27th February 2011

A circuit of Thirlmere


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 13.05
Duration 3 hr 35 min
Distance 9.6 mile
Walking with On my own
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Shoreline path below Dalehead Hall - Thirlmere Dam
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Swirls, Thirlmere

Swirls and Helvellyn fit perfectly into the same sentence. The chances are that 9 out of every 10 people who walk from here are heading up Browncove Crags onto Helvellyn summit.

The car park is in effect split into two by the A591. One has splendid views over Thirlmere and pays host to an ice cream van, whilst on the opposite side of the road you have the toilet block and the beginning of the path to Helvellyn.

Unfortunately the water company who own the land have installed a 'pay and display' machine in the car park above Thirlmere, so, the only free option here is to park in the long lay-by a little further down the road. Late comers will find it full !!

Route Map

after being diverted under the main road, Helvellyn Gill reappears just below the car park to give this nice little waterfall.

And a little further down stream, another waterfall catches the eye, , , and with the noise it was making it also catches the ears.

I had no plans at all today, and to be honest I didn't mind if I got up onto the fells or if I did a lower level walk. In fact, I still hadn't made up my mind by the time I got to Keswick and it was only as I reached Thirlspot that I decided to have a walk around Thirlmere.

A view back along the track to Thirlmere.

With a little bit of height gained you get a nice view down to Thirlmere rather than across it, as you do for most of the walk.

A glimpse of the dam, seen from the woods on the side of Great How.

Raven Crag rising up at the far side of Therlmere Dam.

I think this is one of the valve houses.

This picture give some idea just how far it is down Thirlmere. You can't quite see the end of the lake, but the fell in the far distance is Steel Fell; the route passes by the bottom of the fell.



A close up of Dalehead Hall.


If you keep a sharp lookout as you walk through the woods you can see a few telltale signs of the past. You'll see what are obviously old track ways, bridges and today, I even got some pictures of an old sheepfold.

I could hear all these sheep well before I actually got to Stenkin.

I won't bother trying to count them.

Looking into Wythburn.

A sort of close up looking down Thirlmere. The fell in the distance is Lonscale Fell; almost 9.5 mile away.

On the opposite side of the A591 where you can see the tiny hamlet of Steel End and the Nab Crags ridge, which eventually leads up to Ullscarf.


Wythburn Church.


This is nice, even though it is the steepest bit of the of the walk.

What a difference walking in the sun. It really was quite warm.

A view down to the A591.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks