Cumbria Way Keswick to Caldbeck

 

Difficulty : HardDuration : 7 HrsDistance : 23 Km

 

The Cumbria Way is one of Britain's most popular long distance footpaths. The seventy mile long distance route runs from Ulverston in south Cumbria to Carlisle in the north, passing through and over the heart of the Lake District, England's finest countryside. The way is usually walked from south to north making this the fourth stage of the route. This stage is by far the most remote and wildest and also involves one of the two high routes on the way. This walk starts in the busy north lakeland market town of Keswick. The way leaves Keswick and heads uphill through the woods under Latrigg. After reaching the car park at the end of Gale Road from Ormathwaite, the way then creeps round Lonscale Fell and into the Glenderaterra Beck valley between Skiddaw and Blencathra. The way enters the wild and desolate land known as Back of Skiddaw reaching Skiddaw House then falling down the wide valley of the upper River Caldew. Before reaching the picturesque village of Caldbeck, the way ascends Grainsgill Beck on to Great Lingy Hill and over to the highest and most exposed point of the way High Pike at 658m above sea level. This stage is fantastic in good weather but over the higher stages can turn into a navigational nightmare in low visibility or bad weather so be prepared.



Full route description for this walk

 

This stage of the Cumbria Way creeps out of Keswick and heads up to the car park behind Latrigg at the end of the Gale Road from Ormathwaite. To get yourself on the right path go to the Post Office in the centre of Keswick at the major road bend. From the Post Office turn right and head north west along Bank Street, follow it as it turns sharp right with the car park always on you right hand side. Once past the car park and a few more metres down the road you'll get to a junction of five roads, you need to head left down Station Street passing the Youth Hostel on the left before it crosses the River Greta. The road now becomes Station Road, walk to the end of the straight bit of road and you'll get to a leisure centre building, here head round the building to the right and go into the car park behind it, the exit of the car park leads on to Brundholme Road.

Keswick Town Centre

Keswick Town Centre

Latrigg Woods Path

Latrigg Woods Path

Cross over Brundholme Road and the footpath heads left along a specially fenced off footpath avoiding the busy road. After a while you cross a smaller road and the small hamlet of Briar Rigg appears on the other side of the road, here it is actually easier to cross the road to the other side as there is no pavement on the right side of the road. After only about a hundred metres cross the road again at the point where you see the signposts pointing down Spoonygreen Lane. Spoonygreen Lane crosses the main A66 trunk road then passes a large house on the left. After the house follow the main track uphill heading north then north west round the big bulk of Latrigg, always to the right. The tracks turns into more of a path the higher you get and the views open up back over Keswick behind and over the flat fertile land to Bassenthwaite Lake and Braithwaite to the left.

Gale Road Car Park

Gale Road Car Park

Howell Monument

Howell Monument

The path will pass the forest on the left and then zig zag round to the right before reaching the popular car park at the end of the Gale Road from Ormathwaite. This is the car park many walkers use to ascend the mighty Skiddaw. Once you enter the car park area head right over the stile and then immediately left heading along the popular track with the stone wall and fence on your left. Try not to follow the popular path left up to the Howell Monument, instead follow the path along the contour skirting the hill and heading towards Whit Beck, here the path crosses the beck then heads along the same contour line still skirting Lonscale Fell. The path here is easy walking and the views to the right are over Derwent Water to the far right and the Helvellyn Range to the right. As the village of Threlkeld comes into view in the valley below the path turns left and heads into the Glenderaterra Valley.

Whit Beck

Whit Beck

Derwent Water

Derwent Water

As the path heads into the Glenderaterra Valley it gets much rougher as it passes through the Lonscale Crags. The path stays high above the Glenderaterra Valley for nearly three kilometres until it reaches the far end of the valley. At the end of the valley there are many old ruins and stone walls. The obvious path now starts to head off in a north westerly direction towards Skiddaw House which you will reach after a small uphill walk on an obvious pass through heather. Skiddaw House is an incredible building, it looks like it has been battered by the elements for years but is still standing strong. It is a large house with a few outbuildings sat in the middle of absolutely nowhere with a rough service track the only vehicular access. The hostel has been closed in the past but is these days reopened and run independently. The hostel is not manned all the time and is looked after by someone who works in Keswick through the weekdays. Skiddaw House can be booked through there website by contacting them in advance or if you arrive at quiet times in the evening when the reception is open. I am told there is a shelter outside for use by those who arrive too early although I couldn't find it myself. This fantastic hostel has recently been handed a grant to make it self sufficient which will include solar and wind power.

