logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
Scout Scar Limestone Ridge

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Lesser Fells

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Dave Melling

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 820 feet / 248 metres

Time - 3 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SD489889
Lat 54.293151 // Long -2.786576
Postcode LA8 8AS (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Scout Scar Limestone Ridge Photo from the walk - Scout Scar Limestone Ridge
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Situated on the edge of the Lake District National Park, Scout Scar offers an incredible 360degree panorama view of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. Trees bent by the wind, rare orchids and a dazzling array of butterflies add to the attractions. This is an excellent start or finish to a holiday as it only takes half a day, leaving plenty if time to reach your final destination.

The start of this Lake District walk can be a little difficult to find. The best approach is from Levens village and onto Brigsteer and then up the side of Scout Scar on the Brigsteer road, parking down the track at Helsington Church (grid ref. SD489889). Walk northwards back along the track to the Brigsteer road. Go right up the road and through the kissing gate on the left. Follow the obvious grassy track along the edge of Helsington Barrows.

Scout Scar and Helsington Barrows form a ridge which has a lot of limestone scree rather than the more familiar limestone pavements found further in east in the Yorkshire Dales. This is excellent habitat for a wide range of flowers including the unusual fragrant, fly and early purple orchids. The flowers of course attract butterflies such as the pearl bordered fritillary, northern argus and the wonderfully named thyme pug moth.

Pass through the stone wall going onwards to another wall where the track bears right alongside the wall. At the end of the wall cross the ditch and follow the path up to the gap at the top of the scar. Follow any of the paths heading generally northwards along the scar. Keep going north until the mushroom shaped shelter is eventually reached. Although modern looking the shelter was actually built in 1912 as a memorial to King George VI . A close inspection inside reveals a 360 degree annotated panorama on the rim of the dome. The views across are staggering and include Blackpool Tower, the Old Man of Coniston, the Langdales, the Howgill Fells and the Yorkshire Dales. Quite impressive for a hill with a height of only 230metres.

Having taken in the view head back southwards keeping to the edge of the scar looking for dip and a cairn above Barrowfield Farm. Follow the track that heads down the scar and through the trees to the farm. Follow the signs round the left hand side of the farm, turning left along the track go onto the path at the signpost through Honeybee Wood. As a mixed limestone wood this habitat provides a complete contrast to Scout Scar.

At the Brigsteer road go right downhill a short distance and onto the narrow lane on the left heading for Wells Garth. At the junction take the track up the hill. Continue upwards past the house and go through the gate into the field, following the well worn track After about 200 metres go up the field in a northerly westerly direction to return to Helsington Church. A short visit to the church reveals an unusual worked leather frontage to the altar with an early 20th century mural above it.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL7Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL7Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley

Walking in Cumbria's Eden ValleyGuidebook to 30 graded walks in Cumbria's Eden Valley. The routes, which range from 3 to 15 miles and are best from bases such as Kirkby Stephen and Appleby, explore the region's diverse landscapes and offer dramatic views, either of the Pennines, Lake District or the Scottish hills. Linear routes link with the Settle-Carlisle railway.
More information

Walking the Lake District Fells - Buttermere

Walking the Lake District Fells - ButtermerePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 32 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Buttermere, Lorton and Newlands valleys, with highlights including Haystacks, High Stile, Grasmoor and the fells of the Coledale Round. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

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

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.