Make the most of Skiddaw

Submitted by Timwoods on 28 August 2009
OS Explorer Map: OL4 - The English Lakes: NW area
(12 votes)
A circular, full-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Keswick, Cumbria, about 17.8km (roughly 11.1 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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Skiddaw has an undeserved reputation as a bit of a slog. Many people want to climb it as it tops the magic 3,000 feet mark, but if you trudge up and down the Little Man route, well, you get what you deserve. Instead, make a full day of the trip and explore some of the surrounding hills as you go. I have it on good authority from a lifelong Lake District resident that this route - via Carl Side and Ullock Pike - is the best way. So give Skiddaw the respect it deserves and do it properly!
Start: Keswick, OS Grid: NY268235
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1341m (4400ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 2693m (8836ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1352m (4436ft)
Max. Elevation: 910m (2985ft)

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OS Grid: NY268235
You can take the bus from Keswick to Applethwaite, but it's a pleasant enough walk and a good warm up. Head for Briar Rigg and take the footpath towards Ormathwaite and Applethwaite.
About 3 km (roughly 1.8 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY256262
Follow the Allerdale Ramble route to Millbeck, and take the right-hand fork heading up to Carl Side.
About 2 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY255282
Continue on to Carl Side, a subsidiary peak of Skiddaw. Great views across to Bassenthwaite Lake from here.
About 1.1 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NY261291
It's a short hop from Carl Side to Skiddaw, at 931m.
About 1.7 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NY244285
From Skiddaw, return to Carl Side and head along Longside Edge towards Ullock Pike. Continue along The Edge until Ling How.
About 1.4 km (roughly 0.9 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NY241299
At Ling How, turn back on yourself and take the Allerdale Ramble towards Ravenstone. Continue on the path towards the lake shore.
About 2.8 km (roughly 1.8 miles) from 6 OS Grid: NY242271
The path continues along the lake for a short section, before entering Thornthwaite Forest. This is actually on a small hill - Dodd - so if you still have energy to burn, wind up the forest tracks the top.
About 2.4 km (roughly 1.5 miles) from 7 OS Grid: NY249248
The final stretch is a riverside walk along the River Derwent, which flows from Derwent Water into Bassenthwaite Lake. Much more enjoyable than battling with the crowds on Little Man!
About 1.8 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 8 OS Grid: NY262235
The path continues through Portinscale and into Keswick. The fish and chips in Keswick town centre are hard to beat if you need filling up after a long day out!
3 comments ...join the discussion!
Bob Cooke  commented on 24 December 2014
Miles and Km
In this description the equivalent miles and km values are incorrect. 1Km is 5/8 of a mile and so, for example 2km is not 2 miles etc.
patrikG  commented on 26 December 2014
Hi Bob, we're rounding (hence the "roughly" before each distance metric) and indeed, you're right. Perhaps we are doing it a bit too generously. We'll have a look.
patrikG  commented on 26 December 2014
Hi Bob, well, in short: we changed it. Now it displays one decimal place and is far more accurate. Have to admit: it nagged me. Thanks again for pointing it out.
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