Walking on Claife Heights - Introduction
This walk may be classed as moderate and should be well within the capability of people of any age and average fitness with appropriate clothing and footwear. Strong boots, map and compass are essential but otherwise the walk is at relatively low level with the only steep climb occurring at the very start. On a clear sunny day the views of the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and Fairfield are stunning and being a habitat rich in a wide variety of wildlife the moorland and forest landscape in the remoter parts of the walk can be relied on to throw up some very interesting surprises.
Waypoints for your GPS:- 390957, 388953, 383951, 381953, 379953, 378955, 373961, 372967, 372975, 374980, 378986, 384988, 387989, 387970, 389960, 388955, 390957.
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL7 (The English Lakes South Eastern Area section SD) 1:25000 refers.
This 9 kilometre/6 mile walk starts at the ferry terminal on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere a short walk from Bowness and takes between three and a half to four hours. If you prefer not to use the ferry there are two car parks on the western shore, at Station Scar Wood accessed by following the lake road a couple of hundred yards from the ferry terminal, the other accessed directly from the Far Sawrey road, both are pay and display costing £4.95 or £5.95 for a half or full day respectively (prices correct as at February 2013). From the ferry terminal (S) follow the road to Far Sawrey around the lake via point (1) on the map and up the hill towards Hawkrigg Farm, after passing a road junction on the left look for and take a footpath on the right signposted Far Sawrey (2). This footpath rises through woodland to rejoin the road close to the Cuckoo Brow Inn (formerly the Sawrey Hotel) near the village centre (4) via the grounds of the old Sawrey Knotts Hotel, now holiday apartments (3). Continue along the road, ingnore the first footpath signposted Belle Grange and look for a partially obscured sign for Moss Eccles Tarn attached to a wall on the right (5). Turn into and follow the lane indicated, passing the Old Vicarage set back on the right and some joinery workshops further along before ascending to higher ground. Continue past another footpath joining from the left (6) from the direction of Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's House, to reach Moss Eccles Tarn (7) and Wise Een Tarn (8) a little higher up. This is a perfect spot for a picnic and to admire the spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes in the distance, on a clear sunny day surely one of the finest landscape views in England. When your'e ready, continue the gradual climb to the highest point of the walk passing an unnamed tarn on the right (9). Take care from here, the track resembles a stony river bed in places as it descends to the lake and can be treacherous in wet weather. It is also important to navigate carefully as footpaths and forestry tracks intersect at points (10) and (11) especially since some of the signposts are difficult to see. On reaching the lake at Belle Grange (12) follow the path down to the right and return to the start point at the ferry via the track along the shoreline and points (13), (14) and (15).
Palfreyman February 2013
To see the walk in pictures: Click Here!
Farthingale Publications:... Is a hobby web site containing articles of local interest to Lancastrians, some favourite walking and cycling routes, selected words and poetry, and some writings of more general nature as well as the authors own picture gallery. Access is available via the homepage and menu at the head of the page.