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Ullswater from below Glemara Park
Ullswater from below Glemara Park
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Another gray, overcast day for this nice little walk over Grisedale Hause to Patterdale. There was only one really useable photo taken so the one above is from the next day.

Grasmere Type Phone
Butterlip How YH 0870 770 5836
Grasmere Hostel Hostel 015394 35055
Oak Lodge B&B 015394 35527
Thorney How YH 0870 770 5836

The Coast to Coast Walk actually leaves Grasmere along a back-road starting near the Thorney How youth hostel. Since I was a fair distance from the youth hostel, I walked along the main road and then up the A591 Keswick road (not too busy this morning but prone to congestion from tourist hordes heading into Grasmere). At Mill Bridge I rejoined the Coast to Coast Walk and left the road behind me on the timeworn path faithfully signposted to Patterdale. The path climbs up beside a stone wall with Tongue Gill babbling beside it to your right.

Waterfalls just before Hause Moss
Waterfalls just before Hause Moss

There is a choice of routes when the path gains the open fells (a kilometre from the road). Clear and well-worn paths ascend on either side of Great Tongue directly ahead of you to unite further up the slopes. On your left is an old pony track wandering up the banks of Little Tongue Gill. On your right, a more modern walkers' track crosses over Tongue Gill. Both routes are good and the only reason I took the right-hand fork was to have a closer look at the falls on the headwaters of Tongue Gill. The falls are not big (a couple of metres high) but are charming and provided my only photo opportunity of the day since I walked into the clouds at this point.

The junction of the two paths is under the sharp eastern bluff on Seat Sandal where the surroundings become mountainous rather than the moorland nature of the lower slopes. The green bowl of Hause Moss is skirted as the path takes a final climb up to the top of Grisedale Hause. The remains of an old stone wall mark the high point of the day (596 metres or 1936 feet) and a route branching to the right up to Fairfield. Ahead there are the dark waters of Grisedale Tarn with the walls of Dollywaggon Pike looming overhead. The path descends to the foot of the tarn which is one of the most popular picnic spots in the district (I was the only one here today).

In fine weather, Grisedale Hause offers a choice of tougher routes than the one the Coast to Coast Walk takes. In order of toughness these are:
O Saint Sunday Crag is visited via a superb little track that traverses up to Deepdale Hause and then follows a long and broad ridge up to the summit. The path leaves at the foot of the tarn before its outlet beck.
O A tougher route leaves the Coast to Coast Walk at the top of Grisedale Hause for Fairfield (881 metres or 2863 feet) with (I think) access to Saint Sunday Crag via Cofa Pike.
O The hardest alternative starts from the foot of the tarn and heads left winding through the steep crags up to Dollywaggon Pike (866 metres or 2814 feet). Further along the ridge is Helvellyn and the exciting descent over the sharp Striding Edge.

The Coast to Coast Walk continues from a cairn just beyond the start of Grisedale Beck and descends easily into Grisedale. A kilometre of nice walking along a good track brings you to Ruthwaite Lodge (a climbers' hut) below which there is another choice of routes. A high level path crosses Ruthwaite Beck on a footbridge and contours along the lower flanks of Striding Edge. It then drops quickly to meet a farm road and follow it down to the other route. The traditional route is more sheltered as it drops down to the dale floor to cross Grisedale Beck. From the footbridge, it goes through fields (sometimes with trees to one side) and heads down the dale accompanied by a stone wall. A short stretch of farm road brings a junction where the other route rejoins this one.

The narrow road can be followed all the way into Patterdale village but it is more scenic to take a path through a gate part-way down the hill. This brings you to a stile where an attractive path through the trees of Glemara Park guides you to the hillside above the village and then an easy descent to Mill Moss (the southern end of the village). The Patterdale Youth Hostel is about 100 metres to your right and across the road with the more isolated Helvellyn Youth Hostel 4 kilometres off-route along the lake.


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