Cumbria is a large county in North West England and contains the Lake District and Lake District National Park. It is bounded to the north by the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the south east by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland. Cumbria is very mountainous containing every peak in England over 3,000ft above sea level with Scafell Pike being England’s highest mountain at 978 m (3,209ft). Cumbria is also one of England’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty attracting mountain climbers, hikers and walkers, cyclists, runners and tourists and holds a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians. Cumbria consists of six districts Eden, Carlisle, Allerdale, Copeland, South Lakeland and Barrow-in-Furness.
The Lake District is an area with stunning scenery located within in the County of Cumbria. Commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland it was granted National Park status on 9th May 1951 less than a month after the first UK designated National Park, The Peak District. It is the largest of thirteen National Parks in England and Wales and the largest in the UK after the Cairngorms. The Lake District National Park itself covers an area of 885 square miles and stretches 30 miles from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the east and 35 miles from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south. Crammed with so much natural beauty the Lakes attract visitors, tourists and holiday makers from all over the world. As the name suggests there are many lakes each with their own uniqueness, amenities and activities such as lakeside walks, sailing, waterskiing, boat trips and ferries. All of the lakes except Bassenthwaite Lake are named by water, tarn or mere and are surrounded by stunning scenery and magnificent fells. There are some wonderful towns to explore such as Keswick, Windermere, Ambleside, Kendal, Hawkshead, Grasmere and Cockermouth all with a splendid mixture of shops, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants. There are also many museums, theatres, historic homes, gardens and many easy walks for the not so energetic visitor wishing not to climb the fells. William Wordsworth the famous British poet was born in Cockermouth and later lived in Grasmere where he wrote some of his best works before moving to Rydal Mount near Ambleside for his last 37 years. Both places are open to visitors and so is Brantwood home to John Ruskin until his death. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey all followed Wordsworth to the Lake District. Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons, also grew to love the lakes and settled in the Winster Valley near Windermere. The painters Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner and John Constable were early visitors to the lakes but it was John Ruskin who settled here at Brantwood on the shore of Coniston Water. Farming and especially sheep farming has been historically and still is the main industry of the Lake District. The tough Herdwick breed with their stocky build and distinctive grey coat are especially hardy for the Lakeland fells and its weather. Sheep farming has probably been here since Viking times and is an important factor both to the economy of the lakes as well as in preserving the stunning landscape which attracts visitors and hence income to the region. Walking is a big attraction in the Lake District whether strolling around the low lying lakes or climbing up into the mountainous fells whichever is undertaken the scenery is magnificent. Alfred Wainwright’s famous hand written book, The Pictorial Guide to the Lake District, published in 1955 is a collection of seven books each illustrated with his unique style and charm of the 214 fells inspiring many visitors and tourists from all over the world.
Ullswater England’s most beautiful lake is also England’s second largest lake. At approx 9 miles long and three quarters of a mile wide the lake is a typical narrow ‘ribbon lake’ formed after the last ice age by three separate glaciers. The surrounding fells give Ullswater its stretched Z shape with three distinct reaches. Pooley Bridge an attractive village popular with tourists lies at the very northern end of the lake, whilst Patterdale lies at the very southern end. Ullswater is the setting for William Wordsworth’s famous ‘Daffodils’ poem after he saw daffodils growing on its shores. Whatever the weather or the season Ullswater is a wonderful place with so much to offer whether breathtaking views or outdoor activities.
