Saturday, 4 July 2015

A week in Langdale

Langdale Pikes from above Blea Tarn
Langdale Pikes from Blea tarn

Little town, Newlands
Robinson from Newlands
Causey Pike and 
Derwentwater and Skiddaw
Langdale Pikes at dusk
Home

We have visited Langdale for over thirty years and little changes in this timeless corner of the Lake District. The Britannia Inn at Elterwater remains one of the best places to sit outside with a pint of real ale, the hills are on tap and my tennis continues to get worse (it is the only time I play all year). We were people light this year with just three of us owing to the arrival of a grandson just before the start of the week. Our friends from the nearby lodge were also unable to attend because of the arrival of their grandson.

The pattern for the week is now well established with local walks in Langdale, a few mountain walks, fine dining at Fellinis, the excellent Vegetarian restaurant in Ambleside, the odd pub lunch, trips to favourite haunts such as Newlands and Little Langdale, Grasmere for gingerbread, a tour of the outdoor shops in search of bargains, runs, swims and some games of tennis. We usually have visitors from my family but we were undecided whether to go to London to visit our new born grandson during the week so we failed to invite any visitors.

We managed two decent walks in the fells, including a trip up Great Gable, the first for several years, and an enjoyable evening trot round the Greenburn skyline above Grasmere. We revisited Brockhole, the National Park Centre that we had last visited in 1986 with the children; made a return to Little town in Newlands, where I had first discovered hill walking when at primary school; and enjoyed the hottest day since we have been coming to Langdale followed by a night of rain and raucous thunderclaps.

It is a relatively quiet week in the Lakes before the English schools break up but the fells were awash with school parties and at the weekend there was a 115 kilometre ultra event. I spoke to some of the competitors whilst on my usual 8km run round Elterwater, They made me realise that my exercise for the day seemed a bit pathetic. Apparently the new chief executive of the National Park has declared that hosting extreme events is a priority for income generation and economic growth. I am not sure about that, when I did mountain marathons the last thing I wanted to do at the end of an event was  to visit shops and restaurants. You want to get home as quickly as possible to catch up on sleep.

The 'highlight' on the Friday evening at Wainwright's Inn was a performance by the Furness Morris. We had last seen them 25 years ago outside the Drunken Duck, when our children were bemused by the eccentricity of it all. Several of them were still going strong but now preferred pubs that sold Wainwright's beer. 


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