Walk Local, wherever you are

 This is a very pleasant low level walk around Elterwater lake across a wide variety of landscapes and passing the falls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force. The walk goes through woods, across pastures and offers views of Loughrigg and Weatherlam, the little Langdale Valley and the Langdale Pikes seen over Elterwater, at various points on the round. All offered with the promise of a minimum of slopes to be ascended – this is a good walk for those wanting good views without a strenuous climb!

Distance – 7.4 km, mostly on the level but with 231m of ascent

Map Required - OL7 Lakes District SE -clike here to buy it direct from Amazon

Terrain – good for most of the way, but it can get muddy underfoot across the pastures and through the woods to Colwith Force

Refreshments – this can be a very sociable walk. The Britannia Inn at Elterwater, Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale (near Wilson's Place) and the Skelwith Bridge Hotel are strategically placed; and the lover of coffee shops can do little better than Chester's at the gallery by Skelwith Bridge or the Rosewood Tea Gardens nearby

Toilets – as for refreshments above; public toilets are at Elterwater by the bridge over the beck

Car Parking – there is a small car park (pay) by the bridge in Elterwater. If this is full, there is an excellent car park by the main road above Elterwater, at Walthwaite Bottom. The village is 5 minutes away, down a pleasant lane


1.Leave Elterwater with the Britannia Inn on your right, go across the bridge over the beck turning left along the road signposted to Coniston and Little Langdale and go past the entrance to Elterwater Country Hotel. Immediately after passing the gates turn right up a small lane and go up a gentle rise to reach a fork in the road. Take the left-hand track and go up the ascent passing through a gate just before the top. The path then will begin to gradually descend; look for a kissing gate on the left signed 'Public Footpath only' just after leaving the trees of Sawrey Wood on the right, and go down the path in front. The views at this point show Lakeland at its best – Loughrigg to the left and Weatherlam on the right. The views extend further as the pasture is crossed

2.Go along this path and descend through a narrow gap in the wall. Cross a stone stile and continue down a grassy pasture, which is a haven to many of the wild flowers of the lakes; do not stray from the path. The bottom of the path reaches a gate leading into the Little Langdale road by Wilson's Place and with the Three Shires Inn to your right. Turn left here and, after a short while, go right through a kissing gate, onto a grassy track leading to a narrow footbridge over the beck; follow the path ahead up a slight slope, to Stang End cottage.

3.At the top of the slope there is a good view of Wrynose Pass – an old smugglers route – going up the hill to your right with the 'Three Shires Stone' at its summit. The stone is so called as it once marked the site where the Counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire meet

4.At Stang End go through the gate, turn left onto a metalled road, taking the left-hand fork. Walk down the lane to High Park Farm and go through a gate signed 'Public Bridleway' and between the farm buildings. Immediately after the farm, turn left through a gate and go along a grass track, through two more gates, into the edge of the plantation

5.As soon as you enter the woods, take the path to the left marked 'Permissive Path to Colwith Force' and descend through the woods to the mini waterfalls of the River Brathay. The path can be slippery. Continue past Colwith Force to come a stile onto the road from Elterwater

6.Turn right up the road and then left off the road at a metal sign 'Public Footpath to Skelwith Bridge'. Go up through the trees to come to open pasture and towards a farm. Follow the signs to the next farm, through a gate and on to Park House, nestling by the banks of a small stream leading to the Brathay. Continue along the lane, taking the path to the left just before the lane reaches the road to Skelwith. Go through a kissing gate and down the slope to meet with the road again just before it crosses the River Brathay at Skelwith Bridge

7.Immediately after the bridge turn left to the Gallery and Coffee Shop, and then continue along this path by the side of Skelwith Force Waterfall and through the slate works. The path follows the side of the road to Elterwater through the trees and comes to a gate into a large meadow. Follow this path across the meadow, admiring the views of the Langdale Pikes ahead, to come to a well-maintained hard path along the side of the river and then back to Elterwater