Lonscale Fell

Lonscale Fell

Glenderaterra Valley

Glenderaterra Valley

From Skiddaw House the Cumbria Way splits in two. There is the eastern route known also as the high route and the western route also known as the low route. Personally I would always rather do the high route to the east. If you choose to go on the low route it is simply a case of following the service track for a long way until you reach the roads and then following them north east until you reach Caldbeck, not my idea of fun really especially the long tarmac stretches and the initial jaunt along the very rough service track.

Whit Beck

Whit Beck

Derwent Water

Derwent Water

The eastern or higher route heads in a north east direction from the front of Skiddaw House and basically goes right through the wide valley opposite the youth hostel. Follow the path from Skiddaw House heading north east, it crosses a small stream, this stream is actually the River Caldew that you will now be following all the way to Carlisle, at this point it is about two metres wide but by the time your on the next stage of the Cumbria Way it gets to twenty metres wide. The footpath crosses the small River Caldew and heads down into the valley staying always on the left side of the river in the valley floor. After about four kilometres of walking down the upper Caldew Valley you will reach the end of a tarmac road. Here take the track on the left that heads to the disused abandoned mines.

Skiddaw House

Skiddaw House

Upper Caldew Valley

Upper Caldew Valley

The fells around the Grainsgill Beck valley are unique in the Lake District and Carrock Fell is one of the only hills in Britain as well as the Cullins in Skye to be made mainly of igneous Grabbo. These hills are rich in minerals, the mines that are now just relics in the valley floor once extracted tungsten, lead, arsenic and iron. Carrock Mine was the only source of tungsten in Britain out of the West country. Follow the path after the mines heading uphill into the head of the valley. Just before the path starts to head left following the Grainsgill Beck into the narrow of the valley head, instead just head up a faint track towards the summit of Great Lingy Hill. Once you reach the top of the ridge you will see the large wooden shed on the hill known as the Lingy Hut Bothy.

Grainsgill Beck

Grainsgill Beck

Lingy Hut Bothy

Lingy Hut Bothy

Lingy Hut is basically a large wooden garden shed that has been completely rebuilt and strengthened many times. Once inside it you will find it really is an absolute heaven of a shelter, especially when the elements aren't too kind. The hut consists inside of a small window and a large raised sleeping area. All draught holes have been filled in and there is the usual bothy book and emergency spares in a metal box. From Lingy Hut the terrain is fairly bleak and not easily navigated in low visibility so do make sure you use map and compass when needed here. Head in a north to north east direct from Lingy Hut for exactly a kilometre to reach Hare Stones. From Hare Stones on a clear day the bulk and summit of High Pike ahead is obvious with its cairn, shelter, bizarre bench and trig point. From Hare Stones head down to the rough track and then after a short walk there is a not too obvious and un signposted path to the left, go up this path now always heading to the highest ground which is the summit of High Pike.

High Pike Summit

High Pike Summit

Caldbeck & Nether Row

Caldbeck & Nether Row

High Pike is the highest point on the Cumbria Way at 658M above sea level, and it can also be one of the harshest, its lofty position makes it a magnet for strong and often cold north westerly winds racing across the sea and down the Solway Firth. The summit has a stone shelter for those bad weather days and a rather bizarre bench for those good weather days with views across to the hills of southern Scotland over Carlisle and the Solway Firth. Navigating off High Pike isn't too easy either in bad weather so again take care and head in the general direction of Caldbeck, taking a compass bearing if necessary from the summit. Simply head directly north off the summit of High Pike until you reach a track heading down to the right and into a small valley where an old quarry mine exists. Follow the old mine road downhill zig zagging into the small hamlet of Nether Row. After passing through a farm and seeing the lower route join the road from the left pass through the village and follow the small hedged road out of the village in the direction of Caldbeck. The way is now sign posted to the village of Caldbeck, crossing a minor road into a small track and then heading through Townhead then Upton and eventually to Caldbeck itself where you will find various B&B's or get shelter, food, drinks and accommodation in the excellent Oldfellows Arms Inn.

