Rosthwaite-Grasmere (9.5 miles, 5-6 hours): A shorter day today, but not necessarily easier walking ! Once again, the weather was pleasant with sunny intervals, light winds, but with the threat of showers. We only got caught once in a short light shower as we descended towards Grasmere. The Day 3 walk starts with a pleasant amble alongside Stonethwaite Beck, before beginning a steady climb on a good path next to Greenup Gill. There are pleasant views back down into Borrowdale as you climb up the path.
At the top of the climb, you reach Lining Crag, a fine viewpoint for looking back into Borrowdale, and across to the Scafells and many other surrounding fells. It also makes a good picnic spot, except that on the day we were there, we were beaten to it by a large group of Dutch walkers on an organised Coast-to-Coast walk, so we pressed on towards Greenup Edge to avoid the crowds.
After Lining Crag, the going gets a bit tougher, with the path becoming rather vague and passing over quite boggy ground. There are occasional cairns but these are quite hard to spot even in clear conditions, so in mist, great care would be needed when navigating this section. It was clear when we were up there, but we later met some walkers who had gone off course here and ended up in Thirlmere instead of Grasmere. Careful map reading and some compass work led us to Greenup Edge, where we stopped for lunch. The route ahead is fairly clear from here, with the path dropping down slightly then up again to the 'col' at the top of Grasmere Common/Far Easedale.
There is the option for a high level route into Grasmere by taking the path over Calf Crag and Helm Crag above Far Easedale, but we opted to stay in the valley and began the long descent into Grasmere. Although the terrain looked fairly benign, the path underfoot was quite rocky, uneven and boggy in places, making for quite tough walking over this stretch.
We walked into Grasmere at about 5.00 pm after about 5-6 hours walking. The distance may have been shorter than on previous days, but the feet certainly felt as though they had walked further, due to the quite rocky terrain from Greenup Edge onwards. Careful navigation is needed after Lining Crag to the top of Far Easedale, particularly if the weather is poor. We had trouble getting accommodation in Grasmere - most hotels and B&Bs are not interested in C2C walkers, as they stipulate a minimum stay of two nights. Grasmere is really geared towards day trippers and coach party tourists, with the tea rooms and souvenir shops. It was a bit of a shock after being out in fairly remote country for the last three days, and we did not like it that much (Wainwright was no fan of Grasmere either). We did manage to get a one night stay at Chestnut Villas, a very nice B&B on the Keswick road, which we would certainly recommend. Just up the road is the Traveller's Rest pub - a good place for an evening meal (they also do accommodation, although when we enquired we were also told there was a minimum of two nights stay). The start of the walk on Day 4 is just 200 metres or so up the road from the Traveller's Rest, where there is a Bridleway sign to Patterdale.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !