An early start (well, for us), and we drive into the little village of Ambleside, all cute slate cottages and outdoor gear shops. We park in the overnight motorhome parking area, whip up some sandwiches, dutifully put our wet weather gear in the pack despite the summery day unfolding outside, put our hiking boots on, and set out for the day.
Our route for the day is the Fairfield Horseshoe, a 16km circuit that heads up one ridge, over the summit of Fairfield, one of the highest peaks in the area, and down another ridge back into Ambleside. We walk alongside the road for a while, busy with both cars and other walkers, before the trail veers off the road and upwards past a farm.
The trail winds up the ridge and along it, a series of hills with views down each side over the surrounding mountains. It’s a beautifully sunny day, and soon we’re in t-shirts and we’ve rolled up our trousers. We stop for lunch on a crest, and watch a sole raven or crow doing mysterious aerial acrobatics around us — it would swoop by, then flip upside down with a “bok-bok” call, flip back and fly around for another pass. We leave some dropped cheese as a tip and press on up and around the peak of Fairfield, surrounded by great views of the mountains.
With aching feet and legs we hobble our way back down the other ridge, practicing our walk for when the Zombie Apocalypse comes and we need to blend in, alongside a drystone fence, and down into greener pastures, stopping frequently along the way to give our bloodied stumps a rest.
At last, sunburned ’till we look like lobsters, we flop down gratefully on the couch back in Nettle — whew! That’s quite the amble!