Gowbarrow via Aira Force
What a difference a day makes! After the great weather on our first day in the Lakes things were a little bit different when we woke up and looked out of the window. Grey, miserable, and spitting with rain.
We didn’t exactly rush up but we got down to breakfast in plenty of time to fill our bellies ready for another day’s walking. Well, that was the plan anyway.
Fed and watered – the cooked breakfast buffet was pretty good – we grabbed our gear and headed out the door up to Ullswater and the National Trust car park at Aira Force.
When we arrived we were hopeful that the weather would hold but the sky wasn’t exactly looking great. Nevertheless we geared up and after a quick stop to sign up to the National Trust, and for Shelli to get a hot chocolate, off we headed up the path to the waterfall.
It wasn’t long before the rain started and the big cameras were packed away in our dry bags, opting to use Elisa’s point-and-click camera instead to at least try and get some photos for the day.
The river and waterfall were pretty impressive but soon after looking at them we were heading out of the cover of the trees and into the [now] very wet hills.
To say the paths were difficult to follow would be an understatement. The chap who originally plotted the route we were following must have come at a completely different time of year, when all of the grass was long and the paths were easy to see. Not so for us. We ended up following a path, backtracking, following another, all the while getting slowly more and more saturated.
On we trudged – me apologising to Shelli at every opportunity for dragging her out on such an awful day – heading up to the top of Gowbarrow fell. Unfortunately, the higher we got the worse the weather got, and the more saturated everything became, including puddles in our boots!
Almost near the top the rain turned into hailstones, and our spirits sank. We looked at each other and after a little chat it was decided that it would be better to head down the way we knew than to head further up and over the top of the fell – directly into the driving hailstones – not knowing what we would encounter on the other side.
We turned around and made our way back down taking a slightly different route back down to the car park.
Back down – thoroughly soaked through but still laughing and smiling – we headed to the little hot drinks cabin so Shelli could get a well deserved coffee. The chap selling the drinks was amazed to see us looking so chipper considering the state we were in. All we could say was “It is the Lake District so you’d be stupid to come here and not expect to get soaked through at some point!”. He laughed.
Completely out of character we were totally unprepared and had no dry clothes to change into so we had to make the best of it, taking our soaked boots off – literally pouring the water out of them – removing our socks and putting our dry trainers on (cold trainers I hasten to add) with bare feet. Freezing!
We sat there while Shelli drank her coffee, car on and heater on full blast, and it wasn’t long before we were warmed up.
Originally we’d planned two walks for the day but after the soaking we’d just had we decided to head back to the hotel, have a nice bath/shower, hit the bar and then get a taxi into Bowness-on-Windermere for dinner and some more drinks.
And that’s exactly what we did! A lovely bottle of wine while we chilled out followed by a fantastic meal at The Spinnery restaurant – who don’t appear to have a website for me to link to?! – followed by more drinks at The Albert.
Although the weather conspired against us another great day in the Lakes was had.
|Miles||Start (HH:MM)||Finish (HH:MM)||Breaks (HH:MM)||Walking (HH:MM)||Pace (MPH)||Steps Taken|
|Start Elavation (m)||End Elavation (m)||Max Elevation (m)||Min Elevation (m)||Total Climb (m)||Total Descent (m)||Climbs on Route|
More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.