Offlist Walk: Latrigg

19 11 2010
19th November 2010
Solo
6.3 miles
Explorer OL4 (The English Lakes (North-western area))
Patchy cloud

Latrigg panorama (Library photo)

Mrs NLW and I started walking this morning from Rosthwaite, but the slippy terrain and Mrs NLW’s bad back meant we called it a day at Seatoller and returned to Rosthwaite along the roads.

Latrigg & the Greta

By the time we got back to Keswick I just about had time to scale Latrigg and get back before sunset.

I walked from our apartment on Greta Side, up Victoria Street and across the Greta via Station Road bridge, then followed Brundholme Road around the Keswick Country House Hotel until I reached the railway bridge by Keswick Holiday Park; on the far side of the bridge I climbed the path onto the Keswick Railway Footpath which is also part of the Coast-to-coast cycle route and head east. The path crosses over  the main road heading out of Keswick near the Twa Dogs Inn and then crosses back under the road and heads uphill towards the A66.

Helvellyn from the lower slopes of Latrigg

The path comes to its summit beneath the A66, and then continues on a series of boardwalks and old railway bridges criss-crossing the Greta Gorge below, although quite close to the main road above it seems like I am in the middle of nowhere.

Roughly halfway to Threlkeld I reach the point I am looking for, Latrigg to my left has reached a manageable height so I cross a small enclosed field and join a narrow tarmaced track heading north-west.

Path up Skiddaw

The track is steep and windy and despite my best efforts to walk slowly I am soon out of breath, I am relieved when I come to a junction and am forced to stop and figure out which way to go! I ignore the path sign-posted to Skiddaw and head up the other dirt track onto the shoulder of Latrigg, the path turns to the west through open pasture, behind me Blencathra rises formidably.

The steepness of this Latrigg path eases off now and it’s a simple – but somewhat longer than it looks – trudge up to the ridge, and then along to the summit. It’s been a fairly warm day but the very

top of Latrigg is much colder, a small price to pay for the wonderful views – particularly of the snow-covered Helvellyn to the south, and the light filtering through clouds over Catbells to the southwest.

Catbells across Derwent Water

To the north I can see a VERY steep winding road working its way up the lower slopes of Skiddaw, it looks hard work – but if I take my time I’m pretty sure I can do it – one for more clement weather and a longer day I think. Latrigg is busy today, lots of people around, and a fair few stop for a chat, one of whom tells me the best way to descend: I follow the summit path to the west where it curves around a bench and follows the contours of the hill back towards Skiddaw, after not too long a spot a grassy path to the left and descend steeply towards a path running just above a plantation. This path is part of the Cumbria Way, and I follow it towards the south-west as it descends gently through Ewe How all the way down to Spooney Green lane which crosses the A66 before depositing me on the outskirts of Keswick. It’s not much of an effort then to walk back to the old station and then retrace my steps back to the apartment.

This was a really good short walk, one I’d recommend to anyone holidaying in Keswick. It’s not too long or too hard, anyone with even the slightest degree of fitness (ie: me) can manage it.

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