/ First trip to Lake District

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rtwilli4 - on 15 Mar 2013
I know I should search (I have looked around quite a bit) but I'm only looking for someone to point me in the right direction.

We're headed up to the Lake District for Easter. Will be driving up early Sunday morning and heading back home late Wednesday evening. I know, it will be crowded, but we'll deal with it.

We want to camp a few nights, possibly stay in a B&B one night but not sure yet. We are used to wild camping but would much rather car camp at an established site with facilities and maybe a pub. Something that will be enjoyable and relaxing, good location for the following:

Figure Sunday we'll just do a walk somewhere and try to eat a nice dinner. Maybe we'll have to make a booking for the meal since it is Easter?

Monday/Tuesday we'd like to climb. Wife can probably follow HVS but might have more fun on VS and HS. I wouldn't mind leading an E1 or E2 if I can do it w/o her having to follow - but I enjoy any new area so grades aren't important. We'd just like to do some nice routes in a classic location - 2-4 pitches but single pitch is OK. Exposure is fine but good belays are nice when I'm with the wife.

Wednesday we'll just do the tourist thing and check out the shops and whatnot.

So first I know I have to pick a general area. Where is best for great climbing (or walking if it decides to rain)? Any and all recommendations for food/camping/B&B/crags/routes etc are very much appreciated! Thanks!





climber34neil - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4: I think with your requirements I would head to great langdale (national trust campsite) , for climbing you have pavey ark, gimmer , bowfell etc and walking your options are limitless, eg langdale pikes, bowfell , crinkle crags, pike o blisco etc then after straight into the old dungeon gyll for great beer and food and atmosphere, there is also the new dungeon gyll if you prefer that, then also a short drive to Ambleside for your day of shops etc, could then head up the road to Keswick for more shops and stuff and call in at grassmere on the way to get some ginger bread . Better still leave the car in Ambleside , get bus to Keswick then on the return get off the bus at grassmere and walk back to Ambleside along the coffin route through rydal hall and have a swift half in the badger bar along the way!
mikekeswick - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4: Stonethwaite camping site in Borrowdale.
mike123 - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4: keswick, crag down bordodale (ask for ideas but there the odd quality route at shepards), tea and cake at shepards cafe (should be open for easter) , lunch at morrels, or cottage in the wood, walk + ferry around the lake, pub meal - horse and farrier threlkeld (walk from keswick)
GrahamD - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

I think Langdale or Borrowdale are your best bet. Climbing will be something of a lottery at Easter but at least in these two areas you have a range of options to go for.
MFB - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:
Langdale
camp at the National Trust site
walk to Raven Crag which is low altitude and south facing.
Locate and climb Revelation HS, Bilberry butress VS, Pluto HVS
descend to ODG for a pint.

In the event of warm (March) weather consider Gimmer if not windy or White Ghyll - these crags are cold for seconds at this time of year - gimmer currently covered in snow.

the walking is first class as well
rtwilli4 - on 17 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

Thanks everyone. Just the kind of info I was looking for. Will do some research. Any recommendations on a guidebook, since I'm sure it won't be our last visit to the area? I'm not particularly fond of Rockfax - would rather buy something more "local" if you will. But if they make the best book then so be it. Thanks again!
simondgee - on 17 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:
FRCC (fell and rock climbing club-local) Selective guide is perfect ...http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Books-Maps-DVDs/British-Guidebooks/Lake-District-Guidebooks/La...
Lew13 - on 17 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

And another vote for Langdale.

Camp down there and you're within walking distance to numerous good crags and more importantly, the ODG.
xplorer on 17 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

Another got for langdale, I do like staying in ambleside myself, it's a good central base for all the good climbing spots. More oppurtunities, good public transport, everything you need. The ambleside youth hostel has just had a multi million pound make over and is cheap.

