Walk up Mellbreak and Crummock Water
Starting in a quiet corner of the Lake District, this circular route climbs Mellbreak via a loose scree path.
Route Start Location: Loweswater
|9.38 km||486 m||3-3.5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Summits and Places on this Route
Kirkstile Inn at the start of the route.
Keep an eye out for our complete guide to Buttermere – coming soon!
Steep ascent over loose scree. Sections of very faint and occasionally boggy paths across the moor.
Parking : CA13 0RU
Limited layby parking close to the Kirkstile Inn. After passing the Kirkstile Inn, turn right at the junction and go over the bridge. There are spaces for a few cars on the right-hand side. Alternatively, Maggie’s Bridge National Trust car park is just north of Loweswater.
The Honister Rambler bus service No.77 operates from April to October in both directions from Keswick, stopping in the village, on a circular route taking in Portinscale, Catbells, Grange, Seatoller, Honister Slate Mine, Buttermere, Lorton and Whinlatter Forest – but runs in both directions. You’ll need to check the Stagecoach site for information to see if the buses are currently running as there are no timetables available online.
Walk up Mellbreak and Crummock Water Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
Download file for GPS
Walk up Mellbreak and Crummock Water
Looming above Loweswater, Mellbreak is a fairly isolated fell, offering stunning views over Crummock Water and Buttermere. After a short, steep climb up the north west slope of Mellbreak, the path crosses moorland before following Scale Beck down to the edge of Crummock Water. The final stretch of the route runs alongside the lake to return to Loweswater.
Mellbreak and Crummock Water Route Description
1. From the parking layby, continue along the road. As long as the weather isn’t too bad, Mellbreak can be seen on the left.
2. The road gradually climbs, bearing left and passing a farm. Continue straight ahead as the road merges with a rocky path. The path narrows and continues through woodland and between farming fields.
3. Go through the wooden gate and straight on, following the path between the trees.
4. At the edge of the tree line, the path reaches a junction. Ignore the more defined paths to the left and to the right and instead, continue straight ahead on a faint grassy path. Keep left at the fork and follow the grass path to the edge of the scree.
5. While the scree can be tackled head-on, I would recommend turning left to follow the scree path as it climbs left around the hillside, with great views back across Loweswater.
6. Keep left at the next fork and continue to climb.
7. The path reaches a junction with a narrow, muddy path to the left and a scree path to the right. Turn right and climb up the tough, steep path for a few metres.
8. The path gradually bears left and reaches the east side of Mellbreak, before turning right and climbing up through the heather. There’s a small respite as the footpath levels outs, with great views over Crummock Water and Grasmoor (I apologise about the slightly mad dog in this photo!).
9. Turn right and continue to climb. The path eventually reaches a low cairn and Buttermere comes into view.
10. Turn right and follow the path to a second cairn, which marks the North Top point of Mellbreak.
11. From the cairn continue on the grassy path as it descends across the moor.
12. Keep left at the fork, sticking to the wider path. The faint, and often boggy footpath continues south to reach the true summit of Mellbreak, which is marked with craggy rocks. On a clear enough day, Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike can be seen in the distance.
13. Continue straight on, heading south. The path is faint to begin with but becomes increasingly clear as it descends and eventually reaches a fence.
14. Turn right and follow the fence line across the moor. Climb over the left-hand stile and continue straight down to Black Beck.
15. The path turns left and runs alongside Black Beck, which soon merges with Scale Beck. Ignore the footbridge and keep the beck to your right.
16. As you approach the edge of the lake, there’s a wooden bridge on the right. Do not cross the bridge but instead use the bridge as the starting point of a very faint and often boggy path.
17. Turn left and follow the path, which becomes increasingly clear as it runs alongside the shoreline of Crummock Water for approximately 2.5km.
18. The path reaches a fork as it approaches the northern edge of the lake. Take the left-hand path to climb away from the water, towards a dry stone wall.
19. With the dry stone wall on your right, continue on the grassy path through the woods. The path passes a house on the right and continues to a gate in the far right-hand corner of the stone wall. Go through the gate and follow the narrow path.
20. When the path reaches a farming track and cottages, turn right and continue to the road.
21. Turn left and continue to the junction just below the Kirkstile Inn. Turn left to cross the bridge and return to the parking area.