walking – silver how grasmere
This walk starts with a steep ascent of the ridge dividing the valleys of Langdale and Grasmere. The views from the ridge can be superb, and nowhere more so than from the rounded top of Silver How. The walk then explores Grasmere – the heart of Wordsworth Country – before winding back to Langdale by a gentler route. A certain degree of fitness and route- finding ability are required for the first half of the walk.
- Leave Langdale Estate by Fellside gate, turning left onto the road. Turn o right along a footpath just after the cottage called Beckfoot. The path rises gently along a steam before meeting a minor road. Turn left along the road for only a short distance before turning o right up a footpath immediately after a 20mph repeater sign. This path rises steeply up the fellside with a small beck and a boundary wall to its right. It soon leaves the stream behind, and eventually the boundary wall too, as you continue to climb. The gradient of the path slackens temporarily as it trends rightwards to follow the edge of the gorge of Meg Gill. Steep slopes lead down to the river on the right, so care is needed. After continuing more steeply again, the path eventually fords the Gill.
- On the far bank, the path continues rightwards across the fellside at a gentle gradient, but with a steep drop to the right. It then veers left and rises more sharply to gain a grassy slope leading to a large, low cairn; this marks the meeting-place of ve paths. Go straight across, taking what would be the second exit if it were a roundabout! This veers leftwards very soon to climb steeply but quite brie y further northwest up the ridge. At the top of this pull, you reach a grassy rise marked by a large cairn. From the cairn walk upwards for around 40 paces until you meet a small water channel that cuts its way through the peat. Cross this to the right, and trend upwards on a faint track that soon takes you more decidedly round to the right as it contours above a small rocky knoll, heads north-northeast, directly towards the summit of Silver How – which rises onthe far eastern edge of this broad ridge. Follow the path as it contours round and then rises to the top. Although relatively unprepossessing, thesummit commands magni cent views.
- Descend steeply, by a path marked with cairns, on the northern side of the summit; angle soon relents; the path continues northward past morecairns before eventually veering to the north-east. Ford the juniper and birch-lined channel of Wray Gill and descend through thicker areas of juniper. Beyond the juniper band, the path drops more steeply towards a brackenclothed spur of fellside with an unusual arrangement of stone walls along its northern side. Bypass the spur on its northern (left) side, passing through a gate down a path that doubles as a watercourse, to arrive at a metalled lane by a barn and whitewashed cottages on the left.
- Turn right down the lane, that winds past the woods of Allan Bank – one-time home of Wordsworth – on the right. As it curves further rightwards, the house itself comes into view before the lane bears left and heads straight down into Grasmere village.
- Turn right at the junction where the lane meets the village, opposite the Red Lion Hotel. Pass the Jumble Room cafe and Tweedies Bar before turning right at a T-Junction to walk out of the village past an Unsuitable For Coaches sign, with the walk’s high point of Silver How looking down on you, straight ahead. Pass Grasmere Boat Hire and continue along the road for about 1⁄2 mile.
- After a short, steep, curving rise in the road, between trees, take a right fork opposite a post-box set into a cottage wall. A signpost directs you to Loughrigg Terrace, YHA and Gt Langdale. The metalled lane becomes a rough bridleway that ascends between trees and rhododendrons, until the track forks by a metal bench.
- Take the right-hand fork, signed Elterwater & Langdale, through a gate and up a long narrow swathe of fellside enclosed by stone walls. After passing through another gate, the path takes you out onto open fellside where it levels o at the low col between Grasmere and Langdale. Continue straight ahead, ignoring the paths that intersect from left and right. Descend down Elterwater Common towards the village of Elterwater. Regain the Langdale Estate either by turning right onto the Chapel Stile road and so to the main Entrance, or continue through Elterwater Village to the South East entrance.