Day 3 …. May 10 …. Elterwater To Patterdale Via Fairfield …. 15 miles

After a very good breakfast, I left by 8:40. The walking group were going up Silver How in the Langdales, but I’m going east to Patterdale on a two day deviation from the Cumbria Way. It’s a short walk over the bank to the Loughrigg Terrace path which overlooks Grasmere Water on it’s way to Rydal.

Loughrigg Terrace On Way To Rydal Passing Wordsworth's House, Rydal Mount 

Rydal was the home of William Wordsworth. Just past his house is the start of the climb
up onto the Fairfield Horseshoe, a spectacular ridge, first running north, then circling around south to drop down to Ambleside. I’ll leave the horseshoe at Fairfield summit. First, I ascended a steep path to Nab Scar, then up to Heron Pike at 2000 feet.

Ascending Nab Scar to Heron Pike and Great Rigg To Fairfield Horseshoe Looking East Across Great Man Rigg To Upper End Of Fairfield Horseshoe 

The overall weather today was gray and cold, but a little sun was trying to peek through blue patches in the sky. The views back toward Grasmere and Ambleside were spectacular. I played leapfrog with a friendly couple from Hampshire as we made the long climb to Great Rigg Man at 2513 ft. The ridges at the top of the horseshoe and around the south side were very dramatic.

Gregg On Great Man Rigg Looking Back West Across Great Man Rigg And Heron Pike 

I was starting to see snow on the ground, it was getting colder, no more sun, a dark sky. At Fairfield summit, 2663 ft., I was making deep footprints in the snow. A few walkers are doing the full horseshoe down to Ambleside, some are huddled against the wind in the stone shelter.

Looking East Across Fairfield Horseshoe I Decided To Pass On This Route Over St Sunday Ridge 

I had hoped to walk along the St. Sunday ridge, but the sharp, obscured descent to Cofa Pike and Deepdale Hause looked daunting with this bad weather. Not today. Never having been here, I didn’t want to chance the unknown and unseen so I put my backup plan into action. I walked, through snow, over to Hart Crag where I found the path to Hartsop Above How, the ridge descending to Bridge End and Patterdale.

So I Walked The Horseshoe Around To Hart Crag I Took A Better Descent Down Hartsop How Ridge From Hart Crag 

Lucky for me, the path seemed easier and certainly clearer than the descent to St. Sunday. Nevertheless, it was a steep, rocky drop down to the ridge, then a quite rough up and down along the ridge, harder than I expected. At least the weather was calmer as I dropped altitude.

Descending Hartsop How 

Finally, I saw lambs nursing on the fells and my B&B, Noren Bank Farm, far below along the road. It has been a very satisfying, dramatic walk with stunning mountain views the whole way.

My Farmhouse B&B Is Just Around The Corner 

My room was in a humble farmhouse but very comfortable. I arrived at 16:10, plenty of time for tea and coffee, a hot shower and relaxation before dinner. It was only 1/2 mile to the White Lion Inn, not very busy on a Monday after the weekend. I ordered veggie lasagna with a large salad and a Bass Special Ale…..all was good. Customers started arriving about 18:30 and I left an hour later. After journal writing, it was early to bed.

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