This short walk follows the course of the Calder just above Calder Bridge, before climbing onto the airy grassy slopes of Abbey Flatts.
Length: 2 1/4 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: February 2010
We start from a small patch of road-side parking on the far side of Stakes Bridge. To reach this take the Cold Fell road from Calder Bridge (signposted for Ennerdale), then take the first right-hand turn, at the point where the road turns sharply to the left. Follow this road until it crosses the Calder at Stakes Bridge.
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From the car park cross Stakes Bridge, then turn right onto a signposted footpath that heads along a track into the woods. After a short distance the path leaves the track and climbs up the slope to the left, before emerging from the trees. This path runs alongside the trees until it reaches a point where a stream flows down the bank. At this point the path turns left to run around the side of a rough field that contains the stream.
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The foot path runs around the outside of two sides of this field, and brings us to the corner of the outer field. The path then cuts across the top corner of the rough field, before turning left to run along the full length of what was once a long narrow field, but that is now part of a larger field but marked by a line of trees. Pass over a stile at the far left end of this field, then continue on the same direction along the right-hand side of this next field.
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Just after we leave this field turn left onto a track that climbs up a hill running between banks of gorse bushes. This brings us into a grassy field with a tempting skyline - give in to the temptation and climb up to the skyline to get a great view down into the valley of Black Beck to the west and of the upper Calder to the east. At the southern end of the field is a small coppice - Flatts Cop - head to the left of the trees and exit this field via a gate in the far-left corner. This leads to a lane that runs past a farm to bring us back to the Coldfell Road.
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Turn left onto this road and follow it as it runs down the hill.
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We follow this road, which can sometimes be quite busy (avoid during the morning and evening rush-hour periods, where it becomes something of a rat-run to Sellafield). This brings us to two T-junctions close together. Turn left at each junction to come back onto the road that leads towards Stake Bridge. Follow this road back to the parking space.