Patterdale is a small village situated at the southern end of Ullswater in the Patterdale Valley. The village has beautiful views of Ullswater and the surrounding mountains which dominate on one side by the Helvellyn range and by Place Fell on the other side. The village is situated on the Coast to Coast route at the southern end of Ullswater and is very popular with tourists whether strolling around the village or for the more adventurous walkers who will find that Patterdale is a great base for many popular fell walks. The village has two pubs The White Lion Inn and The Patterdale Hotel both have accommodation and the latter also caters for campers. The village store and post office sells a little of everything from food and drink to walking gear, maps, post cards and souvenirs of the Coast to Coast walk and the Patterdale Terriers. The store also bakes fresh bread and cookies daily and is known for their Cumberland Sausage Baguettes. Patterdale is the birthplace of the Patterdale Terrier, a working dog, sometimes called the Old English Terrier or the Fell Terrier and many tourists bring their terriers to the Patterdale Dog Show held yearly in August. The village is also home to St. Patricks Church and a small school. Mining was the main industry of this area until Greenside Lead Mine closed in 1960. Today the main industry is sheep farming and tourism.
Hartsop is a small olde worlde end of the road village at the foot of Kirkstone Pass consisting of 17th century grey stone cottages and farm buildings and lies in the Patterdale valley within what was once a royal forest set aside for deer hunting. Red squirrels, badgers, birds and other wildlife are attracted to this peaceful valley. The village was a lead mining community and it still retains its historic image in that it has houses with spinning rooms. The villagers would have made their own clothing and sold any surplus in the local market towns. Hartsop is overlooked by Brook Crags and Hartsop Dodd and is a very popular starting point for hill walkers climbing on the High Street range and the Helvellyn range. Not far from Hartsop is Brothers Water once called Broad Water but was renamed after two brothers drowned there in the 19th century. It may be described as one of the Lake District’s smallest lakes or one of its largest tarns and its shallow water is covered by lily pads creating a green carpet on its blue waters. Nearby is the Brotherswater Inn and Sykeside camping and caravan site.
With the Patterdale Hotel behind us we walk forward and turn right at the school following the public footpath sign. We cross over the bridge and follow the track to Side Farm. We now turn right following the track which becomes a tarmac back road. Very soon the back road bends round to the right we turn left onto a gravel track and head forwards passing through the buildings of Crookabeck and Beckstones. We keep following the track and at the y-junction and signpost for Hartsop, just after passing through a gateway, we head straight forwards uphill through a gate. We continue following the track until we come to a waterfall with two footbridges. We bear left uphill to cross over the higher bridge. We continue to follow the path which bears left uphill at some buildings onto a concrete track. We soon start to drop downhill into Hartsop. At the road we turn right and follow the single track road through Hartsop to the main road (A592). We turn right for a short way using the footpath then turn left into the car park and cross over the bridge. We go through the gate opposite and turn left following the path through the wood with the beck and the main road on our right. At the end of the wood we meet the main road (A592) and head forwards back to Patterdale using the grass verge or path on whichever side of the road they are.
This is an easy walk on paths and gravel tracks with some slight inclines and declines. Grass verges or tarmac paths at the side of the road.
Elevation: approx lowest point 146.5m (480ft ) approx highest point 243.3m (798ft) approx ascent 203m (666ft)
Distance and Start Point
Approx 5 miles allow 2½ hours using OS Explorer Map OL5, The English Lakes North-eastern area. This walk is clockwise.
Start point: Patterdale Hotel
Patterdale is situated the southern end of Ullswater in the Lake District.
Directions and Parking
From the A66 at Troutbeck take the A5091 sign posted Ullswater. Follow the A5091 until it joins the A592, on the edge of Ullswater, turn right and Patterdale is less than a mile further on from Glenridding. There are pay and display car parks in Glenridding and Patterdale.
Parking: Pay and display car park opposite the Patterdale Hotel £4.50 for all day. There is also a few free road side parking places near the White Lion Inn.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are public toilets in Patterdale and Glenridding. For refreshments in Patterdale there are two pubs the Patterdale Hotel and the White Lion Inn, Side Farm Tearooms and a village store and post office. For refreshments in nearby Glenridding there are two pubs the Glenridding Hotel and the Travellers Rest, Fell Bites Restaurant, Mosscrag Tearoom, Fairlight Guest House and Cafe and a few shops.