As I only have little legs and had a limited amount of time in the Lake District, my plan to scale the Old Man of Coniston was put on hold (for this trip at least). Instead I chose to start small and try one of the local fells instead. Luckily, a sign post highlighting the route to Loughrigg fell was located a five minute walk from the cottage I was staying in. With no idea where Loughrigg was (I’m yet to find it on a map) or how far away it was. Armed with no map, no sense of direction and no rush. So in true adventursaurus fashion I decided it would be the adventure for the day.
Starting with a hill which I wasn’t expecting to be so steep. I have no idea why I was surprised as I already knew the Lake District is 99% hills. Anyway, enough of my moaning, the steep hill doesn’t actually take long to walk up before you reach the first rest point. It has a wonderful view of lake Windemere and the Brathay Church, in a peaceful location which feels a million miles away from anywhere. There is even a seat to enjoy the view but you do need to take a ladder to be able to reach it! I chose to sit on the floor and the blue jays came out to play whilst I was there. I just love meeting other blue creatures!
I decided to continue my hike along a relatively flat path. As I had no route planned out, I chose to follow the well trodden path. Even though it was taking me around the hill, rather than up it. If I had tried to go up the steep hill I would have missed a wonderful sight. I spotted a baby adder doing a sunbathe on the path. The snake and I also got to witness seeing my photographer run away screaming (I’ve recently learned they are venomous). Are the humans you travel with just as embarrassing?
Don’t worry we left the snake in the sunshine enjoying his nap. Heading into the woods where some bluebells were beginning to wake up after the long winter. I’m beginning to think I had a very blue walk. The woods were beautiful but I thought I had taken a wrong turn and doubled back on myself. Rookie mistake that would have taken me towards Loughrigg Fell. I took a steep incline which was a huge work out for my photographer. I chose to supervise from the backpack.
This led to a high up plateau with a hidden lake. I had found a new world which was very different from the greenery lower down the hill.
The moorland was brown and faded away into the haze, on a clear day I can imagine you would see for miles. Far away from the humans with only the wind blowing through my fur for company. I’ve been looking forward to escaping the everyday for a while. The hike allowed this and I spent a couple of hours walking through a dreamscape. Sneaking through small crevices and scaling rock formations. Wondering where the numerous trails would take me.
I kept going up higher until I scaled the steepest peak. Not before meeting another one of the friendly locals. He decided to sit on my photographer’s hand. Ladybugs are quite a rare sight in England nowadays so I was overjoyed to see one. Though I did spend a while wondering where he would find any food on the moorland.
The view from the top was incredible, I could see two lakes and the valley filled by Ambleside. I didn’t realise how big the town was until I could see it from above. I love how the whitewashed houses look so beautiful and everything in the town was in sync. Even though I was up really high (or so I thought) I still couldn’t see the other end of Lake Windemere. It must be huge, I’ll have to visit again one day so I can see the other end of the lake.
After a brief stop for snacks I realised the weather was changing and a huge rain cloud was approaching. I was getting tired, it is hard work directing my photographer from the backpack. So I chose a flat path rather than a one heading up hill. Unfortunately, this meant I wouldn’t reach the top of Loughrigg Fell or make it across to Rydal Cave and Grasmere. However, the weather wasn’t on my side so I’m pleased I found a path which ended up taking me to the bridge at the crossroads between Clappersgate and Ambleside.
Giant spots of rain caught me as I was walking up the driveway to my cottage. A cosy afternoon curled up in the library corner with a good book was the perfect end to a really exciting day.
Disclaimer – this wasn’t actually a fell, turns out Tod Crag is a satellite peak of Loughrigg Fell and is also a great vantage point to enjoy views of Lake Windemere and Ambleside. It is a hard hike and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with walking difficulties or after any type of bad weather.
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