If you camp at national trust sites, leave the car at home and walk. 3 pound a night with there green discount
A Mountain Journey - on 17 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4: Langdale. Camp at the National Trust site, only minutes walk from 3 good pubs all serving food too.
Raven crag has plenty of excellent routes, East raven has a few excellent single pitch routes if the main crag is busy. Gimmer & White ghyll both brilliant as is Pavey. Pike O' Blisco is covered in amazing single pitch crags, all quite high up so only for a calm day.
Langdale pikes, Bowfell, Esk pike, Lingmoor all make for good day walks should it be damp.

The Britannia inn at Elterwater is a good b&b, walking distance to the Chapel stile bouldering circuit & Raven crag, Walthwaite too.
rtwilli4 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will certainly be checking back to this thread for our next trip, but this time it looks like we're going to be in a B&B. It's just been so cold all winter and we've worked so hard to have a nice holiday - don't want to spend it in a tent in this kind of weather. We're had plenty of cold/fun nights out... not this time.

So is there even a point in bringing my climbing gear? I can't imagine anything will be enjoyable or dry, but then I've never been to the Lake District so I don't really know.

Can anyone recommend some nice walks that will be possible to navigate given the current conditions? We have proper kit, but aren't interested in doing anything that involves more than a good pair of winter boots. Just a nice, relatively easy to follow trail/path would be great. Don't mind it being long or short, just something fun and mellow.

Thanks!
ledifer on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:
The best walk I did when I was there last October was up helvellyn. You even get a good bit of scrambling in.

This is from memory but if you look at a map it should make sense. It's also a fairly common walk so a Google might bring it up.

From Glenridding turn your back to the Lake and look up towards helvellyn / catsy cam. Start walking towards it on the right hand side of the stream, not the side with the shops, this takes you past the pub up the hill. Continue along this road until it becomes a track. You then go past a ymca centre then an old mine. Shortly after this you cross the stream on your left and follow the path up the hill. Catsy cam will be well in view by now, we made the mistake of thinking it was the top of helvellyn!
Follow the path up the hill until you get to red tarn. This is a fairly decent spot to have lunch and it's gives everyone who's come up the other way by striding edge a chance to get round. Now head up to the top of helvellyn via the ridge on your right, this is swirral edge and although I think it's only a grade 1 scramble it feels pretty serious, very long drops either side, no hard moves though. You can also pop over to catsy cam if you like.
Once you've enjoyed being at the top of helvellyn come down on the other side (left when you were looking up from red tarn). You can follow this ridge right along the top. This is striding edge and is great fun. You can scramble along the top or there's a footpath along the side.
Once at the end of striding edge make your way back down to Glenridding on the other side of the stream.

I was with some non walkers and with lots of breaks took about 6-7 hours. They loved it though
ledifer on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to ledifer:

ah just looked and helvellyn is in full winter conditions.

In that case another walk is from Glenridding (guess where we stayed) up place fell and down to howtown then catching the steamer back. You could even carry on to Pooley bridge. That walk was fairly simple, all good paths, and place fell is a fair whack lower than helvellyn
Carolyn - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to rtwilli4:

Where in the Lakes are you staying (apologies if this is higher up the thread, but I'm reading it on my phone and can't be bothered to scroll back up....)

As a starting point, there are nice walks at lakeshore level on most of the lakes - all the way round the smaller ones, but some are big enough that that'd be a bit epic!

But enjoy, it's lovely sunshine today, and the views should be fabulous.
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rtwilli4 - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

We're staying in Ambleside. Wanted to stay in Langdale but left it too late and couldn't find a room.

Driving up Sunday Morning and staying three nights. Should get some reasonable weather but probably still a lot of snow everywhere.

Would like to get as high as possible w/o having to post hole. Like I said, I've never been up there so the "full winter conditions" that I keep reading about are foreign to me. In my experience many things seem to get blown out of proportion in the UK so part of me is expecting mild conditions. But the other part of me just rode my bike home in the freezing cold in London and thinks that it cold potentially be winter up there in a very real way.

Guess we'll just be prepared and find out when we get there.

Thnks for all the advice!

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