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Path by Brothers Water copyright Julia Knott

Miles Without Stiles 2: Brothers Water


Route type: For many. This level route takes you along the wooded shoreline of Brothers Water, past Hartsop Hall, to the campsite at Sykeside - OS Explorer Map OL5

Distance: 3.75 km, 2.3 miles

Start point: Cow Bridge car park - grid ref. NY 403134

Turning point: Sykeside campsite - grid ref. NY 403119

Facilities: None on route, but toilets available at Sykeside. Brotherswater Inn is at the end of the walk, but the gradient up to it is steep Please note, the toilets at Sykeside are for the use of campsite residents only.

Getting there: Bus: Kirkstone Rambler 517 operates in the summer from Bowness and the 108 and 208 services stop at Patterdale from Penrith and Keswick respectively. Car: A592 over Kirkstone Pass from Windermere or Penrith.


Leave the car park at its southern end and follow the surfaced path to Brothers Water. Formerly Broad Water, the name is said to have changed in the 19th century, after two brothers drowned in the lake. Shallow and fringed with reed beds, look out for the summer blooms of water lilies. Moorhens, coots and swans can all be seen. The mixed oak of Low Wood is also wildlife rich and the autumn colours can be superb.

Continue along the track to historic Hartsop Hall, a 16th century Grade I listed building, owned by the National Trust. It stands guard over the side valley of Dovedale. At its head, you will see Dove Crag, one of the steepest cliffs in the Lake District.

The route passes the back of the hall and carries on over level ground to Sykeside campsite and a 1:10 short slope to the Bank End Bar. The Brotherswater Inn is up a steeper 1:7 slope behind the bar.


Map - Brothers Water route