Hesket Newmarket

Hesket Newmarket

Route: Caldbeck and Hesket Newmarket

Area: Northern Lake District 

Date of walk: 20th April 2024

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny 

The vast area to the north of Skiddaw is unfrequented. It’s easy to assume that the Lake District ends at Skiddaw, but beyond it lie miles of rolling hills dotted with old villages which have hardly changed for centuries. Today’s walk would link two of those traditional fell villages – Caldbeck, which we visited last year, and Hesket Newmarket. Today’s walk started from the public car park in Caldbeck. We left the village via a path beside Cald Beck which passed by the village church. After a short while we entered into Parson’s Park, an area of woodland managed by Forestry England. We followed a path through the woodland, part of the long distance Cumbria Way. Bluebells lined the path for much of the way but we were a few days too early to see them at their peak. Beyond a gate at the edge of the wood we descended to Watersmeet, a lovely wooded area where the rivers of Cald Beck and the River Caldew meet and form a narrow neck of land which is almost an island. Although the walk could be shortened here, we decided to extend it by walking around the ‘island’, a short but very worthwhile diversion. The woodland was covered with wood anemone, celandine, wild garlic and bluebells. The spectacle was not yet at its peak, but it was a lovely section of the walk nevertheless

At the end of the circuit of the ‘island’ we headed south, following a path above the River Caldew. This brought us to the unspoilt village of Hesket Newmarket, where there is a pub and a post office. We left Hesket Newmarket via a quiet country lane with good views across the rolling fields. After half a mile or so we left the lane and joined a path through the fields which descended gently to Matthew Rudding (not a person, but a small settlement). From here we followed a track to Townhead on the edge of Caldbeck and then strolled back to the start. It had been an enjoyable walk and during the course of nearly five miles we’d hardly seen another soul

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