27th May 2011

An afternoon walk from Threlkeld


Walk Overview
Time 13.45 to 16.20
Duration 2 hr 35 min
Distance 8.5 mile
Ascent 1100 ft
Walking with On my own
Threlkeld - Blencathra Centre - below Blease Fell - Lonscale Crags - Whit Beck - Brundholme - Keswick railway path - A66 - Threlkeld
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Threlkeld village

Threlkeld offers lots of roadside parking. If you should decide to park in the centre of the village instead of using one of the car parks, it really is a case of just turning up and finding a convenient spot.


Route Map

Threlkeld village with the ridges, rocks, crags and scree of Blencathra towering behind.

Looking into St John's in the Vale.

About halfway between Threlkeld and the Blencathra Centre I passed by High Row Farm.

Latrigg in front of the north western fells.

Looking back along the track to Clough Head, the Dodds and further back is Helvellyn. The fell on the right hand side of the picture is High Rigg with Tewet Tarn nestling above the fields..

Lonscale Fell.

Round the bend, and the view opens up to show Great Calva in the distance. Great Calva is one of those easily recognisable fells from just about any direction. To simplify it; there isn't anything else around here with that sort of cone like shape.


This is the end of May and there really shouldn't be this amount of water running off the fells at all. At this time of year I should be walking in shorts and short sleeves tops. I should be setting off at the crack of dawn for long walks on the high fells and when I get home, I should be getting 'told off' for not wearing a sun hat. Instead, I'm grabbing walks on the days that aren't too wet and windy.

That nice weather we had in April was much appreciated, and I know we may have been ready for some rain, but enough is enough, and I for one just want summer to turn up before it's too late.

Roughton Gill.

I took this picture standing next to the footbridge over Glenderaterra Beck.

Those magnificent men in their flying machines; as the song says.
I've often seen these when I've been walking in this area. More often than not they're in pairs; but today, it was a lone flyer that effortlessly made his way up the valley before disappearing out of site around the northern side of Mungrisdale Common. I'm not sure if they're taking people out on pleasure flights, pilots in the air force out training or privately owned.

Since uploading this page I've received information from a few people about the aircraft. It is an an RAF Tucano twin seat aircraft used by the RAF as an intermediate pilot flying trainer.
Now we know!

On the Cumbria Way track below Lonscale Fell. The higher of the paths you can see on the opposite side of the valley is the one I walk along earlier.

It had been a little more sheltered as I walked along Lonscale Crags, but now I was walking straight into the wind. It wasn't having any effect on the way I walked although annoyingly, it was making my eyes water, , , I'm not crying, honest.

Crossing Whit Beck.

Harriet Martineau tells us in her 1850s 'Complete Guide to the English Lakes' that "the ascent of Skiddaw is easy, even for ladies, who have only to sit their ponies to find themselves at the top, after a ride of six miles. There must be a guide,- be the day ever so clear, and the path ever so plain."

Well, perhaps the days of ladies sitting on their ponies to get to the top and everyone needing a guide are long gone, but she then goes on to say the following, which to be honest, is most definitely still the case these days.

"The confident and joyous pedestrian is not the most teachable of human beings. In his heart he despises the caution of native residents, and in his sleeve he laughs at it. The mountain is right before him; the track is visible enough; he has a map and a guide-book, and boasts of his pocket-compass. With the track on his map, and the track on the mountain, how could he get wrong ? So he throws on his knapsack, seizes his stick, and goes off whistling or singing, The host and hostess looking after him as he strides away. For some time he thinks he can defy all the misleading powers of heaven and earth: but, once out of human help, he finds his case not so easy as he thought."


When I took this photo looking up the 'tourist route' on Skiddaw (so called), I was thinking to myself that it must have been uncomfortably windy up there today. A few minutes later when I my path joined up with the Skiddaw route, my reservations about being on the high fells were confirmed by a couple who in their words had now "learned our lesson".

They asked me "how far up did you get". When I told them I hadn't been on Skiddaw today and I'd stuck to lower level by walking round from Threlkeld, they told me they had turned back because the wind was "blowing us all over the place". They said they'd totally misjudged their level of experience and were clearly not ready for those conditions.

We stood next to the fence and had a good 'crack' for about 15 minutes. And after asking if I could recommend some "good lower level walks from Keswick", they left with enough options to keep them going for the next three days while they were in the Lakes.

Walking down the eastern ridge on Latrigg.

I passed about half a dozen of these arrows around here, and as useful as they might be, I couldn't work out who knew which way I'd be walking today.

Once on the old railway path I turned left and headed towards the A66 and Threlkeld.

All is green alongside the railway path.

The River Greta.

Time for a photo before I entered the tunnel where I'd try and fail to dodge the water dripping through the ceiling.

This is one of the old railway buildings found along this route. A small reminder of the past, only with a modern twist; seats inside and out, and an information board inside, explaining about the history of the railway and the people who built it.

That's the A66 in front of Clough Head.

The inevitable happened, and as always, I eventually found myself back in reality.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks