Valley and Low-level Walks
Seldom Seen - 3 miles
Seldom Seen is a row of cottages in secluded Glencoynedale on the western
side of the head of Ullswater. A walk up this dale is highly recommended.
The return journey is through farm land through which dogs must be on
Park at Stybarrow Crag. This is half a mile
north of Glenridding. Cross the road to the lake shore - which is owned
by. the National Trust and is open to the public - and walk on northwards,
away from Glenridding. After half a mile the steepness down to the Lake
will force you along a path close to the road. Look for a stone track
opposite, cross carefully and go onto it. There are two private drives
leading from it; one left and one right. Go right on. You are walking on a
rough track with Glencoyne Woods towering up the hillside above you. There
are some fine old trees hereabouts. Most of them near the track are
sycamores. This is not a native tree, but is very common and seeds
readily. There are some fine views down Ullswater, particularly about the
two seats. Glencoyne farm, which is crowned by the old cylindrical type
Lakeland chimney stacks, is below on the right.
At the row of cottages of Seldom Seen turn
left up the old path under the pine trees. The crag ahead is Black Crag,
the northern will of Sheffield Pike. When you reach a point where the path
comes close to the wall near a group of oak trees, look down Ullswater
again. Continue on along the path following the wall. You must presently
duck below the boughs of a thick-trunked sweet chestnut. Go over the
stile, then immediately afterwards turn right and go through the gate.
Pick your way carefully
among the loose stones beyond, then follow the wall on your right, round
the corner onto a grassy path. There is now an open view down Ullswater.
The wall is on
the right for a time then the path goes downhill away from it towards the
cottages of Seldom Seen. The grass is rather steep in places and care
should be taken.
Do not go right on to Seldom Seen but head
to the front (left) of it, and pick up the path between the property and
Glencoyne Beck. The beck is the boundary between the old Cumberland
and Westmorland counties. You are of course on the Westmorland side. The
trees thriving around here are mainly alders, which prefer wet ground.
You. go through a gate onto farmland. The path is not all that clear on
the grass but it follows an obvious natural line. It goes by a lone ash
tree growing by what was a gap in a wall. The wall is tumbledown. Another
broken wall is passed through by another ash tree, and then the path goes
left towards the chimneys of Glencoyne Farm. The sheep pens below look a
little complicated in design. In fact they have been carefully designed
for sheep handling with the least effort. The path goes towards the gable
end of the farmhouse, then left through a gate. Go through the farmyard
and on down the track to the main road.
Cross the road and walk along the lake shore. A raised path is then
reached which follows the road and the lake shore. You soon reach your car
Ullswater Shore - 6.5 miles
There are several walks in the National Park which have to be done because
they typify the unique beauty of the Lake District. One is the walk from
Howtown, along the lake side to Patterdale. The views almost all the way
are excellent, and there are rocky bays to linger by, and grassy glades to
picnic in. With a stop of half an hour for lunch, and an occasional stop
to, photograph or just look, one can do the walk in four hours. Having set
off on the excursion you could well be tempted to stretch it longer. The
walk offers no difficulty to anyone. The only difficulty is offered by a
short stretch of busy road at the end.
A trip on the lake "steamer" is necessary.
The Ullswater Navigation Company run a regular service on the lake. Park
your car in Glenridding, at the head of Ullswater and board the steamer at
the public pier. Take a packed lunch (and an emergency ration of
chocolate) and you could be back at your car for tea, having seen some
Howtown is the boat's first call.
Disembark, leave the pier, and turn right, cross the footbridge and
continue to follow the lake shore. A wall and a fence are crossed by
stiles. Continue to follow the lake shore by the track. At the gate go
through stile and go left up the hillside (signposted). Go through the
wicket gate at the top and turn right. Although you have left the lake at
this stage you are compensated by excellent views right. The path rejoins
the take-side down a steep way through an oak wood, and the shore-line is
broken by rocks. You pass through a lovely broad-leafed wood largely of
beeches, oaks and elms. One awkward point on the path is a slippery rock,
but there are several choices of routes up or around this. Two walls are
crossed by stiles and you walk along the shore side of a meadow.
The path bends left to go through a gate,
then goes slightly left again to go through the next gate, and on to a
stile alongside another. There is a track joined here, look left at the
magnificent sycamore tree here. You pass under larch trees, there is a
fine farmhouse on the right. Cross the bridge, pass through gate, and turn
left along macadam road, and just after the cottages, turn right again to
follow footpath - a broad one alongside a wall all the way. After a beck
is crossed the path becomes a green one, and at the next bridge cross a
bridge to follow the wall up. (There is a waterfall up the fell to the
left.) There is a steep section and then when the wall corner is reached
at the top the path forks. Take the one falling to the right. The path is
now delightful, with good views of the lake again. The path then begins to
climb as the surroundings become craggy. The heights above seem. to lean
over towards you, and are clothed with dark green junipers broken up by
graceful silver birch. At the highest point on the path there is a grassy
viewpoint offering a pleasant resting place.
