Sunday, 7 August 2016

The biggest little hike in Cumbria.

Gummer's How from Windermere (literally in it)
There are lots of motivation posters carrying messages along the lines of "The best views only come from the hardest climbs" - well Gummer's How proves them all wrong.

Located at the bottom end of Windermere this diminutive fell is just 321m high and, as if that wasn't tiny enough, you can drive up the first 200m.

From the car park there's a clearly signed route which starts off as a nice gentle amble through the woodland before reaching a flight of stone steps.  At the top of those you can choose to take the gently ascending track that winds around the back of the fell, or enjoy the slightly more scrambly route to the summit (honestly, it's really not tricky and most kids love it).  Once you're there, you'll be rewarded with views sweeping from Morecambe Bay to the south, all the way around past the Coniston Fells opposite and up along the length of the lake to the high peaks of the central fells in the north.

Scrambly route
Stone steps
Well signposted but not well spelled
Worth it for the views

It's generally overlooked by serious hikers as it's a really short and easy hike - but that makes it perfect for families or a quick blast after Sunday lunch, or for those still confined to low level hiking for the time being...

It's also perfectly positioned for catching breathtaking views of inversions.  It was where we saw our first and we regularly pop back there through the autumn and winter months - it's especially gorgeous after snow.

Wonderful winter woodland
My first ever inversion
Stunning snowy inversion

First folks up there in the snow - stunning!
WRONG!
Why mention it now?  Well, during the summer months there's lots of folks looking for family friendly walks and this one is great.  There's a large free car park and stunning views from the start.  Once you're done you can drop down to Fell Foot Park for a picnic, or a swim, or a BBQ, or a spot of boating, or just lazing on the grass with a good book and a flask of tea (or something stronger if you've persuaded someone else to do the driving!).

Talking of cars (you see what I did there?) we want to say a HUGE thank you to Vantage Citroen in Morecambe who let us play with a Cactus RupCurl this weekend.  We normally drive an ancient Freelander with intergalactic mileage so it was lovely to have something sporty, fun and clean for a change!  Mind you, I did miss the assortment of strange knocking noises we've grown accustomed to...

The RipCurl was immense fun and we gave it a good workout - I particularly liked the fact it turned on a sixpence - not that I ever get lost or anything...  (am I the only person who continually argues with their satnav?)  Anyway, here's a few pics to give you an idea of what we did to their lovely car...

Next to Gummer's How
Overlooking Windermere


On the beach - complete with tiny man flying a kite on the bonnet

Mission Control
Checking the rear view camera...  :-)