Rydal and Grasmere.

Start. Rydal.

Route. Rydal - Rydal Mount - Coffin Route - Dove Cottage - Grasmere - St Oswald's Church - Red Bank Road - The Lea - Dear Bolts Wood - Rydal Water - Steps End - Rydal.

Notes. The weather this morning was grim, I was staring out the kitchen window watching rain bouncing off the patio, the wind was howling forcing the trees into a frenzied dance, I'd just looked at the fell forecast as if that would make things better. Acting on it's advice I decided to risk a valley walk, try to dodge the showers as best I could . Today I'd walk in the footsteps of Westmorlands famous bard, the poet William Wordsworth, well I'd like to think he wandered these paths, they pass his front door.

I parked in Rydal, on the road next to St Mary's Church, built on solid rock the church has no burial ground, I presume the dead get carted off to Ambleside or Grasmere for internment, a throw back to the days of corpse roads, one of which was about to guide me to Grasmere. Up the hill above Rydal Mount one of Wordsworth's Lakeland residencies a finger post invites the lucky rambler to wander the old coffin route. I followed said path traversing the lower slopes of Nab Scar, when the rough surface ended I continued with tarmac under foot, soon descending passed Rydal Mount, another one of our famous bards properties. After crossing the main road Stock Lane guided me into Grasmere. It seemed appropriate to visit St Oswald's Church and burial ground, the last resting place of our famous poet.

Visit over I wandered passed the garden centre to access Red Bank Road. With dry stone walls to guide me I followed the single ribbon of tarmac to The Lea, here a good foot-path descends to the lake shore before turning south to skirt the waters edge. Along the shore I strolled, through Dear Bolts Wood I wandered, a gate allowed access to a fine shingle beach, after traversing said beach I stepped onto one of the many paths carrying walkers across the lower slopes of Loughrigg Fell. I was soon striding out along the shore of Rydal Water, some clown was swimming, rather him than me. I entered Steps End Wood via a kissing gate, a short walk between ancient oaks and I emerged opposite the Badger Bar a hundred yards from the parked car.

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Rydal Mount home to Wordsworth from 1813 until his death in 1850.

With an old corpse road under foot views over Rydal Water.

Seen over Rydal Water, Brant Brows with Wansfell Pike dark on the skyline to the left.

Just to prove this is an old corpse road, a coffin rest.

Silver How above Grasmere.

Dove Cottage, started life as a purpose built public house the Dove and Olive, Wordsworth's home from 1799-1808.

William Wordsworth planted eight of the yew trees in the churchyard, and one of them marks the grave of him and his wife Mary. Nearby are buried his sister Dorothy, his children Dora, William, Thomas and Catherine, Mary’s sister Sara Hutchinson, and other members of the family. There is also the grave of Hartley Coleridge, eldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Nab Scar over Grasmere.

Looking to Seat Sandal and Stone Arthur from near The Lea.

Seeing this has turned into a literal ramble, the white building in the shadow of Helm Crag is Allan Bank, Wordsworth's home after moving out of Dove Cottage, he stayed only two years complaining about the smoke from the chimneys.

Wonderful views over Grasmere, Helm Crag, Seat Sandal and the slopes of Stone Arthur.

Nab Scar rising above the woodland of Banneriggs.

Silver How as seen from near the outflow of Grasmere.

Rising above the Vale of Grasmere, Silver How and Helm Crag.

Nab Scar over Rydal Water.

Viewing Low Pike and the long south ridge of Red Screes from the Rydal Water shore path.

The lake shore path through Steps End provides a fine view point.

Lily's adorn the shore line at Steps End.

Silver How seen from under the twisted limbs of a mighty oak.

Another view over Rydal Water, I included this because I liked the way sunlight illuminates the moss covered boulder.

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