This triangular walk in Borrowdale takes us from Rosthwaite to the dramatic start of Langstrath, before returning via Stonethwaite, an isolated hamlet that sits off of the main road up the valley. The walk takes us below dramatic crags and to an impressive series of waterfalls.
Length: 4 miles
Map: Lakes North West
Last Walked: July 2012
We start at the National Trust car park in Rosthwaite
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Starting at the car park head back towards the main road. Turn left, then carefully cross the road (beware the blind corner just to the right), and head along the lane that leads to the Hazel Bank Hotel.
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Follow this lane as it crosses Stonethwaite Beck. A footpath runs alongside the far side of the beck. Turn right and follow this footpath as it runs up the side valley, staying quite close to Stonethwaite Beck. We follow this path for the next mile and a half, as it runs up the Stonethwaite Valley, which gets increasingly wild as it goes. On the way we pass Stonethwaite and then a large camp site, both on the far side of the beck.
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Eventually we reach the mouth of Langstrath, a long valley that disappears into the distance to the south. Here Langstrath Beck turns through a ninety degree turn to become Stonethwaite Beck. Follow our path as it heads past this bend, then use a footbridge that crosses Greenup Gill. This leads to a path that runs along the eastern bank of Langstrath Beck. Follow this path as it runs south into Langstrath.
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After a short distance our path brings us to a footbridge that crosses Langstrath Beck. Cross this bridge and then turn right onto a track that heads down the opposite side of the beck.
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After a short distance the track turns off to the left, but a clear footpath continues straight on ahead, eventually crossing a stile to bring us to Smithymire Island, at the corner between the two becks. When you cross the first stile look left to see a second stile, which we will use later on. After noting that second stile take the time to explore the island, which is normally easy to reach, and offers great views of the falls around its outer edge. After that cross the second stile and follow a path that runs alongside the beck.
This path runs through some rough ground, then crosses a field. At the end of the field we climb up a bank, then follow the path as it runs through the camp site we saw earlier. At the far end of the camp site follow the path as it runs through more fields before eventually reaching Stonethwaite village.
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Follow the road that runs from Stonethwaite back into the main part of Borrowdale. Cross over the main road and head along the lane that leads towards the Youth Hostel.
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This lane turns right and then left. At this second corner leave the road and follow a public right of way. This runs along the right-hand side of one field, cuts across the corner of the next one and then runs along the right-hand side of a third narrow field. At the end of this field we reach the edge of Rosthwaite. A short lane brings us onto a side-street. Turn left onto this street, and follow it to the northern edge of the village. Turn right to return to the car park.