Thomas de Quincey, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, Matthew Arnold – I think of them all as I walk around Grasmere.
All of these literary stars would be very familiar with Silver How, that rather pleasing mountain which provides such a pleasant background to Grasmere village.
I’ve been up Silver How several times over the years. It’s a very pleasant easy fell-walk and I think the views from the top are splendid. The slopes are quite wonderful, with so many lovely juniper trees.
We took the path to the rear of Wordsworth’s old home of Allan Bank. I think it’s the best way up, because of the great views you get over Helm Crag, Seat Sandal, Fairfield and Easedale.
Then, as you reach the summit, those other Lakeland views open up – over Grasmere itself, Rydal Water, Elterwater, Windermere – and just a glimpse of Coniston Water. Then the great fells around – the Langdales, Wetherlam and so many more.
The summit itself is not spectacular, but for the views. There is none of the exciting rock of a Helm Crag or a Haystacks. But the views, well…
But for me the most beautiful view of Silver How is when you look up at it from Grasmere village. There is something quite perfect about that vista.
We descended back along the wall leading to Grasmere, Wainwright’s other route of ascent. Since I last walked it this path has become rather overgrown with bracken, largely, I suspect, because walkers are going straight for the top via the scree gully.
The path we took will need clearing soon, for the bracken is encroaching.
One little oddity along the way, a ruined structure of some sort, plates and bars of metal and low walling. Does anyone know what it was? My best guess is it might be a remnant of the old Victorian rifle range, which gets a mention in one of my old Lakeland guides. Do comment if you know different.
It takes just a couple of hours to enjoy the splendours of Silver How. A lovely mountain in a grand location.