Tread the Packhorse Trod

Duration:Half Day

Tucked away on the western side of Borrowdale is an old packhorse road. It descends towards Grange from Honister Pass and allows a steep but quick diversion to the viewpoint of Castle Crag. It descends gently through Borrowdale, combining easy walking with changing views of the valley’s secret corners. There are plenty of opportunities along the way to stop and explore.

To get to the start of this linear route, take the bus from Keswick to Seatoller. You can cut the walk short by picking up the bus at Grange.

Packhorse Trail Past Castle Crag

Start: Seatoller bus stop Finish: Keswick bus station

Distance: 9.9km (6.2 miles)

Time: 3.5 hours

Height Gain: 245 metres

Strenuousness: 2/5

Navigation: 1/5

Technicality: 2/5

Terrain: Valley road, grass track, stony track, stony bridleway with some rock steps and pitching, woodland and lakeside paths.

Maps: Maps: OS Landranger 90, Exlorer OL4, Harvey’s Superwalker Lakeland Western (1:25 000), British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40 000)

  1. From Seatoller bus stop, head up the Honister Pass rd for 50m beyond the houses to a gate on the corner. Go through the gate and climb the pitched path as it gains height steeply. Where the path meets a rough track beside a beck, continue straight uphill to a small gate.

  2. Through the gate, turn R onto bridleway and follow as it climbs NE to a col (dip) beside High Doat, then becomes more distinct as you follow it N crossing Tongue Gill and reach another col below the distinct little peak of Castle Crag. From here a path climbs to the summit (involves a short scramble and fantastic views).

  3. Continue heading N and follow the bridleway down to the River Derwent and downstream past the campsite to join a lane. Turn R and follow the lane (signposted Grange) to Grange village (café, toilets, public telephone and bus-stop here).

  4. Turn L and follow the valley road for about 1km beyond Grange to a path on the R (signposted Lodore 1m). Join the path and follow it through Manesty Park to the side of Derwent Water. Turn L and follow the path NW then N around the western side of the lake to the jetty at Hawes End.

  5. If you’re not catching the boat back, walk W up to the road, turning R at access track then R again (follow fi ngerpost for Portinscale 1 ½ m). Follow public footpath signs N to join the road at the entrance to Nichol End Marine (café and jetty here). Continue N along the road into Portinscale until the road junction.

  6. At the road junction, turn R (signposted National Cycle Route 71 and Public Footpath Keswick 1m). Cross the footbridge, and 20m later turn R signposted Keswick, follow this to Keswick town centre.

Further Information

Borrowdale features many of the Lake District's best activities - all in one easily accessible valley. Explore tarns, fells and viewpoints in our Borrowdale's Best Bits walk, catch a glimpse of red squirrels in Johnny Wood, take a dip in Derwent Water or cycle to the Lake District's last metaliferous mine at Force Crag.

Visit for places to stay in the Lakes.

By National Trust

How to get here

Seatoller Bus Stop and car park

CA12 5

Ordnance Survey OL4
The English Lakes
North Western area

NY 245 137

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