However, the car park is well - hidden and the tarn is totally uncommercialised. From Tarn Hows to Coniston you join the Cumbria Way long-distance trail. There are various opportunities to extend the day, including a boat trip on a Victorian steamboat across the lake to John Ruskin's house at Brantwood or (strenuous and in places very rough underfoot) a walk through the rugged Coppermines valley to rock-girt Levers Water tarn. The children's adventure writer Arthur Ransome set several of his Swallows and Amazons series of novels on and around Coniston Water lake, and much of the landscape he described is still recognisable. There is indeed easily enough to do in and near Coniston to fill an extra day. 6 miles/10km/3.5 hours walking time; add 4 miles/6.5km/2.5 hours of more strenuous hiking if including extension to Levers Water and back to Coniston.
Day 4. In Coniston. For your full day in Coniston we offer a choice of 4 different walks.
Day 5. Coniston to Great Langdale. From Coniston you follow the Yewdale and Tilberthwaite valleys, with impressive remains of former mining and slate-quarrying activity. After traversing the slopes above Little Langdale Tarn you climb to Blea Tarn, in a wild setting between the Little Langdale and Great Langdale valleys. It is a steep descent to the next overnight stop near Dungeon Ghyll, close to the foot of the famous pair of rocky peaks known as the Langdale Pikes. For those with energy to spare there are possible extension walks to the wild and remote head of Great Langdale known as Mickleden, and to the gorge of Tilberthaite Gill. 8 miles/12.4km/4.5 hours walking time from Coniston to Great Langdale; add 2 hours if including the extensions.
Day 6. Great Langdale to Grasmere. You follow the Great Langdale Beck down past the villages of Chapel Stile and Elterwater (the name means 'wildfowl lake') and the waterfall of Skelwith Force. From Skelwith Bridge you leave Langdale and cross over a low ridge to Loughrigg Tarn, surrounded by green parkland. From nearby Loughrigg Terrace there is a classic view over Grasmere lake. Our way continues through oak woodland between the small valley lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water, then crosses White Moss Common to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum at the hamlet of Town End on the edge of Grasmere village. 9.5 miles/15km/5.5 hours walking.
Day 7. In Grasmere (7-night tour only) we describe 3 separate walks, two at low level and the third at high level. Most visitors to Grasmere will also want to visit Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. See https://wordsworth.org.uk/ for opening details.
Day 8. Departure from Grasmere. When the time comes to leave there is a good bus service, including some open-top double-decker buses, from Grasmere via Rydal to Ambleside and the train station at Windermere. Or - now with your luggage to carry - you can use the local Grasmere taxi service.