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Monday, January 5, 2015

My last newspaper column of 2014

4 miles
3 hours
When the Winter weather hits Britain I find myself irresistibly drawn to the Lake District. It isn't that the hills of the Peak District lack beauty in the snow, the Kinder plateau after a heavy snowfall can be one of the most beautiful places in Britain, but there is an added majesty to seeing the taller peaks of Cumbria topped with a dusting of the white stuff. Of all the Lake District village my favourite has to be Grasmere, not only does it have the Wordsworthian associations (he is buried in the graveyard and spent much of his life in the area) and a fantastic Youth Hostel it allows easy access to a huge range of classic fells.
  I leave the village behind and head up the ever narrowing road fringed by skeletal trees. Ahead of me sits the imposing yet familiar outline of Helm Crag, known to Lakeland doyenne Alfred Wainwright as "The Lion and the lamb"  There is frost on the grass as I crunch my way across the flagged path that leads me through Grasmere Common. I start the slow, steady climb that closely follows the tumbling, frothing waters of Sourmilk Gill. The Gill ends at one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the Lake District, Easedale Tarn. it is the archetypal Lakeland tarn surrounded by imposing rocky crags which today are mirrored in the mirror still water in front of me. This has long been one of the most popular spots in the area and in Victorian times there was even a refreshment stand catering to walkers.
  I leave the tarn behind and follow the narrow path up towards Blea Crag. I start to pass through patches of slushy snow as I continue to climb, eventually attaining the saddle where the snow lies a little thicker. From the top I can look into Langdale and across to the white topped Pikes, but the wind is getting up and the temperature dropping so I press on passing tiny tarns dotted with miniature icebergs. I drop down to Blindman's Moss fighting my way through the fragrant, scrubby Juniper before I eventually end up on the path that follows Sourmilk Gill back into the valley and a very welcome pint in front of a log fire.
       I very much hope that you enjoy reading about my walks as much as I enjoy undertaking them. If you have any questions or enquiries about either my articles or guided walking in the UK please feel free to visit my webpage at or e-mail me at . Liking my facebook page or following me on twitter @cwwmuk will help you keep up to date with all my latest walks and general outdoor news. In the meantime, enjoy the ramblings of a rambler...

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