Remembrance Sunday in the Lake District

Lonely Planet Travel Editor Tom Hall is on a mission to discover 52 of the most awe-inspiring places to visit across the world. This week he reflects on Remembrance Sunday on Great Gable, Lake District.

Great Gable, Lake District

After WWI a climbing club based in the Lake District wanted to create a memorial for members who died in the conflict. Deciding on a grand gesture, surviving clubmen purchased 3000 acres of high mountain in memory of their fallen comrades.

Included in the purchase, among other peaks, was Great Gable, the most beautifully situated peak in the Lakes. In 1923 these hills were presented to the National Trust in perpetuity.

Climbing Great Gable

Each year, a group of climbers ascends Great Gable for a Remembrance Sunday service (held on the second Sunday in November, the closest to Armistice Day on the 11th) and stands by the plaque that marks the summit.

Over the years this non-denominational service has become one of the more popular and unusual Remembrance Sunday activities. From the early hours a steady stream of hikers make the 899m ascent to the summit of Great Gable at the tip of Wasdale and Ennerdale valleys.

By 11am each year several hundred hardy souls will have gathered, regardless of the often inclement weather, to hear readings and observe a period of silence.

The event is made all the more moving by the superb views of the Lakeland Fells. A bonus for walkers who have made the early start is plenty of daylight to explore the surrounding area, or the chance to be down at the Wasdale Head Inn in time for a slap-up lunch.

Planning your trip to the Lake District

If you’re planning a visit book accommodation early. The Lake District has a huge range of campsites, cottages, hostels and B&Bs to suit all budgets but they do get booked up on busy weekends.

Further information

Wasdale Web has photos, videos and dates of future services. You can start planning a visit to the Lakes at the official Lake District site.

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