Backpacking to Europe – Part 32: A walk to Orrest Head, Windermere

Backpacking to Europe – Part 32: A walk to Orrest Head, Windermere

Previously

If you just reached here and wanted to read the start of our journey, let’s go to Part 1!

Friday, 17th February 2017

A walk to remember on the 9th day of our Eurotrip

No, this is not about the movie based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. This is about Orrest Head, a hill 784 feet above sea level at Windermere. The first time I knew about Orrest Head was when I decided to go to Windereme. I did some researches online and saw a post made by Kaki Berangan about Orrest Head. So, I decided to have a walk to Orrest Head when I visited the town. And so, I did.

The Millbeck stream in front of Millbeck Guest House
The Millbeck stream in front of Millbeck Guest House

Before the walk to Orrest Head

It was raining intermittently when we woke up in the morning. From the inside of the house, Windermere looked foggy. Since we decided to have a walk to Orrest Head this morning, we gotten ourselves ready. I did not know what to expect. I read in some blogs and they said that a walk to Orrest Head is like a piece of cake. Some said that the views will compensate the tiredness of the hike. That was what I told my wife. “Don’t worry. We just have a walk to Orrest Head and later you can see the beautiful view from the top“, I assured her.

Windermere town in the morning
Windermere town in the morning

Windermere was cold and humid because of the rain. We ate some cookies as light breakfast and walked towards the town. The town was quite quiet in the morning though human activities had already started. Upon reaching the main road, we did not know which way to go, so we went to the Tourist Information Centre.

Before the walk to Orrest Head
Before the walk to Orrest Head

The guy told us that to go to Orrest Head, we just had to “cross the road heading towards NatWest building and then cross the main road and turn right towards the starting point“. We thanked him and bought a bottle of mineral water and some fridge magnets before proceeding to the starting point.

Amira, still smiling at the starting point
Amira, still smiling at the starting point

The start of the walk to Orrest Head

Upon reaching the starting point, both Amira and I smiled. We could not believed that we were finally doing this. It would be Amira’s first kind of hike. She never hiked before. The rain had also started to stop so I was hoping for the sunshine to appear. Instead, fog started to accumulate as we started our walk to Orrest Head.

The start of the trail
The start of the trail
Bye bye Windermere town
Bye bye Windermere town

Nevertheless, the views were still impressive. If I were to hike in Malaysia, the trees were almost the same but here, there were many different types of trees including the ones usually found in this part of the world. The start of the walk was also easy because the trail was paved and the inclination was gradual.

“This is an easy walk”, my initial thought
Unpaved trail
Unpaved trail

Midway through the walk

Halfway through our walk, the trail moved to unpaved areas. Since it rained the night before, the trail was very muddy. We made a mistake because we were only wearing our sneakers and not a proper hiking shoes. It was quite slippery at times. Still, Amira managed to smile and I was excited too as I could feel that we were higher up as we walked.

Follow the signage and don't stray
Follow the signage and don’t stray
We hiked wearing jeans while all the locals wore sports attire
We hiked wearing jeans while all the locals wore sports attire

There were also benches along the way and although we were not sweating because of the cold weather, the tiredness was real. So, we decided to make several stops along the way and just took our own sweet time to reach the peak.

The fog thicken
The fog thicken
Eerie but pretty
Eerie but pretty

Orrest Head – conquered!

After close to one hour walking, we were almost reaching the peak. There is a gate with a stone placed by the inhabitants of Windermere in 1902 and I remembered from my readings that the stone stairs thereafter will lead to the peak. However, the fog had became thicker as we were approaching the peak.

The stone stairs to the peak
The stone stairs to the peak

I was climbing the stone stairs when I turned around and saw Amira was not behind me. I descended a little bit to her and asked her “What’s wrong, dear?“. She cried. “Did I do something wrong?“, I was thinking. She did not say much but kept crying whilst climbing the stairs. I told her that the peak was just there and pointed to it.

Orrest Head, close to the peak
Orrest Head, close to the peak
Sorry, love!
Sorry, love!

In mere minutes, we were both on the peak of Orrest Head. She sat on the bench whilst I looked around to…nothing. Yes, nothing except for a mark showing what I was supposed to see from the peak. I walked back to Amira to comfort her and she asked me, “So, where is the view?“, in a sarcastic manner. Now I understood! She was upset because she was tired and there was no view at all. Like literally just fog covering the whole area. She also told me that “the gloominess of the weather also made me feel sad“.

So, where is the view?
So, where is the view?
No view!
No view!

The descend

After taking some photos and spent some time enjoying the ‘view’, we decided to descend. This time around, I was eager to get down as soon as possible. It was getting colder and I could not bear the coldness any longer. We walked fast and soon, we reached the Windermere town.

This looks sad
This looks sad

The cold weather made us felt hungry faster. We walked around, looking for a place to have our early lunch. Initially, we thought of having fish and chips but the first shop that we went to seemed unattractive. The second shop that we went to is for take-away only. Finally, we decided to eat at a sandwich cafe. We both had a sandwich with side dishes and a hot chocolate with marshmallow. The best way to end our walk to Orrest Head, I would say.

Add me in the photo, it turns into a happy photo!
Add me in the photo, it turns into a happy photo!

After lunch, we stopped by the post office, sent some postcards to our friends and family before walking back to Millbeck Guest House to check out.

Hearty lunch
Hearty lunch

More photos:

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Next: Part 33

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2 Replies to “Backpacking to Europe – Part 32: A walk to Orrest Head, Windermere”

  1. Ahaksss..amira amira..sweet tau..awal tu senyum lagi ek bila dah sampai atas ‘menangis’ ehhh ..hihhi ye la kan mendaki bukan main penat gak tu walaupun sejuk x berpeluh tp kalau dh malam tu hujan memang le view berkabus jek..mesti dia rasa x berbaloi kan 😂

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