Grasmere-Patterdale (8.5 miles, 4-5 hours): This was a very pleasant day's walking, with easier terrain than on Day 3, and great views as we passed close to some Lakeland highlights (such as Hellvellyn). The forecast was for heavy rain spreading into the Lakes by the afternoon, so we made a reasonably early start, being on the path just after 9.00 am. We picked up the path just north of the Traveller's Rest pub, with a pleasant, gentle ascent alongside Tongue Gill, with good views back to Grasmere.
At the top of the Tongue Gill path you reach a 'col' at Hause Gap, overlooking Grisedale tarn, with the impressive bulk of Dollywaggon Pike in front of you.
From Hause Gap, there are some different route options. The really heroic walkers can elect to take the steep zig-zag path up Dollywaggon Pike and then walk north to the summit of Hellyellyn before descending Striding Edge to Patterdale (not for the faint-hearted). Some walkers we met on the path took this route, but had a tough, nerve-wracking descent of Striding Edge in the heavy afternoon rain, so we were glad we did not take this option. We were tempted by another high-level option from Hause Gap, which takes you over the summit of St. Sunday Crag, giving great views to the north and over the whole of the Lakes. However, with the approaching rain, and feet still sore from the rough paths on Day 3, we took the low level option down Grisedale valley into Patterdale. This was a very pleasant walk - there are some features of interest such as the Brother's Parting Stone, where William Wordsworth last saw his brother John.
Walking down Grisedale, there are good views back to the surrounding fells, although the weather was starting to close in as we walked towards Patterdale, with the summits becoming lost in the clouds.
As you walk over the final stretch into Patterdale, views of Ullswater open up on your left - on the day we were there, these included the Ullswater show in full swing on the village field in Patterdale.
We walked into Patterdale just after 2.00pm, and just as the heavens opened - we had just beaten the weather !. We actually beat our bags (we were using the Packhorse baggage transfer service) to our accommodation - the Old Water View Hotel, where our host Ian showed us to our room. It was named Place Fell, and was the room used by Alfred Wainwright himself when he stayed in Patterdale. He was looking down at us from his picture on the wall
Overall, Day 4 was very pleasant, with fairly easy walking and no major navigational traps. If the weather forecast had been better for the afternoon, we might have taken the high level route over St. Sunday Crag to provide more dramatic views. Next time !
The Old Water View in Patterdale provided very comfortable accommodation, with the host Ian providing good suggestions for our onward walk (more of that tomorrow !). They no longer serve evening meals, so the options for an evening meal are a bit limited in Patterdale. We ate at the White Lion Pub, but the food there was not really up to the standard we experienced elsewhere on the walk, so we would not recommend it. Bar meals are available at the Patterdale Hotel, which might be worth considering.
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 !