High pressure and no wind hit South Lakes on Friday, and so did the fog and mist. So why not walk up one of small hills with outstanding views, so everyone says. Looking at others whom have walked up Latterbarrow on another day it will afford you the majestic panoramas expected by a hike to the top of a hill. My experience was somewhat different, though no less enjoyable.
The grey tone was set on the ferry journey over Windermere. Sky and lake merging together, separated only by the darker washed trees and coloured reflections on mirror still water.
We parked on the car park, Red Nab, reached by following signs to Lower Wray. The car park is not signed though it is on the OS map (SD 385 994). From the car park we walked south a short way along the lake, sadly coming a cross a dead otter, then turned right up a paved track into murky, misty trees.
For a moment we thought it had begun to hail, but it was just ice dropping from the trees. Even gaining just a few meters turned the mist from a soft damp blanket to icy thickness. Trees had received a late Christmas dressing with an unexpected white tips.
The path curves west, crossing forest tracks in a two places. Shortly after the second we followed a path, with yellow marker, initially down, and then up to Latterbarrow. Only here do you deviate from following signs to Hawkshead. We would have been a little more convinced that we were on the right track if we had been able to see the elusive Wainwright.
So the panorama from the ‘elegant obelisk’
Not a hill or a lake in sight. We didn’t linger. There is a path from Latterbarrow down to High Wray, but we headed more west to a small road and ultimately the village of Outgate. Here you could stop for a while at the Outgate Inn, but we were a bit short of time and had been super efficient with soup and butties, not to mention the flapjack.
From Outgate follow a bridleway passing Blelham Tarn and we had our first view of a cloud topped Latterbarrow.
Do note, if you decided to walk this that much of what looks like woodland/forest on the map has been cut recently, both on the upward track to Latterbarrow and just before Blelham Tarn. After the tarn it is worth taking the wiggle to go through the grounds of Wray Castle. Especially in January when it was deserted bar a couple of robins wanted to share our lunch. The last stretch along the lake shore is a well restored bridleway back to the car park. Though there was no sun, there were no people and the water was still mirror calm, only disturbed by ripples from the ferry and swans. No tourists, no noise, just tranquillity.
More pictures of the walk here. Cicerone book here, or a Wainwright book