Lake District walks: Elterwater circle

Britannia Inn, Elterwater
Britannia Inn, Elterwater

We had one completely dry day on our recent Lake District holiday and we used it to do a beautiful circular walk starting in Elterwater village. First, we walked alongside Elterwater itself, with views across it to the Langdale Pikes.


The route then took us through fields and woodlands via two beautiful waterfalls, Skelwith Force –

– and Colwith Force.

Next to Colwith is this wishing tree, studded with small coins. Is this a peculiarly British practice? I know I’ve seen it before, but can’t remember if it was at home or abroad.

Coin wishing tree
Coin wishing tree

Continuing through more fields, our next discovery was the oasis that is High Park Farm. We were not expecting to come across a tea garden on our walk, but we were glad to enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking Little Langdale and the company of fellow hikers – and some beautiful Dutch Bantams. The farm is also a B&B and right on the Cumbria Way for anyone (not me!) considering a long-distance footpath.

After lunch, the walk descended past the spoil heaps of the disused Little Langdale Quarry. A pair of tunnels allows you to access part of it – Cathedral Cavern.

On the final part of the walk, we crossed the River Brathay by the 17th century pack-horse bridge – Slater Bridge – before climbing up the other side of  Little Langdale from where we took a bridle path back down into Elterwater.

The walk is 7.8 miles with about 1200 feet of ascent – the route is on the excellent WalkLakes site – and I’m linking it to Jo’s Monday Walks. Why not pop along there to see where everyone else has been walking this week?


39 thoughts on “Lake District walks: Elterwater circle

  1. lovetotrav June 15, 2015 / 13:23

    Now this is my kind of walk! A gorgeous lake, stunning scenery, odd things (the coins in the tree) and even a place to eat, that is so quaint. I think this ranks as the perfect walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pit June 15, 2015 / 14:10

    Hi Anabel,
    Thanks for taking me on that walk and allowing me to re-live my stays in the Lake District in the early 1980s. 🙂
    I’ve never seen a wishing tree with coins in it, btw, neither in GB nor elsewhere: interesting.
    Have a great week,


      • Pit June 15, 2015 / 14:15

        Am egaerly awaiting that post – and wherever you’ll take us after that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Denzil June 15, 2015 / 15:12

    A coin-wishing tree! That is a totally new concept that I have never come across. Any idea of where it comes from?


    • Anabel Marsh June 15, 2015 / 15:21

      I don’t! I’m hoping someone else might know. I’ve seen one before but just can’t remember where. Thanks for visiting!


    • Anabel Marsh June 15, 2015 / 17:00

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I do have a disclaimer about the photos somewhere; I should really make it more prominent. Anything good is probably by my husband and anything rubbish is by me 🙂 ! So those are his.


  4. vannillarock June 15, 2015 / 17:31

    Can’t help with the tree- I have never seen anything like that before and Mr Google can’t shed any light??
    Your opening line made my grimace though- one dry day! Sounds and looks lovely.


    • Anabel Marsh June 15, 2015 / 17:35

      Mr Google took me to Wikipedia and a few newspaper articles which suggest it is probably a specifically British thing – but I just can’t remember where I saw one before. It had many more coins in.

      One “completely” dry day! Others were dry in parts….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. joylovestravel June 15, 2015 / 18:33

    Gorgeous walk – I’m noting this one down for future reference.We’ve seen those coin trees in a few different places including Portmeirion most recently. No idea what it’s all about but they’re very intriguing.


    • Anabel Marsh June 15, 2015 / 19:11

      Aha, someone else who has seen one. They intrigue me. It doesn’t help me remember where I saw one before though – not been to Portmeirion since the 1980s!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo June 15, 2015 / 19:32

    I’ve seen them too, Anabel, but equally useless at remembering where 🙂 Or why! Those bridges look very precarious but really beautiful, and I always love to be beside rushing water. Many thanks for another lovely walk. (and a tea stop 🙂 )


    • Anabel Marsh June 15, 2015 / 20:18

      The tea stop was wonderful! All the better for being unexpected. As for the coin trees, next time I see one I will have to write it down.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul June 15, 2015 / 21:39

    Fabulous Anabel, this is right up my street! The views are just beautiful and those waterfalls! The wishing trees, I have never seen them before in Scotland however in Wales they are everywhere. A very peculiar practice.


  8. Heyjude June 15, 2015 / 22:34

    This is a delightful walk. Lovely scenery, a nice place for lunch, chickens, pretty bridge and sunshine!


  9. Birgit June 16, 2015 / 00:01

    Oh this looks like such a beautiful walk with the waterfalls and I love that cave! I have never seen coins in a tree-that is different.


    • Anabel Marsh June 16, 2015 / 07:34

      The cave was amazing, though I didn’t like the tunnels much. The short one was ok, but the other one was too dark – I let John explore that on his own!


  10. jazzfeathers June 16, 2015 / 06:56

    Love the waterfalls, but – my goodness! – the cave is just breathtaking!


    • Anabel Marsh June 16, 2015 / 07:35

      Yes – and it’s the remains of a quarry! Not your average industrial landscape.


  11. Solveig June 16, 2015 / 08:03

    Those are beautiful pictures, I am glad that you had a rain free day. I have never seen or heard of such a wishing tree before.


    • Anabel Marsh June 16, 2015 / 08:05

      It seems to be new to a lot of people – will now make it my mission to find more!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) June 17, 2015 / 15:31

    My boyfriend is always trying to get me to go on walking holidays, but I remain unconvinced…I’m just not that keen on nature, and 4 miles is about my limit before I start whining about my feet hurting! I do like the looks of that cavern though!


    • Anabel Marsh June 17, 2015 / 15:41

      As a total couch-potato otherwise, I need to keep walking as my only form of exercise!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Lucid Gypsy June 22, 2015 / 20:13

    A lovely walk with so much to see, I can handle the 8 miles but not so sure about the steepness!


    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 22:53

      It was reasonably gentle! More up and down than a continuous slog upwards. I’m not keen on steepness either.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jen July 22, 2015 / 10:09

    Hi Anabel, just been perusing your lovely blog – the pictures are gorgeous – and noticed the coin tree. Only other one I’ve seen was in the Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie.


    • Anabel Marsh July 22, 2015 / 18:16

      Thanks Jen! I know I have seen one somewhere else but can’t remember where. I’ve never been to Rosemarkie so it can’t be there!


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