It also has, like a few other lakes, a boat service the length of the lake with a stop off in the middle at Howtown. This was pivotal in my walk.
The boat service, once steam driven, but now Diesel powered, is very pleasant. The trip on the boat itself constituted a good deal of the enjoyment of my day out. You get to see both sides of the lake at the same time. And you have a chance to check out the return route. This is usually quite east to spot, partially due to being able to spot other walkers on it.
The path is quite popular and quite easy going in most places. But there are some quite rocky sections on the path which I would consider too tricky for very young children and near impossible with any kind of pram or push chair. This is not comparable to the walk around Buttermere with it’s nice wide paths.
The boat journey from Glenridding to Howtown is not particularly long, around half an hour. The return walk, with a couple of stops on the way took around 3-3.5 hours covering around 7 miles in total. The path is generally fairly level with several small climbs, the highest being around 30 metres.
I also found a nice clear stream to filter some extra water with using my Sawyer Mini water filter. If you have any reservations about doing this I can say that I have been filtering water in the Lake District to drink for the last couple of years. I am particular about the water I filter to ensure the longevity of my filter more than how safe it is. I avoid really dirty water so that I don’t risk blocking the filter. And fresh filtered mountain water tastes fantastic. Cold and refreshing even on a hot day. I don’t go on a walk without my filter anymore.
Approximately halfway along the route is a nice area up on top of a cliff, below Long Crag and Low Birk Fell. From here you get a wonderful view over the lake from Helvellyn to the left, the wooded area surrounding Aria Force Waterfall, to Little Mell Fell and beyond. Definitely a place to stop for a break if you get the chance.
The section of path around Silver Crag will get the heart going a little, but once past this point the path becomes easy going. There is a welcome spot at the right turn towards Patterdale. There is a cafe at Side Farm which on a hot day was a great place to stop for a cold drink and an ice cream before the last short stretch through Patterdale and back to Glenridding.
Another one of the many war memorials in Cumbria by the road between Patterdale and Glenridding.