- On 21 Apr 2020
Coast to Coast: Borrowdale to Grasmere
Previously: Ennerdale Bridge to Borrowdale
At Coast to Coast Packhorse we specialise in walking, cycling and running vacations. Our vacations exclusively follow the stunning Coast to Coast route. first designed by Alfred Wainwright. We provide self-guided and guided walking tours with detailed itineraries that show the best of what the British landscape has to offer.
The trail begins at St Bees and ending 192 miles away in Robin Hood’s Bay on the North East coast. You will see the idyllic Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.
An experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.
On paper this is one of the shortest sections of the Coast to Coast. But don’t let that lull you into thinking it will be a gentle stroll. You will be going high, crossing rocky sections, steep climbs, some boggy bits and stream crossings. There will be steep rocky descents, as well as more steady walking. Expect this 8 mile section to take at least 4 hours of walking, plus all the time you want to savour and capture the amazing views and sights you will encounter (trusting the cloud stays off the surface)!
You’ll be leaving the beautiful delights of Borrowdale and taking in equally beautiful vistas all the way into the honey-pot of Grasmere.
From Borrowdale to Stonethwaite Beck to Eagle Crag
After your tasty breakfast, it’s time to lace up your boots (which by now I’m sure feel part of your body). You’re looking for the path that runs beside Stonethwaite Beck. Make sure you are on the north-east side, so that the water is on your right shoulder). As we started on this path recently, we encountered the timeless sight of a farmer rounding up and catching one of his flock with his crook.
The path is flat and a mix of loose stone and occasional grass field. Once you pass the Stonethwaite campsite on the other side of the Beck, you will start to steadily rise on a rocky path. You should see the imposing majesty of the various Crags (such as Bull Crag, High Crag and Long Band), on either side of the valley towering over you. There’s also the dominant Eagle Crag ahead of you standing sentry-like as the guardian of the tops.
The roar of the water gushing down Stonethwaite Beck (and its tributaries Langthstrath Beck and Greenup Gill) is your constant and mesmerising soundtrack. As the water flows down you climb up. Not only do you have stunning views in front and either side of you but you must remember to occasionally stop and turn around. You don’t want to miss this after all?
The gradient does increase as you get further along with the steepest section the final climb up beside Eagle Crag. Take more than a moment to not only catch breath but suck in all the majesty of the whole of Stonethwaite valley below you. You have got all the way up here under your own steam and should rightly be capturing on film.
Eagle Crag to Easedale
This section, although almost flat in comparison, is where you may get wet feet if you are not wearing gaiters. The ground underneath you has mossy grass on top of impermeable rock and so acts like a sponge. By the actions of previous walkers, the path is spread over more width as they try to avoid the boggiest parts. It can be fun though treating it like a bouncing carpet – move quickly is my advice.
This boggy section ends at the pass or col on Greenup Edge – between the peaks of Ullscarf to the north (your left) and High Raise to the south. There is an iron stake (remnant of an old fence) that unofficially can act as a waymarker. When you reach this point be careful to ensure you take the correct path that starts to lead you into Easedale. I have come across other walkers who mistakenly got onto the path leading up to High Raise.
The nature of the terrain as you drop down is almost similar to that you conquered coming up – some steep grass, rocky obstacles and the odd bit of mud. Oh and there is also a stream to cross. (You also cross it again further down but with a bridge).
Easedale to Grasmere
I’m sure, on this part, you will be taking in the amazing views ahead of you not just of Easedale but also the surrounding fells and the more distant summits. You will also hear before you see the lovely waterfall of Sourmilk Gill Falls. This is a section I love running down. Eventually it starts to broaden out and gradient eases to a gentle descent. It is all stone and rock surface meaning you can’t keep a consistent stride pattern – but don’t let that bother you as you suck in the beauty. Plenty of stone barns, walls and sheep to also capture on film.
The first farm buildings and cottages you encounter coincide with where the path down from Helm Crag joins. The final 2km into the village are through fields and along broad flat tracks. If, you’ve muddy legs or boots, you may take advantage of one of the stream crossings to clean up before coming into Grasmere itself and suddenly finding yourself with quite a few companions.
The small town is naturally one of the busiest places in the Lake District – for obvious reasons. Which means there are plenty of things for you to see, do, or relax in, all with the loving glow of satisfaction of having got here under your own efforts across from Borrowdale.
We look forward to welcoming you and making your UK holiday the experience of a lifetime.