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Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Romantic waterfalls and intimate woodland followed by a crossing of the high and lonely Armboth Fells gives this final day of the walk a more subtle feel. It is a day to explore, to peek over walls and seek out hidden views. It is also a day to contemplate the past with a visit to the ancient rocks at Castlerigg Stone Circle, a perfect place to stop for a picnic.

The high section of this route can be avoided by turning left at the top of the Lodore Waterfalls Path and heading north along the permissive path and road to Ashness Bridge. From here a path heads gently up to re-join the route at Lady's Rake.

Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!

Route Information

Time/Effort 3 out of 5
Navigation 3 out of 5
Technicality 2 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 820
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL 4 & 5

Route Essentials

Walk Route: Borrowdale - Threlkeld

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 11

Route Details

1. Behind the hotel follow the waterfall path up past the Lodore Falls to join the permissive path at Moss Mire. In spate the Lodore Falls are spectacular, and inspired a poem by Robert Southey in 1820 - Cataract of Lodore. Follow the permissive path beside Watendlath Beck to the farm at Watendlath.

2. From Watendlath begins the main climb of the day. It starts at the back of the car park up a bridleway which climbs steeply. Follow it through a series of zig-zags to a junction. Turn left and make the steep ascent direct to the summit of High Tove. This is a lofty and lonely summit and gives expansive panoramas of both the central and eastern fells.

3. Ahead lies the broad crest of the Armboth Fells. Head north, across the dip of The Pewits to High Seat then across another dip to the rounded and rather vague summit of Bleaberry Fell. Make a gentle descent for 1.6km to join a path above Falcon Crag. The path continues, crossing the becks of Cat Gill, to a high point above Walla Crag. From the top of Walla Crag the path then gently descends beside the wall and is followed down to the road head at Rakefoot.

4. A path leading right off the Rakefoot Road is followed to the A591. Carefully cross the A591 and join Castle Lane. Follow the lane to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle, believed to be late Neolithic or early Bronze-age and probably constructed about 3200BC. If this is correct it would be one of the earliest in Britain and Europe. From the stone circle turn right at the T junction and follow the lane to another T junction. Turn left to another junction, and left again, after 300m take a permissive path on the right. Follow this to cross the A66 to the old railway cycle track. Turn right and follow it back to Threlkeld.

5. Then it's back to the Horse and Farrier for a warm welcome, home cooked food and a pint of award winning Jennings ales. The wonderfully warming Sneck Lifter is popular choice, full of complex flavours. It's got a good story too, 'sneck' means door latch and a 'sneck lifer' was a mans last six pence - used to lift the latch of the pub door and buy a pint!

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