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Walking to Lily Tarn

February 23, 2015

A week ago we walked from Rydal up to Lily Tarn.

Lily Tarn (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Lily Tarn (c) John Bainbridge 2015

It’s a funny thing but in all my explorations of Loughrigg Fell, I’ve never walked the ridge immediately above Ambleside. Never visited Lily Tarn

We went out early so had the fell much to ourselves – being half-term the Lakes have been very busy – and indeed by the time we were heading back to Rydal we passed great crowds on the path to Loughrigg Tarn rather resembling an

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

old-fashioned Everest approach march.

We followed the Under Loughrigg Lane, passing Fox Ghyll, one the home of Thomas de Quincey, and then the footpath past Brow Head Farm and out on to Loughrigg.

At Todd Crag (as called so by Wainwright, the Ordnance Survey puts it a half mile away, we admired the views over Windermere. Far down below, looking like an aerial photograph, were the remains of the Roman fort of Galiva.  In the other direction is a wonderful view of the Fairfield Horseshoe still bearing some of the traces of the recent snow. The Langdale Pikes still looked positively Alpine.

Galive Roman Fort from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Galive Roman Fort from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Lily Tarn isn’t far away. The one tiny island with its solitary silver birch tree giving it a kind of artistic perfection. At one point you can see the tarn with Windermere far below in the distance.

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Afterwards we wandered around the grounds of Rydal House, near neighbour to Wordsworth’s house at Rydal Mount. Rydal House is a Christian retreat, a b and b and a bunkhouse. There’s a lovely cafe which I recommend.

Rydal House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Rydal House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

In the grounds is the Grot or grotto, a favourite of the Romantic poets with its picture view of Low Falls, the beau ideal of Romanticism.

Always interesting to walk in the steps of such famous writers and artists.

And I thing Lily Tarn is an absolute delight. If you only have a couple of hours to spare and you’re in the area then do go and have a look.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2015 8:34 pm

    Believe it or not, I havent been to any of those places (well, I’ve been up Loughrigg but not that tarn – didn’t even know about it). Rydal Mount looks nice and I like the sound of the caff 🙂
    Carol.

  2. February 24, 2015 7:39 am

    Cafe is very good. And of course there is cheaper parking in Rydal lane nearby. Worth going up to the tarn and crags for that view of Windermere, probably the best after Wansfell Pike.

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