Gate and trees along path near Portinscale copyright Charlie Hedley

Miles Without Stiles 31: Portinscale Riverbank Loop

Miles Without Stiles

This is a pleasant short circuit along the banks of the River Derwent, taking in Portinscale village. OS Explorer Map OL4

Route for many. A circular walk. 1.5km distance.


If you are coming through Portinscale village from the north (off the A66), where the road in the centre of the village splits by Harney Peak apartments, take the left fork past the Derwentwater Hotel to the suspension bridge. Do not cross the bridge, instead go left along a grassy but well drained path along the riverbank. This pleasant area has benches for those who want to sit and watch the river wildlife, backed by dramatic views of Skiddaw. Look out for dippers, either flying low across the water, or bobbing up and down on stones. There are herons and mallards too.

The path rises on a 1:10 gradient to a wicket gate. It crosses further riverside meadows and is a popular place for local fishermen. Skiddaw provides an impressive backdrop.

Go through another kissing gate. The path turns left along the bottom of the B5289 road embankment. The path continues parallel to the A66 for a short while, before turning left before you reach the Portinscale village sign, through a gateway (no gate) next to a small green gas station box, into Howe Lane. This leads back to the main Portinscale road by the Farmer’s Arms pub. Cross the road carefully to use the pavement where there is one (and take great care on some sections where there is no pavement), leading back to Harney Peak apartments. The village tearoom is 75 metres to the right and has disabled toilets.


Start point:

Road end by suspension bridge.

Postcode: CA12 5RE
Grid reference: NY 253235
W3W: ///sublime.submitted.puffed


Catering van near start of route. Pubs, shop and tea room in Portinscale village. The Chalet tea room has toilets including a disabled toilet.

Getting there:

Bus: Honister Rambler 77 / 77A stops at Portinscale eight times a day from March to October. Car: From A66 follow signs to Portinscale. Parking is limited in the village (on-street parking only) so bus may be the best option.