Bassenthwaite (approx 8 miles)


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Maps: Sheet OL5 The English Lakes - North Eastern area
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Start: NY215327 A591 opposite the Castle Inn, near Bassenthwaite (bus stop & layby).
Route: Click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

There is plenty of variety on this walk, with spectacular views from the higher points along with lakeside views on the lower section. There are short stretches along minor roads, but much of the walk is along footpaths which are not always clear, sometimes flooded and in some cases badly eroded. It's a great walk to get away from the crowds.
Refreshments: The Castle Inn at the start and finish has a welcoming bar. There is also the Sun Inn, about 1 mile from the start of the walk.
Route profile: route profile
junction of A591 and minor road leading to Bassenthwite village From the bus stop, walk south and cross a minor road and then turn left to follow the next minor road, towards Bassenthwaite village.









view looking south Even before the walk climbs there are great views to the south.
Footpath to Bassenthwaite After walking for nearly 1 mile we followed this narrow path which leads down to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn left along a village road.
Sun Inn, Bassenthwaite Turn right when you come to the Sun Inn. Follow the road as it bends round to the right.
Bassenthwaite When the road enters the village green turn left to follow Back Hill, the narrow road shown in the photograph. This road bends round to the left, passes houses, then turns to the right, when it becomes a grassy track. Go through a wooden gate, with a finger post at the left. Walk straight ahead, following the sign for Burthwaite.
footpath from Bassenthwaite to Burthwaite Walk along the side of the field, following the fence. The map shows that the footpath cuts the corner, but as there were no visible signs of a path, we stayed close to the field boundary to the end of the field, followed it round to the left…
footpath from Bassenthwaite to Burthwaite Walk along the side of the field, following the fence. The map shows that the footpath cuts the corner, but as there were no visible signs of a path, we stayed close to the field boundary to the end of the field, followed it round to the left…
Burthwaite … and then crossed a stile on our right. We again followed the field boundary which took us through a wooden gate next to double metal gates. Once through the wooden gate, we again followed the field boundary, which was now on our left. We left this field through a wooden gate and turned left to follow a minor road.
minor road east of Burthwaite After just less than a quarter of a mile, where the road enters woodland, there are footpath signs on both sides of the road. We followed the one on the right.
footbridge over Chapel Beck This path led through the woods down to a wooden footbridge and then up a stepped path. The path, which was quite badly eroded in places, led round to the right before emerging from the woods.
between Burthwaite and Hole House On the ground the path appeared to continue straight ahead, but the public right of way which we followed was alongside the field boundary on the left. After about 250 metres you leave the field, cross a minor road, pass through a wooden gate and follow a farm track. The track passes farm buildings on the left, and then shortly after turning in front of a building on the right…
between Hole House and Barkbeth … the footpath leaves the track, leading up to the right. At the top of the slope there was a sign saying, Permitted Footpath Avoiding Farm. All too often farms mean noisy dogs, so we followed the well-trodden path alongside the fence.
near Barkbeth This led us to the two gates pictured. After passing through the second gate we turned right, following a track to a stile alongside a metal gate. We climbed the stile and continued ahead…
Barkbeth Hill … until we came to the ladder stile and gate pictured. The official right of way shown on our map should continue in the same direction, pass into another field, before passing back to this field. So I have to confess that we passed through the gate shown, walked ahead until the route started to drop downhill. We then skirted the contours to the middle of the field, before turning left and walking up the field until we came to …
Barkbeth Hill … the gate and stile pictured on our left. Once over the stile, the path curved round to the south.
Barkbethdale Continue along the path to a stile and gate. This field boundary marks the start of Access Land. We continued to follow the clear track up the valley, taking the right fork where the path divided. A few metres after this, at a point close to depressions in the ground (if it were limestone country I would have said they were shakeholes) we followed a narrow path…
walking up Watches … on our right, leading steeply up to the top of the knoll called Watches.
Skiddaw from Watches The view from the top of small summits can be equally as rewarding as that from the higher peaks. This is the view from Watches toward Skiddaw, during one of the few periods on that day when clouds weren't obscuring the mountain. The opposite direction provided dramatic views over Bassenthwaite Lake.

