A Good Drop of Fresh Air

After the damp weather yesterday the forecast is for a dry, sunny day. On Friday, as we climbed Skiddaw, we saw paragliders launching themselves off Latrigg overlooking Keswick, we decide to make this viewpoint a part of our walk today.

We park in Keswick and walk out of town past the hospital, then turn right to follow a quiet road that takes us by Greta Bank Farm and then gradually up into Brunholme Wood. The lane eventually descends towards Wescoe and about half way down we take a footpath on the left towards Derwentfolds.

We cross the beck and walk up to Derwentfolds and at the lane turn right. In a couple of hundred yards we have a choice of footpaths, we ignore the one immediately to our left and take the one in front of us which takes us over a stile and uphill through a couple of kissing gates up to the Blencathra Centre.

Blencathra Centre provides field courses for schools and universities and is in a fantastic location. It is a former sanatorium for Tuberculosis patients, it was built in 1898 because the fresh air was ideal for the patients treatment. By the 1950’s the number of TB patients was declining and the hospital became a long stay home for the elderly closing in the early 1970’s. In 1975 it was converted into self-catering accommodation for visitors and then in 1995 opened as a field centre.

We walk into the Centre and take a footpath on the left that takes us to a track, here we follow another footpath to the left and continue along a track around the edge of Blease Fell with cracking views of Lonscale Fell across the valley. We cross a couple of fords with small waterfalls coming off the fells and eventually descend to meet Glenderaterra Beck. We realise that we have missed the footpath that would have taken us back along the valley close to the beck. Eventually after a bit of hassle we find the path and follow the beck all the way back to Derwentfolds. Here we retrace our footstep back over the footbridge and up the hill on the road we had walked earlier.

At the top of the hill we take the footpath signposted to Skiddaw and follow this steadily uphill until we reach the car park where we had parked on Friday. There is no sign of the ice cream seller so we turn left and continue the steady ascent to the top of Latrigg, a good size hill at 1,207 feet. The views from the summit back over Keswick and Derwent Water are cracking. We stop for a while just to take it all in.

From the top we follow a very steep but well-defined path down to woodland and then turn right to walk through the woods until we join the Cumbria Way. It is then a left turn and a steady descent back down to the car park in Keswick.

We have notched up almost thirteen miles and had an enjoyable afternoon. During our walk we have bumped into less than a dozen people. I still find it amazing how few people get out and enjoy our beautiful countryside.

[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey OL Map 4 – The English Lakes North-Western area]



15th July 2014

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)

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