The last two days in the Lake District our hiking boots toughed out a rugged workout over hill and dale. We followed two separate walking trails wending our way over jagged, steep, and often slick, rocky stretches for a total of 10 miles—4 miles the first day and 6 the next. We were thankful for sturdy, waterproof hiking boots that kept our feet dry and comfortable, while providing critical ankle support.
Admittedly, both trails were challenging for us and I’m happy to say we completed what we set out to do. The scenic beauty, the solitude, and the refreshing mountain air was worth each and every single step upward.
Could we have accomplished more? Yes! But we weighed our desire against the risks and chose to be satisfied with what we achieved. We could have climbed higher but the trail grew increasingly more dangerous so prudence prevailed and we decided it was not the time to throw caution to the wind—one misstep on a ragged, slippery rock could have meant an unpleasant end to the magnificence of our adventures.
The first day we hiked high above Windermere for a breathtaking view of the Lake.
We stopped a short distance from the highest viewpoint of the Post Knott walk due to the dangerous conditions of the steep trail but even the elevation where we decided to stay offered a fantastic panoramic view.
Our last day in Cumbria was nothing short of magical and invigorating. We rode to the village of Grasmere on the top deck of an open-air, double-decker bus. Arriving at the village, we paused for coffee before embarking on a 6 mile hike over hill and dale to Easedale Tarn, high up the mountain beyond Easedale waterfall.
On the way we traversed lush green pastures where we roamed through flocks of grazing sheep who would stop chewing momentarily to stare at us, curious but seemingly unconcerned by our intrusion.
We crossed narrow bridges over babbling brooks. We climbed over wooden stiles, we opened metal farm gates and secured them behind us. We were mesmerized by the multitude of slate dry walls sprawling like patchwork over miles of green meadows. We followed the winding way alongside the sparkling Easdale Beck which flowed from the waterfall high above us, tumbling over small rapids here and there, loudly singing its melodious song all the way! We trudged over steep gravel trails and plodded along rocky paths. We paused often, breathing in the pure fresh air, all the while marveling at the indescribable beauty of our surroundings.
Truly beyond the din, we were immersed in nature, surrounded by God’s artistry. It’s exactly what we needed and desired—a device detox and a break from routine. We are so grateful for the multitude of meaningful moments.
We didn’t quite reach the tarn itself—the narrow, rock-studded trail forward was wet and slimy with moss so we thought it best not to risk climbing farther. We left the final steep part of the hike to those fancying themselves a bit more goat-like!
We rested beside the waterfall for half an hour fascinated by a sheep—at first glance we thought it was a goat—perched on a high ledge. The cool air was invigorating. We inhaled the breathtaking panoramic views hoping to forever permeate our souls with the moment before slowly winding our way back down the rock-strewn fell and into the village pub for a welcome, and well-earned pint. Guinness for me, Peroni for Chuck.
Grasmere is renowned as the home of Romantic Poet, William Wordsworth. He described it as “The most loveliest spot that man hath found.” Positioned near Grasmere Lake, the village is encircled by a panorama of fells and mountains providing atmospheric inspiration to writers, poets and artists. For sure it inspired us. Thank you Lord for the gift of this wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Then came the bus ride back to the Old England Hotel in Windermere where we would spend our last night, before traveling by train to visit dear friends in Mixtow, Cornwall, where a new adventure beckoned.
Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher — William Wordsworth