This walk is dominated by two spectacular views: the famous vista of the Buttermere fells seen over Crummock Water, and the dramatic rocky buttress of Grasmoor End, looming over the northern end of the lake.
Have a look at our downloadable route map
Leave the car park through the small gate at the far end from the road, turn right onto the footpath
that runs alongside the River Cocker and follow it all the way to Crummock Water. After heavy rain
this path can be quite wet - if this is the case, follow the forest track instead.
The path brings you to the source of the Cocker, and one of the districts best viewpoints. From
here, follow the track running along the left-hand side of the lake through Lanthwaite Wood, followed
by the very different High Wood.
The lakeside path passes through two large fields after leaving High Wood, then enters a long
narrow field filled with gorse bushes. Follow the path along the lake shore to the far end of this field,
then turn left and follow the grassy path that climbs up to the higher side of the field. Turn left, staying
inside the field, and follow the path that runs along the upper edge of all three fields back to High
At High Wood a gate leads onto a road. Cross this road, then head straight across the hillside,
towards Grasmoor End (look for a suitable path through the bracken).
This brings you to a major path running across the hillside. Turn left onto this path and follow it all
the way to Liza Beck where it emerges from Gasgale Gill, between Grasmoor and Whiteside.
Turn left at the beck, and head down the line of an old drainage ditch towards the Iron Age
homestead (X marks the spot on the map), a series of sunken platforms between the ditch and Liza
Beck. After exploring the homestead continue on in the same direction towards the road you crossed
Turn right onto the road, then left onto the next signposted footpath running along a narrow lane
between stone walls. Follow this to the edge of Lanthwaite Wood.
Just inside the woods, turn right onto a narrow footpath. This follows the edge of the wood, then
climbs up onto Brackenthwaite Hows, once a famous 'viewing station'.
Brackenthwaite Hows has two summits. Follow the path from the first to the second, then curve
away to the left to follow a ridge that leads towards a stile leading into the woods. Follow the path as
it drops down Dick Robins' Steps, and then onto a forestry track. Turn left onto this track, then right at
the next junction to return to our starting point.
Start/Finish: Lanthwaite Wood National Trust car park, grid ref: NY 149 215
Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)
Terrain: Some rough or wet paths and two climbs - one across Lanthwaite Common and one onto Brackenthwaite Hows. Also steep steps down from Brackenthwaite Hows. Dogs welcome under close control. Please do not allow your dog to foul on paths or around picnic areas. No bins provided - please take all litter, including dog waste, home.
Time to complete the walk: 2-3 hours