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Skiddaw & Glenderaterra Beck from Underscar

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Northern Fells

Wainwrights - Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 9.0 miles / 14.6 km    Ascent - 2680 feet / 812 metres

Time - 7 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Skiddaw & Glenderaterra Beck
Click image to see photo description.

Skiddaw is the fourth highest peak in Lakeland. This Lake District walk combines a remarkably easy and straightforward route of ascent with an interesting return. Any visitor to Keswick will no doubt have been impressed by the sheer bulk of Skiddaw with its smooth lines. The start for this walk is in the car park (Grid ref. NY 281253) on the dead end road from Keswick via Applethwaite just above Underscar. On busy days it fills quickly so either an early or late start is recommended.

The upward route is obvious heading across the open fellside. At first the fence is on your left as you climb steadily across the open fell but quite soon you cross to the other side and the going gets steeper. There are few landmarks ahead and it will be a little while before you see your main objective so plod up the path towards the indistinct col between Jenkin Hill and Little Man (Grid ref NY 271275). Just before the fence that crosses this Col fork left along a less well-trodden route to the summit of Little Man. This is a pleasant diversion adding a little ascent but nonetheless adding interest to the route.

The summit of Little Man is quite airy and gives good views in the southern sector and provides a good spot for a well earned rest. Descend to the next Col and pick up the main path that has taken an easier route around the northern side of Little Man. All that remains is a final ascent onto the summit of Skiddaw, which has three subsidiary tops, the most northerly being the highest. The view, subject to weather, is superb in all directions including most of the Lakeland Fells and some of the higher peaks in Southern Scotland.

Descend from the summit using the main path as far as the Col between Skiddaw and Little Man. Go through the gate in the fence (Grid ref. NY 264283) and, leaving the main path, strike off across grass to the summit of Sale How. There is not a clear path on this section so make sure your map reading skills are up to scratch! The descent is easy and the view ahead is typical of the lonely fells north of Skiddaw and Blencathra. From Sale How's summit the next objective, the Youth Hostel of Skiddaw House, comes into view with its small plantation of trees making it hard to miss in this treeless landscape.

Locate the front of the Youth Hostel and follow the clear path - the Cumbrian Way - heading southeast. You cross a footbridge after a short way before the path turns south and enters a wonderfully dramatic valley. On your right are the crags of Lonscale Fell whilst far below Glenderaterra Beck tumbles down to the River Greta with Blease Fell beyond. The path follows a "high level" route offering a grandstand view before leaving the gorge to turn west across the lower grassy slopes of Lonscale Fell to reach the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3029 Derwentwater & Walla Crag from Keswickeasy/mod6.5 miles
Walk 3037 High Seat & Bleaberry Fell from Keswickmoderate9.0 miles
Walk 2321 Shores of Derwentwater from Keswick easy3.5 miles
Walk 2587 Castlerigg Stone Circle & St John's in the Valeeasy/mod8.5 miles
Walk 1356 Walla Crag from Great Woodeasy/mod4.5 miles
Walk 2036 Cat Bells from Gutherscaleeasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 3525 Cat Bells (Route 2)easy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 3119 The Newlands Horseshoe - Catbells, Dale Head & Hindscarth mod/hard12.0 miles
Walk 1120 Grisedale Pike & Crag Hill fro Braithwaitemod/hard8.5 miles
Walk 2038 Tower Ridge on Eel Crag returning via Sail & Barrowhard6.3 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake District

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake DistrictGuidebook to 40 outdoor adventures in the Lake District with children under 12, including walking, cycling, orienteering, paddling, boating, hostelling and more. Graded activities for varying age ranges or for families with children of different ages.
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Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far EastPart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 36 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Ullswater, Haweswater, Troutbeck, Kentmere and Longsleddale valleys, with highlights including High Street, Place Fell and the Kentmere fells. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
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