Planning Another Lake District Expedition


I’m coming back…

Having successfully managed to get myself a round trip on the Ratty and eighty minutes in Central Eskdale all by public transport in a single day, last month, I am now emboldened to plan another expedition to a part of the Lakes that I thought was more or less barred to me by distance and communication.

As some of you may now, for several years I’ve been in the habit of taking a week off in November, around my birthday, and treating myself to a day in the Lakes on the Thursday. Usually, these are pretty staid affairs: train to Windermere, bus to Grasmere, wander round Ambleside, blah de blah. There’s not much margin for variation.

But Eskdale has shown that maybe I’ve got more options that I dismissively thought, and another quick planning session has made it clear I can do something a bit less ordinary for 2018. I’m planning a Patterdale Expedition.

Credit for this must go to Drew Whitworth, whose splendid blog ‘The 214 Wainwright Fells without a car’ covers his determination not only to climb all 214 Wainwrights but complete a second round that includes every summit in the Outlying Fells as well, all via public transport (it’s in the Blogroll on the Home Page, and if you haven’t tried it, do so). His most recent walk included a trip on the Ullswater steamer from Howtown to Glenridding and a return from Patterdale on the 508 bus to Windermere. As Wally (Thhe Flash) West used to say, when Mark Waid was scripting his comic, Bing Bing, Bing Bing, Bing Bing.

So: by catching the 8.30am train from Manchester on the relevant date, and waiting 45 minutes for the 508, I can get to and from Glenridding (where I was married) and back for the 5.40pm train, returning to Manchester for 7.25pm. And, having safely arrived at Glenridding, I will have time for the complete round trip on the Ullswater Steamer, Glenridding to Pooley Bridge, calling in at Howtown both ways.

Of course, it’s not perfect. There’ll be no getting off at Pooley Bridge, just there and back, non-stop. And I’ve a 75 minute layover at Glenridding before I can catch the Steamer in the first place, not all of which I can fill by getting a hot meal. But I’m going to have two glorious hours travelling up and down Ullswater, my favourite Lake, the Queen of the Lakes, and I can say that even if it chucks it down the whole time I’m out there.

But if this comes out as well as Eskdale did, there’s all of next summer to play with, and with more sailings, who knows? Time to be a bit ambitious, methinks. Make this one work and we’ll see if I can contrive some quality time at Buttermere for 2019…

9 thoughts on “Planning Another Lake District Expedition

  1. I’ve been on the Ullswater steamer in the rain and mist—the lake looked spectacularly mysterious. It’s a trip that rewards whatever the weather. Enjoy!

    1. They offer some quite cheap deals out of peak season. Worth checking out. If it allowed off peak rail fares might not be too much more.

  2. Thanks for that George, though life has just chucked a dustbin through my window. I’m looking at applying for a new job which, if I get it, will involve a ten week training period that will blow November out of the water. I could do with the change, so it would be a sacrifice worth making, but even so…

      1. Well, who knows? After the initial gush of enthusiasm about how perfect I was for the role, the Recruitment Agency managing matters have gone very silent. I should have kept my mouth shut…

  3. Im pleased you found a way around the public transport to do this, I have to spend too much time trying to get public transport to fit my schedules and late nights and out of hours are a problem. This Youth Hostel thing sounds like a good idea my brother just stayed in one in Brighton and said it was cheap but cheerful and Tom is really picky. I hope you get your new job, fingers crossed.

  4. Much appreciated, Charlotte. I haven’t got the interview yet but that should come up soon, so I hope you can uncross your fingers before it does permanent damage!

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