The Cumbria Way - route details for the Keswick to Caldbeck section of the walk
Below the steep slopes of Lonscale Fell and heading towards Skiddaw Houson the 4th day of The Cumbria Way © Dik Stoddart www.thecumbriaway.co.uk Find out more about the route that The Cumbria Way takes Help and advice on planning your Cumbria Way walk Sort your accommodation needs along The Cumbria Way whether it be B&Bs, Hostels or campsites Browse our collection of photographs taken along the route of the Cumbria Way Discover more about The Cumbria Way by reading many of the related links on www.thecumbriaway.co.uk
The Cumbria Way Day 4 : Keswick to Caldbeck

Click to find route details for day 1 of the Cumbria Way Ulverston to Coniston


Click to find route details for day 2 of the Cumbria Way Coniston to Langdale


Click to find route details for day 3 of the Cumbria Way Langdale to Keswick


Click to find route details for day 4 of the Cumbria Way Keswick to Caldbeck


Click to find route details for day 5 of the Cumbria Way Caldbeck to Carlisle


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Latrigg click to view photo
Another of those easily achievable fells for you to visit along the Cumbria Way. Latrigg can be reached from 'around the back' after skirting its flanks. Upon reaching the car park on Gale Road you simply spend a few minutes easy uphill walking on your right for a view you will remember forever.

Skiddaw House click to view photo
formerly a shepherds house, bothy and YHA Skiddaw House now re-opened as a hostel and for those wishing to forego the delights of Keswick offers a remote stop-over only yards from the Cumbria Way. Skiddaw House is also the point at which you need to choose the high or low level way into Caldbeck.

Whitewater Dash click to view photo
Also known as Dash Falls and situated on the low-level route a couple of miles from Skiddaw House. A set of cascades tumbling down a steep sided gorge. Yet another handy butty stop but the falls are best viewed further down the track.

Lingy Hut click to view photo
Formerly an old shooting hut but now serving a far better purpose as a welcome shelter from the - sometimes - inclement weather. The hut has its own visitors book for you to sign and it has been known for Cumbria Way'ers to spend the night in the hut rather than in Caldbeck.

High Pike click to view photo
At 2157 feet this is the highest point on the Cumbria Way and its summit is adorned with a slate bench This bench replaced an metal seat which had to be removed because sheep kept getting their horns stuck in it - the old seat now has a home in Sir Chris Bonnington's Caldbeck garden! Quite apt really as Sir Chris has gone on record as saying High Pike is his favourite fell.

Caldbeck Church click to view photo
The 12th century St Kentigern's Church is the resting place of the world famous local huntsman, John Peel as well as the 'Maid of Buttermere', Mary Robinson who married a Caldbeck man after the infamous marriage to John Hatfield an imposter and bigamist in 1802.

Priests Mill
click to view photo
an old watermill on the riverbank just below the Church in a well hidden, secluded position. For 250 years it was used as a stone-grinding corn mill and then until 1965 it saw use as a sawmill and joiner's workshop until floods caused the mill dam to be destroyed. Restored in 1986 the mill now houses various craft and gift shops as well as a collection of old rural implements ... more details

Situated between the bulk of Skiddaw and the gentle beauty of Derwentwater, Keswick is the major centre for tourism in the northern lakes and as such can get very busy. Originally granted its market charter in 1276 by Edward I the market continues to this day and the town offers a wide range of attractions for visitors with a huge amount of outdoor shops so if you need to replace some of your gear this is the place.

Keswick is the first choice for many visitors to the the northern lakes and it is an ideal stop-over place offering a range of things to do should you decide to break your journey here and have a day off from the Cumbria Way. Your options include a launch ride on lake Derwentwater, a walk up one of the surrounding fells or just enjoying the things that a place Keswick does best.


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Today is the day you make your choice of high level route or low level route from Skiddaw House to Caldbeck. Your choice will be dictated to you by the weather and your energy levels. Fit, experienced walkers will have no problem tackling the high-level course of the Cumbria Way over High Pike, while the more cautious walkers might opt for the longer low-level route that skirts the base of the fells.

High level route
Leave the Moot Hall in Keswick and cross the River Derwent before cutting through the Leisure Pool and heading for Spoony Green Lane. This lane crosses the busy A66 and starts to climb up and around the slopes of Latrigg. An improvised car park is reached where many walkers set off to climb Skiddaw having gained some height in the car. Your route however soon leaves the Skiddaw direction and contours to the right around the lower slopes of Lonscale Fell along a rugged path high above the Glenderaterra Valley.

Skiddaw House, a former shepherd's dwelling, reopened in 2007 as a Youth Hostel, is found beside a clump of trees. The high-level route continues and picks its way across the lower slopes of Great Calva running roughly parallel to the River Caldew. The path becomes a well defined track and brings you out onto a tarmac road. At this point follow Grainsgill Beck and turn left to walk upstream.

On the horizon you will spot what looks like a re-furbished garden shed but in fact this is actually a bothy on Great Lingy Hill which some intrepid souls choose to overnight in. For those planning a more comfortable nights stay simply follow a clear path towards High Pike to reach the highest point on the Cumbria Way at 2157ft/658m and the most northerly Lakeland summit over 2000ft. A trig point, an untidy pile of stones, a cairn, a view indicator and a stone bench adorn the top from where you can look back at the Lakeland Fells, over the Eden Valley to the Northern Pennines as well as the Scottish hills.

Once you have finished resting your legs and admiring the view walk down the grassy hillside, avoiding the mines and joining a farm track leading to a couple of miles of road walking to bring you to Caldbeck.


Low Level Route
Leave Keswick and walk to Skiddaw House in exactly the same way as the high-level route described above. To continue along the low-level route, simply walk northwards from Skiddaw House on the access track passing Whitewater Dash as you start to descend from the fells.

After meeting the road at Peter House Farm either follow the road to Orthwaite or opt for the route through the fields to reach Orthwaite Hall. From here an unavoidable road-walk leads to Longlands where you branch right after crossing Longlands Beck. The path then follow a clear track skirting the lower slopes of Longlands Fell to reach Greenhead. Another stretch along the road leads to Fell Side where a farm track lead to Potts Gill and Nether Row from where a narrow road, track and then path lead finally to Caldbeck.

The low-level route is 3 miles or so longer than the high-level route, but inexperienced walkers will find it easier and will certainly feel safer if their navigation skills are not up to scratch and the weather is bad. However bear in mind that extra miles on road can take it out of your legs as I found when walking the low level option in 2019.

 

 
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