Caw and Dunnerdale Fells

RELATIVELY few people ramble around the Dunnerdale Fells and, in particular, the higher neighbour of Caw, despite their prominence, rugged beauty and uninterrupted views, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. Before venturing on little trod paths and open fells this walk follows the pretty Appletree Worth Beck, passing what looks like a lost farm. To avoid getting lost yourself take a map and enjoy a walk of adventure and discovery.

To drive to the start, follow the road between Torver and Broughton Mills, take the turning for Stephenson Ground to the parking area next to Hawk Bridge, map reference SD 239 919; nearest postcode LA20 6BB.


Distance: 8.5 miles with 3,000 feet of ascent

Time: 6 hours

Terrain: open fell, tracks and quiet roads.

Map: OS Explorer OL6


1 From the rear of the car park walk along the delightful path beside Appletree Worth Beck past a pretty little bridge and an interesting ruined farm. Continue along the beck to a concrete bridge and turn sharp left on the track going uphill then left on to the main track. Cross a small beck then, after the first bend, turn right onto a waymarked path. Cross a track (left then right) over a path and through a gate. Turn right on to the tarmacked lane and cross Water Yeat bridge. At Stephenson Ground bear right on to the bridleway signed Seathwaite. Walk along the walled path and after the second gate turn right to start the ascent, going alongside a wall on the right. On reaching a tumbled wall bear left and head to the survey column at the summit of Caw, if necessary skirting around areas of bog or dense bracken. Enjoy uninterrupted views from the 1,735-feet summit of Caw, which means calf. Views include the full length of the upper Duddon valley, with Scafell to the north and Coniston Old Man to the northeast.

2 Descend along the ridge to the west, keeping to the right of Goat Crag, taking care on the final steep descent. Meet a track near a wall, turn left then right, cross a ford and follow Park House Road, which is the track going beside a wall on the right. Follow the track, bending right to a road. Cross the road and go up a grassy track. Where the track levels off, fork left to climb Stickle Pike. Keeping below loose rocks, bend left for a steep ascent then right for a final scramble to the aptly named sharp and steep summit of Stickle Pike. Views from here include the Duddon Estuary and the full length of the Black Combe range.

3 Descend to a grassy track on the left going along the valley. After crossing a boggy area bear right to ascend an undulating ridge past a fenced pond and other open ponds to Tarn Hill. Bear left and follow a faint undulating path to the survey column on Great Stickle. Descend through a valley towards woodland and go through a gate in the wall just to the left of a single tree. Follow the grassy track, passing a picnic bench, white cottage and farm to meet a lane at a junction. Turn right over the bridge to Broughton Mills. To visit the Blacksmiths Arms go to the right otherwise turn left on to the road for Torver. Views of the route followed earlier can be enjoyed while walking along the road. Bear left at the junction for Stephenson Ground and descend to Hawk Bridge.

Next week: Stocks Reservoir

NB: restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.