We had been up to the Castlerigg Stone Circle earlier in the week (which you can read about here) but the weather had not been good enough to continue our walk from there. The weather was much better on this Boxing Day morning so we decided to go back and try again, and as it turned out the weather held for us perfectly.
We parked on in the roadside parking area across from the stone circle and walked along the lane away from Keswick. The road descended round a bend with an activity centre on the left before we reached Goosewell Farm and followed a public footpath into the fields on our right, heading for the Naddle Bridge. The sun was pushing through the cloudy sky and we could see that all of the taller peaks around us were covered in mist.
It was lovely down where we were, though. We crossed the bridge and followed the road around to a T-junction before turning right and passing the king of the sheep on his mound, then turning right again at a sign for St John’s in the Vale Church. That was one place we were heading to, but not by road. We turned right again at a five-bar gate and went into a field, gently climbing on a track to reach a wall gap which we went through. We continued forward and just followed our noses until Tewet Tarn came into view and the track took us to the left of it. Tewet Tarn is a small, reedy pool set in a hollow, and the location is very peaceful and relaxing, especially as there were just the two of us here. Unfortunately we did not get the reflection of Skiddaw in the waters.
We carried on and crossed a step-stile into the next field, seeing Low Rigg and three black horses ahead of us. The horses suddenly became very interested, making their way over to us, and one of them became very agitated when Debbie began petting another. We decided to make our escape ! We followed the grassy path which passed to the right of the summit of Low Rigg and then continued downwards on the other side, heading towards the buildings down in the valley below, and we got such stunning views of the valley as we walked down into it.
The ground got wetter as we got lower and we had to leave the path a number of times to avoid the worst of the water, but not before long we were walking on to a surfaced lane at St John’s in the Vale Church. We went inside the church and it was absolutely delightful, serene and tranquil, still with its Christmas finery up, and a lovely stop on our walk. It dates from 1845, though is believed to incorporate parts of a much earlier building.
We came back out on to the lane and turned left as it went between Low Rigg and High Rigg, passing the Diocesan Youth Centre and going through a gate on to what the guidebook describes as a broad “vehicle track” although the sign on the gate said “not suitable for motor vehicles”. Anyway, we enjoyed some more wonderful views as the track descended to meet a surfaced track which we crossed to take us into another field, and we continued walking through the fields, occasionally having to detour around the more waterlogged parts (as one walker who passed us commented, “it’s a bit damp in places”), crossing a wooden bridge over one stream, then some stone slabs over another, until we were going up the other side on a track which was leading to the A591. We joined the road and almost immediately turned right onto an access track to Low Nest Farm.
We headed up to the left off the access track and followed a grassy path over a driveway to take us back into the fields, taking the only possible route across each of them to get us to the entrance into the next one. We could see the Castlerigg Stone Circle from here and also had a splendid view of Low Rigg.
We carried on until we were heading for a distant plantation of mixed woodland where the path met the lane we had started out on, and we turned left to return to the car. It had been a delightful walk in lovely weather to end our far too brief stay in the Lake District. We would certainly be back for a lot more.
You can see more photographs from the walk here.