Silver How

After the best part of a month stuck at home at the weekend due to awful weather, we finally got back to the Lakes last week to tick off Wainwright number 40, Silver How. We’d chosen a smaller summit to get back into the swing of things, and this walk is short enough that you can do it on a morning or afternoon and still have plenty of time to do something else with the rest of your day. At only 395m this is one of the smaller Wainwrights, and its accessibility via short routes from Grasmere and Chapel Stile makes it a popular family day out. We decided that it would be a great one to do in winter to beat the crowds: anyone who’s driven through Grasmere on a summer’s day will know what I mean!

We followed the three mile circular route available on WalkLakes. It starts from the village of Grasmere where there is plenty of car parking. The walk is fairly straight forward, with a mix of surfaced paths and grassy tracks, which climbs gradually to the summit of Silver How after passing through the grounds of the National Trust’s Allan Bank.

There are a few steeper sections but these are manageable even for the relatively unfit (just stop and take a breath for a minute if you’re feeling the burn!). I have to say I was glad we followed the route in the suggested direction as the descent took us down a long series of steps – and there’s nothing I hate more than dragging myself up steps! We did pass a few sweaty looking people hauling themselves up this way.

Navigation isn’t too difficult once you pick up the path to the summit: keep going uphill and look out for the odd cairn if in doubt. The views were good, but a bit dreary given that it was very overcast (although I suppose considering the weather we’ve had recently it was pretty good). Maybe they’d be better in summer!

At only 395m we reached the summit in next to no time. You can keep going to take in a few more summits (some combine Silver How with a trip up Loughrigg), but we decided to head back to the car to get home for lunch. Rheged Filling Station has excellent hot pies and pastries and we always call here if we’re heading home around lunchtime. Fuel is reasonably priced too!

Dog friendly rating – 3.5/5. Ours had a whale of a time on this walk. There wasn’t any livestock around, so we were able to have Coal off his lead for the whole walk, although I suspect this had a lot to do with the time of year (and we always keep our eyes peeled for sheep at any time of year). If there had been any sheep, he would’ve been on his lead for the entire walk.

A big plus though is the total absence of stiles – marvellous! There is also a stream which you cross when you’re not far off the summit, which both of ours had a paddle in, and it would be ideal for giving your dog a drink on a hot day.

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