Loweswater

Loweswater

Route: Loweswater and Holme Wood

Area : Western Lake District

Date of walk: 6th July 2020

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.7 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Mostly cloudy, but some sunny patches

Following the relaxation of the 3 month lockdown caused by Covid-19, my wish is to revisit some of my favourite places. The 3 month absence feels like 3 years

The walk which I chose today is is one of my favourite local walks which, in the space of 6 miles, manages to cram in a huge variety of scenery including farmland, ancient woodland, a lake, a tarn, open moorland and a lonely valley. Along the way there are wonderful views over the Solway Plain looking north (including Scotland in clear weather) and to the high lakeland fells looking south

I parked as usual at Maggie’s Bridge where there is space for 8-10 cars. Instead of heading directly to Loweswater I followed the track to High Nook Farm, where Alfred Wainwright used to stay when he was researching his Guide to the Western Fells. After passing through the farmyard I carried on to the head of the valley before joining the wonderful terrace path above Holme Wood, which is often described as the ancient coffin road from Loweswater to St Bees. However the description is probably a misnomer, and it’s thought that the name was applied by the National Trust about 40 years ago in order to promote the route. Whatever the truth, the views from here are superb and it was fortunate that there were some breaks in the cloud, giving good light at times. Scotland and the Solway Firth could clearly be seen in the distance

The path contours around the sides of Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell and reaches a height of over 1,000 feet – higher than one or two lakeland fells. However the climbing is so gentle that it’s hardly noticed.  I carried on towards Fangs Brow, on the very edge of the Lake District, before turning back at Iredale Place and following the path past Jenkinson Place and Hudson Place. I then walked back through Holme Wood, and along the shore of Loweswater, passing by the bothy as I did so

The last section was an easy stroll along the track between Watergate Farm and Maggie’s Bridge. I’ve followed this route on numerous occasions at every time of the year and never tire of it – it was good to be back

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