|A drive from Keswick around the Skiddaw mountain range visiting the northernmost reaches of the Lake District. As well as beautiful lakes and mountains, attractions include picturesque villages, historic buildings and some unique wildlife.|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Keswick||N 54.59936, W 3.13758|
|4.4 miles||Dodd Wood & Mirehouse||N 54.64282, W 3.18703|
|8.5 miles||Lake District Wildlife Park||N 54.68360, W 3.23353|
|13.9 miles||Uldale Common||N 54.72666, W 3.14543|
|18.3 miles||Caldbeck village||N 54.74953, W 3.05270|
|20.0 miles||Hesket Newmarket village||N 54.73832, W 3.02373|
|22.7 miles||Caldbeck Common||N 54.70572, W 3.00995|
|26.4 miles||Mosedale Valley||N 54.68411, W 3.03966|
|29.9 miles||Mungrisdale||N 54.66159, W 2.98672|
|36.1 miles||Threlkeld Mining Museum||N 54.61292, W 3.04785|
|39.5 miles||Castlerigg Stone Circle||N 54.60376, W 3.09811|
|41.6 miles||Keswick||N 54.59936, W 3.13758|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Keswick, Central car park Coordinates: N 54.59936, W 3.13758
|Keswick town centre|
|Crow Park, Keswick|
A little way out of the town centre, the lakeside area on Derwent Water is always popular and you can explore the lake either by boat or the footpath which runs right around the lake. The Keswick launch is the best way to take in the lake and its surroundings. There are regular boats (less in winter) which stop here and at several beauty spots around the lake. It is definitely worth walking the short distance to Friar’s Crag which offers beautiful views down the lake. Crow Park, opposite Lakeside car park, has a lovely open setting next to the lake where you can watch the boats come and go, again with great views. Between Crow Park and the town centre is Hope Park which has attractive landscaped grounds and miniature golf. There is a cafe, toilet facilities and the popular Theatre by the Lake which has its own facilities. Central and Lakeside car parks are pay and display.
Travelling:Leave the car park and turn right on the B5289, towards the A66. Shortly pass Booths supermarket and meet a mini-roundabout where you take the first exit, again towards A66. Soon pass the Pencil Museum entrance on the right and cross the River Greta which flooded badly in 2015. Shortly, take the right turn lane towards ‘Carlisle A591’ and turn right. Continue approx 0.4 miles through the town outskirts to a big roundabout with the A66. Take the second exit, A591, towards Carlisle. Continue along the A591 with good views of surrounding scenery including Skiddaw mountain to the right and then Bassenthwaite Lake to the left. Approx 3.2 miles beyond the roundabout is Dodd Wood car park on the right.
Distance: 4.4 miles Location: Dodd Wood car park Coordinates: N 54.64282, W 3.18703
Outside the house are some attractive grounds extending to the shores of nearby Bassenthwaite Lake. There are a number of different attractions including a walled garden and various adventure playgrounds for the children. A footpath runs through woods along the peaceful lakeshore and you can also visit the tiny St Bega’s Church overlooking the lake. The house is open from April to October but only on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. The grounds are open daily from April to October. Admission fee applies to both. Dodd Wood pay and display car park is directly across the A591 from Mirehouse entrance, where there are also toilets and The Old Sawmill Tearoom.
Part of the Mirehouse estate and now managed by the Forestry Commission, Dodd Wood provides some lovely forest walks on the slopes of Dodd Fell. There are some fabulous views over Bassenthwaite Lake and the Derwent valley which only improve as you get above the trees and towards the summit of Dodd Fell at 500m. The wood became popular in 2001 when the first Ospreys to breed in England for over 150 years nested in the area and it became the best place to view them. There are two viewing areas in the woods, the lower one approx 15 minute uphill walk from the car park and the upper one approx 20 minutes walk beyond that. There are telescopes and volunteers to help you spot the magnificent birds who are normally in residence between April and September before heading to Africa for the winter.
Travelling:From the car park, turn right on the A591, passing through woodland before views open out across fields towards the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake. Bassenthwaite Lake is actually the only true ‘lake’ in the Lake District, none of the others have ‘lake’ in the name, they are all meres, waters or tarns. Approx 2.2 miles from the car park, pass St John's Church with its interesting spire and nearby is Bassenthwaite village. Approx 1.2 miles beyond, approach a junction at the Castle Inn Hotel where you turn left on the B5291. Follow the straight road for approx 0.3 miles to take the first right turn, adjacent to the grand Armathwaite Hall Hotel entrance. A short distance down the dead end road is the car park for Lake District Wildlife Park on the left.
Distance: 8.5 miles Location: Lake District Wildlife Park Coordinates: N 54.68360, W 3.23353
|Lake District Wildlife Park, Bird of Prey flying display|
Travelling:Return to the A591 at the Castle Inn Hotel junction. Turn right on the A591, then immediate left towards Uldale. The quiet road generally climbs through rolling countryside with views towards Skiddaw on the right which might include Whitewater Dash waterfall after rain. Approx 2.5 miles beyond the Castle Inn Hotel, the road begins to descend towards Uldale and on the left are distant views towards the Solway Firth and southern Scotland. Soon enter the small and pleasant village of Uldale with its village green. Although there isn’t much to see, you could stop for refreshments at the Snooty Fox Inn or Mae’s Tearoom. Continuing beyond the village, cross a cattle grid and the road climbs steeply towards Uldale Common with better views towards Scotland on the left. As the road levels out you are surrounded by open moorland and shortly you see a small parking area on the left where you can stop and admire the views.
