Walk the Coledale Round

Route Summary:

Classic Lakeland circular route.

16.9 km 1245 m 7 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Start and Finish: Braithwate


Pub in Braithwaite

Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.


Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Public Transport: Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): 

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Lake District Mountain Weather

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Walk the Coledale Round Route Map and GPX Download


Walk the Coledale Round Details

You can’t beat a good horseshoe walk, especially when you get to bag a load of summits in the process. The Coledale Round ascends Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Grasmoor, Crag Hill and numerous other tops. If you’re in the habit of stopping for a bite to eat on each top, you’ll be at it all day. Just make sure you take enough grub with you.

The Coledale Round Walking Route

The Coledale Round starts off from Braithwaite to the south of Keswick, with an initial gradual ascent bringing you towards Stile End, with Barrow flanking to your left, then on towards Sail while skirting the Outerside to the right. Of course you could include both the Barrow and Outerside summits if you prefer.

Climbing to Crag Hill via some scrambling on the Scar you’re now reaching some decent heights, once there one of the group produced a hip flask of whisky which was gladly welcomed with the wind picking up and a slight fog gathering.

Stepping off Crag Hill and the Horseshoe, with some extra energy and a couple hundred meters you could bag an extra summit in the form of Grasmoor,which is the highest point of the Coledale Round.

At this point, you can shorten the day if  you’re not quite up to what the rest of the afternoon had to offer in terms of ascents by descending into Coledale and following the old barytes Mine road to Braithwate, a steady level walk, but not losing much for distance.

The Coledale Round now takes you up to Sand Hill, so close to the next summit of Hopegill Head that it’s best to continue onward. This is often the busiest of the summits.

The descent from Hopegill Head requires you to carefully navigate the ascent with the dangers of Hobcarton Crag to the left before tackling the final ascent to Grisdale Pike, the final Wainwright Fell of the round.

The last leg of the Coledale Round descends along Sleet How coming down the long and gradual decent back to the starting point, Braithwate. There you can relax, reflect and enjoy a well deserved pint (or two) in the traditional country inn, the Royal Oak, with a selection of real ales all brewed by local brewer Jennings Brothers.

Walk the Coledale Round

© Copyright Iain Lees and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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  1. Author
    Tryfan Williams 6 years ago

    check out my recent Blog entry on the Coledale Round here http://twcymru.mudandroutes.com/2012/12/21/lakes-special-part-2-coledale-horseshoe/

  2. Dave Roberts 6 years ago

    Looks like a cracker. And with a few pints of Jennigs to polish off the walk – it doesn’t get much better than that!!

    Jennings seems to crop up where there be walkers – Seen it in the Heights in Llanber and Snowdonia Parc in Waunafawr – one for the next post walk pint?!

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