Ullswater Way – day 2

Day two of our Ullswater Way hike started just after daybreak. My dad heated his porridge and brewed a coffee while I ate my food. It was a chilly start to the day with slightly more cloud cover than our first day. So, we didn’t hang around. My dad packed the rucksack and rammed the tent into its stuff sack. He let me guard the tent while he went to the toilet block. He was really pleased with me as I had carried out my duties. Loaded up we set off to walk back to Pooley Bridge. We were packed up and ready to go at 7am. It was an early start for us, as we are both not morning people but, the weather was forecast to change later in the day and it would be nice to avoid the rain and wind.

On guard duty

Firstly, we had to retrace our steps down the steep lane into Glenridding to rejoin the trail. The village was deserted with only a few cars rushing along the main road. We crossed to the lakeside path which followed the shoreline on the right with the road on our left. It was an easy start to the day as we frequently stopped to look across the lake where we had walked yesterday. The path led us through woodland until we crossed the road near to Glencoyne. This section took us through Glencoyne Deer Park where William Wordsworth was inspired to write his ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ poem after seeing ‘a host of golden daffodils’ by the lakeshore.

Lakeside hiking

The big feller had already been singing for a while that morning. I always try to ignore him. He only stops when there is nobody within earshot. A good decision I think. ‘Black’ by Pearl Jam again was his choice today but why, oh why does he have to sing in the style of Eddie Vedder? His own voice is bad enough but his sad attempt at imitation makes my hairy skin crawl.

Over Ullswater

We came to our first stop of the day at the visitor centre for Aira Force. My dad brewed a coffee for himself and gave me some treats and a drink as he sat on a picnic bench. We then walked up the steep hill, through the trees to visit the waterfall. We had the place to ourselves, it was only 9:30am so, we took our time exploring all the paths that gave us different views of the 65ft cascade. My dad spotted a red squirrel in the trees above us but, he kept it to himself. As if I would chase it!

Aira Force

My dad chose the Gowbarrow route above Aira Force where we had superb views over Ullswater and up to Helvellyn from the trig point. On the open fell the wind started to pick up pace so, it was head down and onwards to the point where the high and lower routes meet up. We entered more forest at Kirkstyle Gill into Swinburn Park where we had another short rest and a bite to eat in the shelter of the pines. It was eerily silent in this medieval deer park. Suitably refreshed we hiked through the forest on the footpath that led us to open fellside.

Back towards Glenridding
Opposite side of the lake
Path along the fell

As we contoured Priests Crag the cold wind started to bite but the views made up for the discomfort. Once we had hiked the fellside section we came to long sections of fields and short sections of road walking. We passed Watermillock Church before we reached the small settlements of Bennethead and Wreay. At one point we had to cross a large field with grazing cows and a huge bull in it. I wanted to play with them but my dad made me walk close to him at a faster pace than he usually walks. I think that he was a bit concerned as the herd watched our every step. Maybe playing with the bull wasn’t the best idea that I have ever had.

Darkening skies
Easier paths

From that point it was a mixture of farmland, fields and paths until we met the A592. At this juncture we joined the woodland path that took us to Pooley Bridge over the temporary bridge that led us back to our car. With less than a mile to go my dad slipped on a tree root and landed on his backside. Hilarious! But I did go over to him to check if he was ok. He was except for a muddy rear! We had hiked about twelve miles since we left the campsite and my dad was tired at this point although it was only mid afternoon. We had left some food in the car the previous day so we sat for a while filling our bellies before we set off to drive home. The weather had held out for us and although the wind was cold it hadn’t rained. Result!

My dad’s rucksack had been unsuitable and uncomfortable so, he said that he was going to upgrade it before we attempted the West Highland Way. My backpack had also given me a few problems. Under my front left leg ‘pit’ had chaffed and was a bit red. Perhaps with some adjustments it would be fine, we shall see. But, after reviewing the two days, we had learned a lot and had a great time. Till next time!

After trying the backpack I decided, along with my dad, that I wouldn’t wear one again. Everything that we need to take on our backpacking trips will fit in my dad’s rucksack. He is big enough and daft enough to carry everything.

I ❤ The Ullswater Way

4 thoughts on “Ullswater Way – day 2

      1. Every time I have ventured into Cumbria it has rained. Even Hadrian’s Wall last August had more than its fair share of rain. So much so that Carlisle flooded!

        Liked by 1 person

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