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Lake District Valley and
Walks around Elterwater
Other walks around
A Walk Around Loughrigg
Tarn and Skelwith Force
A walk full of interest with good views all the way. The route includes a
section around a tranquil tarn and a visit to an impressive waterfall.
Distance: 7 km / 4.5 miles Ascent: 90m / 300 ft Time: 2 - 3hrs
Start in Elterwater. Walk through the car park to access the Cumbria Way footpath,
then follow this southeastwards down the valley. Initially the path tracks
the river, but just over 0.5km further on it kinks to the left and then
enters a strip of mixed deciduous woodland which lines the northern shore
of Elterwater. The slopes beneath these trees are seen at their best in
May when they are covered by a carpet of bluebells.
Just before reaching the far boundary of the woodlands be careful to
locate the wide cart track on your left. This leads diagonally uphill to
reach the BS343 road at a wooden gate. Hop over the low wall side and
cross the road diagonally to your right to access, through a kissing gate,
the footpath on the far side. The path-cum-watercourse winds to the
top of the wooded brow ahead , veering right in the process. Use the stile
to cross over the stone wall further to your right, then continue walking
uphill eastwards along the path which heads towards the tree-fringed
horizon. Another narrow track is bisected at right angles in getting
Pass over the craggy spur adjacent to a drystone wall on your right and
descend towards Loughrigg Tarn, which shortly comes into view down below.
(There are superb views along Great Langdale and towards Wetherlam from
the rocky knoll off to your left as you pass over the spur.) Turn left and
towards north to descend the wide track which crosses rolling fellsides.
The route then connects with the entrance to a secluded stone cottage
named "Crag Head". Use this gravel drive to reach the road below, passing
by a second attractive cottage in getting there.
Turn left along the lane, but within less than 200 paces turn off right
over the stile to access the signed public footpath which leads down
across meadows and then around the north-eastern shore of Loughrigg Tarn.
As you progress further south eastwards, around these tranquil waters
there are the most superb views across the tarn towards the Langdale Pikes
and Bow Fell. Often spectacular sunsets may be observed from here.
Climb up the grassy bank away from the water's edge to pass through a
wooden gate in the railings above. Then turn right along the driveway and
beyond another gate. Turn right again to pass by another residence named "Dillygarth".
In quick succession turn left, right and left again through the maze of
narrow lanes which converge here, to select the one which leads steeply
downhill, most directly towards Skelwith Bridge. Cross with care over the
A593 Ambleside - Coniston road below and walks past the Skelwith Bridge
Turn right immediately past
the hotel car park, then select the left-hand fork nearest to the River
Brathay to continue along tile signed footpath leading west back towards
Elterwater. The obvious return route conveniently leads to Kirkstone
Galleries with its attractions, including tempting refreshment facilities.
From here, the path back leads between the quarry worksheds and then
beneath trees to Skelwith Force, down below to your left. These impressive
falls are well worth a closer inspection but do be careful, especially if
there are youngsters with you, for this rocky area can be very slippery.
Afterwards, continue up the valley path where
a kissing gate provides access to the attractive low-lying meadows which flank
the meandering River Brathay. Beyond, the return route re-enters the
woodlands bordering Elterwater; from here retrace your outward steps back
through the village and to the Langdale Estate or the village car-park.