Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Walking with wheelchairs - Grasmere Lake from Rydal Car park.

  It feels like the "Eating out with food Intolerances" and "Walking with Wheelchairs" posts should be merged. Food and walking tend to go hand in hand and it is hard to separate the two.  Today I was thinking of putting the two together but the post was rather long... therefore I would like to tell you about another lovely walk we took with Heni while we were in the Lakes (you never know may need this information if you visit there one day!) AND  then in a future post do a review of "Greens" in Grasmere where we stopped for refueling at the half way point!

We have done this walk plenty of times before but have only ever been able to go a short distance with Heni in the buggy/wheelchair as the paths and stiles prevented us from going very far... HOWEVER we were very pleased this year to see that a heap of work had been done on the trail (presumably by by the National Trust?) making it more accessible.   The terrain was more chair friendly than before and the stiles had been removed and gates wide enough for wheelchairs  had replaced them. This allowed us to get all the way from the car park which is at the west end of Rydal water  (where it says TOILETS on the map) all the way round the south of Grasmere lake  (...indicated by the black dotted line but going in the opposite direction to the arrows).. to Grasmere village and then back in a circular loop.

The first part of the walk has a short hill stint of about 50 meters of so.... you have to be fit enough to be able to push the wheelchair up and navigate a few tree stump roots!

You walk through a small wooded area and descend down the other side of the hill to then Cross The River Rothay at the Bridge.

  A little further on and you come to a "shingle beach" where you get a spectacular view from the  bottom end of Grasmere Lake looking towards Grasmere village. Heni loved being outside all bundled up in her blankets, enjoying  the breeze and breathing in the fresh air.....smiling away. 

 The chair pushed very nicely over the shingle " Penny rock beach" at the end of the lake but it might be a little tougher for some more standard wheelchairs with non pneumatic tyres.

Here is a picture of one of the lovely mossy covered stoned walls... which are EVERYWHERE. They almost glow lime green when the sun comes out.

Here is one of the paths and gates we came across which led off to someones garden.... definitely not wheelchair friendly...but rather cute and full of character.

 Another pretty atmospheric lakeside shot with the rain clouds in the distance...over Grasmere where we were heading!

This next photo is of the point where the path turns away from the lake and has a reasonable up hill push.... Good job big brother Tom has strong muscles to push Heni!

After having followed the pathway along the lake and then making the left turn up hill we came out on to one of the lovely stone walled  county lanes and followed the road in to the village. 
This is a picture from the road of the distant hills and the mossy blanket on the walls.

 The walk in to Grasmere took us past the boat house and between fields and fields of new baby lambs. Once in the village we made the stop off at the gingerbread shop  (that's a must.... if you don't have food intolerances...... I chose not to have any because it contains gluten and butter : ( ). 
We visited  the church yard next to the shop and went to see William Wordsworth's burial spot  ......and then found "Greens"  for some sustenance .....which I will tell you all about in  an "Eating out with food Intolerances" post soon. 

Once refreshed we noticed the oxygen getting very low and made a mad dash on the path at the other side of the lake along the side of the road. This route is not AS pretty  as the other side of the lake (but everything is pretty in the lakes), and it was a bit noisier due to the cars. It  did get us back to the car park a lot quicker though...just in time to change the second cylinder before it emptied completely. We always tend to take two oxygen cylinders with us which  gives us about a four and a bit hour window. This was JUST enough for the walk and the leisurely stop for lunch!

This is a map depicting most of the walk we took (with some minor variations and walking it in a clockwise direction)  ...

 The lakes are beautiful at any time of year and each time I have walked this route it seems like you get to see something different. When the weather changes, the light on the hills change, the clouds are different and the surrounding scene takes on a different character and feeling.
It was such a treat this year to  be able to take Heni on this particular favourite walk and have her share in the beauty  of it with us. 

Thank you trail and gate builders!


The walk is about 4 miles or 6.5 km or thereabouts.

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