Recently we did a great hike starting in Murrhardt a small city half an hour drive away from Stuttgart. The hike is 10km long and leads to two waterfalls and along a river wounding its way through the valley. The forest was glowing in all shades of green and the water was glittering and floating calmly past us. Hiking, especially along a water stream, is the best way for me to calm down and relax.
The hike starts in the center of Murrhardt leading you straight out of the town into the forest (Download the route and a description here). After twenty minutes we arrived at the first waterfall at the beginning of the valley. Up to this point, the way is pretty easy to walk on, but from there the ground gets more muddy following the stream to the end of the valley.
Since I have been a little kid I most enjoyed hikes like this where we walked over roots of trees, stones and were you had to cross the river ocassionally – either on a bridge or just by using the bigger stones sticking out of the water.
After an hour of marvelling at all the different shades of green and having fun on and around the water, we finally arrived at the second waterfall.
The water was dripping down the moss-covered stones which wasn’t what I expected but was still very lovely to watch. However, when we reached the top of the waterfall, we realised that this wasn’t the waterfall in its full power. Because the fiver is dammed up and hikers can control the waterfall with a small flap. After opening this flap the waterfall gets more powerful.
– Doesn’t this look beautiful? –
At the top of the waterfall you can have a nice break and eat your paked lunch or you keep going until you hit the waterfall restaurant at the top-end of the valley. We had our paked lunch with us and continued the walk through the forest back to Murrhardt.
It took us roughly three hours to finish the hike. Not because of the distance but more due to the uneven ground and the fun we had balancing on stones and trees along the way. Stopping from time to time to take photos ;).
Make sure, you walk around in Murrhardt as well because the town is also really lovely and what better than having some ice-cream as a reward for finishing the hike?
On our last day in the Lakes we wanted to visit the nearby town Keswick and combined this with a hike around Derwent Water. We took our campervan and drove down into the town. The parking situation was a bit difficult especially with our big car. However, we found a cheap parking space near the lake with the local rugby team. From there we started our hike around the lake. The walk was quite easy due to a lack of ascents. It took us around 5 hours to walk the 15km (9.5miles). You can find an outline of the route here.
I think this tour was one of my favourites just because the scenery was so beautiful and changed every time I looked up. I always love to walk near water or a river. It has something calming and I am reminded of my childhood when my parents took us on a hike and we played in the lakes or rivers we passed.
The good thing of hiking along Derwent Water is also that you can always shorten your walk by taking the boat which runs across the lake in an regurlary manner. It’s good to have the possibility to stop whenever you feel too tired to continue.
When we hit the other end of the lake we crossed a moorland with these stunning looking mountains in the background. Because of the weather it all looked very mystical to me.
Shortly before we could finish the walk it started to rain, so we finally got wet on our last day. Entering Keswick, we then went into the first café along the road and enjoyed some warming hot chocolate with some cake. The Saddleback Café turned out to be a very nice location for homemade cake. You should definitely give it a go when your are in Keswick.
After relaxing a bit, we went off to explore Keswick a bit further. The town is very nice with lots of old buildings, narrow streets and lovely little local shops. In one backyard we discovered a cheese shop were we bought two delicious local sorts of cheese.
Unfortunately it was very rainy on that day so we just walked along the main roads and soon headed back to our campsite were we enjoyed our last evening in the Lakes.
I hope you got a good impression of our time in the Lakes and got some inspiration what to do there. What are your favourite spots in the Lake District? Any tips?
Our second day in the Lakes started again with great sunny weather and we decided after the tiring tour the day before to take it easier and climb High Rigg passing Low Rigg and ending our tour at the Castlerigg Stone Circle near our campsite. The tour was roughly 8km long and it took us 3 hours. However, you probably can finish it faster becasue we made a lot of breaks and were just tired from the hike the day before. You can find a detailed description and an outline of the tour here
We were able to start our route directly from the Campsite and climbed up Low Rigg passing Terwet Tarn a small lake beautifully laid in front of the mountains.