Maps available for this walk

 
Click to buy this map! Click to buy this map! Click to buy this great software! Click to download this route!



Weather forecasts for this walk

 
Mountain Weather Information Services
 

Mountain Weather
Information Service

Detailed mountain
weather forecasts

Met Office Mountain Area Forecasts
 

Met Office Mountain
Area Forecasts

Detailed mountain
weather forecasts

The Met Office
 

The Met Office

Long range forecasts
and information

BBC Weather
 

BBC Weather

5 day forecasts
for any UK area




Webcams near the Lake District, England

 
 
Scafell Pike Lake District Webcam
 

Scafell Pike
214 Fells

Scafell Pike Lake District Webcam
Great Gable Lake District Webcam
 

Great Gable
Wasdale Web

Great Gable Lake District Webcam
Skiddaw Lake District Webcam
 

Skiddaw
George Fisher

Skiddaw Lake District Webcam
Coniston Old Man Lake District Webcam
 

Coniston
Coniston Web

Coniston Old Man Lake District Webcam



Accomodation near this walk

 
Camping and Caravanning Club
 

Camping and
Caravanning Club

Britains best kept
camp sites!

Mountain Bothies Association
 

Mountain Bothies
Association

Join the MBA and
search for bothies!

Youth Hostels Association
 

Youth Hostels
Association

Search for budget
accomodation
!

Camping Barns
 

Camping Barns

Search for bargain
accomodation!




Mountain rescue teams covering this walk

 
Keswick Mountain Rescue Team
 

Keswick
Mountain Rescue

Rescue team that
covers this walk!

Mountain Rescue
 

Mountain Rescue

Mountain Rescue
England & Wales

Donate Funds
 

Donate Funds

Support your local
Mountain Rescue

Safety Advice
 

Safety Advice

Safety advice from
the Mountain Rescue




Photos taken on this walk

 
Images from March 5th 2008.

Keswick Town Centre Latrigg Path From Keswick Cumbria Way Crossing Whit Beck Howell Monument Looking Back Towards Derwent Water The Impressive Glenderaterra Beck Valley Nicky Below Lonscale Crags Lonscale Fell Skiddaw House Youth Hostel Looking Back Towards Skiddaw House Looking Back Up The Upper Caldew Valley Grainsgill Beck Valley Lingy Hut Bothy Nicky Signing Lingy Hut Bothy Book High Pike Stone Trig Pillar Caldbeck Village In Distance



Videos taken on this walk

 

Images from March 5th 2008.




Walks in the Lake District, England

 



Walks by area

 
Argyll & Bute
 

Argyll & Bute
Scotland

Brecon Beacons
 

Brecon Beacons
Wales

Cairngorms
 

Cairngorms
Scotland

Cheshire
 

Cheshire
England

Exmoor
 

Exmoor
England

Isle of Mull
 

Isle of Mull
Scotland

Lake District
 

Lake District
England

Lochaber
 

Lochaber
Scotland

North York Moors
 

North York Moors
England

Peak District
 

Peak District
England

Pentland Hills
 

Pentland Hills
Scotland

Perth & Kinross
 

Perth & Kinross
Scotland

Powys
 

Powys
Wales

Ross & Cromarty
 

Ross & Cromarty
Scotland

Skye & Lochalsh
 

Skye & Lochalsh
Scotland

Small Isles
 

Small Isles
Scotland

Snowdonia
 

Snowdonia
Wales

Sutherland
 

Sutherland
Scotland

Yorkshire Dales
 

Yorkshire Dales
England

Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Adverts