Lake District walks: Elterwater circle

Britannia Inn, Elterwater
Britannia Inn, Elterwater

We had one completely dry day on our recent Lake District holiday and we used it to do a beautiful circular walk starting in Elterwater village. First, we walked alongside Elterwater itself, with views across it to the Langdale Pikes.


The route then took us through fields and woodlands via two beautiful waterfalls, Skelwith Force –

– and Colwith Force.

Next to Colwith is this wishing tree, studded with small coins. Is this a peculiarly British practice? I know I’ve seen it before, but can’t remember if it was at home or abroad.

Coin wishing tree
Coin wishing tree

Continuing through more fields, our next discovery was the oasis that is High Park Farm. We were not expecting to come across a tea garden on our walk, but we were glad to enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking Little Langdale and the company of fellow hikers – and some beautiful Dutch Bantams. The farm is also a B&B and right on the Cumbria Way for anyone (not me!) considering a long-distance footpath.

After lunch, the walk descended past the spoil heaps of the disused Little Langdale Quarry. A pair of tunnels allows you to access part of it – Cathedral Cavern.

On the final part of the walk, we crossed the River Brathay by the 17th century pack-horse bridge – Slater Bridge – before climbing up the other side of  Little Langdale from where we took a bridle path back down into Elterwater.

The walk is 7.8 miles with about 1200 feet of ascent – the route is on the excellent WalkLakes site – and I’m linking it to Jo’s Monday Walks. Why not pop along there to see where everyone else has been walking this week?

39 thoughts on “Lake District walks: Elterwater circle

  1. Jen July 22, 2015 / 10:09

    Hi Anabel, just been perusing your lovely blog – the pictures are gorgeous – and noticed the coin tree. Only other one I’ve seen was in the Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie.


    • Anabel Marsh July 22, 2015 / 18:16

      Thanks Jen! I know I have seen one somewhere else but can’t remember where. I’ve never been to Rosemarkie so it can’t be there!


  2. Lucid Gypsy June 22, 2015 / 20:13

    A lovely walk with so much to see, I can handle the 8 miles but not so sure about the steepness!


    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 22:53

      It was reasonably gentle! More up and down than a continuous slog upwards. I’m not keen on steepness either.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) June 17, 2015 / 15:31

    My boyfriend is always trying to get me to go on walking holidays, but I remain unconvinced…I’m just not that keen on nature, and 4 miles is about my limit before I start whining about my feet hurting! I do like the looks of that cavern though!


    • Anabel Marsh June 17, 2015 / 15:41

      As a total couch-potato otherwise, I need to keep walking as my only form of exercise!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Solveig June 16, 2015 / 08:03

    Those are beautiful pictures, I am glad that you had a rain free day. I have never seen or heard of such a wishing tree before.


    • Anabel Marsh June 16, 2015 / 08:05

      It seems to be new to a lot of people – will now make it my mission to find more!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jazzfeathers June 16, 2015 / 06:56

    Love the waterfalls, but – my goodness! – the cave is just breathtaking!


    • Anabel Marsh June 16, 2015 / 07:35

      Yes – and it’s the remains of a quarry! Not your average industrial landscape.


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