Coast to Coast Day 3: Stonethwaite to Grasmere

The 8-mile distance of this leg disguises its challenges, illustrated by our taking 7.5 hours to complete it. It started with rain but fortunately that soon cleared up and intermittent blue sky brightened our ascent out of the Borrowdale valley. The recent rain swelled the rivers and filled the waterfalls. Bridges were rare so we crossed many rivers by various forms of rock-hopping and wading. While we appeared to be making good progress towards the top, the volume of water coming over the waterfalls made me suspicious that we had much further to go. Our pleasant hike up the valley suddenly became a lot more serious when we realized we had to hike up a literal waterfall under Lining Crag. The team coped remarkably well, rewarded with a flyover by some RAF jets and lunch. The next challenge was navigating the peat bog at the top of Greenup Edge before starting our descent towards Grasmere.

Here we were faced with the choice of the high route or the low route. Samuel and Bailey took the high route which followed the ridge to Helm Crag and a steep descent into Grasmere. The rest of us took the low route down the valley. While the rivers and waterfalls were beautiful, the path was rocky and the multitude of river crossings got old, and made our bones and muscles feel very old! It seemed to go on forever, but the rough path finally changed to track and then road and finally smooth footpath that took us right to our hotel for the night. Just as we arrived, Samuel and Bailey arrived from the next road over having completed their high route.

Today was very tough which was accentuated by the hardness of the previous day. The weather was kind but the rocky path was not. At least we have a day off in Grasmere tomorrow. The focus will be on recovery and maybe some gingerbread! With a few falls today and bruised Achilles, we are hopeful that the rest will invigorate us for the last two legs in the Lakes (to Patterdale and Shap).

It was a wet start to the day.
The first of only two bridges all day. All the other rivers had to be crossed by rock-hopping!
The recent rains swelled the rivers, but also made fantastic waterfalls.
Dean and Tracy enjoy the view.
Peter pauses to look back down to Borrowdale Valley where we started that morning.
Dean needed help removing his waterproof trousers!
Our group selfie shows we were having fun with the beautiful surroundings.
It was fantastic hiking past such amazing waterfalls.
A final pose before scaling a waterfall!
At the top, we were rewarded with an RAF flyby, and I even got a photo of Bailey with a jet… 😊. You might have to look closely, bottom-right.
And a great lunch.
The top of Greenup Edge was flat and we had to negotiate how to cross the bog.
A group photo before Bailey and Samuel headed to the High Route. Even though the clouds looked ominous, the rain stayed away.
Bailey and Samuel walked ahead to the place where the path split and they were going to go their own way. I thought they were sheltering from the wind, but they explained they were playing Jet Pack Joyride on their phones!
The four of us put on a brave face as we headed down the valley.
We enjoyed beautiful waterfalls
The other bridge on the walk!
We spotted the kids on the ridge.
Bailey and Samuel enjoyed some time in the clouds…
… but the clouds cleared for their view of Grasmere from Helm Crag.
We all arrived at our hotel together for the day’s finisher photo.

Make sure you check out our 1-minute Relive video which summarizes the day!

This page is linked to from my England’s Coast to Coast home page.

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Published by Peter Ireland

I am originally from England, and my wife Janet is from Louisiana. When we started Geocaching in 2002, we needed a name, and the Cajunlimeys were created, and that is the name I use for my blog. Even though Janet has no Cajun blood, her cooking is excellent! “Limeys” comes from the nickname for English sailors, who ate limes to prevent scurvy. We live in Houston, Texas, with Bailey and Samuel. We love adventures and want to share the experiences with others. When planning trips, I have found other people’s sites very useful, so I want to give back and add a different perspective.

3 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Day 3: Stonethwaite to Grasmere

  1. Amazing pictures! I feel like singing, “Climb every mountain…ford every stream…follow every rainbow…’til you find your dream.” Proud of your hard work! Enjoy your day of rest!!


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