Bank Holiday Adventure Weekend to Lake District
Organiser – Gary Box
Where – Grasmere Independent Hostel, Broadrayne Farm, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9RU
When – 24th-27th May 2013 (Fri-Mon)
Cost – £125.00 (includes 3 nights accommodation and all guided walks)
The Lake District is the most visited National Park in the UK and it’s not hard to see why. Finding the ideal accommodation is not easy though. There are plenty of YHA hostels but you end up sharing the building with others who are not part of our group. Other hostels and bunkhouses are sometimes located on the edges of the National Park which leads to longer drives to the start of walks. Some are just slightly run down and basic. In the end I’ve decided to use a hostel we have not visited for a number of years, Grasmere Independent Hostel. It’s certainly one of, perhaps the best hostel in the Lake District. The downside is it that it’s one of the most expensive and it only has 24 beds which is a low amount for a bank holiday weekend. Having looked at all the options though I think it’s the best choice and I think those lucky enough to secure a place on this trip will agree.
So what’s so good about this hostel? Firstly all bedrooms are en suite and all bed linen is provided. Also inside you will find lounge, dining room, 2 self catering kitchens, drying room and laundry and even a sauna which will be a popular addition after long walks in the surrounding mountains. The building also has free WiFi. Outside there is secure bike storage and bike washing facilities should you plan to bring your own mountain bike. There is also a private patio BBQ area.
Another great thing about this hostel is its location. There is a pub 400 yards away and Grasmere village and the lake are a short walk away. If you look at a map of the Lake District you will see that Grasmere is right in the middle, meaning whichever mountain range you want to visit, they are all a relatively short drive away.
We will depart from London on Friday, most cars probably leaving after work for those needing a car share.
On Saturday there will be a couple of walks on offer:
Helvellyn from Glenridding. This 10 mile (16km) walk involves 1031 metres of ascent. After reaching Birkhouse Moor (718m) we head to Helvellyn (950m) via the famous Striding Edge ridge. It’s a fun but easy scramble that is really popular. After reaching the summit of Helvellyn we head towards Dollywaggon Pike (858m). The route back to Glenridding passes Grisedale Tarn following Grisedale Beck to Lanty’s Tarn.
The Langdale Pikes, a 8 mile (13km) route with 891 metres of ascent. After reaching Stickle Tarn there are 2 routes up to Pavey Ark, one easy and one climbing up Jack’s Rake. Other peaks visited include Thunacar Knott, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag and Pike of Stickle.
On Sunday the 2 walks on offer are:
Scafell Pike from Seathwaite. This 9.5 mile (15km) route involves 1060 metres of ascent. Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres but this walk also visits a few other great peaks and a couple of beautiful tarns.
Blencathra from Mungrisdale. This 11 mile (17.5km) walk with 995 metres of ascent is one for those who love their scrambling and have a head for heights. The route up Blencathra is by the famous Sharp Edge, which is harder than Striding Edge so please do not consider this option if you are unsure of your abilities.
On Monday the options will be:
Via Ferrata is very popular in Europe but not something you find much in the UK. At Honister Via Ferrata exists but the original route was not that interesting. In 2012 they added an extreme version which is more suited to adventure seekers. It includes lots of exposure, vertical climbs, a cargo net and a Burma Bridge. Cost is £39.50 and it’s an early start at 8:30am but this 3 hour option will suit those who like to test themselves. For an idea of what you can expect see this short video.
Mountain Biking in Grizedale Forest. There are lots of routes to pick from and you should be able to find a fun half day option. Cycle hire is available in the forest.
Since we are based near Grasmere we will drive to the village and park up. Our walk is only 4.6 km and will take just over an hour to complete. It hugs the banks of Grasmere and once back in the village we can enjoy a snack and drink or perhaps treat ourselves to some of the lovely Gingerbread on sale at the famous Gingerbread shop.
What to bring
- Towel & Toiletries
- Swimming costume if you want to use sauna
- Hiking Boots & clothing
- Food for packed lunches and breakfasts