Grisdale Valley & Fairfield

Today was a 17km walk along Grisedale Valley taking in the summit of Fairfield at 873 metres(2684ft)

It was the first of many(I hope) solo walks with just myself and Rocky. Rocky has only been to the Lakes once before this, when the boys and I took him to Castle Crag for his first summit. I was eager to see how he would fair on a longer harder walk?

We arrived in Patterdale at 9.30am and parked in the white lion pub car park. The sign said for patrons only…. no probs I thought, I`ll call in for a pint and a packet of quavers post walk(more on this later)

Firstly Rocky takes a comfort break on the shores of Ullswater……….


The start of the walk looking back to Ullswater.……….Ullswater and tree


The start of the walk was a bit of a torrid affair. Rocky was very keen to get at the hundreds of sheep on display, and constantly pulled on his lead, causing me to lose my footing a few times( great when I am planning to ascend an almost 3000ft mountain 😦

It was very popular today, largely due to the glorious sunshine on offer I feel. Thankfully most of the throngs were attempting striding edge on Helvellyn so diverted off on the path up Birkhouse Moor. This left the valley virtually to myself(other than the sheep).

The route ahead……….

the valley

The valley seems to go on forever as it snakes its way to Grisedale Tarn, Ruthwaite Lodge is a great marker but never seems to get any closer!!

UntitledWe finally arrive at the lodge……

We stopped here for a quick coffee break. When packing this morning I had made a point of packing a bowl for Rocky, and a bag of food for him. I also took a litre of water for him to drink. There are plenty of streams and springs on the way, but I thought he may be thirsty on the summit.

I got some food out for Rocky and some nibble treats I`d taken along, but it appears he had filled up on the numerous dollops of sheep poo he had eaten along the way!!!

After a quick break we were on our way again to the half way point of Grisedale Tarn, full up on mars bars, coffee, and in Rocky`s case, sheep shit.

The tarn is another km or so from the lodge, and as we got closer we began to see more and more people on route.

Rocky chilling by the tarn…….

rocky takes a break

I sat for a good 30 mins or so at the tarn catching some sun as Rocky swam to his hearts content. As I have mentioned there was lots of fellow walkers there today. Solo walkers, groups, families with small children. What stood out for me was the sheer joy on everyone`s faces. It really is the best kind of therapy…..And free!!

I began to reminisce about when my children were younger and we would bring them to places like this on an adventure

But alas, nothing lasts forever. Now it is Rocky`s turn to chase sticks in to the water….To be fair the boys mam was never a fan of that activity!!!

We packed up and began the climb up on to Fairfield. The path can be seen on the pic above.

It is a steep climb up a scree path which can really take it out of you. Inexperience began to show, and one of us was panting hard on the pull up. Kidding of course….it was just me panting. The dog was fine 🙂

Looking down towards Grasmere, Coniston water in the distance…..


We made it…The summit shelter on Fairfield…..



Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag……

cofa pike

The original plan had been to cross Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag and drop down to Patterdale, completing a horseshoe walk. However I wanted to see what Rocky would be like going back through the valley off his leash?


Looking back down the valley from behind Ruthwaite Lodge…..



Rocky cooling off………

Just beside Ruthwaite Lodge is a beautiful waterfall with a cave running alongside. I ventured so far in to the cave, but thought better off it whilst on my own. A story of a fellow walker doing the same a few months ago and falling down a hollow put me off a little!!


Natures own waterpark……

After a little splash around in the falls it was time to get back on the road.


Rocky is eager to push on……


Sunray through the trees…..

All in all it turned in to a great walk, and Rocky was fine with the sheep. Whether he was tired or bored of them I am not sure? He didn’t chase any though which is good 🙂


There’s a good boy 🙂

At the end of the walk I was ready for my nice cold pint. I dropped my rucksack off at the car, and headed over to the pub as a patron 🙂

It was then that I realised I had lost my emergency £10 that I always take on walks(for emergencies like cold beer)

I was so eager for a post walk drink that I drove in to Glenridding to get some money from the post office!!

As I drove back to the white lion I passed the Patterdale hotel. The beer garden was too inviting to ignore. So it was here that I went for my ice cold pint, and Rocky ate his quavers. Thankfully there wasn’t a drop of sheep poo in sight 🙂


Until the next time…..

Scotty out


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