Ascending the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District we suddenly realised that we’d have to ford a stream if we were to reach the top.
The family walking ahead of us, including a girl of about seven, managed to negotiate the fast-flowing waters, so it couldn’t be that difficult, we thought.
But when we reached the crossing point we were flummoxed. Surely, you would need the legs of Peter Crouch to stride across the half-submerged ‘stepping stones’.
We had resigned ourselves to making a shame-faced about-turn when the little girl up ahead noticed our predicament and urged her father to come to our rescue.
He heroically pointed out the secret of the ‘hidden’ stones and reached out a helping hand as we gingerley made our way across.
On days when the water is high, the crossing can be too hazardous and so some rock scrambling is in order to reach a path on the same side of the stream.
The Langdale Pikes is undoubtedly one of the finest one-day walks in the country and was pretty busy even on the dull October day we visited.
Along the way, there are a series of impressive waterfalls, a large tarn 1,500ft up and some wonderful views of the Langdale Valley to enjoy.
The walk starts and ends at The New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, surely one of the best walking hotels in the Lake District .
The family-owned hotel is the perfect place to both prepare for your walk with a hearty breakfast and enjoy a well-earned drink on your return.
The hotel offers high quality cuisine, roaring log fires and some of the finest scenery in the Lake District from the extremely comfortable bedrooms.
Best of all, some of Britain’s best walks are literally on the doorstep and guests can tackle a different one every day of the week.
New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
The New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel is in Great Langdale, near Ambleside. From April 2 to July 22, five nights dinner, bed and breakfast costs £279pp in a standard room and £304pp in a superior room. Until October 1, any three-night bed and breakfast break costs £99pp. Tel 01539 437213 or click on www.dungeon-ghyll.com