Close cookies panel

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience.

If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.

The Bowder Stone in Cumbria

Posted by Luci Ackers on 2 November 2016
Related property: Merlewood
The Bowder Stone in Cumbria

Image: Rob Farrow via Wikimedia Commons

The Lake District is full of hidden nooks and crannies waiting to be explored.

This iconic National Park in northern England is admired for its beauty and incredible scenery. Formed over the course of millions of years by slow glacial processes, the Lake District is home to a dramatic series of peaks and fells, lakes and tarns that have been carved out of the landscape. This makes it a stunning place to explore by foot.

There's so much to see!

Perhaps you've visited all of the obvious places and you're looking for something a little different next? Well the Lake District is full of them so you're in luck!

One fascinating geological must-see is the Bowder Stone. Located just to the south of Derwentwater in the Jaws of Borrowdale (which is a very large gorge between King's How and Castle Crag), is the curious Bowder Stone...

Image: Stephen Darlington, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.

What is it?

Established as a tourist attraction in the late 1800s, the Bowder Stone is a huge rock that still attracts visitors from far and wide. Why? Because it is such an interesting sight. This massive boulder is precariously balanced on one edge and looks suspiciously as though it may topple over at any moment.

This is, of course, not the case and back in 1798 Joseph Pocklington decided instead to built a ladder leading up to its summit so that visitors could climb to the top. A staircase has been in place there ever since.

The rock is of volcanic composition and estimated to weigh about 2000 tons! It's thought to have been here for more than 10,000 years. Though it has always drawn attention, it wasn't until Pocklington took the first measures to make it into a tourist attraction that it became so popular. He bought the surrounding land, fenced areas off and built additional attractions on the site in order to encourage more people.

Image: via Wikimedia Commons

The Bowder Stone as an attraction

In the 1960s the National Trust bought the site and it has been in their care ever since. The little cottage and chapel that Pocklinton had built as additional attractions were restored as bothies for climbers visiting the area. A car park was also put in place a 15 minute walk from the boulder, and the site is equidistant from the towns of Grange and Rosthwaite, both about a mile away, where you'll find cafés and facilities.

To find the Bowder Stone car park, use the post code CA12 5XA in your SatNav. Follow the special pathway to the stone.

The surrounding Borrowdale valley is exceptional for walks, so if you want to incorporate your trip to the Bowder Stone into a longer route, you'll have plenty to choose from. You could attempt the ascent up King's How.

Alternatively there are more walking routes in Borrowdale, along with more information about things to see and do on the National Trust website.

So how did the Bowder Stone get here?

Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer to this question. It has been argued that the explanation may lie in the glacial movements that helped form this area of the country. Perhaps the huge rock was transported and deposited by melting glaciers? Others argue the more likely explanation is that this is just one fragment from a rockfall that took place. In this case the Bowder stone was dislodged from 200m above on Bowder Crag and came crashing down the cliff to land with immense force at the bottom, where it still sits today. This would explain the perilous position!

Either way it is certainly worth a look while you're walking in the area!

And... Why is it called that?

The name is unusual and again, we're not 100% sure of its origin. Either it's a carry-over from a dialectical form of 'boulder'. Or it is a derivation of the name of Norse god Baldr, son of Odin. (Early descriptions and even early photographs seem to depict a face in the stone).

In the 16th century German miners were bought across to help with copper mining in the Lake District. A number of them settled in nearby Keswick and 'Baldr' may have come with them.

Many of the valleys and Lakes in the National Park have Nordic names or origins. The Norse arrived in Cumbria in the 10th century, so it's even possible that 'Baldr' predates the modern era!

See it for yourself

Find out how to stay in the Lake District for yourself and visit all of these weird and wonderful places. Simply pop your details in at the bottom of the page and receive a free brochure.

Share this post:
Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.

Close

We're so confident you'll be delighted with HPB
that we offer you a 'Money Back Promise'!

In regular surveys, Bondholders tell us how happy they are with HPB holidays. That's why we feel confident in giving you the extra reassurance of our unprecedented 'Money Back Promise':

If you take your first HPB holiday within three years of investing and are not, for any reason, entirely happy, you can apply to cash in your HPB investment within 14 days of your return. Whatever the encashment value, the parent company of the issuer of HPB will make up any difference so that you get back the full amount of your original payment, including charges.

This offer applies to a holiday at any HPB owned property which is taken by at least one of the Bondholders themselves.

Full details of the offer will be provided before you invest.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Visit an Open Day or Exhibition

Please request our fully
illustrated brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, along with our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder Sue Barker and a list of forthcoming Open Days and Exhibitions. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder.

Please complete and submit the form or,
alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or meet you at a convenient time and place for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Telephone number *  
Post code
iBy giving us your post code we can find a representative near you.
How did you hear about us?
Your message

One of our representatives will contact you using the information above.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

See our stunning properties
for yourself

Attending an Open Day at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see what HPB has to offer. Just turn up and stay as long as you wish – there is no need to make an appointment. The representatives will introduce themselves and answer your questions. You will also be invited to inspect the site and see HPB’s high standards for yourself.

Alternatively, you are welcome to attend one of our Exhibitions at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and watch our complete DVD 'travelogue' of HPB locations.

VISIT AN OPEN DAY OR EXHIBITION

This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited ("HPBM") registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA.

AS FEATURED IN The Telegraph BBC Daily Mail The Sunday Times