This walk uses some of the forestry tracks in Thornthwaite and Whinlatter Forest Park to visit the lower slopes of Seat How and Ullister Fell. Recent forestry clearances mean that for at least the next few years this route offers great views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Water and towards Keswick and Skiddaw. It also passes the Whinlatter visitor's centre and restaurant, which makes a nice stopping point.
Length: 3.1 miles
Map: Explorer 004 English Lakes North West
Last Walked: 17 February 2007
Start from the small car park just north of the old Swan Hotel on the road north from Thornthwaite.
Cross the road outside the car park, then take the minor side road just to the left, opposite the Swan Hotel. Follow this lane as it curves around to the right.
Just before the lane turns away to the left a path leaves across to the right hand wall. Take this path and follow it as it climbs up some scrubby woodland, passing below the Bishop and the Clerk, two well known painted stones.
This path climbs up the right hand side of Beckstones Gill, until eventually the way ahead becomes steep and rocky. At this point a path crosses the stream, crosses a stile and enters the conifer plantation. Follow this path. Just inside the trees our path joins a bigger path climbing steeply up the hillside. Turn right and follow this path up the slope.
After about a fifth of a mile a path leaves to the left (marked by a post). After a slightly damp start this path reaches the end of a forestry track, running south around the lower slopes of Ullister Hill.
We follow this track all the way to the Whinlatter Forest Visitor's Centre. Although ourtrack does meet a large number of forestry tracks, all but one either join from the side or from behind. Only once do we reach a junction in the track, where a second track leaves to the left, heading down the hillside. At this junction ignore the left hand branch, and continue along the level track.
After curving around to the right for most of the last mile and a quarter, our track crosses Comb Gill and then turns sharply to the left, and runs south while also loosing height. After about a third of a mile another track climbs up from the left to join our track - remember this track, but for the moment ignore it and continue along our current track to the Visitor's Centre.
This track soon reaches a T-Junction. Turn left onto this new track, then after a short distance turn right onto a footpath that heads off into the trees, running alongside a small stream. We follow this path all the way into Thornthwaite, crossing another forestry track on the way. The part of this path, on the far side of that track, runs down the valley of Comb Beck.
Follow the road that runs through Thornthwaite, taking the left hand road at every junction, until we join the road that leads back to the car park. Turn left onto this road.