Barrow and Outerside

Route: Barrow and Outerside

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 15th January 2024

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.3 miles

Ascent: 2,000 feet

Weather: Sunny, bitterly cold

The Mountain Weather Information Service forecast a sunny but very cold day, with temperatures of -5C and feeling like -15C on the summits. Suitably layered up, I parked in the attractive village of Braithwaite at the foot of the Whinlatter Pass. There were very few people around and so I had no difficulty finding a roadside parking place by the village school, where there is room for about 10 cars. At weekends and during school holidays I recommend parking at the school car park, where a donation of £5 cash is suggested. I walked out of the village and past the village shop in the direction of Newlands Valley, before turning off to join the track to Braithwaite Lodge

A slate sign on an ancient yew tree points the way through through the farm, after which I joined the path which leads up the ridge to the top of Barrow. It’s a straighforward climb and it would be impossible to go astray. There’s a false summit about half way up, so don’t celebrate success too early. Looking back there were lovely views of the Skiddaw fells

From the summit of Barrow I made my way down to Barrow Door. This holds the key to three possible routes – a quick descent back via Stile End, a longer one via Newlands Valley, or a continuation on to Outerside. In view of the lovely (though cold) weather I decided on the latter. The fell looks nearby on the map but on the ground appears to be a lot further away. I followed an easy path around the flanks of Stile End and Outerside and gained the summit via the back door. Outerside is well named as it stands isolated from its neighbouring fells. The views from the top were superb, especially those of the snow clad fells to the west

It was a long but straightforward descent back to Braithwaite via Long Moss and Stile End, with wonderful views of the Skiddaw fells ahead all the way down, a great finale to a great walk. 

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