Silver How and Loughrigg Terrace

OF THE thousands of people who visit Grasmere each week relatively few get to appreciate its true beauty, because most prefer to stay within the village area rather than venture out on a hill walk, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. Two of the best views can be seen by walking up Silver How and Loughrigg Terrace. This fairly easy walk visits them both.

Start from Grasmere village Green, map reference NY 336 075, postcode LA22 9SX.


Distance: 5.5 miles with 1400 feet of ascent

Time: 3 hours

Terrain: fell paths

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 From the village green walk onto the lane signed Allan Bank, next to Emma’s Dell coffee shop. After the cattle grid bear right past the front of Allan Bank and continue to the end of the tarmacked lane. Fork left onto the stony path signed Silver Howe and Langdale. Walk up to a kissing gate then alongside a wall on the left. Follow the main uphill pebbly path going past three cairns and juniper shrubs. Juniper is a native plant and is listed as a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan because it is becoming less abundant (gin lovers take heed!). After the third cairn pause to visit a viewpoint on the left for impressive views of the village. Continue along the path to the left above the gorge of Wray Gill. Cross the gill and climb to a grassy path swinging left past a cairn. Ascend directly ahead to the 1,296 feet summit of Silver How. Enjoy beautiful views of Rydal Water and Grasmere.

2 From the summit descend southwards, heading towards the tiered working quarry below at Elterwater. Keep to the right of the prominent cairn and descend a gully. The Wainwright Inn at Chapel Stile can be seen directly ahead. Turn left at the path junction at the head of Megs Gill gorge. At a crossing of footpaths follow the grassy path ahead, undulating over the tops to a neat cairn on Dow Bank and its 914 feet summit cairn just beyond, with splendid views of Great Langdale and the Pikes. The village of Elterwater is directly below.

3 Descend the steep rocky path then cross marshy areas (there are stepping stones) to the edge of Hammer Scar valley (with woodland on the opposite side). Descend steeply to the main path and cross the valley bottom to the left side. Walk alongside the wall on the left, pass a field gate, then go through a kissing gate. Descend a grassy path towards Grasmere and Rydal Water, go through a wicket gate then keep right along an overgrown path to Red Bank Road. Turn right then left onto the Loughrigg Terrace bridleway. Note the unique wall with slotted stones to hold fence posts.

4 Go through a metal kissing gate then along the terrace with stunning views over Grasmere. Stay on the main path heading to White Moss Woods. Turn right down along the perimeter wall and turn left through a gate into the woods. Cross the footbridge and turn right (signed Ambleside via Coffin Route). After an open area beside the river bear left (path signed WC) and turn left before the toilets to the A591. Cross the road and walk up the bridleway opposite. Keep ahead on the tarmacked lane past the lily-covered White Moss Tarn. This has also been called Skater's Tarn and Wordsworth's Tarn. It is reputedly where the poet met a leech-gatherer who inspired his poem Resolution And Independence. Descend past Dove Cottage, cross the A591 near the mini roundabout and walk along the roadside pavement back into Grasmere.

Next week: Simonstone near Hawes

NB: restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.