BORROWDALE TO PATTERDALE – 17.5 MILES / 28 KM
BORROWDALE TO GRASMERE – 9 MILES / 14.5 KM
As the title suggests, our third walking day did not go to plan…
We started off with a skip in our step; the weather was overcast but we were in good spirits. Every step was one step closer to leaving the Lake District and it’s mountains… until we realised those first steps in the day were in the wrong direction!
We passed a couple in brightly coloured waterproof coats, heading in what was the right direction. A quick glance at the map, and an about turn soon corrected us, and we were soon hot on the heels of the brightly coloured hikers – dubbed the St Clement’s, after their neon yellow and orange coats.
A brief rest before we headed over the first climb of the day – over Greenup Edge – and we acquainted ourselves with the St Clements; an Alaskan couple who were too walking the Coast to Coast, and on a similar schedule to us.
That was when the heavens opened and that good old British summertime rain fell from above; and when I say fell, I mean “hit like a bus” fell.
Visibility reduced to a few yards ahead of us, the ground became sodden and boggy, and we were soon at the stage where a dip in the lake would have been drier than the conditions up here. The St Clements followed our poor navigation, where obvious footpaths and landmarks were no more. With the map and compass, we cut a straight line over brooks and streams (now surging thanks to the rain) to reach beginning of our descent to Grasmere.
The St Clements then vanished from sight beyond the fog, and Craig fell crotch-deep into a peat bog (which saved the day for the rest of us). Soon, the way became clear, and we found Grasmere in poor time, poor condition and poor spirits.
The plan was to do over 17 miles to the next village called Patterdale, but we had only done almost half that. An agreement was made to shell £50 each for a hotel that night at a Quaker’s Inn. Thank their God they had a drying room.