This walk takes you along a section of bridleway that runs parallel to Great Langdale Beck. Here the Dipper is relatively easy to locate, often by its song or call. It sings throughout most of the year, and can even be heard in full song during the winter months. Both male and female dippers sing, the song being a slowly delivered and subdued series of warbles and whistles, some phrases being repeated. There are several benches along the walk, so it’s worthwhile spending a bit of time waiting for a Dipper to fly past, often giving a repeated short, sharp “zrik” call. Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails may also be encountered in this area. To increase your chances of seeing a dipper I’d give yourself about an hour. This is a lovely place for a short level walk and it is very convenient for Elterwater village, the Britannia Inn and Elterwater Youth Hostel.
The Dipper Walk Route:
Begin at the National Trust car park in Elterwater opposite the Britannia Inn. Before starting, have a quick look around the bridge from the car park, as dippers may often be seen around there. The walk itself begins at the gate and follows the gravelled path for around 750 metres alongside the river bank until you reach a sharp bend which takes you away from the beck, feel free to wander further if you fancy. If it’s a nice day you could extend your walk a little further, following the path for about another 2km to Skelwith Bridge. Return the same way.
In Elterwater you will find a National Trust pay and display car park (grid ref. NY327 047), public toilets and The Britannia Inn. In Silverthwaite: you will find a Lowther Estate pay and display car park (grid ref. NY341037). Parking is also available on Elterwater Common. In Chapel Stile: you will find Wainwright’s Inn, Bramble’s café and a shop. In Skelwith Bridge: you will find The Talbot Bar and Chesters Café. Nearest petrol station is in Ambleside.
How to get to Elterwater:
By Car: From Ambleside, take the A593 towards Skelwith Bridge, turn right (signposted Elterwater). Follow the road taking a signposted left to reach Elterwater Village.
Upland Footpath Ranger.
I've a keen interest in wildlife and conservation, and of course the great outdoors. After volunteering for the RSPB and the National Trust at Arnside & Silverdale, I spent two years working on the National Trust's Farne Islands and then on a Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. I've worked as one of the Upland Ranger Team repairing the footpaths in the Central & Eastern Fells ever since.