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Hiking route

Keswick to Patterdale

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Descent to Glenridding
    / Descent to Glenridding
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Moot Hall Keswick
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Lonscale Fell from Keswick
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / High & Low Rigg
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Castlerigg Stone Circle
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Stye Beck Falls Stanah
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Thirlmere from Sticks Path
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Skiddaw & Derwent Valley from Sticks Path
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Grisdale
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 600 400 200 20 15 10 5 km
A day of contrasts from a leisurely walk through pleasant farmland to a steep ascent, rewarded with stunning views.
Distance 22.7 km
6:45 h
940 m
882 m
751 m
91 m
Country roads lead you out of Keswick to the pre-historic Castlerigg Stone Circle, and beyond into quiet farmland in St John's in the Vale. From here a steep climb up Sticks Path takes you to the route's highest point on the flank of Stybarrow Dodd, before a long descent into Glenridding and Ullswater below. A final climb and welcome bench provide a great view point over Ullswater, before a glimpse along Grisdale and another steep ascent to Lanty's Tarn through the woods before descending finally to Patterdale.

Author’s recommendation

The steep climbs on the route are rewarded  with iconic Lakeland views. On the way up Sticks Path be sure to look back at Thirmere, the Derwent Valley and Skiddaw.  After all that's what you are here for. The final ascent at Glenridding affords a great view of Ullswater, well worth the effort.
Highest point
751 m
Lowest point
91 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Care is needed on the short road section at Stanah, though the road is a minor one and not busy. The descent down towards Glenridding can be tricky due to the amount of loose rock from previous mining activity, especially in wet weather.

Tips and hints

Keswick has plenty of outlets where you can buy supplies for the walk. However, refreshments are available en-route. There is a cafe at the climbing centre near Castlerigg and Low Bridge Farm in St John's in the Vale offers drinks and cakes. There is a cafe in Stanah before the climb up Sticks Path. The Youth Hostel on the descent from Sticks Path advertises drinks for walkers too. Patterdale has pubs, a shop, Post Office and phone box.


Points of Interest 

Moot Hall Keswick.

The present building was erected in 1813 and has served as a court house, prison, museum and town hall. It is famous for the one handed clock found on the west wall. It now houses the Tourist Information Centre.

Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Surprisingly little is documented about this strikingly located Neolithic/Bronze Age stone Circle. Estimated to be roughly 5000 years old, this oval stone circle is one of the most photographed in Britain.



The Moot Hall, Keswick. (101 m)
OS Grid
NY 26641 23409
54.600514, -3.137042
54°36'01.9"N 3°08'13.4"W
30U 491146 6050347


St Patrick's Church Patterdale.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Stand at the main entrance to the Tourist Information Centre (Moot Hall) and BEAR LEFT between the bakery and the pub onto Station Street. TURN LEFT and follow Station Road down over the bridge to Brunholme Road. TURN RIGHT and continue until the railway bridge over the road.

0.85km - Immediately under the bridge TURN RIGHT up the steps then BEAR LEFT onto the old railway line and carry STRAIGHT ON.

1.50km - Just before the bridge BEAR RIGHT at the blue cycle way sign up the gravel path. Go through the gate and TURN RIGHT  up the tarmac road following the signs to the Castlerigg Stone Circle.

1.70km - On the bend BEAR LEFT then almost immediately BEAR RIGHT up Eleven Trees Road following the brown sign to the Castlerigg Stone Circle.

3.10km - Just past the climbing centre TURN RIGHT through the gate at the signpost to High Rest. Go STRAIGHT ON over fields towards the right side of a small wood and continue on through the farm yard.

4.10km - At the cattle grid BEAR LEFT at the signpost to St John' the Vale and follow the path to the main road.

4.20km - At the main road TURN LEFT and almost immediately TURN LEFT at the public footpath sign down through the fields.

5.00km - Crossing the concrete bridge BEAR LEFT on the grassy path signposted to St John's in the Vale. Cross the footbridge and aim to the right of the farm following the yellow arrow signs.

5.60km - Go through the wooden gate and TURN LEFT up the gravel track zigzagging uphill and past the Youth Centre.

6.30km - Just past the graveyard BEAR RIGHT through the gate signposted Bridleway to Sosgill Bridge and follow the path downhill for several kms. Go STRAIGHT ON passing Low Bridge Farm and the river on your left.

10.00km - Go over the stile and TURN LEFT onto the main road and over the bridge,  TURN LEFT into a gravel lane over a second bridge and past a small car park.

10.40km  - At the main road TURN RIGHT and go STRAIGHT ON past the lodge and cafe, taking care with the traffic.

11.20km - Just past the phone box TURN LEFT onto the track signposted Bridleway to Glenridding via Sticks Path and walk up Stanah Lane for a short distance. Go over the large wooden stile and continue STRAIGHT ON uphill.

11.50km - Cross the footbridge and TURN LEFT steeply uphill with the stream on your left. At the stone enclosure go STRAIGHT ON for approximately 2.5kms.

14.00km - Reaching the summit path crossroads and small pile of stones (cairn), go STRAIGHT ON descending on the well defined gravel path with the stream below on your right. Take care on the loose rock.

15.70km - On reaching an area of mining waste BEAR RIGHT by a stone cairn and follow the others which mark the path through this rocky wasteland.

16.00km - Cross the wooden footbridge and BEAR LEFT with the stream now on your left.Over the brow of the hill descend steeply zigzagging on the path through the rocky mining waste to the outdoor centre at the bottom. Take care on this section as the rock is loose.

17.60km - Cross the bridge, pass the Youth Hostel and carry STRAIGHT ON eventually passing some buildings 1.5 kms, further lower down on the left.

19.30km - Just past the red post box in the wall, TURN RIGHT at the road junction signed Gillside Farm. Cross the bridge and TURN LEFT past the campsite with the river on your left.

20.10km - At the path junction TURN RIGHT at the signpost to Lanty's Tarn following the yellow arrow signs over the footbridge and into the woods. Go STRAIGHT ON uphill, ignoring easier paths off to the side, to reach a seat.

20.70km - Go through the gate and carry STRAIGHT ON past the tarn, descending on a gravel track to reach another gate.

21.20km - Go through this gate and BEAR LEFT, descending through the field, another gate and onto the farm track. Go STRAIGHT ON crossing the stone bridge.

21.50km - Reaching the tarmac road, TURN LEFT and follow it down to the main road.

22.40km - At the junction of the main road TURN RIGHT by the red post box in the wall and continue STRAIGHT ON into Patterdale.

22.70km - Arriving at St Patrick's Church, you have reached the end of the walk.


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NY 26641 23409
54.600514, -3.137042
54°36'01.9"N 3°08'13.4"W
30U 491146 6050347
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Boots, waterproofs and extra layers are essential when walking the higher, more exposed sections. Walking poles may be preferred when descending on loose rock into Glenridding. 

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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22.7 km
6:45 h
940 m
882 m
Highest point
751 m
Lowest point
91 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Linear route


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