As the end of August comes into sight, it has dawned on The Head Gardener and I that we have now been open for nearly two months, since lock down was eased in England. And what have those two months looked like?
Well the Lakes have had a mix of weather during July and August, showing us both sides of the meteorological coin: blazing, hot sunshine and plenty of rain as well. And getting out to enjoy the Lake District’s beauty during both extremes has been an interesting challenge for all, especially for first-time visitors to the Lake District.
But one advantage we have here at Maple Bank is the wide range of walks you can enjoy straight from the House. No need to drive. No need to park, or try to find somewhere to park. And if you want to go further afield, then the bus stop is only 2 mins from the front door.
Right behind the house you can walk up through the garden, onto ‘the Shelf’ road and head off behind the How. A short circular loop will bring you back into the village after about 20 mins, and then you can either head back, stop off for a quick libation at one of the pubs in the village, or go for a further loop around the village via Little Braithwaite and the bottom of Barrow, adding about another 35 mins to your stroll.
Fancy something with a little more stretch, then head up Barrow. The start is about 15 mins from the house, and you can either pop up Barrow and then head back down the back, or continue up and around Stile End and Outerside, completing the Coledale Trio in about 3-4 hours. If you fancy a short and lowish walk, then head up to the Coledale Inn, walk past it to end of the road, through the gate and continue up to and around Stile End. And you can choose to pop up to the top of Stile End if you wish.
For something more testing, then you can stroll round the How and then head up Grisedale Pike. That will get your heart pumping and give you some great views – including the Isle of Man on a good day, the Solway Firth, Scotland, the Southern Uplands and the Pennines – not to mention looking down on Bassenthwaite Lake and over to Keswick and Derwentwater.
If you’re up for a whole day’s outing, then why not tick off the full Coledale Round – or the Coledale Horseshoe – as some folks like to call it. You can conquer up to twelve Wainwrights or just go for a few and come back via the mine road back from Force Crag Mine.
Howabout, heading off across the valley and up Skiddaw and walking from the house means you get to avoid the hassle of trying to park somewhere. And you will feel that cold drink in the pub at the end has been well earned.
Need some shade for your pooch, or want to avoid some rain drops, then head up into Whinlatter from the House. Several routes will take you up into the forest and you’ll also see some great views from up there as well. Why not stop off at The Gallery afterwards on your way back and enjoy a cuppa and toastie as well.
Got Catbells in your sights? Then don’t fret about the parking. Walk through Braithwaite Village, past the Swinside Inn and up Catbells. It’s just under an hour to walk to the base of Catbells, and then you can either come back via Stair and the Swindside Inn, or head down to Derwentwater and refuel at the Lingholme Kitchen cafe before heading back.
The list is endless. Catch the bus to Buttermere and Lorton or head down to the Eastern Fells, in between Thirlmere and Patterdale. And the Seatoller bus will take you into the Borrowdale Valley. Either direction means you don’t need to move the car once you’ve arrived and unpacked. And if you email Daphne at the Village Shop, and order your sandwiches for your day out, then you’re basically all sorted. Plenty of Wainwrights to tick off your list. Plenty of flat or high routes to choose from.
Come and see us soon.
Kate, Ann and wee Tara