A sedate circuit, perfect for contemplation, says Simon Whaley.
This route passes within 160 metres of the national park boundary, yet offers some of its most outstanding views. Quieter than its bigger sisters, Crummock Water and Buttermere, Loweswater has a charm of its own, particularly the mixed woodland of Holme Wood and its native red squirrels. It’s a gentle route, and one to be savoured, than rushed.
From Maggie’s Bridge car park (NT), take the wide track leading towards Loweswater and Watergate Farm. Pass the farm on the left, and bear right, through a gate into Holme Wood (open access). Rowing boats are available for hire here. Continue into the wood, and at a junction, bear right onto a smaller path which takes you to the water’s edge. Follow this through the trees to the idyllically placed, Holme Wood Bothy (NT), beside a natural bay with good views towards Whiteside, Grasmoor and Mellbreak. Follow the path, as it meanders along the shoreline, and then bears left to rejoin the main track at the northern end of the wood. Turn right.
2. 1 ¼ miles / 2 km
The track leaves the woods (and the open access area), climbing gently, between fields towards Hudson’s Place. Pass through a gate and bear right (farm on left), to retain track, ignoring bridleway on left. Drop gently, as track bears right, and then where it turns left, continue ahead, through gate, into a field, following the obvious path, down to a small bridge across a stream. Bear diagonally right, climbing towards field boundary, and then pass through a hedge and turn left along the field edge, climbing up to a kissing gate, to reach a lane.
3. 1 ¾ miles / 3 km
Turn right, passing another parking area on the right, and follow the lane. Sections of this lane are unfenced and minor paths enable you to get closer to the water’s edge, although they all return you to the lane at some point. Follow this, as it climbs up to Thrushbank on the left, offering good views towards Mellbreak and Carling Knott on the right. After passing High Thrushbank on the left, the lane drops gently. Follow for another half a kilometre, before taking the minor road on the right, to return to Maggie’s Bridge.
Terrain: Good tracks, country lane. Fields between Hudson Place and lane can be boggy.
Distance: 3 ½ miles / 5.8km
Time: 2 hours.
Climb: 255ft / 78m
Start/Finish: Maggie’s Bridge NT car park (GR: NY134210). Alternative parking at lane near Loweswater Hall (GR: NY118224 and NY121223).
Maps: Harvey Maps Superwalker Lakeland West (1:25,000); OS Explorer OL4 (1:25,000); OS Landranger 89 (1:50,000)
Transport: No direct public transport.
© Simon Whaley