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Lake District Walk
Whitewater Dash and Great Calva

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

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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 A circuit of 4 peaks on the flanks of Skiddawmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1177 Great Sca Fell via Trusmadoormoderate6.5 miles
Walk 3283 Great Cockup and Meal Fell from Longlandsmoderate6.0 miles
Walk 2041 Barf (via the Bishop) and Lords Seatmod/hard4.0 miles

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Accommodation Nearby

Lakeland Cottage Holidays
0.2 miles / 0.3 km away
Emerald Bank Cottage
Uldale, near Ireby
2.9 miles / 4.7 km away
Ouse Bridge Hotel
3.3 miles / 5.2 km away
Riggs Cottage
3.9 miles / 6.2 km away
* Featured Supplier
Fern Howe Guest House
5.3 miles / 8.5 km away

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