It was a gorgeous day on Saturday - sunny intervals, occasional stormy-looking clouds, warm but with a fresh breeze. We haven't done nearly enough walking in the Lakes lately - Real Life (TM) keeps getting in the way - but this time we were determined to make the most of the opportunity and chose the Grizedale Forest, a huge area of forest trails with the added interest of sudden mountain views and a fascinating sculpture trail.
Over the years we've done several of the trails but this time Dave picked one we hadn't done before, taking in Grizedale Tarn which is apparently the only natural tarn in the whole forest. The way to it was surprisingly rough with steep slopes and ankle-breaker tracks but we followed the white marker posts past some ingenious sculptures (a giant metal wasp, something that looked like huge animal droppings but was probably meant to be seeds) and were rewarded when we staggered out at the top onto rough heathland with a stunning view of the Fairfield horseshoe in the distance.
Although we followed the trail for what we thought was every inch, we somehow managed to miss the tarn completely (or perhaps it's a special tarn that vanishes and springs out at you when you least expect it) but it was still a lovely three-and-a-half mile walk. But towards the end Dave realised the two hours' parking he'd paid for was rapidly running out, and we'd have to hurry. I got back down the rough tracks and steep slopes in record time and we worked out we'd done the entire walk in one hour and forty minutes.
It was only when we were back in the car that Dave revealed the recommended time for the walk was... two and a half hours.
No wonder my legs were shaking!