From the top of Watches we followed the path leading south until…
south of Watches ... we arrived at a junction of routes. We turned sharp right to follow…
south of Watches … a narrow, stony path. After a few yards this turned sharp left to continue downhill (don't follow the grassy path which skirts the contours).
Bassenthwaite Lake from south east of Watches Where the path meets a wider path turn left. This path follows a fence on your right and leads down to a narrow wooden gate.
woodland behind Ravenstone Manor Hotel Shortly after passing through the gate the path divides. Take the right fork, which then zig-zags down to a stile and through woodland to emerge on the main road.

Turn right and follow the suggested footpath in front of the Ravenstone Manor Hotel (in reality this is the hotel drive).
opposite Ravenstone Manor Hotel Where the hotel drive re-joins the road look for the footpath sign on the bus stop post opposite. Follow this to a stile next to a metal gate.
footpath leading to Bassenthwaite Lake Climb the stile and follow the path through a series of kissing gates to meet a minor road opposite the driveway to St Bega's Church. Turn right to follow the road for about half a mile.
footpath leading to Bassenthwaite Lake Look out for the footpath sign pictured - it's just before the road bridges a stream. Descend wooden steps to a muddy path. The path passes through a narrow wooden gate, over a short length of boardwalk and a couple of footbridges. Somewhere along this length of path is a sign to say that it is liable to flooding!

There is one final gate or stile before…
footpath leading to Bassenthwaite Lake … the path emerges by the side of the lake. The path skirts Bowness Bay, following the edge of the lake round to the west.
footpath by Bassenthwaite Lake As the lake shore curves to the north and then north east, you pass through a series of gates in fences which end submerged in the lake.
footpath by Bassenthwaite Lake Follow a stretch of boardwalk, which isn't quite long enough. Stepping stones have been placed at the far end - but on the day we completed the walk one additional stone would have been useful!

We then crossed a semi-submerged stile, followed by another section of boardwalk, before the path headed away from the shore. One further stile led us to a stony path…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … leading towards a site with log cabins. Turn right here to follow the path through woodland to emerge where a minor road becomes a driveway. Turn left to follow the driveway until…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … it divides. Take the right fork as indicated by the footpath sign. Follow the drive until…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … it sweeps round to the right. At this point continue ahead, following the grassy path. Walk through a wooded area to a gateway. Go through the gate…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … and follow the grassy path down to the next gateway. Cross a wide wooden bridge and walk through the next field, in which the narrow path leads between clumps of rushes…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … to a kissing gate. Once through this gate the path leads…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … to a narrow wooden footbridge. After the bridge cross a stile and turn left to follow the fence where you'll spot…
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … this footpath sign. Turn right to follow the direction indicated. It leads to a white painted pole.
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake The pole marks the position of a bridge. Continue walking towards the woodland. Before reaching the trees there is another bridge and the path bears to the right, towards the corner of the woodland.
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake Pass through the gate pictured and continue to follow the path which leads to …
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake … another field of rushes . At the far end of this field there is a stile which crosses a fence. Cross the stile and you will be able to see the next stile.
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake Cross this and turn left to follow the fence. At the end of the field walk through a metal gate and continue walking in the same direction.
path leading away from Bassenthwaite Lake Follow the field boundary on the right which leads to the two stiles pictured. Cross the first of these and then follow the metal fence on right. Cross into the next field and head towards…
Low House Farm … the stile opposite. Continue uphill, crossing a couple of fields separated by stiles. The final stile leads into a field used as a small caravan/camp site. Turn right on to the tarmac track, through a gate. Follow the track out onto the road. Turn left to return to the starting point.

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