Lorton Vale

Lorton Vale

Route: Lorton Vale

Area: Western Lake District 

Date of walk: 30th May 2021

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly 

Distance: 4.1 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Mixed sun and cloud, warm but hazy

Lorton Vale is a chain of valleys stretching from Cockermouth in the north to Buttermere in the south. The middle section, with the villages of High Lorton and Low Lorton at its centre, may lack the drama of the Buttermere area but is full of rural charm and is an ideal place for a quiet walk, especially on a bank holiday such as today

There are several free parking spaces by the phone box at the crossroads in High Lorton. We set off in a clockwise direction so as to have the best views ahead of us as we progressed. We climbed out of the village via Boonbeck and Scales and joined the mid level path which runs along much the valley. The section near High Swinside is beautiful, with wonderful views along and across the valley, although these weren’t shown at their best today thanks to very hazy conditions looking into lakeland

Beyond High Swinside we joined the gated road for a short distance and then rejoined the path, which curves round the foot of Lorton Dodd. After some dithering we managed to ford Hope Beck (walking poles help, but we hadn’t brought them), and then carried on round the foot of Dodd along a path which is juicy at the best of times

It’s hard to leave such an enchanting path, but we had to do so at Miller Place in order to start the return leg. We walked down the outgang from the fellside and followed the quiet lane through Hopebeck. Just beyond Hopebeck we took a path across the fields back into High Lorton. It was two hours well spent in sylvan surroundings

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