Path by Brothers Water copyright Julia Knott

Miles Without Stiles 2: Brothers Water

Miles Without Stiles

This gently undulating linear route (3.75km round trip) takes you along the wooded shoreline of Brothers Water, past Hartsop Hall, to the campsite at Sykeside - OS Explorer Map OL5

Route for many. 3.75km distance.


Leave Cow Bridge 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.


Start point:

Cow Bridge Car Park, Hartsop

Postcode: CA11 0NS
Grid reference: NY 403134
W3W: ///samplers.arrived.dragon

Turning point:

Grid reference: NY 403119
W3W: ///income.twice.socialite


None on route. Brotherswater Inn is at the end of the walk, with toilets for customers only, but the gradient up to it is steep

Getting there:

Bus: Service 508 runs every day Easter to October between Penrith and Windermere, and stops at Cow Bridge or the Brotherswater Inn, in Winter this bus only runs Penrith to Patterdale. Car: A592 from Windermere or Penrith, note that the route from Windermere crosses Kirkstone Pass which is unsuitable for large vehicles or less confident drivers, and should be avoided by all in snowy or icy conditions.