KeswickChapel Stile

Kescha one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Keswick and Chapel Stile.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Keswick and Chapel Stile.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


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Not verified

Route status - Live

Reviews - 1

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (1)

There are currently no problems reported with this route.

Downloads - 10


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref NY2664223422
Lat / Lon 54.60063° / -3.13704°
Easting / Northing 326,642E / 523,422N
What3Words redeeming.gathering.change
Chapel Stile
Grid Ref NY3216705310
Lat / Lon 54.43866° / -3.04736°
Easting / Northing 332,167E / 505,310N
What3Words exposes.manifests.limitless

Kescha One's land is

Moors 18.0%
Natural grass 18.3%
Pasture 21.9%
Peat bogs 3.0%
Sparsely vegetated 2.0%
Urban 5.7%
Water 1.4%
Woods 29.7%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018


Jo Wood

15 Aug 2022 Summer

This is an epic route, essentially one of two halves – the northern half between Keswick and Stonethwaite largely flat, the southern half hilly fell waking ascending to 610m at the Greenup Edge pass. Hugely rewarding with some stunning views (weather permitting). The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that at 30km and 1000m of climbing it requires some commitment and fitness to walk in one stage and there is, in my view, a more sensible alternative around the Easedale section. The higher sections could be tricky in poor weather. Accommodation options in Borrowdale YHA, Rosthwaite or Grange would allow this to be split nicely into two days' walking.

I walked this from south to north on a day of fine weather. The Chapel Stile to Grasmere section takes you over the ridge close to Silver Howe, which is the most direct route but does add some avoidable ascending at the start of a long day of walking. For a gentler route, albeit 1-2 km longer, you can head in the direction of the High Close YHA and either take the path over Hammerscar or follow the minor road round Red Bank.

After leaving Grasmere and shortly after Lancrigg the official KesCha One route takes you steeply up to Helm Crag and then along the ridge over Gibson Knott and Calf Crag to the head of Far Easedale. While this is a delightful ridge, especially the top of Helm Crag, for a 30km route as this, I would strongly recommend the easier alternative of following the Far Easdale path instead. Photo 1 shows the point where the two routes diverge – right for Helm Crag, left for Far Easdale. Photo 2 shows the two route choices in orange and photo 3 the point at which they rejoin at the head of Far Easedale (the ridge route coming down from the right). The Far Easdale path is easy to navigate, a gentler gradient, with less climbing and descending overall and safer in poor weather. It takes about an hour less to walk than the ridge route, and for a walk as long as this one, that's a useful hour to save. It also somehow feels more 'correct' in that it respects the topography following the valley up to the pass.

From the head of Far Easdale to the highest elevation point of this route at the Greenup Edge pass (610m, photo 4) there's a boggy section of a couple of km to negotiate. Fix the Fells have been at work here inserting stepping stones at many of the boggiest locations but care is needed with navigation not to stray from the path. It can be easy to fall into what Wainwright calls the "Wythburn Trap" and inadvertently head right back down to Wythburn. This would be particularly tricky in poor visibility and somewhat wet underfoot if there's been rain. Following the KesCha GPX is helpful here. In good weather there are some fine views from this elevated section including one of Great End and the Scafell range (photo 5).

The path descends from Greenup Edge down over Lining Crag (photo 6) and past Eagle Crag towards Borrowdale. If you are tracking this route from south to north, don't forget to turn back to appreciate the stunning aspect of the two crags as you descend. Ahead there are occasional views of Derwent Water and Keswick in the far distance. Don't be put off – the walking is much easier from here onwards (photo 7 shows the path around Stonethwaite, typical of the flat section along the southern part of the Borrowdale).

Once down at the valley at Borrowdale, that's the climbing and descending over with and this feels like the pivotal point of the walk. For anyone wishing to split the walk over two days, there is a YHA at Borrowdale or B&Bs and hotels in the hamlets of Rosthwaite and Grange. These are also rare opportunities for (limited) food and drink here. I did this walk on a very hot and humid day so a drink and rest at the farm shop at Rosthwaite (directly on route) was much appreciated. Rosthwaite and Grange also provide bail-out options by catching the bus to Keswick should you need to. Busses in summer are frequent (~every 30 minutes), but less so in winter.

From Grange to Keswick the path largely follows the western bank of Derwent Water mostly under tree cover but with occasional excursions along the shore line (photo 8). This is ~much~ more preferable than following the road on the eastern side and the kms pass quickly in delightful surroundings. Look out for the Alpacas and Llamas at Lingholme!

The final (or first if heading south) section around Portinscale and Keswick joins the Cumbria Way (view of Skiddaw from here, photo 9) taking a sensible route that manages to avoid most of the busy traffic in and around Keswick.

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