The day dawned to a bright sunny day, a crisp autumnal morning with beautiful colours. We had a plan to walk from the caravan site, but before we did, we hung up a washing line and hung all our damp walking gear from yesterday between two trees. It was only later, while hanging outside the shop, I read the site rules and discovered the washing lines were banned. Ooops.
I went to have a shower in the ablution block and what a delight. It had underfloor heating, was large and roomy and was spotless. I enjoyed my shower, got dressed and then, with a rubber broom, brushed the excess water on the floor towards the drain and left it tidy for the next person. It’s amazing that if you just leave something like that, people do use it and clean up after themselves – no need for stern notices or reminders. It is just happens. So I returned back to the Van a new and happy woman and prepared for our walk. Our damp gear was pretty much dried, so we took down our line, locked the Van and headed through the gate a few yards away.
We turned right and trotted almost immediately into the small hamlet of Skelwith Fold, with the most amazing views down the valley. It was stunning. We followed the little lane down to Skelwith Bridge and diced with danger as we walked a few yards along the main road to pick up a footpath. It dropped between houses and gardens into a little woodland before picking up the main footpath to Elterwater. This was a broad gravelled path, with a multitude of people on it – families, couples, dog walkers. It followed the side of Elter Water along the Cumbria Way through gates. It was a nice walk but so many people, but this is the Lake District. If you walk on the low level paths, this is where you’ll find most of the tourists. So we strolled along in the sunshine and got to Elterwater. There was a pub but it was heaving with people sunning themselves. We weren’t ready to throw ourselves back into the hustle and bustle so we headed off to do a circular walk which would be quieter. So we wandered down the lane and came across another pub/hotel but couldn’t figure how to get in for a pint – there didn’t seem to be an obvious entrance despite numerous doors. We shrugged our shoulders and continued on – we had drink and snacks, so we wouldn’t die. We walked through a woodland and then dropped back into a field, starting to meet more walkers. It was a nice stroll through woodland, fields, farmyards and open hilltops. We dropped back into Skelwith Bridge and decided to head to Chesters, a cafe tucked in off the road. We walked up to it, slightly dismayed to see a long queue for the cafe and then again, around the corner, the takeaway had an equally long queue. It was heaving with squabbling dogs, crying kids and aimless tourists. We beat a hasty retreat and decided to head back to the Van and get food from the shop.
It was a bit of a haul back up the hill to the caravan site, but we got there. We got a few provisions and a newspaper and sat in the sun eating a picnic by the Van. It was very pleasant and lovely to relax. We had walked 5 miles.
With 5pm fast approaching, we got ready to meet our friends. We walked out the site and dropped back into the hamlet, but took a little lane that skirted the caravan site and gently dropped into Clappersgate. There were a couple of spots where we had to walk on the main road with no pavements, on alert for mad motorists. But at Clappersgate, there was a wide pavement all the way into Ambleside. Our friends holiday home was up a steep hill, so we negotiated a steep flight of steps and after a little head scratching, figured out how to get to their front door.
We spent a lovely evening catching up, eating and drinking, recounting our holiday adventures. We had booked a taxi for 11pm the week before and we had a few panicky minutes when we wondered if he would come. A quick phone call found him at a slightly different address as they had written down the wrong postcode, but it was soon amended and we soon stuffing The Dog in the front passenger well and piling in after her for the 10 minute drive back. We were pleased not to have to walk back in the dark! We tiptoed through the site to our little Van and settled down for our last night of our holiday.