Coast to Coast

Day Five – 26th April 2011: Grasmere to Patterdale – 7.5 miles

Liz and Jon were adamant that they didn’t want to cramp our style so they told us to dictate as to when we wanted breakfast and wanted to leave. As it was only another short day to Patterdale we were in no desperate hurry but the weather looked changeable and clouds were building over Helvelyn and Dollywagon Pike. Breakfast was good with a fine selection and everything just so. The Essex Three came in and had made a decision. They would attempt to get to Patterdale and then get taxis or public transport to each destination if it was too far to walk. They had given up on their dream to walk it all but far better really to accept defeat rather than put themselves in danger. We wished them well, we wouldn’t see them again. Liz & Jon had decided that they wanted to walk with us for a couple of miles and we were glad of the company for a change.

Liz, Jon & Mark

We went up the right hand side of Great Tongue gradually climbing towards the head of the valley. It was quite windy and cold if we stopped for too long but as this was Liz and Jon’s little introduction to hill walking we didn’t want to go too fast for them. All too soon they had to turn back and collect their car. Their intention was to spend the rest of the day driving round to Patterdale and we would meet them there.

View back to Great Tongue

We arrived at Grisedale Hause and dropped down against a wall out of the wind where we met Gary and Sam. They had already passed us as we were saying our good byes to Liz & Jon. We had a snack and then made the descent to Grisedale Tarn.

Grisedale tarn

The wind was very strong alongside the Tarn and especially so as we went over the lip into Grisedale Valley. We passed the Brothers Parting stone which was a bit of an anticlimax. I didn’t know what to expect really but we passed quickly by and down into the valley proper.

Grisedale Valley

We had soon passed Ruthwaite Lodge and further on reached Grisedale Beck and the footbridge. The weather was quieter now that we were lower down in the valley and we decided to have another rest stop. Just after resuming our walk we looked across and in a copse saw 3 or 4 deer quietly munching away, oblivious that we were there.


Gary and Sam were long gone, we hadn’t seen them for the last couple of hours. We joined the tarmac road for a while before cutting off up and across some open land before dropping down to the hotel.



It was only a short hop to The White Lion, our bed for the night. Just as we got to the general store Liz and Jon appeared right on cue in the car. They had managed to get a room at Old Water View. We both went our separate ways to check in and agreed to meet up later for dinner at the White Lion. Before we crossed the road to the pub we realised that there was a message board outside the shop. Although we hadn’t seen them all day, even though we took our time, we left a message to The Essex Three – I wonder if they ever saw it?

Our room was small, as has been mentioned by many others before staying in this pub, but it was clean. After later seeing the quality of my sister’s accommodation, we certainly felt that we had the short straw. As previously arranged we met up for dinner and Gary and Sam were there as well, which was nice. The food was great, no complaints there. After probably a little too much wine and beer, especially bearing in mind the following day’s march, we said goodbye to Liz and Jon. They were going back the next day and we were aiming for as early a start as the breakfast time in the morning would allow, consequently we wouldn’t see them. It had been really good to have spent time with them and we can’t thank them enough for being there for us. We were fine, we were not flagging but the surprise of them turning up was just great and gave us a boost.

The night was a little fitful due to the road and the street light but it was a bed and my restlessness could well have been in anticipation of ‘the big one’ the following day.


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