Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge 

3 mins read

Are you looking for something to do with the kids or the dog or just something that isn’t too strenuous? Look no further than this little 4km walk, complete with an optional refreshment stop mid-way at Chesters by the River

Parking for this walk is found in a National Trust Car park in the small village of Elterwater. It is situated in the stunning valley of Great Langdale, a trendy tourist spot due to its beauty. Locals occupy roughly 25% of the properties, and the rest are holiday goers. 

A gate at the back of the car park leads to the path and the start of the walk. This section is cobbled but still accessible for those with wheelchairs, pushchairs, bikes, etc. You are never far from a babbling brook, beck, gill or lake or some body of water when in the lake district, and this walk will not disappoint. The path follows the line of the Great Langdale Beck into Lake Elterwater.

Elterwater, the lake, shares the same name as the nearby village. The old Norse meaning is “Lake of the Swans”, and true to form, Swans visit the area every year from the 26th of October through to March. There are several benches on the shore, so admire the birdlife or the striking backdrop of the Langdale Pikes in the distance. 

Follow the path along the lake shore through some fields, and a couple of gates, then start to track up through the woodland. Here the beck becomes a more powerful gush of the River Brathay and the waterfall Skelwith Force. Stay to the left of the metal footbridge and take the photo opportunity on the rocks next to Skelwith Force. Go with care on the rocks as they can be slippery. 

Now for the midway reward and to fuel the rest of the walk. Stay on the path, and you will reach Chesters on The River and Skelwith Bridge. Have a picnic or a tasty snack from the bakery and relax next to the sound of running water. Chesters coffee tastes delicious, especially when you have burned off some steam walking. 

Once you have refuelled yourself, head back the way you have come, but this time you are rewarded with the impressive Great Langdale valley view back to the car park.