A bike ride and a walk

This post was originally published over on the By Duddon’s Side project blog: http://byduddonsside.wordpress.com

After having read that Wordsworth recommended Walna Scar Road as the best way to enter the Duddon Valley, I’d been mulling over the idea of cycling over from Coniston. Poor weather, a bit of online research revealing it was more technical than I’d been imagining, and the resulting loss of confidence meant that I ditched that idea!

I ended up going over to the bike trails in Grizedale Forest, in part curious to see how many people were going to a place dedicated to a particular activity (I’ve been seeing hardly anyone as I explore the Duddon Valley, but have noticed there’s a fair bit of activity around places like Coniston and Ambleside.)

I got chatting to a couple who had traveled over from Leeds and we cycled together for a few miles. Having explained that no, I wasn’t local, but I was here for a couple of months for work, I then got onto talking about the project in more detail.

They’d done some canoeing in the valley several years ago and, unsurprisingly, it sounded very technical but also very rewarding, especially with some of the chasm-y sections.

As we stood in line for the bike wash afterwards, Jo started making a few links and suggested that she could get in touch with a friend who might have done some conservation work in the area. The magic phrase “otter survey” was uttered, and contact details swapped!


Back in Grasmere, I decided to explore the area near the Wordsworth Museum a bit, and walked around the lake. I’d forgotten how windy lakeshores can get, but it soon brought back memories of family holidays…

Satisfying to get back as night was falling, but just before it was dark enough to need a torch.