On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember those who gave their lives in service during WW1 in what has become fondly known as Poppy Day.
WW1 has been said to be the bloodiest of wars and both Poppy Day and Remembrance Sunday is a time to honour heroes who lost their lives during this war between 1914 and 1918.
This Saturday 11th November and Remembrance Sunday, in the calm and quiet of the Lake District, groups of people travel from all-over to take part in Remembrance Walks to reflect and commemorate.
A Remembrance walk is a sociable event. The annual pilramages attract a mix of locals and holidaymakers and is actually a great way to experience some of the Lake District’s most iconic peaks.
Alternatively, avoid the 11am memorial services and make a solitary walk to lay a wreath, cross or poppy. The Lake District is a perfect place for some private time to reflect and remember.
Here are some popular Memorial Walks in the Lake District for this weekend:
The Castle Crag Memorial Walk in the north western Lake District is a 1.4 mile summit walk to a well-attended memorial plaque. There’s generally a Remembrance Day service in memory of the men of Borrowdale and those that have lost their lives since the Great War, serving their country.
Words of dedication and a prayer are read to a crowd of a couple of hundred by the Church Warden and owner of local Scafell Hotel Miles Jessop, followed by 2-minutes silence. A War Poem is then read and followed by the opportunity for regular attendees to catch up.
Castle Crag is a miniature fell of 290m, in perfect form. In fact, it is the smallest of the mountains to make it into Wainwright’s Pictoral Guide to the Lakeland Fells and for first-timers, is a relatively easy ascent. There are grave-like slate sculptures that line the path towards the summit, which could be eerie, but with a group of fellow supporters they add to the atmosphere.
Starting from the National Trust car park in Rosthwaite, this scenic walk gives superb views of the picturesque Borrowdale Valley, which is a blaze of orange hues at this time of year and a favourite of TV presenter Julia Bradbury.
“In glorious and happy memory” of the members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who died for their country in the European War of 1914-1918, reads the inscription on the stone commemoration 899m high, up on the summit of Great Gable in the heart of the Lake District. The iconic pyramid-shaped mass that is Great Gable sits opposite England’s largest mountain, Scafell with the wide Wasdale valley separating the two giants.
These fells are for the “use and enjoyment of the people of our land for all time”, the inscription continues.
For anyone staying in the central Lake District, consider this Remembrance Service 899m above sea level at the summit of the Lake District’s pyramid peak Great Gable. The service is held at the summit’s Fell and Rock Climbing Club memorial plaque and has been attended by up to 600 walkers in previous years. Allow 3 hours to make the ascent to ensure you don’t miss the service. The club area recommends starting from Wasdale Head or the top of Honister for the quickest route up.
Whilst the visibility for the weekend forecast is good, there’s rain expected for Saturday so as always when walking in the Lake District, come well equipped.
A fell summit wind reminds us of fields of red poppies at Flanders that blow between the rows of crosses marking those that lost their lives. And panoramic, epic views, shared with loved ones give us feelings of hope and joy as we remember and honour those who fell.
As a two-minute silence is observed, the only sound to be heard is the wind. The silence on what are popular fell tops is an experience in itself.
People huddle together for warmth, and for many this is the perfect way to mark the day of armistice when the guns fell silent after four years of fighting.