Downstream to Derwent walk

Season:Any
Duration:Half Day
Activity:Walking

Follow Hause Gill from its source high on Honister Pass, as it joins the River Derwent and continues on to the village of Grange in Borrowdale. On this walk, you will discover a variety of wildlife, whilst seeing how the river has influenced the surrounding landscape.

Have a look at our downloadable route map

  1. From the National Trust car park, go through a small gate leading to the quarry and turn left onto the old quarry track. Follow this until you reach the road, continuing until you pick up the old toll road on your left.

  2. Follow the old road until it merges briefly with the newer one and then moves back onto the bridleway. Continue along this track, noticing the increasingly abundant trees, in particular in the steep Honister Gill where grazing is limited.

  3. At a sign reading Bridleway to Grange, go straight on towards a group of larch trees. You will notice the large valley joining to the right this contains the River Derwent.

  4. Go through a gate with a stile, to a smaller path on your right. Take this path down to the road to cross the bridge and get a good view of the river and the huge bank boulders protecting the hamlet of Seatoller (man-made defences).

  5. Follow the road through the picturesque hamlet of Seatoller until you reach the National Trust car park. Go through this, take the track to the left and cross the stile at the top. Follow the path alongside the wall and go through a small gate.

  6. You are now walking through Johnny Wood a famous UK example of Western Atlantic sessile oak woodland. A small track to your right leads to Folly Bridge, where you can catch a first glimpse of the River Derwent. Return to the path and continue onwards to a rocky section with a gate.

  7. Care is needed here. The path traverses a steep, rocky area with a chain provided for safety. This section can be extreme in wet weather. After crossing, carry on towards the youth hostel (YHA) at Longthwaite. Cross the yard and follow a narrow raised path along the riverbank to New Bridge. As you progress downstream you will notice increasing signs of human habitation. The land becomes more cultivated, less wild, with farm buildings and houses beginning to appear in the fertile valley bottoms.

  8. Passing the bridge you come to two gates. Take the right-hand gate and continue to walk into the jaws of Borrowdale, between the slopes of Castle Crag and Grange Fell and onwards into High Hows Wood.

  9. Follow this winding path along the riverside until it bends left, away from the river to a T-junction. Take the right turn here and carry on until you reach Hollows Farm Campsite.

  10. Pass the campsite and follow the track which takes you to the café at Grange. Cross the bridge where you can catch the Honister Rambler bus back to your car.

Further Information

Start/Finish: Start: Honister Hause National Trust car park, grid ref: NY 225 135

Distance: 4.7 miles (7.5km)

Terrain: Steady downhill walk with reasonable surfaces, apart from one difficult rocky section which can become very slippery when wet. Weather can change very quickly so good footwear and clothing are recommended. Dogs welcome under close control, but please do not allow your dog to foul on paths and around picnic areas. Many areas on this route are grazed so please keep dogs on leads at all times. In periods of heavy rainfall this walk can become more of a wade and at times the path will be impassable.

Time to complete the walk: 2-3 hours

By Rebekah Ingham

How to get here

Honister Car park

Honister Pass
Seatoller
CA12 5

Ordnance Survey OL4
The English Lakes
North Western area

NY 225 135

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