This well-visited stretch of the Cumbria Way is popular with dog walkers, cyclists and families. The views are superb, and much interest can be found along the banks of Great Langdale beck and the River Brathay. As well as being buggy friendly, the walk is suitable for all ages and capabilities. The walk is a ‘there-and-back’ route, however, a bus stop at Skelwith Bridge provides an alternative option to return back to the village of Elterwater.
Parking is available at the National Trust car park in the village of Elterwater where there are also toilets. A cafe at Skelwith Bridge and a pub in the village of Elterwater, provide welcome refreshments on a hot summer’s day 🙂
Route 15 - Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge - Map 1
The Elterwater National Trust car park
This car park in the village of Elterwater can get busy during the summer months and weekends, but a free parking area is provided just outside the village at Walthwaite Bottom.
The Cumbria Way
Our walk begins on the Cumbria Way which passes through the car park and continues along Great Langdale Beck.
Loughrigg Fell from the Cumbria Way
The Silver How ridge over the village of Elterwater
The Cumbria Way and Great Langdale Beck
The small wall along the river provides many places to sit and rest.
Great Langdale Beck
There are a few gaps in the wall where you can leave the path and dip your feet in the river 🙂
Paved section on the Cumbria Way
Although the majority of this path to Skelwith Bridge is very smooth, there are a few short sections alongside Great Langdale Beck that are more like crazy paving.
Buggy on a mission!
Walking through Rob Rash Wood
The path through Rob Rash Wood is surrounded by wild garlic; hopefully you like the smell of garlic?
Wild garlic in Rob Rash Wood
Exiting Rob Rash Wood
Lingmoor Fell and the Langdale Pikes over Elter Water
Just after leaving the wood, great views appear to the Coniston and Langdale Fells.
The River Brathay
Where the River Brathay starts its journey from Elter Water, a large grassy area provides a great spot for a picnic.
Black Fell from the Cumbria Way
The Coniston Fells and Lingmoor Fell over the River Brathay
Looking back to the Langdale Pikes and Silver How
Approaching Skelwith Meadows Wood
This small area on the edge of Skelwith Meadows Wood, is abundant with wild flowers, butterflies and damselflies.
Metallic Green-Blue Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly
Green-veined White Butterfly
Cuckooflower or Lady’s Smock
Woodburn Bridge over the River Brathay
This wonderful bridge over the River Brathay, was designed by local artist blacksmith, Chris Brammall. From his blacksmith’s forge in the Lake District, Chris Brammall is one of the leading architectural and sculptural metalworkers in Great Britain. Commissioned by Skelwith Parish Council, Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park, the design of the balustrades was inspired by the tectonic pressure patterns in the surrounding rock faces. The oak handrail was sourced locally while the lacquered finish of the steel gives a soft appearance against the background. The original idea came from Trevor Woodburn, who the bridge is named after. His plan for a ‘miles without stiles’ pedestrian and cycle route through Skelwith Meadows Wood, and a new bridge over the River Brathay, would reduce the congestion on Skelwith Bridge nearby.
Path above Skelwith Force
Skelwith Force view point
Sadly there is no way of viewing the waterfall with a buggy.
Beautiful property across the Langdale Road
Approaching ‘Chesters By The River’ at Skelwith Bridge
Chesters By The River boasts “Bright, modern cafe with riverside deck, serving homemade lunch, wood-fired pizza and classic cakes”.
The shop at ‘Chesters By The River’
Cottages at Skelwith Bridge
Skelwith Bridge over the River Brathay
After lunch at the cafe and a dip of our feet in the River Brathay, we retrace our steps back to the village of Elterwater. You have, however, got the option of catching the Langdale Rambler 516 bus from Skelwith Bridge.
Buggy ‘passing-place’ above Skelwith Force
Lingmoor Fell and the Langdale Pikes, over the River Brathay
Pavey Ark, Blea Rigg and Silver How, over the River Brathay
The Langdale Pikes over Elter Water
Walking back through Rob Rash Wood
The Blea Rigg spine over the village of Elterwater
The village of Elterwater