Skiddaw House makes an excellent base for summitting Skiddaw and Blencathra and for exploring the quieter northern fells of the Lake District. See the ideas below and feel free to contact us for more information.
Hostels within walking distance
YHA Keswick, YHA Borrowdale, YHA Buttermere, YHA Helvellyn and Derwent Water independent hostel.
If you would like a guided walk, Martin (one of the managers here) is a qualified and experienced Mountain Leader, and having lived here for over two years, he knows all the best routes! Contact us for more info.
Heading towards Lonscale Fell
The Cumbria Way
Skiddaw House is right on the Cumbria Way, a 112km (70 mile) walk (or Ultra trail run) through the heart of the Lake District, from Ulverston to Carlisle. The hostel is in an ideal location for an overnight stop between Borrowdale and Caldbeck. Some stay here as alternative to stopping in Keswick, whereas others still stay in Keswick, then have a shorter day to Skiddaw House to allow a worthwhile detour to the summit of Skiddaw.
Find out more at www.cumbriaway.org or click here to see details of a 6 day itinerary. For further information on the route click here and here.
All of the fells listed in Alfred Wainwright's Book 'A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells: The Northern Fells', are within walking distance of Skiddaw House. Tick off some of the less accessible fells such as Great Calva, Knott, Great Sca Fell, Meal Fell and Great Cockup on a circular walk from the hostel.
For more route ideas take a look at www.walklakes.co.uk
For ideas of things to do nearby, check out: 101 things to do in the lake district
Or try one of our suggested walks described below (these are long routes and require a map and compass).
From A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells: The Northern Fells by Alfred Wainwright published by Frances Lincoln Ltd, copyright © The Estate of A. Wainwright 1962 Reproduced by permission of Frances Lincoln Ltd.
The Skiddaw Circuit
From Skiddaw House, ascend Lonscale Fell via 'Burnt Horse', then head west over Little Man to the summit of Skiddaw. Descend via Sale How, the grassy slope which leads directly to Skiddaw House. For a slightly longer (and steeper) alternative, descend via Bakestall, which gives dramatic views over Dead Crags.
The Blencathra Route
Follow the Cumbria Way footpath north east from Skiddaw House, which heads through the wild Caldew valley. Cross the river at Roundhouse and head up to Bowscale Tarn, situated in a classic glacial corrie. From here ascend Bowscale Fell, then stay up high all the way to Blencathra summit. The quickest route down is via the cloven stone. However, if you still have energy and daylight, it is worth continuing along the ridge to Blease Fell, then descending to the Blencathra Centre and returning to the hostel via the track along the Glenderaterra valley.
Explore the Northern Fells
Head north west along the track leading to Whitewater Dash. Ascend Great Calva via the small path which leaves the track shortly after the footbridge over the River Caldew. Take in the summit of Knott and the dramatic gorge of Roughton Gill en route to High Pike. Return via the Cumbria Way (shelter at Lingy Hut if needed), descending at Grainsgill Beck and heading back along the Caldew Valley.
Skiddaw House is situated at the intersection of bridleways linking Bassenthwaite, Mosedale and Threlkeld and Keswick. It is therefore an ideal place for an overnight stop on a mountain biking tour of the Northern Lakes.
Bikes can be hired in Keswick and all backup services are available there. Your bikes can be securely stored overnight, and a welcome rest - and good company - can be enjoyed before continuing on your way in the morning.
More information about biking in the Keswick area here.