Route Description

Part 6 – Grasmere – Keswick – 15 miles
(Ordnance Survey maps OL7 and OL4)


This section involves walking at over 2000 feet above sea-level. At this height the weather can change quickly and the terrain requires a good working knowledge of map reading and compass work. Only use this route if you are experienced to do so. An alternative, lower challenge route is outlined at the end of this section.

Start at Wordsworth’s Grave at NY337074 in the grounds of St. Oswald’s Church, Grasmere. Continue north into the centre of town along College Street and then turn NW up the Easedale Road at 336076.

Continue west at the junction at 333081 and follow this metalled road until it ends. Take the footpath signposted to Far Easedale. This path follows the valley floor keeping the Lion and The Lamb (Helm Crag) on your right. Initially the river is to your left. At 318094 a footbridge takes you across the Far Easedale Gill beck and affords a lovely view down the valley. The obvious track gently rises into wilder and rougher country. There is a slight loss of height at 295102 then the track rises more steeply as it rises to Greenup Edge. The ridge is reached at 285105.

Turn right (north-east) to follow the broad, boggy ridge that can be quite tricky even in good weather as it is indistinct due to boggy ground. (In misty weather you should use a compass to ensure you do not stray from the path.)

This is a very gentle ridge and as long as you keep to the highest ground you will find the route as it heads NNE at first and then north at 292113.

At 292122 you reach the summit and you survey the view (or not if it is misty) from Ullscarf (2370 feet / 726 metres high). This is the highest point on The Fair Trade Way. Continue north, now descending. Turn north-east and then north again as you approach Standing Crag at 296134. It is important you follow the path that keeps the small rocky knoll to your left. (WARNING If you decide to ascend this knoll then there is no easy, safe way onwards as the crags are vertical on the north side so retrace back to the base and go round it.)

Heading north at 296138 you cross the fence via an obvious stile and descend along the east side of Blea Tarn. This path can also be boggy. It is a gentle decent towards Watendlath until you come to the path at 280163. Here the well-made path descends steeply into the hamlet of Watendlath (National Trust)

On the NW side of the settlement at 275163 is the old Packhorse Bridge. Cross this and turn right heading towards Lodore. The clear path keeps the river to your right (north) for almost 0.5 miles. At 269181 you cross Watendlath Beck. A few strides on a stile in the wall takes you left (north) and up a stony path. This meets the Watendlath road at 269186.

Follow the Watendlath Road down (north) to Surprise View at 268189 and take time to admire the breathtaking scenery. Continue to Ashness Bridge and then down to the Borrowdale Road at 269204. Turn right (north) on the pavement until you can access Derwent Water shoreline path at 269208. This path follows the lakeshore around Calf Close Bay to Stable Hills at 267218 Cross the cattle grid and follow the track until it swings right. Here you find a footpath entering the woods at 268220. Follow this obvious track, cross the footbridge and go to the end  of Friar’s Crag for one more spectacular view at 264223. Follow the track north to the Landing Stages, past Keswick Theatre and on to Lake Road. Go under the underpass and turn right up the hill. At George Fisher’s turn left and after 200m you arrive at The Moot Hall, Keswick – the end of The Fair Trade Way!

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Start at Wordsworth’s Grave a NY337074 in the grounds of St. Oswald’s Church, Grasmere. Head west to the village centre. Passing the Gallery on your left turn left onto Easdale Road (Opposite the Bookshop) at NY 336076. Coninue for 0.5km and cross Goody Bridge at NY 333080. Take the road on your right a few yards after and head north. After a kilometre you come to a T-junction at NY 33409THIS IS A BUSY ROAD1. DO NOT cross Low Mill Bridge but turn left con tinuing in a generally north direction, passing Ghyll Foot. At Town Head (NY 333098) the road turns back sharply and ascend to the A591. THIS IS A BUSY ROAD. Keep on the left side verge, uphill for 1.5km into The Pass of Dunmail Raise. Just after the carriageway splits at NY326117 take the footpath on your left. THis runs parallel with the A591 initially but then swings left (NW) and downhill to the farm at Steel End. Turn left on the metalled surface. (This road on the west of Thirlmere has been closed to vehicles for a few years but it is open to pedestrians). Either follow the road itself OR use the signposted waterside paths (these join the road from time to time) following the west side of Thirlmere.