418 Route 49. THIRLMERE.
About lJ2 M. beyond the village of Grasmere we pass the Swan
Hotel, a little to the right, and soon begin the long ascent to the
(3 M.) top of the Dunmail Raise Pass (780 ft.), between Steel
Fell (1811 ft.) on the left and Seat Sandal (2415 ft.) on the right.
The scenery becomes wilder. To the left we have a good view of
Helm Crag (p. 421). The wall at the top of the pass is the bound¬
ary between Cumberland and Westmorland, and the heap of stones
is said to mark the grave of Dunmail, last king of Cumbria. We now
obtain a view of Thirlmere, with Helvellyn to the right and Skiddaw
in the distance. Abont l!/4 M. below the pass, and 1 M. from the
S. end of Thirlmere, we reach Wythbum (Nag's Head Inn).
Thirlmere (533 ft.) is nearly 3 M. long, and nowhere more
than '/3 M. wide. Its greatest depth is 128 ft. The W. side, oppo¬
site Helvellyn, is bordered with picturesque woods and crags.
Thirlmere and the surrounding country as far as the watersheds are
now the property of the Manchester Corporation, who have made the lake
a reservoir, raising the water-level 20 ft. by means of a dam at the N.
end. As compensation a fine road has been made along the W. bank
(preferable for pedestrians), which is traversed by public conveyances
between Grasmere and Keswick. The aqueduct which conveys the water
to Manchester is 96 M. long.
Foot-passengers may follow the road on the W. bank of Thirlmere,
and from Armboth, halfway down the lake, may proceed to the W. by a
rough path across the Armboth Fell (1588 ft.; route marked by whitened
stones) to (l'/4 hr.) Watendlath, 6 M. from Keswick (comp. p. 428).
The through coach-road runs above the E. bank of the lake, at the
base of Helvellyn, for about 1 M. From the top of a long gradual as¬
cent it commands a fine view of the Vale of St. John, with Saddleback
(or Blencathara) in the background. The wooded knoll to the left is
Great How (1090 ft.). We pass (1 M.) the little King's Head Inn,
at Thirlspot; 3/4 M. farther on, the road down the Vale of St. John
diverges to the left. The Castle Rock of St. John, celebrated by Scott
in 'The Bridal of Triermain', now rises on the right (1000 ft.). For
the next 3 M. the scenery is less interesting, but when we reach the
top of the ridge called Castle Rigg, we are repaid by a charming *View
of the vale of Keswick, with the lakes of Derwentwater and Bassen¬
thwaite. Skiddaw and Blencathara rise in front; to the W. are the
fells round Newlands (p. 429) and Buttermere (p. 429). We have
still a descent of iy4 M. to reach Keswick (see p. 426).
Ambleside (*Salutation, *Queen's, R. 3s. Gd., D. 3s. Gd.-6s.; White
Lion, R. or D. 3s., all in the town; hotels at Waterhead, on the lake,
3/4 M. from the town, see p. 414; Lodgings), a small town with (1901)
2536 inhab., is beautifully situated in the valley of the Rothay, at
the foot of Wans fell Pike, and 3/4 M. from the head of Windermere.
It is supposed to have been a Roman station, and fragments of tesse-
lated pavements and other remains have been found in the neigh¬
bourhood. It is perhaps the best headquarters for excursions in the
S. part of the Lake District, and has abundant omnibus and coach
communication with Waterhead (p. 414), Grasmere, Windermere