The path descends through woods of silver birch, at their best in autumn
colours. The woods end in an open area and there is another fork. Continue
down the right hand one parallel with the lake shore. A bay is reached and
the path rises again to the upper corner of a conifer wood. A wall is
followed and the path becomes a track. Where this is joined by another
track from the left carry on. The track goes through a gate into a farm
yard. Turn right between the buildings to follow the track towards the
village of Patterdale.
On joining the main road turn right. There
is a short section here on the bend where there is no footpath. There is a
quiet pleasant walk then on footpaths which end by a gateway on the left.
Make your way over to the lake shore. The footpath proper starts at the
boat landing again and you are soon in Glenridding.
Gowbarrow Park from Aira Force Falls - 2.75
This walk leads from Aira Force, Ullswater's well-known waterfall, two and
a half miles north of Glenridding, and goes through old park land with
good views, returning at a lower level.
Park in Aira Green car park. Leave by the
kissing-gate at the far end of the car park as if you are going to the
falls. Go across the field. Join the track at the far end of the field,
following it through the kissing-gate on the right into the Aira Force
wood. Cross the footbridge, bearing round right, on well defined path.
Through another kissing-gate and over a wooden footbridge. Then up the
steps to the right. Go up the path to a higher level. The path undulates
by the river side. Take the left fork to stand on the pretty stone bridge.
This is a good viewpoint, but from the far side of the bridge there is a
better one. Rejoin the path and take the left fork up the stone steps. Go
up to the right, then left up some more steps. Continue on better path.
Turn left onto the bridge. This is a good view down the falls. Do not
cross the bridge but go back onto the path and continue climbing. Go
forward on green footpath. Very shortly the path reaches a T-junction with
another green foot path. Turn right and continue down it until you meet a
path turning left at the bottom. Follow this path which runs parallel to a
fence then take the fork left and climb up the hill side. This is fairly
steep but is not too far. When you reach the top of the first rise there
is a big boulder. Stop here and admire the view. Looking right back the
way you have come the first fell is Sheffield Pike, behind that is the
summit of Raise where the skiers find sport in winter. Helvellyn is
behind and to the left of Sheffield Pike. In the foreground to the left is
Birkhouse Moor. The fell across the lake is Place Fell, and there is a
beautiful view of the higher reaches of the lake.
Continue on. Keep on following the path,
ignore the sheep trods which leave it. The true track is the better
defined one. The higher the climb, the better the view. The
beautiful airy path turns left slightly round a corner, and there is a
crag on the right with a cairn on it. There is an excellent viewpoint by
the cairn, right down the middle section of the lake. The path which we
want to reach eventually is directly below this crag, and there is a path
to it; but this is a path used by climbers and cannot be generally
recommended. Retrace your steps, from this cairn, and follow the footpath
on uphill for another section. The path continues very attractively, with
good views down the lake. Opposite can be seen the beacon on Hallin Fell
and the High Street range is behind. The path goes right round the corner
until you are walking with your back towards the lake. Continue on until
you go so far round a corner that you seem to be doubling back on
yourself. Then the footpath goes round to the right and starts to climb.
But down to the right there is a tongue of land, standing higher between
two hollows. This is where you should turn and descend.
The descent is rather steep at first. Take
it slowly, keeping to the right to avoid dampness. The line of an old
broken wall is crossed. Go down towards the little beck with the alder
trees. Choose the easiest way down. Keep to the right of the beck and go
alongside the plantation. At the far side of the plantation turn right to
follow its bottom edge. The lake will come into view again. Walk just
inside the wood to avoid the wet sections. As you proceed the planting is
of larch. There are red squirrels in this wood. Presently as you go along
the edge of the wood a path becomes apparent, striking into the wood a
little way. This continues on a contour, the wood falling of to the left.
You now leave the wood, crossing over a broken wall under a crag face. For
a way the path is fairly rough, and needs care. It rises a little over
loose stones, then goes along more easily on grass. A large old ash tree
is reached just to side of the path. The crags above may have climbers on
them. Continue on path which is more or less on the level. Ignore the path
zig-zagging up on the right. There is an old hollow ash tree with a big
boulder alongside it with a cairn crowning it. Continue on, on built up
path. This is quiet clear and easy. The path runs alongside a larch
Another path joins from the left. The path
progresses between a plantation right and an alder swamp on the left. The
plantation is left and the built-up path continues through the alders
until an open area is reached, and the path goes alongside a fence. The
building left goes under the strange name of Lyulph's Tower. At the path
junction turn left into the Aira Force woodland again, rejoining the path
by which you left.
Keswick walks - Dowthwaitehead and
Tarn Hows walk
and Seatoller, Watendlath and Rosthwaite walks