Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 649

45 25 MAY 2023 KENTMERE RESERVOIR Weekendwalks Weekending Joined by a foodie friend, Rhiane Fatinikun explores a lesser-knownwalking spot in the Lake District Information Best map OL7 The English Lakes Start & nish Hollingsworth & Vose Factory, Kentmere Distance 8 miles Duration 4.5 hours Di culty Easy to Moderate Photographs: Joe Hayhurst / Getty images, Dave Willis / Alamy Ilove LakeWindermere as much as the next person, but for somewhere a littlemore o the beaten track, I recommend visiting the equally picturesque Kentmere Valley, a few short miles away. A haven for ramblers and cyclists (without the crowds of visitors you find at themore famous Lake District spots), it’s home to the glorious Kentmere Reservoir. With the Cumbrian fells as its backdrop, it’s as lovely as any lake. As if that weren’t enough – for somewhere so hilly, this straightforward eight-mile route is surprisingly flat, allowing visitors to gaze upon the fells without actually having to climb up them. It’s also well waymarked, making it great for beginners. My hiking companion, HarrisonWard, is no such beginner. Known on Instagramas the Fell Foodie (@fellfoodie), Harrison is a Cumbrian rambler who loves to recreate restaurant-stylemeals outdoors on a camp stove. Likeme, his life changed for the better after discovering hiking in 2016. Through putting one foot in front of the other, hemoved froma depressed, overweight alcoholic to a fit, fell-loving foodie. We always try tomeet up when I’m in his neck of the woods –mostly so I can strong-armhim into cooking for me. Thankfully, he doesn’t takemuch persuading, and he dutifully arrived at Kentmere onemorning in late spring with a backpack full of ingredients, plus a camp stove for an alfresco lunch en route. The walk begins in the tiny village of Kentmere, or, more specifically, its enormous factory – where air filtration devices aremade. Don’t let this put you o – you’ll be up to your eyeballs in trees, fields, drystone walls and babbling brooks before you know it. Simply follow the path towards Kentmere Hall, via a sundappled tree plantation. Now a private farmhouse, the 14th-century tower, with its heavenly views, is said to be the birthplace of Bernard Gilpin, a famous Tudor preacher known as the Apostle of the North. FromKentmere Hall, a gate in the wall leads back to the trail, which we followed until we reached Kentmere Reservoir. Here, Harrison and I downed our backpacks, drank in the views, and rustled up a delicious lunch of local steak, couscous and creamy mushrooms – all on his trusty camp stove. If the thought of this makes you salivate, you’ll be happy to hear that he has a cookbook out this autumn. Fromhere, we hopped over the bridge and followed the path along the banks of the River Kent, stopping to admire the faux waterfall where the reservoir flows back into the river. After an hour of gentle strolling, during which we barely saw another soul, the footpath returned us safely to where we started – bellies and hearts both full. Rhiane is the founder of the walking group Black Girls Hike, bghuk.com. @rhianesworld ALFRESCO DELIGHTS Harrison Ward serving up a mid-walk treat (above right); Rhiane with her steak, couscous and mushrooms (right) SPECTACULAR SIGHTS Looking down on Kentmere Reservoir (left); heading towards Kentmere Hall from the start of the route (above)