An Elterwater Circular(approx. 4½ miles)

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Map: OL7 The English Lakes: South-Eastern Area
Start: NY 329 051 – Free car park on the outskirts of Elterwater. If there is no room on the car park, beware parking in the village – parking is restricted and we saw a number of cars with tickets on their windscreens!
Route: The route follows Great Langdale Beck from Elterwater village to the shores of Elter Water, then continues along the river to Skelwith Force. The circuit is completed by walking west then north along footpaths over farmland and through woods.
Links to Route Files: Ordnance Survey OS Maps online (may only available to OSMaps subscribers).
More info:

route profile
Refreshments: The Britannia Inn, Elterwater is on the route – we called in just before returning to the car. If you extend the walk to Skelwith Bridge, there is Chesters Cafe and the Skelwith Bridge Hotel.

Car park near Elterwater Leave the car park and walk south to cross the B5343 continuing to follow the minor road ...
Copperhill … to Elterwater village. At the junction pictured, cross the road, continuing in the same direction.
Path by River Brathay at Elterwater Before you come to the bridge. Go through this gap in the stone wall to follow the path by the side of Great Langdale Beck. The popular path is well surfaced. After crossing a footbridge the path moves away from the stream and you pass through ...
Path through woodland by River Brathay near Elterwater … woodland for a short distance ...
view across Elter Water towards the Langdales … before passing through a gate and emerging by the side of Elter Water, the lake. The path continues alongside the River Brathay as it leaves the lake.
bridge across River Brathay near Skelwith Force At a junction of paths, we crossed the bridge pictured. (If you wish to extend the walk to Skelwith Bridge, or to have a better view of Colwith Force, continue on the same bank of the river).
the River Brathay below Skelwith Force You’ll probably be able to hear the waterfall before you can see it – and from this bank, the views of the fall are very restricted (and quite precarious to reach).
footpath through woodland leading towards Colwith Bridge The path leads uphill, away from the river to this junction. Bear right, following the direction indicated for Colwith Bridge (if you’ve detoured to Skelwith Bridge, this is where you can re-join our route). The path climbs up to a wooden kissing gate that leads ...
footpath between Skelwith Bridge and Colwith … to a path through open pasture. After just over 100 metres the path joins a farm track – turn right to follow this to Park House.
near Park House Go through a kissing gate to the left of the large wooden gate (pictured). Follow a short, narrow path between a wooden fence and stone wall to go through another kissing gate.
path between Park House and Park Farm The path winds through open pasture for about 270 metres before you pass through a wooden gate and the track leads through another gate to walk between ...
Park Farm … holiday cottages at Park Farm. Bear right to walk by the left hand side of the last of the buildings. A short stretch of path leads to ...
near Park Farm … a stile in a stone wall. A short distance after crossing this there’s another stile ...
near Colwith … which takes you to a tree-lined lane and through a wooden gate.
near Colwith A metal kissing gate is next and then a narrow path leads downhill – at first through open pasture ...
near Colwith … and then through woodland and over more wooden stiles. The path continues downhill, at one point quite steeply down steps, before a stone stile brings you out onto an unclassified road. Turn right along the road, heading first north west and then north. At a road junction bear right, following the sign for Elterwater.
After about one third of a mile go through the kissing gate pictured and follow the track through Fletcher’s Wood (which runs alongside the road) for a little less than half a mile.
leaving Fletcher’s Wood The woodland track joins the track pictured. Turn right and then turn left, back on the unclassified road which will return you to ...
Elterwater. … the village of Elterwater. From here re-trace your original route back to the start.

All text and images © Graham Dean, November 2022.

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