Braithwaite Court

Cumbria, England

Barrow and Outerside walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start in the centre of Braithwaite at the tiny bridge over the Coledale Beck near the village shop. Take the road signposted Newlands and Buttermere and after 100 yards, turn right at the cattle grid for Braithwaite Lodge (bridle way sign).

1. As you walk up the access drive, notice the gentle, brackenstrewn ridge to your front right - our objective for the ascent of Barrow. Pass to the right of Braithwaite Lodge, through a wooden gate. Walk up the field, through the gate and turn left. After 100 yards, at the grassy col with signpost, turn right up the northern ridge of Barrow. Saunter upwards at your leisure - there is no need for any rush or heroics - and enjoy the views which open up leftwards over Derwentwater to Armboth Fell and beyond to Helvellyn. On your right is stately Grisdale Pike, perhaps the most perfectly shaped of all the Lakeland peaks, with to its left mighty Grasmoor and its satellites blocking out the head of the valley.

2. Barrow’s summit may only be 1,492ft above sea level, but it offers the most striking panorama of the northern fells. Directly ahead is the steep flank of Causey Pike, so often photographed from Friar’s Crag at Keswick. To the left of Causey are the three big Newlands summits of, from the right, Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head with Glaramara peeking through. Away to your left is the Cat Bells ridge leading over Maiden Moor and High Spy. From this viewpoint you can clearly make out the ravages of past industrial toil in the green and beautiful valley of Newlands. Mining spoil litters the flank of Cat Bells and, if you cast your eye to the head of the dale, you will see the remains of the most important lead mine in the area, the Goldscope, lying hard under the Scope End ridge of Hindscarth. Goldscope is a corruption of Gottesgab - God’s Gift - which was the name given to the workings by the Germain miners who were brought to Keswick in the middle of the 16th Century to use their expertise to win the riches from the Cumberland soil. The Goldscope mine closed 100 years ago. The Barrow mine, mentioned earlier, is directly below you - but out of sight - on the Derwentwater side of the fell. Continue over the summit and descend on the still well worn path to the col - Barrow Door - between Barrow and Stile End, which is the brown hump to your immediate front right. Near the col, the path forks either branch will do as they soon link up again.

3. At the col and the meeting of paths, go straight ahead, over the cross track, to begin the short ascent of Stile End (1,466ft). Within a few yards, the path forks - take the right branch. The summit of Stile End, a smattering of pebbles, is soon won.

4. Turn left for our next objective. Outerside, the highest of this splendid little threesome at 1.863ft. Set your sights on the fine ridge directly in front. Go down to the wide, brown col between the two peaks. The path is a bit vague in places and it can be boggy too. At the end col - Low Moss - the main path goes off to the left to join a broad track for the ascent of Causey Pike, avoid this leftward slide by taking a minor path leading back right into the centre of the col. If in any doubt, just make a beeline for the ridge which leads directly to the top of Outer side by a good path, the steepest ground of the day. Outer side’s summit should not be left in a hurry, here are more superbly views from a little gem of a peak. Continue over the top to descend a fine grassy path with the old Force Crag mine in Coledale prominent in the valley.

5. At the bottom of the steep bit - just before the path marches across the level moor to join the bold track to Causey - there is a fork in the path. Take the right branch, which is no more than a sheep trod and which can be very wet in winter or after heavy rain. When the path runs out, continue in the same line for another couple of hundred yards, contouring the hillside, until you reach a cairn at a path coming down from the Causey Pike on your left. Turn right down this grassy path, which soon becomes much more pronounced, towards the mine workings. The path crosses a stream, the Birkthwaite Beck, and then descends in a huge zig-zag, ending up at the stepping stones at the Coledale Beck to the right of the mine workings. The stepping stones, no bother in summer, can be a bit tricky in the winter rains, although there is a boulder hop yards to the left where the beck is much narrower. Gain the mine access road on the right for a pleasant stroll back to Braithwaite. On nearing the village find a stoney path on the right leading down the hillside to the road and the finish.

A variation of the walk above, maps are available from reception.

Make your way up to the Coledale Inn (elevated position behind Ivy House) and keeping the Pub to your right continue along the road and up to a five bar gate. Pass through and continue up the gravel road passing a derelict Farm on your right. To your left is the ridge leading up to Barrow. Cross grassy moorland heading for the steep ridge of Stile End. Either ascend this steep ridge or follow the path to the left for an easier route to the summit of Stile End (approximately 1466ft). You will be approximately one hour into the walk.

Leave Stile End on the opposite side heading downhill with Outerside at “10 o’clock” in direction. Further down loop to the left to avoid boggy area at lowest part of the saddle. Follow well defined path through the heather and ascend ridge on outerside. Arrive at summit cair (approx 1863 ft) and the highest point on this walk. This is another 45 minutes approximately from Stile End. Enjoy the views of Bassenthwaite Lake, Skiddaw, Braithwaite, Keswick and Derwentwater.

Leave the summit on the opposite side. As you descend note the Mine workings in the valley on the right. This is Force Crag Mine. Half way down the path starts to turn to the left, as this happens pick out a faint track directly left. This skirts the hillside and cuts off the corner to joining the valley path ahead. As you join the path the summit of Barrow comes into view with a glimpse of Derwentwater. On your immediate right are the remains of a stone building. Continue down the valley looking for a fork in the path, as the valley curves to the right, take the minor fork to the left. You are half way between outerside and Stile End.

This new path maintaines your elevation traversing the flank of Stile End to reach the saddle between Stile End and Barrow. This is the point the path up from Coledale Inn turns upwards to Stile End’s summit. At this point turn right and climb the path to the summit of Barrow (approx 1494 ft). This is roughly three hours from the start. This is leaving the best until last. Admire your handiwork in ascending the other two Peaks and enjoy the best views of the walk of the surrounding Lakeland scene. This is a good spot to stop for a picnic. Descend the ridge from Barrow with Braitwaite below you. Half way down you will pass across a saddle with a cairn in it.

Below you is Braithwaite Lodge. When you arrive at the Farm at the bottom of the ridge, look for the gate through the stonewall. This is under the oak trees to your left. Cross the field and make your way through the farmyard and on to the gravel road. Continue down this road - it will become tarmac. At the entrance turn left and head back into Braithwaite arriving at the shop behind Ivy House.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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