25th December 2013

Dodd Wood, Dodd and St Bega's Church Bassenthwaite


Walk Overview
Time 9:30am to 12:50pm
Duration 3 hr 20 min
Distance 6.3 mile
Ascent 1700 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Dodd Wood - Long Doors - Dodd - Dodd Wood - Mirehouse - St Bega church - Old Plantation - Dodd Wood
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car Park, Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite

With the country house at Mirehouse and Dodd Wood itself sharing the same car park, it's pot luck whether you'll get a space here during the summer months. The good news is that a little further along the A591 (driving away from Keswick) there a couple of places where you can generally manage to get parked. Of course you're then left with the need to follow the footpath back to the main car park, but needs must I suppose.

There is a charge at the main car park, but the alternatives along the road are free. There's also a good tea room at Dodd Wood.


Route Map

Christmas Eve began and ended the same as most days have recently with gale force winds and heavy rain. Today is Christmas Day and thankfully we seem to have been granted a day of calm between the Atlantic lows; as the weather folk call them on the telly. Before we left home Jennifer asked:-
"Do you think the Father Christmas hat will blow off if I just put in on top of the normal one"
"If it's windy it might. If the wind can rip roofs of houses and pull trees out of the ground, blowing a hat off your head isn't going to be much of a problem."
"I'll use some safety pins just in case"
As it turned out, it wasn't windy at all but the point I made above was proved when we got to the top of Dodd.

Recent rains have left the place saturated and all around are reminders of just how much of the wet stuff has fallen out of the sky.

As the sign says, Dodd summit is that way.

The path to the top gets narrower but remains very easy to follow.

A very hazy and dark view over to Derwent Water, Keswick and the fells.


Dodd summit.

I know it's been windy but blimey, here's the tree
and here's the hole it came out of.

Looking down to the flooded end of Bassenthwaite Lake.

and the rest of the lake. Over there on the left hand side of the lake are Broom Fell, Ling Fell and Sale Fell

Almost the same view as the previous picture but this time taken from the summit itself.

Sunshine on along the forest track we followed back down the fell.

Flooded fields.

Lord's Seat and Barf seen across Bassenthwaite Lake. I took this photo from the higher of the Osprey viewing stations.

Skill Beck.

and again, this time taken from the dam behind the Old Sawmill Tea Rooms.

Closed for Christmas.

Looking into the secret garden. To be honest, it isn't a secret at all but you do need to pay to get in and that's only when the place is open for business, which it isn't during the winter months.

Here's a Christmas day picture of the two of us standing in the grounds of Mirehouse. It wasn't exactly tropical but it was actually pleasantly warm walking through here where it was sheltered.

Mirehouse buildings below Ullock Pike.


St Bega Church is found a short walk across the fields near Mirehouse and makes for a lovely addition to the walk; particularly on a day like this. It's just a pity the path behind us was really muddy and slippery today. Every step saw us slide a little bit and if all the slides were taken into account the route we took was probably nothing like the one the guy that laid the path had intended.

"When I survey the wondrous cross" Okay, perhaps that's more of an Easter Hymn so how about, , , ,

"Ding dong merrily on high"

"What did you get for Christmas"
"I got this harp, but one of the little screws you use to attach the strings to the top seems to be missing. The self assembly instructions said there were 12 but I could only find 11. It's a real shame because I was looking forward to practicing my plucking."
"Ah well, I suppose it's all done in the name of progress. But I wonder how many other people in the country have been left disappointed this Christmas morning because bits are missing, broken or just don't fit from their presents. I remember the days when we could buy things that were already assembled when we took them out of the shop."

Poor guy. I hope that isn't the end of his ambition to become a harpist.
"What's that got to do with getting drunk?"
"Drunk, , , I wish you'd pay attention, I said harpist; you know, , , , someone who plays the harp"

The sun never rises very high at this time of year, and behind the church the grave stones were casting long shadows across the churchyard, despite it being barely 30 minutes past noontide.

and now outside the church.


A short walk along this path which runs beside the road takes us back to the car. Somewhere in Whitehaven there's a Christmas dinner with my name on it !!

David Hall -
Lake District Walks