Hampsfell Hospice, Grange-over-sands
A visit to Grange-over-Sands is the perfect way to combine a leisurely stroll around a sleepy Victorian seaside town with a small hike over a striking, but low, fell. Although Hampsfell stands only 220m high it boasts some of the finest views of any fell in the Lake District.
The best route is to take the public footpath starting from Windermere road. The track winds up through Eggerslack Woods which come alive with Bluebells and Wild Garlic during April. After climbing the final stile and emerging from the woods follow the path leading directly away from the wall.
As you gain height take time to stop at regular intervals to admire the views opening up behind you: the Kent Estuary, Morcambe Bay, the Kent Viaduct, Arnside Knott and, on a clear day, the iconic flat summit of Ingleborough away in the distance.
On the top of Hampsfell is the Hospice. This solid stone shelter was built in 1846 by the vicar of Cartmel and is the ideal place to shelter if the weather is less than perfect. The Hospice is surrounded by a low chain but this is to keep out the animals not the humans, so hop over and take advantage of the stone seats and protection from the elements.
Above the door is a Greek inscription which apparently reads “Rosy-fingered dawn” and seems to puzzle many people but my guess it’s because it faces East and, therefore, directly into the rising sun. Inside the Hospice are several other inscribed panels telling you more about the history of the site.
If you’re feeling brave climb the rickety steps up onto the roof of the Hospice and you’ll be rewarded with views up to Skiddaw on a clear day. You can also make use of the Victorian viewfinder to identify the many different fells and dales along the horizon.
Once you’ve had your fill of the views make your way back down into Grange and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many wonderful cafes, hotels or bistros.
This gem was kindly contributed by Beth Pipe from Grange-over-sands