Local fell walkers headed for the Lake District at the weekend, keen to visit an area well known for its tarns, gills and waterfalls. Many enclosed valleys and deep bowls hide up amongst the hills above Langdale and Grasmere, and water collects there to form countless small tarns, pools and meres. Some of the tarns are large enough to spill their contents down numerous small ravines and gills that populate the area, the most impressive of which is the mighty cascade that tumbles down Sour Milk Gill towards Easedale.
Walkers alighted from the coach, hesitatingly at first, as the skies were cloudy and looking as though there would be more water spilling into the tarns and streams during the day. But then the sun shone and hillsides started to dry out a little, sufficient to encourage walkers to commence climbing upwards.
One group, alighting at Elterwater, headed for the ridge up toward Blea Rigg and beyond, another large group took in Langdale before looking for an upward path to ascend. Some started from Grasmere, with an extensive low level route in mind. Others were content to do a circuit of the lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water. All walkers would see lakes, tarns, streams and waterfalls aplenty during the day.
Whilst water was much in evidence throughout, apart from a light shower around midday, most of it was thankfully underfoot. As walkers ascended hills they found themselves climbing beside heavily swollen streams and rushing torrents – the district had seen two days of heavy rain the week before! The group that ascended beside a frothing Stickle Gill were pleased to arrive at Stickle Tarn, which occupies a dramatic location beneath the mighty Pavey Ark; the group that ascended beside Sour Milk Gill were surprised at the stillness of Easedale Tarn above; those that ascended to Loughrigg Tarn were similarly blessed with peace and solitude – and an extensive southern vista!
All out that day couldn’t help but notice the marked difference between the thundering, crashing, dramatic cascades beneath – and the quiet, calm, serene tarns above. Walkers rested beside peaceful tarns, sunlight reflecting off flat calm waters. For many it was a time for quiet contemplation and appreciation in such beautiful surroundings!
Time passed by and reluctantly, walkers started to descend by various alternative routes down towards Easedale and the village of Grasmere, looking for the coach where they could change out of wet boots before retiring for a welcome pint or two in the local hostelries, which were, as always, almost as noisy as the many waterfalls encountered during the day.
Several went ‘batty’ in the pub afterwards and one was heard to say that water was alright, “so long as it’s taken in the right spirit!” Another memorable day out was enjoyed by all!
If you would like to “dip your toe” and try our walking club, simply contact Alan on 01325 488225. You never know, it could tarn out to be a “watershed moment” in your life!