30th October 2011

Castlerigg Stone Circle to Thirlmere


Walk Overview
Time 09.45 to 15.00
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 10 mile
Ascent 1500 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Castlerigg Stone circle - Goosewell Farm - Naddle Bridge - Tewet Tarn - St John's in the Vale Church - High Rigg - Long Band - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Shoulthwaite Farm - Rough How Bridge - Shaw Bank - Dale bottom fields - Nest Brow - Castle Lane - Castlerigg Stone Circle
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Castlerigg Stone Circle

If you arrive here in the middle of the day at the height of summer, you'll probably find the place full, but if you're prepared to wait, it won't be long until one of the visitors at Castlerigg Stone Circle jumps in their car and drives off. Unless you're using this place as a starting poit for a walk, most people only seem to stay here for ten or fifteen minutes at the most.

Surprisingly because it's next to such a popular tourist attraction parking is free.


Route Map

Jennifer is suffering from a bad foot at the moment so she wanted a walk with plenty of options to cut it short or keep adding bits on, depending on how she felt. Well, if that's what you're after, High Rigg will fit the bill perfectly. As it turned out, we kept adding bits on and we even managed to stay dry throughout, despite an uncertain forecast.

Blencathra, taken from the road below Goosewell Farm.

High Rigg.

Surely they could have found a sign to fill the gap at the bottom of the post. Tewet Tarn is a nice spot so why not add a sign pointing to that.

What a muddy mess, as were quite a few other places we passed today.

Even though it didn't rain, Jennifer thought it a good idea to keep her waterproof trousers on for the whole walk. To help keep the 'other' ones clean; I was told. Yes, that seems like good thinking to me. What I don't understand is why she still put her 'other' clean trousers in the wash when we got home. Then again, who am I to interfere with a lady and her washing machine ??

Looking back to Tewet Tarn.

Straight ahead to St John's in the Vale and High Rigg.

St John's in the Vale Church.

The fells in the distance are the some of the north westerners.

High Rigg summit looking towards Thirlmere.

and looking the other way towards Bassenthwaite Lake and the north western fells.

The boggy bit.
The route across this section is always dictated by the amount of recent rain. Today, we ended up walking right round to the side with the route straight across being reserved for those with webbed feet.

This is the bigger of the many tarns found dotted about High Rigg.
It looks wet and boggy, which I suppose it is. However, getting past is still easy enough if you walk next to the fence. Despite me saying the water is only a couple of inches deep next to the fence, the couple walking in the opposite direction made a right meal out of getting past. He helped her as she tried to avoid the water by stumbling over the stones and then he decided it was too tricky so he went back to try the other side of the fence. They didn't look too impressed when we just walked through without getting wet at all.

PS The fell in the distance is Lonscale Fell.

A bit of drama above Thirlmere.


St John's in the Vale, seen here from the dip in the ridge.

Looking down to Legberthwaite / Stanah and the point where the St John's in the Vale road joins up with the A591.


Moody skies over Thirlmere.

Watson's Dodd above Castle Rock.

Rough How Bridge.
I'm sure Wordsworth would remember it well. It was here that he had a RTA in 1856 when the Whitehaven - Keswick - Lancaster coach hit the Wordsworth's gig.

A long distance view towards the Skiddaw fells. I took this picture from the start of the walk through Dale Bottom / Naddle Valley. I'm never sure where one ends and the other begins or if they both merge together as one.

I don't think the lady on the left has quite got the hang of the self service buffet.

We certainly didn't expect the sunshine to get out like this today. We thought the forecast was for rain to move in during the afternoon. Never mind this is much better.

Heading down Castle Lane which had plenty of puddles which came in handy for washing mud off our boots.

Thankfully he was on the other side of the wall.

"My, my you're a handsome looking chap"
"Thanks very much, I've just been for a walk over High Rigg with Jennifer if you're interested"

David Hall -
Lake District Walks