HEManchester Coach Rambles
trip to Ambleside on Palm Sunday was to be this year’s first taste of spring in the Lakes.
Our walk from Staveley to Ambleside via Kentmere, the Garburn Pass and Town End was preceded by torrential rain in the morning but was a reminder that you should never turn over in bed because the rain is bashing the window.
Squally as it was, even after visiting for many years, the Lake District never disappoints.
My initial plan had been to walk to Kentmere via the lane and paths above the eastern side of the valley over Staveley Head, but what my party didn’t realise was that I saw a filthy storm approaching and I chickened out in favour of the low level path along Kentmere Tarn.
But my apprehension was to be short-lived – the heavy shower passed, the sky brightened and I recognised an old favourite route taking me onto the mountain to the west via Whiteside End and added an extra mile and few hundred feet above the valley before dropping to Kentmere: a totally different route to that initially planned but one which was engineered to fit in with the weather conditions and a perfect example of important rule of leadership: never tell the group your exact intentions – you can adapt your planned walk to fit in with weather conditions and no-one will be any the wiser!
The rain began to fall heavily as we descended to Kentmere Church and it was there that we were to take lunch.
The empty St Cuthbert’s chapel may be sacrosanct but there were no worshippers and I have always viewed the porch as being an appropriate shelter for lunch for a respectful but wet and weary traveller and the Palm fronds reminded that this was the beginning of Holy Week.
The climb over the Garburn Pass, an old route to the slate quarries, is a favourite route for the geologist examining the lava flows and mineralisation, but no-one else was to be seen until our unintentional pilgrimage dropped to Trout Beck Church.
The daffodils were just coming out: give it a week and there will be a huge yellow carpet covering swathes of the Lake District.
It was appropriate Robin Lane was to take us back above the valley as robins were to be seen at a few points, fiercely singing, not for our entertainment but to ward off potential competitors for territories and to attract mates.
A handful of visitors were to be seen at Jenkin Crag, one of the best known viewpoints of Lake Windermere, which was passed on our way down to Waterhead, two of whom, a couple of Japanese ladies clad in trainers, light jackets and cameras and were still at the viewpoint when we departed yet somehow managed to beat us back to the car park.
Back safe, sound and dry we drifted off to the café at Waterhead and then got an absolute drenching as we ran the hundred yards from the café back to the coach. C’est la vie!
Lots more information and photos at Facebook address ‘mcr coach ramblers’.
If you fancy one of our three walks at Church Stretton on Sunday, April 12 with Manchester Coach Rambles Group go to www.manchester coachrambles.co.uk or www.manchesterramblers.org.uk and click ‘Coach Rambles Group’ for details.
Next Ramblers Public Transport walk is Sunday, April 19, New Hey to Stalybridge. Catch 09.20 Rochdale tram from Market St. Meet New Hey 10.15. Return by train from Stalybridge. If you are travelling into Manchester by bus/train/tram buy a ‘System One bus/train/ tram’ ticket from the bus driver, train guard/station or tram stop.