I have loads of pictures for today, as it was a really exciting day for us.
The cold front had come in overnight, so the weather was cooler, only reaching 18C as the high, and cloudy in the morning. This is much better weather for walking.
First we went into town to a deli to have sandwiches made up for our lunch (I chose a yummy bacon and brie with cranberry jelly and salad on a poppy seed roll, Dave chose ham salad on a sesame seed roll).
Then we headed for Hard Nott Pass, which is a very scary mountain pass.
The road is more of a country lane, only wide enough for one car in most places, but runs in both directions. Like in most places in the UK, where the roads are narrow and scary, they have created regular passing places, which are just a scrape on the side of the road that one vehicle can move 2 wheels onto, so the other vehicle can (just) pass. You need to drive very slowly and carefully along there.
Not only is the road narrow, but also very windy and of course rising steeply up and down the two passes. Hard Knott pass itself is 393m high, and the road rises very steeply in the last section (it is very windy there too). It is more like a white knuckle ride than a road! Hence why everyone likes to go up there...
The road leading to the pass was about 4 miles of excitement.
Once on top of the pass we parked the car, donned our hiking boots and decided which fell rising above us to climb. We chose the nearest, Hard Knott Fell. From the road, it rises another 200m almost straight up. We could not see a path up, so we just went for it. It is very steep, and there are a lot of rocks, so we went scrambling up the rocks and through the grass tufts. Here are some views as we climbed.
Our route up the fell.
It was scary for me, as I hate heights, and as we were on the side of the fell, looking down meant looking down all the way to the bottom. I climbed using my hands and feet to keep my body angled towards the fell so I wouldn’t over balance. Dave seemed unaffected by the heights.
I must say, I was very scared, but found it exhilarating, and we climbed quickly.
It was not very far to the top, using such a direct route!
Once we reached the top it was amazing. The views in all directions were stunning, especially the view down the valley below Hard Nott Pass, which is amazing from the pass itself, but even better from the fell above it.
At the top it was wide and easy to walk around and enjoy. We found a large rock to sit down and enjoy our lunch. In front was the full length of the valley with it’s amazing views (see photo above), to the right were the Scafell Pike range of fells – the highest mountains in England. Behind us was the valley we had climbed out of by car to reach the pass. To the left, and nearer, was Harter Fell (one for another time).
I did not want to go back the way we had come up, as it was bad enough to climb up, but down would have been too scary for me, so we looked for a gentler way down, and soon found a trail leading down the side of the fell, on a much gentler route, right to our car!
We headed back home and decided to do an afternoon walk near Ambleside. We parked at the bottom of the hill (at our apartment), and walked up Loughrigg fell behind the house.
It was an easy climb, and the views of both Ambleside and Lake Windermere were breathtaking.
Tonight we had our Thai dinner (that we booked on Saturday night), and then went to the local cinema (in the converted church hall), and watched the newly released Terminator Salvation movie.
The walk home through the park in the twilight was a bit creepy though....
It was such a great day.