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The side gate at Hartrigg Farm is now accessible for wheelchairs or buggies to pass through. The large field gate is still padlocked to prevent access for unauthorised vehicles.
Route type: For all / for some. A linear walk up one of eastern Lakeland’s most beautiful valleys - OS Explorer Map OL7
Distance: 3.75 km or 2.3 miles for all, 8.5 km or 5.3 miles for some
Start point: Gate at end of Hollins Lane - grid ref. NY 455044
Turning points: For all, Hartrigg Farm - grid ref. NY 457061 For some, Kentmere reservoir - grid ref. NY 455077
Facilities: None on route. Toilets and refreshments at Staveley, 6 km to the south
Getting there: No direct public transport. Car: follow signs for Kentmere out of Staveley. Limited parking by church and Kentmere Institute. The road from the church is steep, so you could drive to the gateway of Hartrigg and drop people off. No parking is allowed here. Go through the gate and follow the tarmac road uphill. The route levels off after 200 metres.
Upper Kentmere valley opens up with some steep, craggy slopes on your left. Look out for buzzards, ravens and peregrine falcons along this stretch. As you round the corner to Scales Farmhouse, the high peaks of Kentmere Horseshoe come into view.
The tarmac road ends at Hartrigg Farm. The following stone track is rough in places and more suited to powered wheelchairs and the most robust all-terrain pushchairs.
The mountain scenery becomes more dramatic beyond Hartrigg. Huge Rainsborrow Crag looms up on the left and above the old quarries, which are reached after another 2 km. A steeper section follows, bringing you to the outflow of Kentmere reservoir.