" " Lake District Trails and Ales: Huntingstile Crag and Dow Bank, Elterwater, February 20th 2010

Monday, 1 March 2010

Huntingstile Crag and Dow Bank, Elterwater, February 20th 2010

Having been in the Langdale valley a couple of days earlier and driving back on the Elterwater road I noticed how remarkably quiet it was in and around Elterwater given it was the school holidays. So with that factored in and the Britinnia Inn in Elterwater to replenish any lost fluid after a walk, I decided we should go for a stroll in this area. Our border collie had been to the hairdressers in the morning so we were off to a late start.We parked on the verge of the main road and headed away from Elterwater towards Grasmere. From here you can see Huntingstile Crag and Down Bank, and a nice little ridge walk which can be reached for very little effort. This walk doesn't seem to be on any obvious walking site. In fact we only saw two other groups of people en route. I'm sure that's very different in the summer.

Within a few minutes we were gaining height, having walked across a fairly flat stretch of green in the valley.  From the top of Huntingstile Crag you get views of Grasmere, Loughrigg, Helm Crag, Helvellyn as well as as a glimpse of the Langdale Valley.  Even at this height of only a couple of hundred metres we were in the snow. There was nothing in the valley.  Snow was visible on the peaks in the Langdales also.  From this first cairn there is a pretty obvious route past a small tarn to a couple more peaks which are slightly higher.  You can also see how easy it would be to carry on walking beyond Down Bank to Swirl How. The path is obvious and you stay high up all the way. 

After a couple of snowball fights we headed off Down Bank in a northerly direction and then gradually headed back down into Elterwater on a path that made the water circular. This time cutting across the front of the fells back into the valley. The walk was  about an hour and half in total. Upon our return we headed to the Brittania Inn for a pint from the local Tirrel Brewery. The main bar area is small but cosy. I doubt you fit in as easily on a summer's day as Elterwater is such a popular area.

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