This easy low-level walk takes us into the heart of some very wild country, taking us through the impressive glacial valley of the Esk up to Lingcove Bridge, the point at which the river begins to climb up towards its source just below Esk Hause.
Length: 4.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: January 2010
We start from the small car park just above the foot of Hardknott Pass.
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Head up the road that leads to Hardknott Pass, with a small wood to the left. At the top of the wood turn left onto a path that runs along the side of the wood, then emerges onto the open fellside. Follow this path all the way up the valley until you reach Lingcove Bridge, a solid stone structure that crosses Lingcove Beck.
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Just above the bridge Lingcove Beck passes over a series of impressive waterfalls. A small path runs up the side of the beck, to the left of the water. Follow this path to visit the series of falls.
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As we climb up this small path we pass a crag on the left. Just after passing the last major waterfall we also pass behind this crag. At this point turn left and climb up the grassy slope that leads behind the crag. Once at the top of this slope a second crag, only a little higher, comes into sight. Head up to this crag, which should offer great views down Eskdale (the fog intervened on my visit). From this crag continue on in the same general direction, heading slightly downhill, until you reach the major path from Lingcove Bridge up towards Scafell. Turn left onto this path, follow it back down to the bridge, and then continue on down Esk Dale.
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Having come up the valley on the upper path we will now return along the riverside path. Just below the bridge the Esk passes over a series of waterfalls in a small ravine. A short distance after these falls a small path branches off the main path to the right, to follow the line of the river
Follow this path all the way down the valley to Brotherilkeld. The path then joins with the track to the farm, which crosses over Hardknott Gill and reaches the road. Turn left onto the road and climb back up to the car park.