This lovely walk of contrasts starts from Elterwater. It climbs over the ridge and down through idyllic Wyke Plantation. It carries on towards Grasmere, where you might wish to dawdle. The return is made along the skirts of Silver How, bearing left before Megs Gill, to continue on the ridge until you can join the narrow road down to Elterwater once more, with perhaps time left to enjoy the delights of the little village.

Park in the pay-and display car park in Elterwater, grid ref 328047, or in the large hard-standing on the right, grid ref 329052. To reach the latter, take the B5343 towards Elterwater and, instead of taking the left turn into the village, turn right and park just before the narrow road veers right 1 From the parking area in the village walk north, cross the B-road and continue on up to pass the hard-standing parking area. Walk on uphill to bear right, with care, at the almost blind' T-junction. A few steps along leave, left, to climb a wide green swathe. Follow the track as it winds left and ascends a steepish eroded way. At the top, bear right and go on up a slightly steeper climb on a wide green slope. Pause where the real climbing ends to enjoy the fine view. Walk on, easily, along the continuing trod as it winds right and then left, skirting Dow Bank.

2 At a Y-junction of paths take the left branch and, as you go, look down the steep juniper-clad slopes to a large conifer plantation. Walk on towards the foot of Spedding Crag and look down again to locate a large grassy area between the conifer plantation and the next one, a smaller one. (The gate you need to descend through the Wyke woodland lies to the far edge of the clearing beside the nearer edge of the second planting of trees). Walk on to follow a path descending towards the clearing. The path misses the gate as it veers left, so watch out for the fine wall enclosing all the woodland and head through the juniper to take the gate into the open space, where there is a fine clump of Scots pine.

3 Follow the continuing grassy trod for your first glimpse of sparkling Grasmere. Walk on down the trod, through birch, beside a tumbling beck in a gill, to your left. At the next cross wall, follow the arrow, directing you left, to stride a wide track that drops more steeply beside a second gill. Eventually it winds right and levels, and continues to a gate onto the access track to the Wyke. Wind left and walk the level access track to join the narrow road at the back of Grasmere. Turn left and carry on for a quarter-of-a-mile.

4 Turn left into a wide, gated, walled track (unless you wish to continue into Grasmere village for a break). Climb steadily towards the soaring face of Silver How. Beyond the next gate, stride across a pasture to take another. Wind left ascending a rough way (very wet after rain), remaining parallel with a fine wall. And then, where the wall turns away left, go on up the slopes. Step across several tiny streams and wriggle under some scattered juniper. Remain on the path as it traverses below the ridge to Silver How, on your right.

5 On reaching a cairn at the meeting of several wide grassy swathes (and just before Megs Gill on your right), turn left and stroll the widest grassy way. Carry on along the high-level rolling pasture and after just over a mile you reach the top of a craggy slope. Here locate, and then descend, a short steepish rocky path that descends to a grassy valley.

6 Bear right and walk one of several paths to join a narrow road. Turn right and descend to the hard standing or continue on to cross the B-road to head on into Elterwater, passing the Britannia Inn with its famous maple, and the toilets opposite. The village car park lies on the left just before the bridge.