Distance: 13.9 miles Location: Uldale Common, Back o’ Skiddaw Coordinates: N 54.72666, W 3.14543
|Uldale Common, towards Skiddaw|
Travelling:Continue along the open road which gradually descends with pleasant surrounding moorland views. After approx 2.5 miles, a cattle grid marks the end of the open moor and the road continues through farmland. A further 1.3 miles takes you to the outskirts of Caldbeck village. Continue to the village centre and take a left turn on the B5299 towards Wigton, adjacent to the Old Smithy Tea Room. Continue a short distance, passing the attractive houses and stream on the left, to cross a larger river. The village car park is over the bridge on the left.
Distance: 18.3 miles Location: Caldbeck village car park Coordinates: N 54.74953, W 3.05270
|Caldbeck village green & pond|
A short riverside walk in the opposite direction from the car park leads to The Howk, an impressive limestone gorge containing a picturesque waterfall and an old Bobbin Mill ruin. On the edge of the village above the car park is the large green and pond which provides a pleasant place to stroll and relax. Refreshments can also be obtained at the village shop, the Oddfellows Arms pub and The Old Smithy Tea Room. Free car park and public toilets in the village.
Travelling:Leave the car park via the one way system, turning right past the village green then right again back to the car park entrance. Continue to the junction adjacent to the Old Smithy Tea Room and turn left towards Hesket Newmarket. Continue though Calbeck village and soon enter open countryside. Approx 1 mile beyond Caldbeck, enter the village of Hesket Newmarket. The road soon bears left and arrives at the top of the long village green. At the far end of the village green, the village car park is beyond the last building on the right.
Distance: 20.0 miles Location: Hesket Newmarket village car park Coordinates: N 54.73832, W 3.02373
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park, leaving the village to enter open countryside. After approx 0.3 miles, take the right turn signposted to Mungrisedale. Continue generally up hill on the minor road for approx 1 mile to a left turn for Mungrisedale. Ignore this left turn and continue straight ahead for better views. The road narrows and continues to climb for approx 0.6 miles to a small summit from where wonderful views open up ahead. Continue over a cattle grid and enter the unfenced Caldbeck Common. In a short distance, descend to ford the pretty Carrock Beck, although if water levels are high you may need to turn around and take the previously mentioned Mungrisedale turn. Just beyond the ford is some open grass where you can park on the Common.
Distance: 22.7 miles Location: Caldbeck Common Coordinates: N 54.70572, W 3.00995
Travelling:Continue down the open road and soon meet a T junction where you turn right. Continue approx 1.5 miles to enter the small hamlet of Mosedale where you take the right turn signposted to Swineside. This dead end narrow road follows the attractive River Caldew valley for approx 1.8 miles to a rough roadside parking area next to the river.
Distance: 26.4 miles Location: Mosedale Valley Coordinates: N 54.68411, W 3.03966
Travelling:Retrace your steps to Mosedale and turn right at the T junction in the hamlet. Cross the River Caldew, through the hamlet of Bowscale and the road again follows the line between the steep mountain slopes on the right and the flatter lands on the left. Shortly, enter the village of Mungrisdale, passing St Kentigern’s church on the left and continuing to the village hall on the left with the River Glenderamackin on the right. You can park here for a small charge but approx 0.1 miles further on is a free roadside parking area next to the river.
Distance: 29.9 miles Location: Mungrisdale Coordinates: N 54.66159, W 2.98672
|St Kentigern’s Church, Mungrisdale|
Travelling:Continue southwards, passing through pleasant open country with good views ahead towards the mountains above Matterdale, including Great Dodd. After approx 1.8 miles, meet a T junction with the main A66 and turn right towards Keswick. Continue on the A66 with views of Blencathra mountain ahead to the right. After approx 1.6 miles, pass the White Horse Inn on the right and a further 1.8 miles beyond, take a left turn on the B5322 towards Thirlmere. Soon cross the River Glenderamackin then shortly pass between two stone bridge abutments which until 1972 carried the Penrith to Keswick railway over the road. Immediately beyond these, turn left, signposted to the Mining Museum. Follow the minor road, past the Lake District National Park Authority Northern Area Office, for approx 0.3 miles to the Mining Museum entrance.
Distance: 36.1 miles Location: Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum Coordinates: N 54.61292, W 3.04785
|Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum|
There is also a museum building with a fine collection of small mining and quarrying artefacts and nearby an old copper/lead mine has been reconstructed where you can experience conditions in a typical local mine. The open sloping site gives superb views across the valley towards Blencathra mountain. Separate admission fees apply for the museum, railway and mine tour. Open daily from Easter to end of October. Parking and toilet facilities provided.
Travelling:Retrace your steps to the main A66 and turn left towards Keswick. In approx 0.4 miles, take the first left turn, signposted to Castlerigg Stone Circle. Continue along the minor country road with wonderful surrounding views for approx 1 mile to take a left turn, again signposted to Castlerigg Stone Circle. The road loops around a short distance to another left turn which you take. Continue mostly up hill, passing Sharp Edge Gallery and Keswick Climbing Wall, for approx 0.6 miles to Castlerigg Stone Circle on the left, parking is roadside on the right.
Distance: 39.5 miles Location: Castlerigg Stone Circle Coordinates: N 54.60376, W 3.09811
|Castlerigg Stone Circle|
Travelling:Continue along the minor road which generally descends towards the outskirts of Keswick with good views ahead towards the hills around Derwent Water. After approx 0.7 miles, meet a T junction and turn left, then almost immediately meet another T junction and turn right on the A5271 towards Keswick town centre. The road soon follows the River Greta on the right before entering the town centre area. After a couple of sharp bends there is a mini-roundabout where you turn left on the B5289. Follow this for approx 0.3 miles until you reach Keswick central car park on the left.
Distance: 41.6 miles Location: Keswick central car park Coordinates: N 54.59936, W 3.13758
|Hope Park, Keswick|