After having climbed up Low Rigg we went down again and started our way up High Rigg. Here the signposting got pretty messy and again my map wasn’t detailed enough to really be sure about which way to take. However, there was a straightforward way to climb up High Rigg. When we arrived at the top we ate our self-packed lunch. I always like to do some nice sandwiches with cheese, ham and tomatoes. They survive low and high temperatures and are quite filling but not too heavy for continuing ;).
The view on top of High Rigg was nice despite the slightly foggy weather. After a good rest we went down following less a path than a track of a farming vehicle. However, we hit the road we were ment to hid in the end and could continue our planned way to the Stone Circle.
On our way there we crossed some sheep who kindly let us pass through their herd. Our final stop was at the Castlerigg Stone Circle. The Stone Circle belongs to the English Heritage but entrance is free of charge which is pretty great. I haven’t been to Stonehenge but this Circle was amazing in tis own. I guess this was the moment when I ticked off ‘visiting a Stone Circle (Stonehenge)’ from my England Bucket List, just because this one was satisfying enough. Especially with the mountains in the backgroud the view was stunning.
According to the English Heritage this Stone Circle is one of the oldest in whole Britain. The Castlerigg Stone Circle was not used for formal burials but was probably either a trading place or a place for religious meetings.
We enjoyed the view for a while and watched the families play around the stones until we finally went back to our campsite. There we arrived just in time before the rain started to pour down. Well it wouldn’t be England if there would be no rain and as I was told especially in the Lake District ;).
On our first day in the Lakes we wake up to a beautiful sunshine and could enjoy our breakfast in front of our van. We decided to do a tougher tour at the beginning and see how it will go to decide what to do the coming days.
We started directly from our campsite and walked to the small village Threlkeld where we literally were saved by a nice lady who adviced us to take a route we originally didn’t plan to take. We planned to do this tour but ended up doing a similiar route to this hike around Blencathra instead.
However, we changed it slightly and didn’t take the way over Sharp Edge but followed the Saddleback leading us over the different tops along the edge. It made the route shorter and gave us a really nice view over the valley. Our tour was then roughly 14km long and it took us 5 hours to complete it.
I am glad we didn’t do the long one because I was quite exhausted anyways after the shorter one ;). Generally I can recommend the websites walkthefells.net as a good platform for finding short and longer hikes within the Lake District.
The tour started off along a beautiful enchanted waterfall on which end we turned right to walk along the chain of mountain tops crossing some nice water streams and having a pretty good view into the valley.
After maybe an hour and half we started climbing up the mountain. I am actually not sure if we really followed the route. I must admit that our map was not detailed enough and so we went more or less with our guts which I know is not the proper way but in the end we hit the path we wanted to reach. I bought this map. It was fine for most of the hikes we did but sometimes just wasn’t detaied enough. I also took the waterproofed one just because I didn’t want to buy an additional map case to protect it from rain. I would always recommend a waterproofed map or a map case when hiking in Enland. The ascend was steep and we needed to take some breaks. We had such nice weather that we could walk in shorts which I never had in England before on one of my hikes.
As a side note, after this hike I was amazed about how steep the ascends and descends were. As someone who is used to hiking in the lower Alps it is irritating to go up a mountain straight instead of follwoing nicely laid out serpentines. However in this way we could enjoy the amazing views and did something for our fitness.
The path led us over the three tops up to the highest point of the saddleback. We passed by really nice views and fells and enjoyed the amazing views we got. We even could spot Derwent Water and our campsite.
The way down was again pretty steep and straight forward. In the end we again reached the little waterfall. In the village Threlkeld we rewarded ourselves with some coffee and local ice cream before we headed back to our campsite.
In general, I really enjoyed the hike which had great views and a changing scenery to walk through. We finished the whole hike in around 5 hours so we didn’t rush at all. The ascend is challenging for people with an avarage fitness like me but with some breaks definitely doable.