‘Did I see a nostril of sunshine out there?’ the shop assistant asked as he deftly wrapped three packs of Grasmere Gingerbread up for me. This was our second visit to this tiny and charming shop alongside Grasmere church is just a few days. A cross between a biscuit and a cake, Grasmere Gingerbread is one of the best things produced in the UK but it does taste better fresh and is only available from Grasmere [or by mail order] hence the multiple visits. I had never come across the expression ‘a nostril of sunshine’ before and smiled at the use of it. Imaging it meant a gap in the clouds I nodded and agreed that yes there was a bit of blue sky out there just at the moment. Perhaps this is a local saying, although when I tried searching for it on the internet I was only offered information about blocked noses!
The heavenly nose had been clear and wide open for us during our week in the Lake District. We had enjoyed fine days that were just perfect for walking. After the family outing from Haweswater we took the youngsters up to Orton Scar for a breezy walk among the limestone pavement and to see the view from the Queen Victoria Jubilee Monument. We had lunch at Kennedy’s in Orton looking through the windows into their chocolate factory then waved as the son and daughter-in-law returned home.
On our first visit to Grasmere we walked up the steep grassy slopes of Heron Pike from Greenhead Gill, returning by the pretty Alcock Tarn, Grasmere lying below us. Our final visit to Grasmere was on foot from Ambleside, always a favourite walk that takes you around Loughrigg and Rydal Water and back along the old coffin route.
In between these Grasmere visits we hiked up Wansfell Pike from Troutbeck and followed the undulating walled ridge to Baystones. We chose the route up Nanny Lane, an old track that I thought was a more enjoyable and interesting ascent than from Ambleside. Nanny Lane is well maintained and we put a small donation into the honesty tin at the gate in Troutbeck for its upkeep; heavy rain can do severe damage to these steep hill tracks and I like to see this lovely lane cared for. The views from Wansfell Pike and Baystones are hard to beat. We could make out the remote Kirkstone Pass Inn tucked in between the mountains, the blue length of Windermere shimmered in the sunshine and bustling Ambleside lay in the green valley below. I can’t help but love the Lake District!