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Top 10 Walks Lake District Walks To Viewpoints
Top 10 Walks Lake District Walks To Viewpoints
This attractive and cleverly structured guide gives walkers ten of the finest walks to the most amazing viewpoints in the Lake District National Park in a popular, pocketable format.
With clear information, an overview and introduction for each walk, expertly written numbered directions, large scale Ordnance Survey maps, superb eye-grabbing panoramic photographs, and interpretation of points of interest along the way, these guides set a new standard in clarity and ease-of-use.Featured walks include: Gummer's How, Carron Crag, Orrest Head, Wastwater, Rannerdale Knotts, Low Fell, Hallin Fell, Walla Crag, Latrigg and Great Mell Fell.
Colour maps and illustrations throughout
This is a ridiculously ambitious little book. It's only six inches by four and its 64 pages make it thin enough to shove into the back pocket of a pair of jeans, and yet, within its small compass, it seeks to offer the ten best views in the incomparable Lake District.
Where do you begin? You might begin as Wainwright did, at Orrest Head. In a walk that's barely two miles, the footpath leads you through fields and woodland offering tantalising glimpses of the expanse of Windermere below, and then, "you round the back of Orrest Head to be presented with the panorama that so enthralled Alfred Wainwright with its promise of the rugged splendour of the Lake District".
If you're lucky the wooden bench - it's a standard issue local authority park bench with metal sides and wooden slats - is empty, and you can take your ease and gaze across the forested hills to the blue length of Windermere splayed out into the distance.
On the other hand, you could begin with a longer, but more leisurely, stroll around Wastwater. For those who leave their car at Cinderdale Bridge in Nether Wasdale and are willing to stretch their legs for two to three hours there's "a low level walk around the lake shore with tremendous views up the lake to the mountains". And the views are tremendous. Stewart Smith's photographs prove it. On a beautifully clear day Yewbarrow, Lingmell and Great Gable are hazily reflected in the waters of Wastwater. It's the perfect reward for having walked through the fields and along the shore instead of parking up, pulling out your camera or mobile phone, taking a grinning selfie with that glorious backdrop, getting back in the car and roaring away down the narrow roads.
This guide is excellently well presented. It's not made for those sinewy skeletons who chug up Helvellyn and steam down Scafell Pike in the space of an afternoon. Stewart Smith's intention is to guide the uninitiated, to point them in the direction where they can really begin to enjoy the magnificence that lies about us. Each of the ten walks is meticulously described, each turn in the route detailed and there's a good clear map, teasing details of what you might see from ravens to bluebells, and those wonderfully tempting pictures. You might end up preferring your boots to your wheels.
The other walks are equally attractive and it's a good, varied package. There's Gummer's How above Windermere and Carron Crag by Coniston which offers superb views across to the high fells. The broad, green track along Hallin Fell takes in the glorious spread of Ullswater. Walla Crag gives a perfect view across Derwentwater and a steep ascent to Bannerdale Knotts leaves you with Buttermere and Crummock Water beneath your feet. A longer hike over Low Fell earns the "Perfect panorama? Grassmoor, Crummock Water and Melbreak".
And if none of these sound enticing there's always that pleasant little walk - a six mile round trip from the Keswick car parks - to the top of little Latrigg. "Its tree-lined slopes yield to an open grassy summit, with sufficient elevation to give a wonderful feeling of space as you gaze over a terrific Lakeland panorama."
And for a different walk altogether you might try to find that "lonesome pine on the grassy slopes of Mell Fell".
The book is a good little package. It's not for ambitious walkers, but if your ambition is to see the best of the Lakes with a modicum of effort, this is the place to begin. One warning, though. Don't expect the skies to be as clear and bright and the days as sunny as they are in all of Stewart's pictures. That would be an ambition too far.
Review by Steve Matthews of Bookends.
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