View of Thirlmere from Armboth copyright Charlie Hedley

Miles Without Stiles 39: Armboth and Station Coppice

Update 6 October 2023: The Armboth route and the road to it remain closed due to United Utilities' ongoing significant works to the reservoir.

Miles Without Stiles

Two short routes with excellent views of Thirlmere Reservoir - OS Explorer Map OL5.

Route for all. 250m distance.


For Station Coppice, leave the lay-by on the Northbound side of the A591, by a path at its northern end which leads down to a gate on the right at the entry to the coppice path. Alternatively there is a steeper path with handrails leading from the lay-by to the gate but this has a step up over the curb at the top and a smaller step at the bottom.  Please be aware that the route is quite narrow (1 metre wide) and there are no passing places nor turning areas, so may be difficult for those on wheeled equipment.

A second start point for this route is from the Swirls car park on the Southbound side of the A591. From the northern end of the lower tier of the car park there is a path which leads to a tunnel under the A591, once through the tunnel go up the steps on the right to reach the gate and enter onto the coppice path. The tunnel route is not suitable for wheeled vehicle users because of the steps up to reach the gate.

The route undulates along a well surfaced path, including a short, steep section with a 1:9 gradient and finishes with a good view out across the Thirlmere Reservoir. The wooded hills of High Seat and Bleaberry Fell can be seen across the water.

Thirlmere was created as a reservoir in the late Victorian era. Previously, two small tarns, Leathes Water and Wythburn Water, were connected by a stream and small causeway bridge. They all disappeared - along with a hamlet and pub - when the valley floor was flooded.

The Armboth route and the road to it are currently closed due to engineering works to the reservoir.


Start point:

Station Coppice, Swirls car park (Northbound) or see route description for route from Southbound car park

Postcode: CA12 4TN
Grid reference: NY 315170
W3W: ///response.worker.brew

Turning point:

Grid reference: NY 3146 1714
W3W: ///


Accessible toilets at Armboth car park and at United Utilities Swirls car park (Radar key required for disabled toilet). Nearby refreshments only at an ice cream van at Swirls car park

Getting there:

Bus: Station Coppice, the 555 Kendal to Keswick service runs along the A591 all year round and stops at Swirls. Car: For Station Coppice A591 from Keswick or Ambleside to Station Coppice car park (on Northbound side) or Swirls car park (Southbound). For Armboth, the minor road left from Legburthwaite, just beyond the St John’s in the Vale junction (currently closed).