Arrival to Grasmere and hike up Loughrigg
Grasmere Travel Blog› entry 6 of 18 › view all entries
So our stay in Ambleside was over. I had a fairly good idea of how "far" Grasmere is, so I wasn't really broken hearted or anything, it seemed just a stone's throw away. Infact, one of our roommates for the night - a Chinese guy was actually hiking from Ambleside to Grasmere, whilst I was going in a nice heated bus! I liked the drive to Grasmere and I could tell I'd have a fab time here, it seems a lot nicer and tinier than Grasmere. As I got down from the bus stop, there were tons of kids all headed home, I asked one lady where the YHA was and turns out she was coming from there, and pointed me towards it.
The hostel is a sight to behold. And I'm not lying. The Ambleside YHA was a big building located by Lake Windermere, it seemed beautiful in a "lake resort" kind of way. This Grasmere hostel on the other hand is inside this big expanse of green, colourful autumn trees leading up the hostel as it sits all alone in front of scaling high mountains behind. This was nice in a "sit by the fire with a brandy" kind of way. I'll be writing a detailed review of the hostel later, but suffice it to say that this is a very nice hostel.
As soon as we checked in, we spent some time around the lounge. I really liked it - it's got these fancy sofas, a piano, kind of very upmarket considering this this a "low budget accomodation" for backpackers. I spoke to the YHA staff (very friendly girl) and we zeroed in on doing th Loughrigg hike. But just walking into the hostel with our luggage, we knew that this was a photo opp not to be missed.
Even more wicked was the walk from the hostel to the city centre. Our plan for the day was to first hit Dove Cottage - not that I'm a major Wordsworth fan (infact I couldn't recall a single poem of his, for shame), but going to Grasmere and not seeing Dove Cottage is like going to England and not eating Thornton's! ;-) There's a picture titled "walk from the hostel to city centre" that features 4 buildings (believe it or not, one is an art gallery and the other is the local Co-op) which should tell you how lovely the surroundings were.
The city centre is very nice.
We walked back to the city centre and stopped by a Deli for lunch. I had potato/leek soup with a cheese scone, and Vanilla cake for dessert. I love UK pastries and UK soups. For 1 thing, most UK soups are vegetarian, and their combo are excellent. Infact I think I've eaten better soups in the UK than in India. It was about 2pm now and my feet were already hurting, but we had to do our agenda for the day - more hiking!
We asked passers-by the way to Lough Rigg, it wasn't too far or so they said.
And then I see the erstwhile National Trust signpost Loughrigg. Boy it was lovely! The path was a lot better made than Langdale, as in, there were stone steps but it was high. Very steep. And the rain had started, and the higher you go, the windier it gets. Infact we met one of the guys returning from the peak and his comment to me was "keep your head below the clouds".
I kept going higher and higher, and at one point I couldnt' take it anymore. It got way way too windy. Really windy. I was having a problem standing, and I was even scared to open my camera lest it blow away! It was that windy. Besides, it was about 5pm, it was getting dark and the clouds and rain were showing no signs of letting up. So I made my way down, which was also quite tricky as the stones had started to get slippery. By the time I reached the road which winds down to Grasmere, it was already a few minutes past 430pm but getting dark. Walked back to the city centre, and went to Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread shop, the oldest in Grasmere (and perhaps even all of England?). I like how "small" the shop is and how it's filled with goodies.
For dinner, grabbed some naan and Patak's curry for dinner. I was hungry - and tired - and wet. And I was offiically limping with all the pain. The biggest question I had was - when I go back, what do I remove first as I was dripping head to toe. Anyway headed back to the hostel - had a shower and left all my stuff in the "drying room" in the basement. It was packed and smelly. I finally put my socks and shoes on the heater to warm up and dry by the next day morning. Went to the neighbouring building to cook, the kitchen is a bit small and in 2 parts- you have the stoves in one narrow room and the kitchen and cutlery in another, but the dining room is very cosy and very nice.