8th September: Our guided walk today took us up the Fairfield Horseshoe. After meeting a couple of very excited clients, at the Walkers Shop, we packed our rucksacks and hit the trail. Fairfield is the huge mountain that stands tall over Ambleside encompassing 23 square kilometers and includes an array of beautiful peaks and stunning views in every direction.
Leaving from our Walkers Shop we hit the trail towards High Sweden Bridge. The temperature was rising quickly and the shade from Rough Side Wood was a welcome relief. We passed through the wood and stopped to view Scandale Beck from time to time.
As the wood cleared we reached Sweden Bridge and crossed the beck. Following the trail through the bracken we slowly marched to Low Pike. After quite a slow slog we reached the craggy top of Low Pike, the view down Scandale Beck and Windermere opened up as we got higher.
After a quick drink we continued our march to the summit and made great time as we reached the top of High Pike and then Dove Crag. As the terrain flattened we stopped for some lunch on Hart Crag where we were joined by a few more walkers and some inquisitive ravens.
Refueled we continued our short remaining leg to the summit marker of Fairfield and stopped to admire the view. Helvellyn & Striding Edge to the north, Langdale Pikes, High Raise, Loughrigg and Scafell Pike in the distance to our left, and Red Screes, Stoney Cave Pike and High Street to our right.
We munched away on a few chocolates and made our way down the awesome opposite shoulder of the horseshoe via Great Rigg and Heron Pike. It was full steam ahead as we made good progress looking down every now and again to Rydal Beck. Lake Windermere grew closer and closer. The mountain was surprisingly empty, bar seeing the odd walker from time to time, it was just us.
Our last challenge was descending down the twisted, bracken buried, path to the side of Nab Scar. I told everybody to mind their step as the final leg can be the place where most accidents happen. The final steps took us past the magnificent Rydal Hall and waterfalls and the lovely Rydal Park before returning to the Walkers Shop. Another great guided walk.