An eagle's eye view of the walk
Nab that view from The Lakeland Pathfinder
This season The Stagecoach Bus company has brought three new liveried buses into service on the 555 run from Windermere to Keswick. Each dressed up to proclaim one of three notable people whose contribution to the life and culture of Lakeland is immeasurable - Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and Alfred Wainwright. Supported by Cumbria Tourism, The Lakeland Pathfinder (the Wainwright bus) carries an image of the great man on the back, studiously scribing with his crow quill pen. Adjacent are adverts for Kendal Museum, home of the Wainwright exhibition; a motif recording that this year marks an important milestone, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Mountain Rescue Service in Lakeland; as well as a mention of this radio feature, as henceforward this year all the Park & Stride walks will start and finish from given bus stops on the journey of this notable flagship service through the heart of the National Park - thus it might be more appropriate to call it Ride & Stride.
Mark Richards with Colin Nicholson, Marketing Manager, Stagecoach Northwest
Head up the lane directly from the bus stop. One might consider visiting St Mary's church with its Fleming Gallery and, walking on through the Millennium Garden via the kissing-gate, enter Dora's Field, which at this time of year is a delight abundant with daffodils - backtrack to continue. Rise above the entry to Rydal Hall (noting the inviting cafe sign) and Rydal Mount - former home of William Wordsworth which remains in the ownership of his decendants. Climb the concrete roadway passing up by a barn to go through a kissing-gate. Quickly the stone stair begins winding handsomely up with periodic wooden handrails. The path draws into a walled bottleneck with a sheep creep and ladder-stile, prefer the the latter as a means of progression. The lane opens as the path continues firmly set on the stone-pitched climb to gain fine views back over the Rydal Beck valley and Windermere. Climbing higher ever more expansive views excite attention directly over Rydal Water to the Coniston Fells and the mighty mountains at the head of Great Langdale (see images on sheet 3). The path runs over grassy knolls to reach and cross a ladder-stile. A short rise and find a large cairn to the left on a definite crest. This is the summit of Nab Scar (455m/1490ft), duly nabbed! Pause and soak up the westward expanse of mountain Lakeland from Coniston Old Man round by Wetherlam, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Harrison Stickle and the greater Easedale skyline to Ullscarf.
The ridge path resumed continue north to a distinctive smaller taller cairn (see above) raised from the broken ridge wall. This is the key point of divergence. The ridge path hereon leads by Lord Crag over Heron Pike bound for Great Rigg and Fairfield, the western limb of the perennially popular Fairfield Horseshoe, encircling the Rydal Beck valley. An apparent path drifts half-left taking an easy line across and down the western slope, always in view back the landmark cairn, latterly dipping to a stile gaining entry into the walled Alcock Tarn enclosure. The sheet of undecorated water reflects the sky most beautifully. Created by the Victorian owner of The Hollens (now regional office of The National Trust) and stocked with trout - I only saw frog-spawn when I passed on Easter Sunday, the fish have fled.
This is an excerpt from Mark's original article. To see the full article, you will need to download the PDF using the link below
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© Mark Richards 2008