Cumbria Way

Cumbria Way - Keswick to Caldbeck

The penultimate section of the Cumbria Way carries on the mountain feel of the third, Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick, section. Climbing out of Keswick it quickly entwines with the fells, firstly passing less than 1.0km (0.6 miles) from the summit of Latrigg - a visit is recommended if you haven't been up to the summit before as the view to Keswick and beyond is stunning.

The impressive Glenderaterra valley between Lonscale Fell and Blencathra follows shortly after where lonely Skiddaw House hostel sits at the head of the valley amongst the only trees in Skiddaw Forest. It also acts as a waypoint marking a turn to the north east alongside the River Caldew for just over 5.0km (3.1 miles). This river is also a companion on the last section into Carlisle.

Shortly afterwards Mosedale Road provides the only viable escape from the route once started so consider this when thinking about what you would do if the weather turned nasty or one of your party couldn't continue for some reason.

As you continue on Carrock Wolfram mine at the bottom of Grainsgill Beck was the only one of its kind in the country. Wolfram, otherwise known as tungsten ore, is a pretty rare mineral in Europe. More information is given on a new board at the mine.

Then it's on to High Pike. This is a Wainwright Fell and the only one on the whole of the Cumbria Way if you follow the official route. It has fine views north to the Solway Firth and Scotland. It is also the only place where the Way leaves easily followed paths so care is needed, especially so in poor visibility, to ensure the drop down to Caldbeck is uneventful!

For poor weather a western alternative route was originally documented, however we feel this is so poor as to be deeply unsatisfactory. It continues forward at Skiddaw House to follow the supply track to Dash Falls and all the way to the Orthwaite road at Peter House Farm. Crossing over it descends through fields and woodland to then climb steeply to Little Tarn then back to the road. Leaving the road at Longlands it takes a track skirting the Northern Fells, to a road at Branthwaite and into the back of Nether Row. People who take this alternative have said don't bother going down through the fields the other side of the farm but continue along the road as it is boggy and and generally horrid.

As mentioned the Mosedale road is the only viable escape from the middle of the main route. The "Caldbeck Rambler" goes from Keswick through Mungrisdale, passes the other end of the Mosedale road, and then on to Hesket Newmarket and Caldbeck. It only operates on certain days in winter although through the summer it runs daily.