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After a night at the Inn on the Lake on the shores of Ullswater the day starts with a brief climb past the beautifully situated Lanty's Tarn, which was created by the Marshall Family of Patterdale Hall in pre-refrigerator days to supply ice for an underground 'Cold House' ready for use in the summer months! It then settles into its rhythm by following the ancient packhorse route around the southern edge of the Helvellyn Range via the high pass at Grisedale Hause. If you are feeling energetic it is easy to include a loop ascent of Fairfield from the pass. If not the well-graded packhorse track leads down steep fellside to a warm welcome and a beautiful, foam topped pint of Jennings ale at the Travellers Rest in Grasmere.

Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!

Route Information

Time/Effort 5 out of 5
Navigation 2 out of 5
Technicality 3 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 596
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL 4 ,5,6 & 7

Route Essentials

Walk Route: Ullswater - Grasmere

Duration: 4 - 5 hours

Miles: 7

Route Details

1. First to the Inn on the Lake, a place of breathtaking scenery and fine hospitality right on the edge of Ullswater; the second largest lake in England. Relax, take in the views and prepare for the walk ahead with a few pints of award winning Jennings Ales in the cosy bar. With Cocker Hoop one of the original golden ales, and Cumberland Ale with its delicate hop finish on tap you will be spoiled for choice! Although very tranquil now the lake was used by Donald Campbell to set the world water speed record on the jet-propelled hydroplane 'Bluebird K7' on the 23rd July 1953.

2. Head across the A592 and turn left crossing over Glenridding Bridge, turn immediately right in front of the shops. Head along the lane/bridleway for 300m to a fork; follow the path left as it zig-zags up the hillside to Lanty's Tarn. Continue south past the tarn, then swing south west to join another path. After a short distance turn left and descend to cross Grisedale Beck by a bridge.

3. Turn right and follow the Grisedale bridleway along the valley. After about 3km the path climbs to a bridge. Cross the bridge and continue uphill to Ruthwaite Lodge (Climbing Hut). After the lodge climb in the shadow of Tarn Crag to the shores of Grisedale Tarn.

(To make an ascent of Fairfield climb north east from the tarn to Deepdale Hause. From here climb along the ridge passing the crest of Cofa Pike to gain Fairfield's stony summit plateau. Make the steep descent to Grisedale Hause to regain the route. Add an extra 1.5 hours and 360m if an ascent of Fairfield is included.

4. Follow the bridleway as it climbs past Grisedale Tarn to Grisedale Hause. This packhorse route would have seen trains of up to forty horses carrying goods between Patterdale and Grasmere in its heyday! On the south side of the hause the bridleway zig-zags down to Hause Moss then traverses the slopes of Seat Sandal to gain the top of Little Tongue. Descend Little Tongue and continue on the bridleway beside Little Tongue Gill to reach the A591 at Mill Bridge. This is then followed to the Travellers Rest.

5. As you head for the wooden door of the Travellers Rest, with its brass fox head door knocker, take in the superb Lakeland views. Go straight to the bar area, where today's adventure ends and you will be greeted by the welcoming sight of the full range of Jennings Ales. Faced with so many awarding winning ales it will be hard to choose but you could make a start with the top two at the International Beer Awards 2009; Sneck Lifter (Gold winner) and Cumberland Ale (Silver winner).

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