22nd November 2015

Seatoller to Portinscale

Time 9:50am to 2:15pm (just the walk from Seatoller to Portinscale)
Duration 4 hr 15 min
Distance 9.7 mile
Ascent 1500 ft but doesn't feel like that much
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Portinsale suspension Bridge to Keswick bus station
No 78 bus from Keswick to Seatoller
Seatoller - Tongue Gill - Castle Crag - Grange - above Manesty - Cat Bells terrace path - Skelgill - Stair - Newlands Beck - Ullock - Postinscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Car park, Seatoller, Borrowdale

Seatoller is found at the foot of Honister Pass and brings Borrowdale to an abrupt end. As with all the villages in Borrowdale, this is a very popular place and as a result, the latecomer may find the car park full.

Walking in this area is among some of the best in the Lake District, but aside form the fells themselves, lower level walking around here is fantastic.


Route Map


One day back in that far away time we called early autumn, I got talking to a lady on a walk I was doing over Ullscarf. We talked about the weather, how quite it was on those fells and she went on to explain that she was walking from Thirlmere Dam to Grasmere. Then, at the end of the walk she was getting the bus back from Grasmere to Thirlmere. That got me thinking about using busses to come up with some interesting linear routes for myself.
Today turned out to be the first of this type of walk and although it was pretty easy and straight forward it was still more than enough to make me think about exploring other areas where public transport and personal transport could be combined.

We were about half an hour early so we sought out a dry seat under the shelter of Booths store canopy as a good place to kill time. Then we heard the sound of a bus and bang on time the No 78 arrives at Keswick. It costs £4 to enter into a contract with Stagecoach to transport an adult from Keswick to Seatoller. And, not being a regular bus user I can't comment on whether this is cheap or not, but I reckon it has to be less expensive than paying to leave a car at Seatoller for the day.

And as if by magic, we finds ourselves in Seatoller. The sign above the door says 1628 but that can't be right because it only too half an hour to get here.

Looking back down to Seatoller.

Heading along the path between Seatoller and Castle Crag.

A close up of Rosthwaite.

and not so close up.


Before heading onto Castle Crag I take a picture looking through the gap towards Derwent Water.

Castle Crag summit view.


A close up of Walla Crag with a cloud topped Blencathra behind.

The northern fells seen from the terrace path on Cat Bells.

By the time we reached the northern end of Cat Bells the skies had cleared and at last, we were able to enjoy some of the sunshine the weather predictors has promised us.

Walking down to Stair with Barrow behind / above.

The bridge at Stair was the only sheltered spot we were likely to find so this was chosen as our refueling station.

Long shadows stretching northwards across the valley floor.

Newlands beck was running a bit higher than normal but the debris on the footpath shows the water level must have been up to a scary level in recent times.

A view across to the Skiddaw fells. The sky may have quite a lot of blue in it but the top of Skiddaw remained in cloud every time we saw it today.


And just under ten miles after getting off the No 78 bus at Seatoller, we arrive at Portinscale suspension bridge feeling pretty pleased with the days events. Now that I've taken the great leap and taken advantage of what the local bus service has to offer, I'm hopeful this won't be the last time I have a go at this type of walk.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks