Grisedale Tarn to Patterdale (5.5 miles / 48.6miles)
The night in the wild was a pretty peaceful one and despite a smattering of awakenings due to the wind picking up and a few spots of rain I managed a massive 10 hours sleep. Opening the tent revealed low lying clouds over St Sunday’s Crag and Helvellyn which gave me all the justification I needed just to go down the short five and a half mile path down Grisedale Beck in to Patterdale.
A solitary sheep was staring at me from just 20 metres away and we both sat observing each other until some more wandered around a little hillock to join our party. The connection with my favourite of all the farmyard animals broken, I went out to fill up my water bottles from the tarn, noticing that another couple of tents had popped up in the night and broke camp to set off on the shortest journey of the whole trip.
The walk was over in the blink of an eye with Patterdale on me before I knew it. First stop the fantastic shop that serves HUGE bacon rolls and coffee and which even has a little room to rest and recuperate. With newspaper in hand that is exactly what I did before heading off to find somewhere to stay for the night. The Patterdale YHA was closer to the trail and the pubs for the evening, but it looked like a prison and seemed very lifeless so I headed off to Side Farm camping thinking it rude not to have a cup of tea or two and cake in its café. With plenty of food I holed up here for the rest of the day, only shifting to open the tent to check on the weather (drizzly) and do my washing.
I must have read everything in the Guardian that day including an article reporting that the National Parks had increased in size effective from yesterday. It looks as if, on my shortest day, the Yorkshire Dales National Park would be reached a day earlier than expected.