For a Forestry Commission plantation the woods around Dodd are surprisingly diverse. A few dense monoculture stands are evident, but much of it is more open than expected with plant and bird life in abundance. Listen out for cuckoos and keep a watchful eye for a fleeting glimpse of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The starting point for this walk is The Old Sawmill Tearoom on the A591 out of Keswick heading for the village of Bassenthwaite. The car park here is also the one for the Mirehouse estate and house, and is a pay-and-display.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the tearoom pass between the buildings noting the green marker post that will be a feature of this walk. Turn left at the signpost "All Routes" and cross the bridge. turn left again to follow the marker posts. The path swings towards the road but does not join it, and then climbs to a junction with a forest road. Turn right and climb with the deep ravine of Skill Beck on your right hand side. The forest road is reasonably steep but not especially arduous. Its surface is metalled for much of the way to the col of Long Doors.
At the head of the ravine, a track from the other side joins you, bear left and then within 100m (110 yards) bear right on to the smaller rough track signposted "Dodd Summit". This continues and swings right to traverse high above the wood which has now been cleared from here to the summit.
Rest a while at the viewpoint. Continue on the track to the far viewpoint with another bench. The track deteriorates into a path here, turning right to ascend the hillside, just below the final summit zigzags is a little knoll with a handy bench to take in the expansive views.
Continue on to the standing stone marking the summit.
Return down the zigzags to the small knoll marked with a green post, approach the viewpoint and find the small graveled path on the right.
It's almost perfectly aligned with The Bishop of Barf across the lake. It is less frequented than the alternative of returning to the col of Long Doors and continuing on the metalled forest roads. There is more wildlife, and is generally far more interesting. In summer bracken encroaches on the path, but still remains clear. It is also steep in places with zigzags to ease the gradient. Having lost some height it traverses below the summit back towards Skill Beck. Cross the disused forest track and notice we are once again joined by green marker posts. The path goes through a patch of very dense, dark, traditional monoculture, which feels just a little spooky! Beware of the short section with the steep drop close to the path.
Eventually you join a forest road, turn right. This continues descending and heads for Skill Beck, joining the forest road alongside (but now on the opposite side to your ascent). Turn left here, and then within 60m (66 yards) where the track bifurcates take the right fork. This path follows the beck for a while. At the crossroads turn right to return to the Tearoom.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Ullock Pike, Longside Edge, Carl Side||same start point|
|Barf, Lord's Seat, Ullister Hill and Seat How||2.2km (1.4 miles) away|
|Whinlatter Forest - Heavy Sides Walk||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Words In The Woods||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Whitewater Dash - Dash Falls||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Force Crag Mine||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|To Force Crag Mine - a Coledale Low Round||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|The Coledale Horseshoe||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|A Shorter Coledale Round||4.7km (2.9 miles) away|
|Sale Fell||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Whinlatter||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011