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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

Cumbria is Open

Cumbria is Open

‘Hashtag’  Cumbria is open!

This weekend it was open and beautiful.

With the A591 round Thirlmere still out of action, businesses in Grasmere and Ambleside have been severely affected as has access to the hills surrounding Thirlmere.

The A591 won’t be open till the end of May but the shuttle bus is an option worth exploring.

Driving to Grasmere, to be dropped off at the far end of Thirlmere, it would have been quicker for me to drive round but the novelty value was worth the effort.  Parking is still only £1.50 in Redbank Road carpark.


Bus £5 for an all day ticket.

Somebody needs to tell #Cumbriaisopen that it needs to open a bit earlier though.  Catching the first bus from Grasmere on Sunday morning, 8.50am; no one was serving coffee.

Clearly the work has started on repairing the road, though there was no activity on Sunday morning. The bus wound it’s way round the service road on the west side of the reservoir.  Strangely with a car escort.



Chatting to the ‘security’ guards before coming back, the car was something todo with the amount of pedestrians and cyclists on the road and that the bus was not allowed to reverse on that road.  No, i didn’t quite get that either.

Suffice to say, don’t bother trying to drive the route yourself.  There are barriers up, with ‘guards’.  Very amenable, only armed with smiles, but there to stop joe public.

Way up to Raise

Looking out of the window added a different dimension to the usual drive and it was the perfect morning to enjoy the ride.  Landslides still scar the hillsides with tumbled down trees heaped like pickup sticks.

We were heading up  Raise to Helvellyn and so enlisted at the help of a friend driving in from the north to taxi us to the bottom of Sticks Pass.  The bus doesn’t drive over the dam.

A light dusting of snow covered the valley floor and we quickly enlisted the help of spikes to stop us slipping down.

Great Gable

View west over Thirlmere

Skiddaw sat like an ungarnished Christmas pudding at the head of the valley.

Not many people were around as we traipsed up the hill, but once up there it was not just the scenery that was Alpine.

There were people skiing!  I had seen the tow wheel in summer months and heard of people who had skied from Raise but there it was, working.

skiing on Raise

Skier on Raise

Even more extreme were the bikers.  I can never quite understand the thrill in carrying your bike up a mountain.  Maybe if someone would carry mine up, the terror of hurtling down could outweigh the pain.

It did look a bit like fun.

Mountain Bikes on Raise

Bikes on Raise

Lower Man almost presented and adventure with the slope up challenging earlier deployed crampons.

After, all that remained was to admire the view,

and return.

Lower Man

Lower Man

By a rather obscure path from round the side of Raise.

10cm of snow is not a lot but without snow shoes, well lets just say we’d all had enough of snow by the time we got down.

Swirral Edge

Swirral Edge

Even on this most wonderful of days.

Note: The pub at Thrilspot is disappointingly closed


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