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Looking North from Loughrigg Fell to Heron Pike
Looking North from Loughrigg Fell to Heron Pike

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Route No. 469 - Sunday 20 May 2012
Elterwater, High Close, Loughrigg Terrace, Slate Mines, Loughrigg Tarn, Skelwith Bridge, circuit - 10km
English Lake District . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South-eastern area


Leaving Elterwater village
Leaving Elterwater village

Setting off from the car park in Elterwater
Setting off from the car park in Elterwater

Looking up the hillside to Dow Bank
Looking up the hillside to Dow Bank above Elterwater

Langdale Youth Hostel at High Close
Langdale Youth Hostel at High Close

We crossed the road and took the footpath on the other side climbing up the hillside for about 400m to a minor road at map ref. NY334052. We turned right to walk along the road past the Langdale Youth Hostel at High Close. We continued along the road to a junction at map ref. NY340055

This weekend we are staying with a group of friends at a large holiday cottage in a hamlet called Knipe Point near Hawkshead in the English Lake District. Today we all drove to Elterwater and parked in the National Trust car park by Great Langdale Beck at map ref. NY328047. We walked up the road from the village to the B5343 at map ref. NY331048 about 300m from the car park.

Looking up the valley to Langdale Pikes
Looking up the valley to Langdale Pikes

The path up to High Close
The path up to High Close

Gate off the road into the National Trust's Deer Bolts Wood
Gate off the road into the National Trust's Deer Bolts Wood

Path down through the National Trust's Deer Bolts Wood
Path down through the National Trust's Deer Bolts Wood

Standing on Loughrigg Terrace admiring the view
Standing on Loughrigg Terrace admiring the view

We had to stop and just look at the view over Grasmere to Helm Crag with the blue sheen of the bluebells down the steep hillside in front of us. The water of the lake glistened in the sunshine. It was a magical scene.

Here we turned right off the road onto a track through the National Trust's Deer Bolts Wood. After about 250m we come out of the woodland on to Loughrigg Terrace.

Gate from the wood on to Loughrigg Terrace
Gate from the wood on to Loughrigg Terrace

Looking down from Loughrigg Terrace to the lakeside
Looking down from Loughrigg Terrace to the lakeside

Looking northwest from Loughrigg Terrace over Grasmere to Helm Crag
Looking northwest from Loughrigg Terrace over Grasmere to Helm Crag

The path along Loughrigg Terrace
The path along Loughrigg Terrace

A glimpse of Rydal Water ahead of us
A glimpse of Rydal Water ahead of us

Approaching the old slate mine
Approaching the old slate mine

After about 800m we came to some old slate mines, marked as 'Caves' on the OS map, at map ref. NY354057. We crossed flooded mouth of the cave on the stepping stones and looked back from the dark interior to the bright sunshine outside.

We continued along the Loughrigg Terrace path for about 600m from the edge of the woodland to a fork in the path at map ref. NY347060. Here we took the right hand fork in the path and continued to contour around the northern side of Loughrigg Fell.

Bluebells amongst the dead bracken fronds
Bluebells amongst the dead bracken fronds

The entrance to the old slate mine
The entrance to the old slate mine

Looking out from the old slate mine cave
Looking out from the old slate mine cave

Track heading down through the wood from the cave
Track heading down through the wood from the cave

Dropping down to the bridleway on the southern side of Loughrigg Fell
Dropping down to the bridleway on the southern side of Loughrigg Fell

We followed the path heading roughly southwards across Loughrigg Fell at its lower end for about 1.5km until we met a bridleway at map ref. NY355043. Here we sat on the grass by a rocky outcrop for our lunch with a very pleasant view out to the northern end of Lake Windermere.

From the cave we followed the track down the hillside through the woods for about 150m. Just after we crossed a small stream we turned right off the track to follow a narrow path up the hillside. The path climbed out of the woodland on to the open fell side of Loughrigg Fell.

Path up from the track on to Loughrigg Fell
Path up from the track on to Loughrigg Fell

Looking southeast to Windermere from our lunch stop
Looking southeast to Windermere from our lunch stop

Looking back, northwards, along our route over Loughrigg Fell
Looking back, northwards, along our route over Loughrigg Fell

Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn
Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn

Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn
Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn

Start of the path over the fields to the tarn
Start of the path over the fields to the tarn

Path to Loughrigg Tarn
Path to Loughrigg Tarn

At the road we turned left and walked along the road for about 150 to an access track on the right hand side at map ref. NY342043. We walked along this access track for about 100m and followed a public footpath off to the right up the hillside to the Neaum Crag holiday park. We followed the signed route through the holiday chalets and out of the estate to the fields above Skelwith Bridge.

After our break we followed the path down from Loughrigg Fell for about 1km to map ref. NY348041 where the track turned left. Here we turned right off the track to follow a path across the fields and along the edge of a small patch of woodland to the lane at map ref. NY347043. We crossed the lane and took the path across the fields around the edge of Loughrigg Tarn to the road on the other side of the tarn.

Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn
Path down from Loughrigg Fell towards the tarn

Path to Loughrigg Tarn
Path to Loughrigg Tarn

Path to Loughrigg Tarn
Path to Loughrigg Tarn

Loughrigg TarnLoughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn

Path by the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge
Path by the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge

Reaching the road at Skelwith Bridge
Reaching the road at Skelwith Bridge

We walked along this pretty wooded path beside the River Brathay for about 750m to the area where the River Brathay broadens out to for a small lake called Elter Water.

The path led us across the fields to the road (B5343) at Skelwith Bridge. At the road we turned right and walked along the road, which is quite bust, for about 100m to a public footpath off the road to the left.

Looking over Elter Water to the Langdale Pikes
Looking over Elter Water to the Langdale Pikes

Path beside the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater
Path beside the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater

Path beside the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater
Path beside the River Brathay from Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater

Feisty swans on Elter Water
Feisty swans on Elter Water

Lambs playing in a hollow tree by the path
Lambs playing in a hollow tree by the path

There was a lovely view of the Langdale Pikes across the lake and upstream of the lake we continued along the path beside Great Langdale Beck for just over a kilometer back to the riverside car park at Elterwater village. It had been a hot day and most people were glad of an ice cream at the village before we drove back to our holiday cottage to sit on the terrace with a cold beer. It's not a bad life!

There was a pair of swans at the edge of the lake with a little shingle beach. A golden retriever decided to have a swim and received a severe ticking off from the cob (male swan) who hissed, spread his wings and generally looked pretty impressive whilst pecking at the dog. It was all quite exciting and the dog made a fast exit from the water.

Feisty swans on Elter Water
Feisty swans on Elter Water

The path back into Elterwater village
The path back into Elterwater village

I had my first real experience of the Lake District in August 1960 when I spent a month at the Eskdale Outward Bound School and since then I have been up many of the highest peaks, but now my wonky old knees have limited my walking and it has been a surprisingly pleasant time discovering some very attractive, easier, lower routes that the Lake District and other places have to offer. Our two walks this weekend have been excellent examples of this.

The path back into Elterwater village beside Great Langdale Beck
The path back into Elterwater village beside Great Langdale Beck