I’ll admit I’m in love with this area of the Lake District and I think Alan was a bit sick of my saying so en route. It’s probably the area we know best as we spent a week in a holiday cottage in nearby Elterwater with my parents (pre-children). It’s a week that lives in Hooper history as my Dad and Alan went hill walking in the Langdales, became disoriented and descended the mountain the wrong side. This ended with an expensive £50 taxi ride back to the cottage – oops! My Mam and I started getting a bit worried when the result show of Big Brother came on at 10pm, but not enough to stop the wine flowing. We were on our holidays after all. My dad promises he wasn’t trying to bump off his future son-in-law!
The next day we partook in the less dangerous activity of visiting the huge Lakeland Plastic shop nearby. The worst that could happen on this expedition was that we bought an overpriced plastic kitchen gadget we would never use.
Grasmere is just the most gorgeous picture postcard village so I was keen to do the Making Tracks children’s walk from our pack. On the drive here from the campsite which took 30 minutes I was ooo-ing and aaah-Ing at the amazing views and the gorgeous houses that I’ll never live in unless we win the lottery. Can completely understand why Wordsworth made Grasmere his base!
Grasmere is unsurprisingly a big tourist trap in the Lakes. People queue down the lane for the famous Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere gingerbread and there are lots of bars and cafes to keep tourists hydrated. This along with the combination of 22 degrees and sunny skies meant the village was heaving.
We found a spot in the car park but the Coulson’s weren’t as lucky and couldn’t find a space anywhere. They ended up on a lane around 20 minutes walk away. On the upside their parking was free and ours ended up costing £8. Once we assembled we headed out the village passing the pretty Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home, following the instructions of the trail.
The walk took us up on the coffin stone trail (big boulders that coffins that undertakers would rest on during their journeys) up above Grasmere with views of the lake, taking us through Loughrigg terrace, Red Bank woods and onto the shore of River Rothay leading back to Grasmere. The length of the walk and terrain was perfect for our aged children.
Lots of snack stops, geo-caching (for the big boys Stephen and Alan) plodging in the lake, stone skimming and taking in the views meant the walk lasted around 4 hours. It was a hot day, which is hard to believe, sat at home days later at home in freezing cold Newcastle so we were glad we took lots of drinks and factor 50 sun block was a must.
Scenic tea stop
We rounded off the walk having a cup of Grasmere blend Lakeland tea at the shore of the lake in the fairy garden cafe. This little tea shop made from an old gypsy caravan with the deck built around a huge tree has its own rowing boats for hire but energy stores at this point were dwindled. The Boys sneaked off for one final geocache as we contemplated the final walk back to the cars.