Summer walk: Grasmere Circular

Grasmere Circular 27/05/17   ‘A’ David Palmer  ‘B’ Margaret Palmer

A typical weather forecast for a bank holiday weekend – heavy rain all day with thunder storms. However, 50 members weren’t deterred by the weather. We tried to stop in Barnard Castle for morning coffee but the shows were on the coach park so we continued on to Kirkby Stephen where the party seemed to overwhelm the cafes but eventually everyone got served. To reach Grasmere we travelled via Bowness and Windermere and the roads were surprisingly quiet, no queues anywhere on our journey. There had been only a few drops of rain by the time we arrived in Grasmere  although it was looking rather gloomy. 8 hardy souls left on the ‘A’ walk then 31 left shortly afterwards on the ‘B’ walk. We walked through the village, passing the garden centre and followed a minor road to the Loughrigg Terraces. All of the gardens along this stretch were ablaze with the bright colours of rhododendrons and azaleas, although not looking their best against a grey clouded sky. We left the road to ascend on a stony track and passed through woodland to reach the Terraces. We sat on the grass for lunch but the views of Grasmere Lake were obscured by mature trees. However, we were entertained by a beautiful dragonfly flying among the grass.  Just after we started walking again there was a heavy shower of rain. We managed to find shelter in Moss Side Wood and after a toilet stop at the facilities the rain stopped. We crossed the main road and ascended a steep incline to reach the old Coffin Road, so called as it was the route used to take the dead of Rydal to the church in Grasmere for burial. There were limited views as the surrounding hills were shrouded in mist. We descended to Grasmere passing Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth, an English poet. Shortly after arriving back to the coach the heavens opened. The rain was torrential so it was no surprise when the ‘A’ party returned completely soaked though. They had endured hailstones as well as thunder and lightning on the fell tops. Not an ideal situation to be in. The evening stop was spent in Hexham.

Flowers: birdsfoot trefoil, bluebell, crosswort, dog violet, eyebright, foxglove, greater stitchwort, heath bedstraw, herb bennet, herb robert, marsh marigold, rhododendron, strawberry flower, tormentil, welsh poppy, wood sorrel, yellow flag, yellow pimpernel. Other: Canada geese & goslings, dragonfly.

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