16 miles

Breakfast at the Hermitage B&B was delicious. I think that Deb and her daughters enjoyed the “real” breakfast rather than their standard trail breakfast at a campsite.

Breakfast at the Hermitage B&B

We had a lovely surprise, my UK friends, Jean, Peter and Jim, and my mother showed up from Lancaster, bringing us a bountiful lunch to pack and offering to take our unneeded equipment in their car as Jean and June would drive on to our day’s end in Patterdale. Peter and Jim joined us for the walk and Jean and my mom would spend the first part of the day sightseeing. So we were off with light packs and plenty of food for the day. My, how my lonely trek just days before had blossomed into a wonderful group of friends with whom to walk.

Peter, Deb, Hannah, Kait, Jim and me leaving Shap

Thoroughly enjoying the sunshine, we set off and in about one mile arrived at the ruins of Shap Abbey, built in 1199 for a monastic community established nearby in 1190. Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries” in 1536 did not reach Shap Abbey until 1540 – the last of the monasteries to be abolished. As the Abbey fell into ruin, much of the masonry was incorporated into the Shap Market Hall, and ornate stone carvings were taken for another, newer castle, Lowther Castle. The remaining ruins were included in a local farm as the farmhouse and various barns and out buildings, and has remained in that farm for the past 400 years. The Abbey’s bell tower, built about 1500, is the predominant remaining part of the ruin.

Shap Abbey
Shap Abbey

We had made the decision based on advice from our hosts at Barn House B&B (Orton) that we would take an alternate route to Patterdale through Bampton. This route involved climbing up a long shoulder of a mountain to High Street (an old Roman road, now a path) where we would rejoin the C2C. The countryside along this trail was quite pleasant.

Along the trail toward Bampton

We seemed to be the local attraction of the horse population. Not only did these horses think that we were of interest, but while a farmer was kindly resupplying our water, his loose horses were thoroughly checking our packs for possible goodies.

Chatting with the horses

We began to ascend as we walked up a lush, green hillside.

On the way to Patterdale

The elevation gain revealed lovely views of Hawswater, the first of many lakes that we would encounter in this gorgeous part of England.

Hawswater

The trail up to High Street was a long, steady climb, but quite doable with spectacular scenery to enjoy along the way. Taking a breather at the top, we could see multiple mountain ranges in the Lake District.

View from High Street

Nestled in this high country, attractive Angle Tarn was a good place to stop for a rest.

Angle Tarn

As we turned toward Patterdale, the trail began an easy descent along rather steep hills.

Beginning the descent toward Patterdale

Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding appeared like jewels at the base of the mountain as we made our way over a rocky path.

View of Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding

When we arrived in Patterdale, the green grass, the flowers, the lake, and stone cottages together created quite a lovely scene. We headed to the Patterdale Hotel for cold drinks and ice cream where we could sit out on the lawn and relax.

Jean and my mother rejoined us, and Deb, Hannah, Kait and I checked into the appealing Old Waterview B&B. Our host, Ian, was most hospitable and helpful.

Old Waterview B&B

The entire group, including the Vermonters, the English friends and June and me, gathered at the White Lion for dinner, before June left with Peter, Jean and Jim as they headed back home to Lancashire.

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