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Patterdale/Glenridding to Keswick

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • The road through Patterdale
    The road through Patterdale
    Photo: Robbie Thurley, Macs Adventure
m 600 400 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Walk away from Ullswater out onto the fells following a small river and reaching a prehistoric monument before making your way into Keswick.
Distance 19.7 km
5:30 h
739 m
812 m
751 m
83 m

You spend this day surrounded by the mountain peaks, crags and cliffs which epitomise the Lake District. Walking up Glenridding away from Ullswater you are rewarded with views back to the Lake and across the Eastern Fells. The trail follows a bridleway along the Sticks Pass with the peak of Helvellyn to the South.

A steep descent brings you out to St Johns in the Vale, an arable area in a wide glacial valley at the head of Thirlmere surrounded by perhaps the most striking of the Lakeland Fells. Here you follow the St John’s Beck river northward between the rocky flanks of Clough Head to the East and the rugged neighbours, High Rigg and Low Rigg to the West.

A real highlight of the day’s walk is the Castlerigg Stone Circle just East of Keswick, described as ‘one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain’. You finish this exhilarating day upon arrival at the market town of Keswick situated in an idyllic location on Derwent Water.

Author’s recommendation

Look out for Kestrels and Buzzards cruising the skies in search for their next meal. If you're extremely lucky you may spot an Osprey!
Profile picture of Robbie Thurley
Robbie Thurley
Update: April 24, 2019
Highest point
751 m
Lowest point
83 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Check the weather forecast before setting out and listen to advice locals may offer you. When the route follows a road with no footpath remember to walk on the right hand side so you are facing any oncoming traffic.

Tips and hints

Food & Drink

Shops and cafes in Patterdale and Glenridding. Nothing else until Keswick.


Points of interest

Greenside Mine  

An old lead mine whose workings wind around the first part of the route.

Church at St John's in the Vale  

Tucked away between High Rigg and Low Rigg there has been a church here since the 1500’s.

Castlerigg Stone Circle  

A 4500 year old circle of stones on a plateau surrounded by high peaks. One of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain, it is one of the oldest stone circles in the UK.



Glenridding Bridge (157 m)
OS Grid
NY 38682 16914
54.543756, -2.949327
54°32'37.5"N 2°56'57.6"W
30U 503278 6044024


Keswick tourist office.

Turn-by-turn directions

Reaching the start of the route involves a straight forward 15min walk along the main road from Patterdale to Glenridding. If you are staying in Glenridding you can start your walk from here, so you will have a slightly shorter walk today.

0.00 km - From Glenridding Bridge with your back to the lake walk up the lefthand side of the beck (river) signposted Mires Beck, Helvellyn.

0.30 km - BEAR RIGHT signposted Gillside, Greenside, Helvellyn. Still beside the beck.

0.80 km - TURN LEFT signposted Greenside, Helvellyn and follow path alongside wall on your right for 150metres.

1.00 km – TURN RIGHT through gate signposted Greenside. Follow path through fields to footbridge, cross and bear left uphill to reach Greenside Road.

1.80 km - TURN LEFT up the road. Pass the Youth Hostel to reach a group of renovated buildings owned by various clubs and schools and reach gate displaying colour coded routes. Sticks Pass is blue.

2.80 km - TURN RIGHT and immediately left. Now wind steeply uphill, generally right, through old mine workings on main track (ignoring path up valley to left).

3.30 km - BEAR LEFT still climbing, over a footbridge then pass a small tarn to a junction of footpaths.

4.00 km - TURN LEFT following the main path, with Green Side steeply on your right and Sticks Gill below you on your right. Continue to the cairn marking Sticks Pass

5.60 km - STRAIGHT ON following the main path, going downhill to the stone sheep pen.

7.40 km - STRAIGHT ON at the sheep pen following the path steeply downhill to cross a wall.

8.00 km - BEAR RIGHT crossing Sty Beck to the buildings at Stannah, BEAR LEFT down the road to meet the B5322, by the café.

8.40 km - TURN RIGHT to walk along the B5322. There is no pavement, so be very careful and walk on the right side towards any oncoming traffic.

10.60 km - TURN LEFT through the gate/stile and over the bridge.

10.70 km - BEAR RIGHT across field and stream to the gate. Go through the gate and walk RIGHT on the path, keeping close to the fence/wall as the path skirts High Rigg. Go through the gate at the end of the path.

12.70 km - TURN LEFT along the tarmac road, passing the church. Go STRAIGHT ON following the track which stays close to the wall and then winds down to meet a farm track.

13.40 km - BEAR RIGHT through gate with a footpath sign. Follow the path, keeping the rocks on your left, downhill to a gate. Go through and continue BEARING RIGHT, aiming for a gateway to the right of the stone wall. Continue over the footbridge to a three-way footpath sign.

14.20 km - TURN RIGHT following the sign to the A591. Walk along the track and through the gate at the corner of the stone wall. Across the field and the stone stile to meet the A591. TURN RIGHT along the road.

14.90 km - TURN RIGHT along track to Low Nest Farm. Cross the cattle grid and immediately TURN LEFT through the gate and walk uphill keeping near the fence on your right. Go through the gate

at the top of the field and TURN RIGHT on a tarmac road, passing the houses at High Nest.

15.30 km - STRAIGHT ON through the gate at the end of the houses. Walk across fields, wet in places, following the path gradually uphill towards the fence with a patch of trees to your right finishing at a gate.

16.20 km - TURN LEFT along the road. After 200m TURN LEFT to visit the stone circle. Return to this point and continue LEFT down the road until it ends at the T junction.

17.70 km - TURN LEFT and then BEAR RIGHT as the road forks, signposted to the Town Centre.

17.90 km - TURN LEFT on the footpath, just before the railway bridge, descending to join the old railway line and continue LEFT on the path.

18.60 km - TURN RIGHT down the curving steps, just the wooden bridge over the river. TURN LEFT to go under the stone bridge, continue down the road with Fitz Park on your left.

19.00 km - TURN LEFT onto Station Road following the edge of Fitz Park. STRAIGHT ON over Victoria Street, continuing on Station Road.

19.30 km - TURN RIGHT to finish the walk after 20m at Moot Hall.


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NY 38682 16914
54.543756, -2.949327
54°32'37.5"N 2°56'57.6"W
30U 503278 6044024
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Along with your usual gear for a day out in the hills remember to pack a wind/waterproof and an extra layer. The weather can change fairly quickly up on the peaks.

Questions and answers

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Ron Flaishon
September 13, 2021 · Community
Tough but worth it
Show more
יום שני, 13 בספטמבר 2021 10:01:05
Photo: Ron Flaishon, Community
יום שני, 13 בספטמבר 2021 10:01:18
Photo: Ron Flaishon, Community

Photos from others

19.7 km
5:30 h
739 m
812 m
Highest point
751 m
Lowest point
83 m
Scenic Geological highlights Linear route Healthy climate


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