22nd November 2008

Grasmere, Silver How, Chapel Stile and Elterwater


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 13.45
Duration 4 hr 30 min
Distance 5.8 mile
Ascent 1700 ft
Walking with On my own
Grasmere - Kelbarrow - Silver How - Megs Gill - Chapel Stile - Elterwater - High Close Road - Grasmere Road - Grasmere
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Broadgate, Grasmere

Broadgate is one of the three main car parks found in Grasmere. They all charge what may be considered over the odds, but I suppose parking in an area with so many walking options does come with a high price tag.

In addition to the walking on offer, the car park is within a minutes walk from the centre of Grasmere and everything it has to tempt the visitor.


Route Map

Only a short walk from the centre of Grasmere I turned off the main road and headed onto this walled track. I assume this was an important route at one time, and even today it offers the quickest route between Grasmere and Chapel Stile.

Me and my big feet.
These two went nuts when they heard me, running from side to side and desperately trying to escape to open ground. Eventually one of them jumped over the wall; clearing it in a single bound, with no thought at all for what might be on the other side. The remaining one on the other hand decided that the fence was a better option, and again the obstacle was cleared with hardly any effort at all.

The view back down to Grasmere with Fairfield, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Stone Arthur behind.

I must have ascended Silver How time and time again by every route imaginable over the years, both on path and off. Based on my own recollections of how many people I generally meet, the route from Grasmere via Allan Bank / Wrey Gill seems to be the preferred option of the masses. Personally I prefer this interesting, even if somewhat short lived southerly approach which leads to the craggy escarpment below the summit.

From Silver How summit, looking across Grasmere to the eastern fells. The dip in the skyline (left) is Grisedale Hause, between Fairfield and Seat Sandal.

Still standing at the summit, and a little further round to the right is Grasmere and Rydal Water.

Not quite the most exciting sky, but the red glow in the distance added a little interest.

Elterwater quarry.

As I walked down the fellside above Chapel Stile I passed through this disused quarry.

While I was still in the quarry I took this picture looking across to Lingmoor Fell.

Chapel Stile from above.

Leaving the fellside now and walking into the village. The slate building seen on the right hand side through the gate, is the same one in the previous photo (bottom right).

Chapel Stile church.

This was a stroke of luck. There was an exhibition in the church giving a snapshot of life in Langdale over the past 150 years. With the emphasis being on change, the display covered amongst other things, agriculture, gun powder making, transport, quarrying and individual personalities who have lived in Langdale. Fascinating stuff if you're interested in this type of thing. I must have spent well over half an hour in here, but I had to press on.

This was one of the photos in the exhibition showing someone returning home after a days ploughing with the Langdale Pikes in the background.

And how times have changed!! There was no tractor with a CD player and a heated cab in those days. My late farther used horses to plough when he was a young man hired as a farm worker. I can still hear him telling me how "any yan can jump on a tracta, but it teks a clever fella t' handle a bad hos".

A quiet winters day in Chapel Stile.

and equally as quiet in Elterwater.

Well, I know it was a bit slow, but it's still a great feature to have on the side of your house..

Heading north for the winter.

Grasmere, Helm Crag, Steel Fell, Dunmail Raise Seat Sandal, Fairfield Great Rigg and Stone Arthur, seen from the track running next to Red Bank Woods.

Further down the track and the route has a striking resemblance to the lane I walked up at the start of the walk. The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced this could have been the main route from Grasmere to Elterwater before the modern road was built through Red Bank.

Joining the main road to Grasmere. I saw more people between here and Grasmere than I'd seen on the whole of the walk so far; including Chapel Stile and Elterwater.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks