1st May 2010

Not what I'd intended, but at least the sun was shining


Walk Overview
Time 07.15 to 10.00
Duration 2 hr 45 min
Distance 5.3 mile
Ascent 1400 ft
Walking with On my own
Braithwaite - High Coledale - Stile End - Barrow Door - Barrow - Stonycroft Gill - Stair - Swinside - Little Braithwaite - Braithwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Braithwaite Village

The best option are the half dozen or so spaces outside the school. Other than that, it's a case of finding a space in the centre of the village.


Route Map

Today's forecast was for showers or longer spells of rain to arrive by mid morning, so I planned to do a few jobs at home in the afternoon. Of course these could only be done after I'd been out for a short early walk. As far as all that goes, everything went according to plan. It did rain by mid morning, I did a few jobs at home, and I did indeed have a short early walk. The difference was I didn't set out to walk from Braithwaite, but the blue sky and sunshine seemed far to good to drive past.

Early morning sunshine as I cross the bridge over Coledale Beck.

Heading out of Braithwaite towards High Coledale.

A view back down the track shows low cloud covering the Skiddaw Fells.

And the view ahead showed quite a lot of cloud on Causey Pike and the other higher fells in the area. I on the other hand was enjoying an early walk in surprisingly warm sunshine.


Cloud on Grisedale Pike.

Outerside, seen from Barrow Door.

Looking over, I could see the cloud starting to break up on Skiddaw.

I took this picture of Newlands valley from the summit of Barrow. And as seen as though I was looking down here, I decided to use this as a route back down.

Causey Pike seen from the very fellside below Barrow summit.

Down on the Stonycroft Gill path.

And again, this time looking up towards Causey Pike.

Stonycroft in front of Barrow.

Stair Mill.

I don't know why I was surprised when I saw the sign on the gate, but I was disappointed. I had hoped the path would be opened again; perhaps with a change of route at the far end where the path has been washed away.


The alternative to the riverside path is a road walk to Swinside and then Little Braithwaite, and to be honest this is no bad thing because the countryside along here is well worth the walk.


At the little hamlet of Swinside which is dominated by the view across to Causey Pike.
I should add that the Inn itself is just out of shot on the right.


A longer distance view through Newlands Valley.

It was here that curiosity got the better of me and I walked along the road to have a look at the bridge, or rather the gap where the bridge used to be.

And then it was gone, , ,
This is all that remains of Little Braithwaite Bridge after the floods in November 2009. The bit I'm standing on at the moment is new, and was put in place to force the beck to take its correct course. After building something as substantial as this, it begs the question "do they actually intend to replace the bridge at all".

Perhaps I shouldn't have, but I decided to cross the beck instead of doubling back along the road. Obviously it's up to the individual where they choose to walk, but I wouldn't recommend crossing the beck. Getting from here down to the water's edge was much trickier than it looks, and had the water been much deeper I'd have ended up having a much wetter time of it.

Well, that was good timing. On the way back into Braithwaite I felt a few drops of rain, on the drive home I passed through a few heavy showers and during the afternoon it bucketed down.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks