The walk, chosen from the little book I bought the day before in Elterwater village, starts at the Pelter Bridge car park, just outside Rydal village, but we found that even on a Februrary weekday the car park gets full early so we had to find somewhere else to park. That added almost 2 more miles to our walk but we didn't mind as it only meant seeing a bit more of this beautiful part of the world.
Rydal water is one of the smallest Lake District lakes. Among its most attractive and striking features are certainly the little islands. There is Little Isle, and tree covered Heron Island, a favourite picnic spot for William and his sister Dorothy; they would often row out to it.
One of my all time favourite scenes encountered in the Lakes; one of those I want to go back to time and time again searching for that shot that will best bring the magic out of it.
St Mary's Church in Rydal village. Wordsworth worshipped here and was churchwarden for a short period of time.
Church Cottage. We have driven past this charming cottage many times and each time I have to turn my head and look at it. I find it so pretty and eye catching. Would love to see it with the wisteria in full bloom.
A view from a high level path at a south eastern point of the lake. The low winter sunlight created some gorgeous colours in the landscape. This is what I love about winter photography: you don't have to worry if the sun is too high or too harsh. It is always in a good position and hardly ever too harsh.
Here we are...... a happy bunch as recorded by Dave's iphone. Yes, it was very very cold with the temperature just above zero...... the first time I'd worn a hat in quite a few years!
After a steep rise along a rough rocky track there was a nice surprise - we reached the flooded Rydal Cave.
This group of hikers having a rest in mellow sunlight, beautiful Lakes landscape in the background, caught my eye with their colourful gear.
A view over south west part of Rydal Water. Around this point we entered Penny Rock Wood which separates Grasmere and Rydal lakes. We took a path that leads to the other side of water.
After crossing the road and another steep climb we turned onto the path called the Old Coffin Road. This is the way coffins were carried for burial at Grasmere church in the days before Rydal had its own church.
My friend Liz pauses for a quick portrait.
The elevated path, which is parallel to the road we walked back down to the village from where we parked, narrows and widens, slopes and levels for about a mile and a half and all along there are wonderful views over the lake.
We soon reached the lane near the entrance to Rydal Mount, Wordsworth family home. We visited it last time we were in the Lakes so this time we just wanted to have coffee in the cosy visitors' tearoom. Unfortunately, it is closed on that particular day of the week so we just headed back to the car.
So long, beautiful lake! It will not be long till we meet again.