Skiddaw by the Tourist Path

Cars may be parked at the top of the Gale Road, reached from Keswick by following the A591 Carlisle road, turning right a few yards after the roundabout intersection with the A66 and then right again, very sharply, as signposted to Skiddaw. Get there early as this is a very popular starting point. Better still leave the car in Keswick, walk out through the old station, at the mini roundabout beyond go straight over and turn left on the roadside path. Ignore the first right turn and take the second which is just a track, signposted to Skiddaw and known as Spooney Green Lane. This is the true start of the tourist path and explains why the lazy motorist encounters the site of the old 'halfway house' very soon after setting out. This track runs up alongside Latrigg and emerges at the aforementioned car park.

From the car park the route sets off eastwards alongside a fence, soon swinging north to a gate where it forks. The right fork leads to Skiddaw House Youth Hostel and Dash Falls. The left fork, which starts off beside a fence, will take you to the top of Skiddaw. Instructions are really superfluous but this excellent route should not be despised. Like the 'tourist route' up Mont Blanc it follows a natural easy line up the mountain and it has been in use for centuries. You will be following in the footsteps of many notable Lake District visitors, the most famous probably being William Wordsworth.

If you are planning an alternative descent then Little Man should be visited on the way up, a simple diversion from the path. It is even better to come down over this subsidiary top as you will then have in front of you perhaps the finest of all panoramas of the Lakeland fells. If you are walking down to Keswick it is worthwhile making the diversion over Latrigg as well for a more intimate aspect of the same wonderful view.


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