The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Gummer’s How (SD390885; 321m)


Ah, Gummer's How. A special hill for me. One that really left its mark when I was just a toddler...

That last visit was in 1975, when I was transported up in a baby carrier on my father's back. At some point in the outing he tripped, went flying and, in the process, catapaulted me out of the carrier. There was a collision between my head and a rock and it must have been reasonably dramatic as, some 40 years later, I still have a little scar on my forehead* to show for it. If it hadn't been for that mishap and the resulting scar I doubt very much that anyone would have ever mentioned to me that I'd been up this hill.

I've long wanted to see the place that scarred me, and it's surprising that it's taken me this long to get around to it. Happily today's outing was entirely uneventful. Unhappily I can't remember the last time I encountered such a high percentage of people intent on blanking my greetings. I suppose that's what you get for visiting a quick and easy stunning viewpoint during school holidays.

Even so, I did enjoy this rocky little pimple and the views it afforded up and down Windermere.

By adding a circuit of the summit I brought the total distance for this one to a whopping1.4 miles with around 350' of ascent.

As tempted as I was to squeeze in another one, the day was marching on and my intended kipping spot was in the opposite direction to my next hill, so I called it a day, very happy with my two little walks.

I met this chap on the path on my way down. I included my foot in the snap to show how small he was.

(*As an aside, that's not the only scar I collected on my forehead as a young child whilst in the care of my father. Two years later I was in a lawnmower shop with him when I tripped over my unfastened shoes, resulting in a coming together between my left eyebrow and the blade of a lawnmower. Unlike the Gummer's How incident (and even though I was only 3 at the time (going on 4)) I remember the lawnmower encounter and the resulting trip to A&E.)


  1. I suddenly feel less accident prone. Ciara, however, has scars from being left in her father's care...

  2. Every week in the Westmorland Gazette there are articles describing schemes "to attract more visitors to the Lake District.

    1. At the end of the trip I was, on the whole, surprised at how uncrowded I'd found the hills, and how easily I'd been able to park. Of course, much of that was due to some very early starts intended solely to avoid traffic and people. By contrast there were the afternoons I spent in touristy villages, which were absolutely rammed with people, with cars everywhere (fortunately, I'd always parked first thing in the morning and got the pick of the spaces).