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Skiddaw Plus

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Skiddaw Plus
Author: Colpeakbagger, Published: 20 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guidestar1 Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guidestar1 Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guidestar0 Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guidestar0 Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guide
Cumbria, Northern Fells
Walk Type: Mountains
Skiddaw Plus
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guide boot Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guide boot Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guide boot Skidded Plus Cumbria walking guide
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At 3,054 feet Skiddaw is the fourth highest mountain in England and this walk takes in not only Skiddaw but two other fells as well. However, don't worry. You set off at nearly a third of the way up and this walk is well within most active people's capabilities.

From the Crossthwaite roundabout on the A66 turn up the A591 signposted to Carlisle and take the first right (this is almost immediately after the roundabout turn off). Follow this road to the little hamlet of Applethwaite where, just as you come in to the village, you turn right, almost back on your self. This narrow road (Gale Road) goes steeply uphill and at the top you will find a car park. Congratulations, you have just saved yourself 1,000 feet of climbing.

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Walk Sections

Start to Gate on Jenkin Hill
Start to Gate on Jenkin Hill

Start point: 54.6188 lat, -3.1158 long
End point: 54.6377 lat, -3.13 long

At the far end of Gale Road car park is a gate, go through this and turn immediately left and begin the climb up past the Hawell Monument. These first couple of sections of the walk hold no fears regarding navigation as you are following the tourist route up Skiddaw, one of the most heavily used routes in the whole National Park. The gradient is demanding but not overly steep and there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a breather and look at the view. Before too long you come to a wooden gate on Jenkin Hill.

Gate on Jenkin Hill to Skiddaw summit
Gate on Jenkin Hill to Skiddaw summit

Start point: 54.6377 lat, -3.13 long
End point: 54.6514 lat, -3.1475 long

Pass through the gate and keep going up (sorry, no break in the climbing yet). At least now you can see the summit and know that you are nearly at the top. The route becomes rockier as you head onwards and the views ahead of you open out. You can see out over Skiddaw Forest - there are no trees but in this case forest is used in its older sense of a hunting area - and over to the right is Blencathra. Finally you get to the top, but dont get too hasty. The first summt you get to isnt the highest, you need to keep on for a little way more to the next, slightly higher top (the one with the trig point) to say you got to the highest point. On a clear day you can see Scotland over the Solway Firth and there are great views down on to Bassenthwaite Lake and when you look south ... well, there is virtually every major mountain in the Lake District spread out before you. However, as impressive as this view is I know an even better place to see it from. Time for the next section.

Skiddaw summit to Skiddaw Little Man
Skiddaw summit to Skiddaw Little Man

Start point: 54.6514 lat, -3.1475 long
End point: 54.6398 lat, -3.1375 long

Head south off the summit ridge along the path you came up on but as you come to the first fence bear right, keeping the fence on your left and you are heading up the knobbly little peak in front of you, Skiddaw Little Man. As you reach the top the reason I have sent you up this extra bit of climbing should become apparent as the view south you had from Skiddaw summit is revealed again only, in my view, this time it's far better as there is a finer view of Derwentwater and the way the land drops away from you at Skiddaw Little Man makes it even more impressive. You are free to disagree but you won't change my mind.

Skiddaw Little Man to Lonscale Fell East Top
Skiddaw Little Man to Lonscale Fell East Top

Start point: 54.6398 lat, -3.1375 long
End point: 54.6354 lat, -3.1034 long

If you look over to the east you will notice a sharply pointed little hill in front of the main bulk of Blencathra, this is where you are headed next. Follow the path down the front of Skiddaw Little Man to the fence where you passed through the gate earlier in the walk. This time you are going to follow the fence in a vaguely easterly direction to Lonscale Fell. The actual summit is a pretty nondescript patch of moorland but if you walk for another couple of hundred yards you come to the pointy Lonscale Fell East Top with a dramatic view down into the valley of the Glenderaterra Beck and south down the valley that contains Thirlmere through the gap of Dunmail Raise and on towards Loughrigg near Ambleside.

Lonscale Fell East Top to Finish
Lonscale Fell East Top to Finish

Start point: 54.6354 lat, -3.1034 long
End point: 54.6186 lat, -3.1154 long

Due south and downhill is the way ahead, with Lonscale Crags to your left and a wire fence to your right. The path is grassy and the hardest part is trying not to let your legs run away with themselves as you head down. Eventually you come to a track which makes up part of the Cumbria Way, turn right here and follow it all the way back to the top of Gale Road.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author Colpeakbagger and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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