A walk from Cartmel Fell church via a scenic tarn to a wonderful Windermere viewpoint.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
The walk as described begins at the church at Cartmel Fell, a five minute drive from the Masons Arms. To reach the church by car, drive downhill from the Masons Arms and take the first right. After a little under a mile, turn left at a junction. The driveway to the church is on the left partway down the hill. Park by the former school (now village hall).
(D/A) Facing the lych-gate and church with the old school behind you, turn left onto a path that winds round the churchyard and heads uphill along a wall to a road junction. Turn right along the upper road and follow it for 260m, then turn left onto a rough track heading up the hillside.
(1) At a fork with a fingerpost, take the left turn to a gate in a wall. The track forks; take the less prominent track on the right, which continues uphill then gradually levels off. After descending past some bracken-covered outcrops on the right, the path turns right to a gate in a wall and continues to Heights Cottage.
(2) Pass to the right of the building and follow a track to the right, which then bends sharp left along the woodland edge to a gate into the trees. Follow the track beyond a gate through the wood, passing below a reedy tarn just off the path to the right. After leaving the wood at another gate, walk past a couple of rocky knolls to a gate. Before a second gate that leads to the boathouse on Sow How Tarn (private) bear left along the fence below the tarn and cross a stream. Follow the track through another gate and continue up the hill towards Sow How Farm.
(3) Turn right at a junction of tracks and walk through the farmyard. Beyond the farmhouse, follow the road ahead. Just before a junction with a larger road, turn left through a hand-gate onto a footpath which winds through open woodland and bracken and then starts to descend. At a path junction, turn right to the road. Cross and follow the path opposite past an interpretation notice. Initially fairly level, this path starts to climb over rocky ground. It’s possible to scramble up the rocks directly ahead to the summit, but the official (and easier) path bears right before swinging left up to the pillar at the top.
(4) Having enjoyed the views over Windermere, return to the road by the same route. On regaining the road, turn left (uphill). Beyond the brow of the hill, pass the turning to Sow How on the right, continuing on the larger road. The road descends then climbs again past a gated forestry track on the left, before resuming its descent, passing hidden Heights Tarn on the right. Ignore another forestry track on the left, then shortly afterwards climb a through-stile over the wall on the left and follow a path across the open hillside beyond. Follow the path along the foot of a slope on the left, then turn right past a ruined building to a squeeze stile into open fields. Bear left round a rocky outcrop then turn right along the wall and start to descend. The path leaves the wall and descends diagonally between occasional hawthorns to a gate by a road junction.
(5) Turn right to the road junction, where you turn left, past Lightwood on the right. Below the farm, there is a driveway on the right. If returning to the Masons Arms on foot, stay on the metalled road and follow it back down to the pub, otherwise to return to Cartmel Fell church, turn right and follow the drive past another farmhouse set among trees. Cross a stream and climb to a gate, then follow the track beyond as it winds across the hillside with alternating slight ascents and descents. Eventually, the path passes a series of rocky outcrops and begins its final, winding descent, passing the bridleway you followed earlier. On reaching the gate into the lane, turn right.
(1) At the junction, turn left onto the path you followed earlier, which leads down the woodland edge back to the church and former school.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 240ft - Church
1 : mi 0.45 - alt. 377ft - Fork
2 : mi 0.94 - alt. 541ft - Heights Cottage
3 : mi 1.78 - alt. 656ft - Sow How Farm
4 : mi 2.96 - alt. 1014ft - Gummer's How
5 : mi 5.2 - alt. 479ft - Road
D/A : mi 6.43 - alt. 240ft - Church
Several climbs and descents, and significant road walking. Rocky ground in places. Livestock likely
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. They were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 2 Wainwrights, 1 ferry and 2 lakes.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.