FAIR TRADE WAY extensions in Cumbria – Keswick to Gilsland (4 sections) and Pooley Bridge to Grasmere

A HUGE thanks to the Carlisle, Keswick, Brampton and Caldbeck Fairtrade Groups for all they have done to promote Fairtrade via these new legs of the Fair Trade Way!

Keswick to Caldbeck (14 miles)

The walk from Keswick heads uphill through the woods under Latrigg. After reaching the car park at the end of Gale Road from Ormathwaite, the route then veers round Lonscale Fell and into the Glenderaterra Beck valley between Skiddaw and Blencathra. The way enters the bleak area known as Back of Skiddaw reaching Skiddaw House then falling down the valley of the upper River Caldew. Before reaching the small village of Caldbeck, the way ascends Grainsgill Beck (*)on to Great Lingy Hill and over to the highest and most exposed point of the way High Pike at 658m above sea level. This stage is stunning in good weather but over the higher areas can be difficult in low visibility or bad weather- so be prepared. Once you have arrived in Caldbeck Fairtrade refreshments are offered at the Watermill Café.

(*) Alternatively, Take the Grainsgill turn off (GR 327327) to the hamlet of Mosedale to make use of the Fairtrade Coffee Shop based at the Quaker Meeting House there open in the months of July and August. (Open Thursdays to Saturdays 10-5pm and Sundays 1-5pm.) From the turn off walk east along the track for 1/2mile before joining a single track road which leads gradually downhill for 1 1/2miles to Mosedale. From there, walkers can either retrace their steps back to the Grainsgill turnoff to rejoin the Cumbria Way(or Fair Trade Way), or continue to Caldbeck using the road or local footpaths. There is a weekly bus service on a Saturday in season(Easter to end October in 2017) both to Caldbeck and to Keswick for those who wish to use that, calling at Mosedale. The local bus timetable needs to be consulted for times- stagecoachbus.com or traveline;0871 200 22 33.

Caldbeck to Carlisle (9 miles)

This stage of the walk starts in the scenic village of Caldbeck and more or less follows the course of the River Caldew all the way to the city of Carlisle. The first part of the walk passes through some

muddy forest tracks above the River Caldew then crosses the river below Sebergham and then runs along a track through fields before coming back down to the river and then following it all the

way to the villages of Buckabank and then Dalston. The Blue Bell on The Square offers Fairtrade refreshments

Carlisle to Brampton (10 miles)

Carlisle has many attractions including a magnificent Cathedral, Castle and Tullie House Museum that holds many Roman artefacts that will prepare you for the next stage of the walk which follows the Hadrian’s Wall Trail.

The walk leaves Carlisle through Rickerby Park which was given to the City in 1922 for the benefit of the public. It is a lovely park through which the River Eden meanders and where sheep and cows graze freely.

The walk passes by the villages of Rickerby, Linstock and Crosby on Eden before following the line of Hadrian’s wall itself.  There is very little evidence of the wall as it was mainly dirt and turf along this stretch but the vallum can be spotted and the walk is through a lovely section of fields, woodlands and hedgerows. Just before reaching Brampton you will pass by Brampton old Church which dates back to the 12th Century and is built with the stones from Hadrian’s Wall.

Brampton is a picturesque market town and you can stop for Fairtrade refreshments at the Off the Wall café on Front Street.

Brampton to Gilsland (11 miles)

The walk leaves Brampton and passes by Lanercost Priory, also built in the 12th century from stones taken from Hadrian’s Wall. The priory itself is now a Parish Church and has an interesting display for visitors depicting its history. To the side of the church are ruins of the monastery, now owned by English Heritage which are well worth exploring. The path then heads up to the small village of Banks and then follows the wall on to Birdoswald Fort. This is a section of the walk where you really start to see the remains of the wall itself and at Birdoswald it can be seen stretching into the distance where it isn’t hard to imagine the legionnaires marching by!

From Birdoswald you will drop down to the River Irthing and cross it at Willowford. From here it is an easy walk into Gilsland itself where the Samson Inn serves wonderful organic and Fairtrade food.

Pooley Bridge to Grasmere  (16.5 miles or optional extension =17 miles)

This walk was created to celebrate to the day (15th April 1802) 200 years since William and Dorothy Wordsworth made this walk after visiting Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionist. He lived at the house called Eusmere in Pooley Bridge. The Wordsworths visited Clarkson a number of times and they would walk the lanes and fells back to their home in Grasmere. The Wordworths took 2 days to do this walk going through Kirkstone Pass – not the route here!) This walk also varies from that taken by the Wordworths it does not follow the lake until after Aira Force (This is due to the fact most of that journey is now on a busy road with few many stretches without pavement)

Start the walk at the car park closest to Eusmere at 470244 (Free parking can be found early in the day on the edge of the village). Cross the River Eamont on the bridge (Currently a Bailey Bridge) and immediately there is a footpath into the wooded side of Dunmallad Hill. Head west on the footpath (Keeping the road between you and the lake) until you come to the road junction at 463243. CAREFULLY cross the road and you follow the footpath signed The Ullswater Way (This is followed all the way to Patterdale but details to follow).

Head north to Waterfoot hamlet. Turn left and head west to the ancient hill fort of Maiden Castle and then to the track into the hamlet of Wreay. A short section on the road takes you to Bennethead and round to Watermillock Church at 432230. Backtrack to 431232. The footpath continues west and rises to a great viewpoint before entering the trees and Swinburn’s Park. At 415217 you will reach a footpath junction (Another path entering from the right). Continue left heading south underneath Gowbarrow Fell, following the contour to more excellent views at Yew Crag. Now descend to the National Trust car park (and café) at Aira Force (400200) (You will need to detour and follow signs if you wish to see the falls themselves – recommended if you have the time and energy!)

Follow the path that follows the road south-west. (If you wish to see the exact spot of the ‘Daffodils’ then you will need to cross the road to the area beside the lake at NY 38719).

Continue to follow the roadside  path until you get to Glenridding and then on until you get to Grisedale Bridge at 390161. Turn west on the cul-de-sac tarmac road until it becomes a track. Follow this glorious valley (eventually passing Rumworth Lodge) and onto Grisedale Tarn. (If you have the time and energy then seek out The Parting Stone at 353124– erected by the Wordsworths as a monument to their brother John).

Cross the beck that leaves the Tarn and follow the south shoreline, gaining height to Grisedale Hause. At 348113 take the left fork (heading south) and follow Tongue Gill until you reach the A591 at 337088, just outside of Grasmere. Turn south on the pavement and down to Dove Cottage (Wordworth’s House). The walk can end here or you may wish to walk into Grasmere itself and finish at Wordworth’s Grave in the St. Oswald’s Church at 337073. (This grave site is the finish of Day 5 and the start of Day 6 of the Fair Trade Way)