3 seasons in one weekend! The lake district, England at its most enigmatic. On a recent trip to Grassmere in the lake district, we were lucky enough to enjoy a couple of days of walking around quiet lakesides, and strenuous climbs to the high fells and lonely Tarns.
We arrived at Grassmere on Friday to be met with clear sunny skies and very light winds hardly making a ripple on the lakes glassy surface. The weather was reminiscent of high summer rather than what you would expect on an Easter break. Prepared with warm clothing and essential waterproofs (just in case) we made our way past Wordworths cottage along the old coffin road in the direction of Rydale water.
Coffin road ~ so called as this was the route the inhabitants of Rydale used to bring their dead to Grassmere church
In late medieval times a population increase resulted in an expansion of church buildings outside of established ministerial areas. This posed a threat to both the area of influence and the revenues of existing ministries. Realising their authority and revenues were under threat the established ministries instituted corpse roads connecting outlying locations to the church at the heart of their parish that alone held burial rights. While protecting the Churches income, the result for the parishioners was a long trek over rough roads caring a heavey coffin in order to bury their dead.
As the day progressed the temperature continued to climb and the clothing came off layer by layer (you can always take it off but if you haven’t got it with you can put it on! well this what my dad always said!) The route followed the hillside following lakeside around Rydale water, dropping down at Rydale mount and past the church we crossed the road and then around the west bank of Rydal Water.
Following the path to Grassmere, the route follows the water’s edge around the lake until climbing back to red bank lane.
By now the day had really heated up and we dropped in to sit in the gardens of the Dale lodge hotel, where at Tweedies bar they serve a great selection of real ales and good food.
Sitting in the sun after a good walk with a pint, perfection.