logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

Whitewater Dash and Great Calva

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Northern Fells

Wainwrights - Great Calva

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 1700 feet / 515 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL4Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL4Digital Map1:25kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Whitewater Dash and Great Calva
Click image to see photo description.

The Back o' Skiddaw offers some excellent walking and solitude. The summit of Great Calva sees few walkers and offers some fine views of the surrounding landscape including mighty Skiddaw and the Uldale Fells to the north. The route is not for inexperienced walkers and includes some pathless terrain, a steep ascent beside Dry Gill above Whitewater Dash Falls and a steep descent over rough fellside after reaching the summit of Great Calva. In poor visibility, the route could be problematic for those lacking navigational skills.

The start of this Lake District walk is the small parking area close to Peter House Farm (grid ref. NY249323) where there is space for two or three cars. After parking, head south-east on the Cumbria Way. The track rises gently and after just over a kilometre to reach a fork (grid ref. NY261319). Take the right-hand fork signed to Dash Falls. The track heads south to reach a bridge and a gate, before swinging left to run parallel to the intake wall on the northern flank of Cockup. With valley narrowing you reach Dash Falls.

A steep and rough ascent now follows on an indistinct path climbing up beside Dry Gill. Climb steeply with the fence to your left gaining height rapidly. Reaching a fence corner (grid ref. NY276315), bear right with fence to your left and follow what becomes an intermittent path initially south-east and then north-east onto the summit area of Little Calva (grid ref. NY282314). The next section onto Great Calva is boggy in places especially near the col. I took the easiest line over this section walking roughly parallel to the fence on your left to reach the summit of Great Calva with its trig point and cairns (grid ref. NY290311).

After enjoying the view descend initially from the summit cairn in a southerly direction following the fence for about 120 metres to a fence corner. There is a path, which is hard to follow in places, and I ended up continuing south for another 200 metres before veering south west towards the shallow hillside valley containing Dead Beck. After ten minutes or so I picked up the path and completed the descent to the track (grid ref. NY283303).

Turn right along the track following the Cumbria Way to Whitewater Dash. All that remains is to follow the outward route back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1676 Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Sidemoderate5.5 miles
Walk 2040 Ullock Pike & Carlside from near Keswickmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1177 Great Sca Fell via Trusmadoorfrom Longlandsmoderate6.5 miles
Walk 3283 Great Cockup and Meal Fell from Longlandsmoderate6.0 miles
Walk 2041 Barf (via the Bishop) and Lords Seatmod/hard4.0 miles
Walk 2612 Roughton Gill, Caldbeck Fellseasy4.5 miles
Walk 2390 High Pike from Fell Sidemoderate5.2 miles
Walk 1073 Skiddaw & Glenderaterra Beckmoderate9.0 miles
Walk 1244 Lonscale Fell & Latriggmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 1120 Grisedale Pike & Crag Hill fro Braithwaitemod/hard8.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria WayA guidebook to the 73 mile Cumbria Way, an easy long-distance walk though the heart of the Lake District National Park, from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, with good transport links to either end. The route is largely low-level but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.
More information

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.
More information

Messaging & Social Media

Message Walking Britain and follow the latest news.

Facebook  Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.