The Cumbria Way leaves Dungeon Ghyll by traversing the lower slopes
of the Langdale Pikes on a rough path before leveling out on
the flat valley floor of Mickleden. Bowfell and the Pikes keep
a constant watch on you with with Rossett Pike rising up straight
ahead of you as you follow the wide track through Mickleden. Close
to a footbridge and a sheepfold (perfect for sheltering in!) at
the head of the valley, a slab indicates the direction of Stake
Pass and the Cumbria Way with the onward route heading for Rossett Gill.
A reconstructed path zigzags its way up the fellside - take
the opportunity to stop and admire the views behind you as you
pause for a breather. The top of the pass is marked by a cairn
after walking an undulating path around and through the moraines
that litter Mart Crag Moor. Take a moment here to view the 'rear'
of the Langdale Pikes and apart from the knobble of Pike o' Stickle
you may well be surprised by the moorland aspect of these (from
the front) formidable fells.
A rugged crossing of the pass and an occasionally stony descent
into Langstrath alongside the delightful Langstrath Beck. Once
on the valley bottom the official route stays to the right hand
side although the left hand side of the beck is normally dryer
and easier walking. Whichever way you decide to go though do not
omit a visit to Black Moss Pot - a mecca for those who like mountain
The route heads now to towards Greenup Gill where after crossing
a footbridge over a delightful waters meet (perfect place to sit
awhile and eat your packed lunch whilst looking up at the formidable
looking Eagle Crag) you swing left and follow a stony track into
Rosthwaite - for those wishing to visit Stonethwaite take the
footbridge a mile or so down the track on your left hand side.
On leaving Rosthwaite, the Cumbria Way follows the River Derwent
downstream via a lane and the choice of stepping
stones or a bridge slightly further downstream. The route now
leads through the steep and wooded Jaws of Borrowdale alongside
the River Derwent past Gowder Dub (perfect for a paddle to revive
those aching feet) OR there is the option of tackling Castle Crag
and rejoining the route further on. Whichever way you choose the
route joins together again at Gowder Dub and actually bypasses
the village of Grange. However most Cumbria Way'ers will pop into
Grange and sample a coffee and cake at one of the excellent
cafes in the village or even just to use the public toilets!
The route branches off to the right half a mile out of Grange
and takes advantage of some superbly positioned duck-boards at
Manesty to walk over the boggiest sections of the path. Pass through
Manesty Wood on a metalled track and you are soon on the shore
of Derwentwater amidst spoil heaps of long disused mine workings.
The way now follows a delightful path through woods and alongside
the lake although the temptation may be strong to catch the ferry
straight to Keswick - avoid it as that is cheating!
After leaving the lakeshore and passing Hawse End outdoor education
centre you take a right turn through a field and then Lingholme
Woods before entering Portinscale on the road. As the road takes a sharp left
turn you keep straight on, past a hotel and over a suspension
bridge before taking fenced right hand turn through fields and into Keswick.