On Saturday morning, Patty and I first took a walk down to the nearby Arnside Railway Station, just to check it out and kill some time. It is amazing how convenient the train and bus service are in the Lake District. If you want to pop down to Arnside for the evening, no problem. I love the idea of not depending on a car to go where I want to go.
This was the view looking north (Not much happening early on Saturday morning.).
This was the view looking south.
After a delicious breakfast back at the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks Inn (Really. The people were super-friendly and the food was great!), Patty, Andreas, Mary, and I started on a circuit-hike around Arnside Point, and up a hill called Arnside Knott (522 ft), which is Item 2 on the map above.
Here is the route we took, going counterclockwise.
There is also a 2-mile Coffin Trail, which up until 1866 was used to transport coffins from Arnside to the nearest consecrated ground at St. Michael’s Church in Beetham (Item 5). That trail continues on for another 11 miles to the east along the Limestone Link to the town of Kirkby Lonsdale, at the edge of Yorkshire Dales National Park.
This was the view from the east side of the mouth of the River Kent. The settlement in the distance is the town of Grange-over-Sands, which became a seaside resort with the arrival of the railroad (via the Arnside Viaduct) in 1857. We will pass through Grange-over-Sands on Day 11, on our way to hike up to the Hampsfell Hospice (on the hill at right) and on to the village of Cartmel (on the other side of the hill).
After we rounded Arnside Point, we passed the Holgates Holiday Park , which was a small community of small (single-wide) pre-fab houses (see map above), which can only be used by the owner as a holiday retreat. The concept has restrictions, but those constraints are certainly keeping the place very appealing.
Here are Mary and Patty at the point where we turned up towards Arnside Knott (522 ft).
These are poppies we saw along the way.
This was the amazing view looking north from the west side of Arnside Knott (522 ft). In the center you can see the Arnside Viaduct, which has been providing the train line over to Grange-over-Sands since 1857.
Here is a photo of Patty and yours truly. The view is looking, well . . . at Us!
On the way back into Arnside, we stopped by The Albion for a cider/wine, and to coordinate the rest of our day. This would include a visit to Mary’s Uncle Frank, a 94-year-old Catholic Priest living in Milnthorpe. “Uncle Frank” was the person who guided Mary and her family on many hikes in the area, and instilled in Mary of love of the Lake District.
Nicely appointed, it would be our reasonably-priced basecamp for the week’s adventures. No screens on the window’s, what a concept!
One of the first things we did after getting settled in Ambleside was to walk from Pavement Cottage (house symbol) down near the water to the ruins of Ambleside’s Roman Fort (labeled “Main Gate”). Googlemaps satellite view gives you a pretty cool perspective of where it sits.
This map shows how a fort at Ambleside would have been key to securing the transport of provisions from the Roman port at Ravenglass, and distributing them to interior forces south and north. This map is dated 2020 from the Roman Roads in Cumbria home page.
This is what the fort is believed to have looked like, based on excavations around the year 1915. The labels are as follows: I. Granaries; II. Headquarters; III. Commandant’s House; A. Cellar; B. Hearth or Kiln; C. Deposit of corn; D. Ditch perhaps belonging to earliest fort; E. Outer Court of Headquarters; F. Inner Court.
This appears to be the foundation for the Headquarters Building, the opening at the center being the Outer Court, with the Inner Court and Cellar beyond.
This appears to be the foundation of the Granary Building. The closer spacing of footers was likely needed to support the weight of the contents, and the gaps between provided ventilation to prevent spoilage.
This was the view looking south across the foundation of the Granary Building, and towards Windermere Lake.
Here is the stronghold that was under the Headquarters Building. Curiously, while we were there, someone was being Medivac’ed from the neighboring field.
This was the view looking north from the fort towards Nab Scar (1493 ft), Heron Pike (2008 ft), and Great Rigg (2513 ft) on the left, Fairfield (2864ft and 5.5 miles away) in the center, and Hart Crag (2697 ft), Dove Crag (2598 ft), High Pike (2152 ft), and Low Pike (1667 ft) on the right. It would have been quite a challenge, but this Fairfield Horseshoe was one of the hikes I wanted to do.
Here was the sign at the South Gate.
Here was the sign at one of the Angle Towers.
Once we got down to the water, we parked ourselves at The Wateredge Inn, where we had dinner and drinks.
Here is a view of the festivities from the pier. This place was hoppin’.
This was the view from the pier looking east along the Ambleside waterfront.
And this was the view looking southwest across Windermere.
I just couldn’t get over how strong the sun was that evening.
After dinner, we walked back up into Ambleside . . .
. . . our little corner of Paradise, before calling it an evening.