Distance: 16 miles
Breakfast at the Hermitage B&B was delicious. I suspect Deb and her daughters enjoyed this “real” breakfast more than their daily, trail breakfast at a campsite.
We had a lovely surprise – my UK friends, Jean, Peter and Jim, and my mother, June, showed up from Lancaster, bringing us a bountiful lunch to pack. They also offered to take our unneeded equipment in their car, since 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. Oh, how my lonely trek just days before had blossomed into a wonderful group of friends with whom to walk. This day’s walk would bring us into the third national park on the C2C Path: the Lake District National Park.
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. Ornate stone carvings were removed and installed in Lowther Castle, a newer castle, several miles up the nearby Lowther River. Most of the Abbey’s ruins were incorporated into a local farm as the farmhouse, various barns and out buildings and have remained on that farm for the past 400 years. The Abbey’s bell tower, built about 1500, is the dominant portion of the remaining ruins.
We had made the decision based on advice from our hosts at Barn House B&B (in 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.
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.
We began to ascend as we walked up a lush, green hillside.
The elevation gain revealed lovely views of Hawswater, the first of many lakes that we would encounter in this gorgeous part of England.
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.
Nestled in this high country, attractive Angle Tarn was a good place to stop for a rest.
As we turned toward Patterdale, the trail began an easy descent along rather steep hills.
Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding appeared like jewels at the base of the mountain as we made our way over a rocky path.
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, which we took out to their lawn for a well-deserved rest.
Jean and my mother rejoined us as Deb, Hannah, Kait and I checked into the appealing Old Waterview B&B. Our host, Ian, was most hospitable and helpful.
The entire group, the Vermonters, our English friends, June and myself, gathered at the White Lion for dinner before June left with Peter, Jean and Jim as they headed back home to Lancashire.