A Path Less Trodden – Walking in Cumbria

A Path Less Trodden – Walking in Cumbria

We kept families in mind and both walks are relatively easy with moderate climbs, the first is a circuit of the Haweswater reservoir and the other is a charming romp through some lovely, and very quiet, countryside nearby.   

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Haweswater Circuit

10 miles – 4 hr 30 min

The circular nature around Haweswater ensures we end up back at the start and no one gets lost.  Start in the car park at Burnbanks and set off along the western bank to enjoy the morning sun (if any), which should follow you on your return along the eastern shore.

Walk up the stony track behind the bungalow complex following the signs to Upper Mardale.  A steady climb leads to the fellside with woods on the left.  Haweswater and the dam soon come into view, and once you’re on the right track the path is straight forward leaving you to enjoy the landscape.

Forces Waterfall is the first of many becks you’ll find feeding the reservoir.  The falls at Whelter Beck is a beautiful spot to have a cup of tea and a sandwich.  Gate Crag and The Rigg come into view soon after you set off again.

Crossing Riggindale Beck footbridge, the path continues between short standing stones before reaching Mardale Beck.  Cut through the car park and the shore path continues along a grassy and often stony path to the water.

Just before the Haweswater Hotel, the path rises to the road where a stile allows access to the wood and eventually onto the road shortly before the dam.  Walk for 250 yards after the entrance to Naddle Farm and a sign will send you back to the start.

Bampton Grange Circuit along Knipe Scar and the River Lowther

3 miles – 2 hours

Ascent: 500 feet


Knipe Common is one of the Lake District’s best-kept secrets and is an ideal destination if you only have a couple of hours to spare.  Knipe Scar commands outstanding views across the valley and back to the rolling summits.

Start at the phone box in Bampton Grange, a few yards to the east a single track road leads to Knipe, follow this past the cemetery to a cattle-grid where a post points up the hill.  Follow the drystone wall even when it swings right and at the disused quarry leave the path to access a stile in a wall corner.  Follow faint field paths where hedgerows and walls guide you to a gate and another abandoned quarry. Turn uphill following the vague line of an ancient lane which eventually disappears into a hawthorn copse and a hidden stile. Keep heading upwards, cross another stile then through a field gate before reaching a ruined farmstead.

Low Scarside must have been a beautiful place in its hollow above the valley but now you must navigate around the ruin, ascend through the next field and onto Knipescar Common.  An excellent path carries you along a mile of high-level walking and above Knipe Scar you’ll pass a stone circle and small pool before descending.

Follow another dry stone wall and descend across Knipe Moor to access the lane you initially turned off.  Instead of going back to Bampton Grange, turn right and a few hundred yards along the lane a telephone box marks the riverside path and a wonderful walk back along the picturesque River Lowther.

These walks are suggested by Andrew Locking who is a keen local fell walker.  For more information visit www.andrewswalks.co.uk

Photos by Andrew Locking

A Path Less Trodden
A Path Less Trodden
A Path Less Trodden
A Path Less Trodden

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