South-west from the car park just outside Braithwaite to the summit of Grisedale Pike, then further south-west above Hobcarton Crag to the top of Hopegill Head. South-east across Sandhill to the crossroads at Coledale Hause followed by an easterly descent to Force Crag Mine. Lastly north-east through the Coledale Beck valley all the way back to the car park. A 7-mile walk in the Lake District.
The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL4, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.
The view north towards Bassenthwaite Lake shortly after leaving the car park.
The start of the climb to the summit of Grisedale Pike.
Looking down upon the village of Braithwaite. Even at a height of only 240 metres the views are magnificent.
The fells on the southern side of the Coledale Beck valley. See the key below for their names.
Key: 1 Barrow; 2 Causey Pike; 3 Sail; 4 Crag Hill; 5 Stile End; 6 Outerside.
The path to Grisedale Pike is easy to follow.
Looking back at the Skiddaw range of mountains to the north-east. The smaller hill on the far right is Latrigg which overlooks Keswick.
At the 400 metre mark the path steepens. Grisedale Pike can be clearly seen in the distance.
The north-facing slopes of Outerside with Causey Pike just behind.
Mike tackles the path on Sleet How in strong winds.
The view down to Force Crag Mine. At the head of the valley is the mighty Crag Hill.
A look back at the path across Sleet How as we get close to the top of Grisedale Pike.
Mike and I on the summit of Grisedale Pike, height 791 metres (2593 feet).
Hobcarton Crag and Hopegill Head as seen from a shelter just below Grisedale Pike.
The sun briefly lights up the fells on the eastern side of Derwent Water. The Helvellyn mountain range is just visible on the horizon.
Crag Hill (right) and Sail (left).
The sun shines down on Keswick and the Blencathra range of mountains.
The winding path from Coledale Hause (the col or saddle between Sand Hill and Eel Crag) down to Force Crag Mine.
The Coledale Beck valley.
Force Crag Mine
Force Crag Mine is the last working mineral mine in the Lake District. Lead, zinc and barytes have been mined at the site for over 130 years. This particular mill was built in 1908-1909 and modified in 1940.
The National Trust acquired the mine and mineral rights in 1979. The mine ceased working in 1991 and was finally declared abandoned in 1992. The mill building was restored in 2004 and is now open for guided tours.
In 2001 Force Crag Mine was recognised as being of national importance and designated a Scheduled Monument by English Heritage.
As the last working mineral mine in the Lake District, Force Crag is a unique site. Scheduling has ensured the protection of the mill buildings and machinery, spoil heaps and remaining workings. The unusual variety of minerals found at Force Crag has led to the site being registered as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The village of Braithwaite, with Portinscale and Keswick in the background.
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