colwith waterfall

Elterwater, Skelwith, Colwirth Force & Little Langdale Walk

Elevation 355 metres
Time 4 Hours
Distance 6 miles (10 km)

From Riverside take the 516 bus from Ambleside to Elterwater. The same bus stops at Skelwith Bridge. Alternatively by car take the 593 Coniston Road and fork right just before you get to Skelwith Bridge towards Elterwater and Chapel Stile. Park in the centre of Elterwater opposite the Britannia Inn and follow the riverside footpath.

The path leads through a small wood to a large gate; go through the gate into the fields. Don't miss the great view of the Langdale Pikes and of Harrison Stickle (the flat one).


Grid ref: NY 327 047

Carry on through the field keeping to the river bank where possible. The obvious path leads back through the woods and alongside the river to the waterfalls at Skelwith Force. There is a small platform with great views and spray to go with it. This eventually brings you through the working yard of Kirkstone quarries. You have arrived at Chesters by the river. There is a good selection of cakes and veggie food. Continue through the car park to the main road. Turn immediately right and go across Skelwith Bridge and right again at the 2nd footpath signed Colwith Force.

Follow the yellow arrow waymarks to a stile. This takes you over a wall and onto a road.

Turn right and take the footpath left signed High Park which is just before the bridge to Colwith Force. If you like waterfalls this little one is a real gem. After the waterfalls continue along the path, climbing the steps to the left of the fence.

Continue to high Park Farm, then bear left to a small road, then go right, along the road to Stag End. Follow the road to the right, signed Hallgarth & Tilberthwaite. go straight ahead, crossing a tiny packhorse bridge towards Hallgarth. Ignore the wooden footbridge next to the ford and go along the track for 30 metres. Cross the stepping stones over the wall into the disused quarry. When you see Slaters Bridge on your right, go through the gate and follow the footpath across the bridge, to follow the left-hand path to the road. (top tip; after going over Slaters Bridge on the left is a great elevated spot for lunch).

At the road turn left (the Three Shires Inn is just on the right if you fancy a stop) and then immediately right, up a small road to pass Dale End on your right. go through the large gate and continue along the track until it drops down between a wood to the left and a wall to your right.

Pass through the next gate which crosses the track and immediately turn left to take the small path which climbs uphill through the woods.

This path follows the line of the stream and then passes between 2 walls. go straight across the small road which crosses the path and head towards the house. Turn right at this house, then take the bridleway to the left.

Follow the bridleway signs through the quarry yard and drop down to the stream. turn right at the stream and follow the track back to elterwater. The Brittania Inn beckons for a nice pint and a bite to eat!

About Richard & Diney

Richard & Diney met whilst working in London and moved to the Lake District in the summer of 2015. Moving to Ambleside was a quick and easy decision to make with planning taking place in the autumn of 2014. Richard spent the best part of 25 years in the world of finance before seeing the light and moving to Cumbria, while Diney’s love of the Lake District began during her first catering job working at the Outward Bound Centre in Eskdale.