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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. 


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. Alternatively, have a shorter day from Keswick allowing either a leisurely morning in Keswick or a worthwhile detour to the summit of Skiddaw.
Find out more at 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.


Walking Routes


For more route ideas take a look at
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).
Walking towards Lonscale Fell from Skiddaw House
Heading towards Lonscale Fell
Cumbria Way
Wainwright's Northern Fells Guide
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
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.


Bowscale Tarn
Bowscale Tarn 
The Blencathra Route
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.


The Old Crown Round/Mosedale Horseshoe
An epic 24 mile circuit starting and finishing at the Old Crown Pub in Hesket Newmarket. It takes in the following summits: Carrock Fell, Blencathra, Skiddaw, Knott and High Pike. See the route here:

Try it with an overnight stop at Skiddaw House as one of our guests Robert Mitchell and friends from the Outdoor Lads group did. Rob says: "If you like a bit of a challenge, with an amazingly remote hostel for an overnight stop and a community-owned, real ale pub at the end, the Old Crown Round has it all."

They also included the summits Great Cockup, Great Scafell and Little Sca Fell, between Skiddaw and Knott.

Lingy Hut
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.


Outdoor Lads at the Old Crown
Rob and friends at the Old Crown pub
Mountain Biking on the Cumbria Way

Mountain Biking

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.


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