Our drive from Bowness-on-Windermere over the Kirkstone Pass delivered us to the small village of Glenridding on Ullswater: just 16 miles away on the odometer, but with such a different atmosphere as to make us feel we had traveled hundreds of miles.
Gone were the crowds, gone were the cars, and gone was the noise.
Our plan for the next three weeks was to move our “base of operations” every few days, from one area of the Lakes to another. Even though we weren’t traveling far on these transfers, it allowed us to stay close to the trails we wanted to hike. Our first location was in the village of Glenridding, located on the southern tip of the long serpentine lake named Ullswater.
The historic Glenridding House, where Charles Darwin vacationed for five weeks in the year before he died, has the feel of elegant history on its grounds and within its stately rooms. It is run by the most attentive couple, who took great care of us, and set a high standard for all our other lodges to try and match.
But the weather gods had other ideas. When the clouds descended upon Place Fell in the morning, we chose to hike along the lake and avoid the hidden heights. We took the Ullswater Steamer from the Glenridding Pier, up and across the lake to the hamlet of Howtown, from whence we hiked back to Glenridding on the Ullswater Way.
The rain started before we arrived to Howtown, so we changed onboard into our foul weather gear…
… and remembered that’s what makes England so green!
While walking back to our hotel in the soft light of the evening sun, we were excited with the forecast of clear skies the next day, when we would explore this valley and take a longer hike into those mountains.