The Legburthwaite and Clough Head walk in the Lake District

South from the Legburthwaite car park along the B5322 to Stanah Lane, followed by a 1¾ mile climb in an easterly direction to Sticks Pass. North across the hills to Clough Head, passing the summits of Stybarrow Dodd, Watson’s Dodd and Great Dodd on the way. After a descent to Hausewell Brow, south-west down to St John’s in the Vale and across the valley floor to Bridge House. Finally south to the starting point via Sosgill Bridge and Low Bridge End Farm. A 12-mile walk in the Lake District.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Eastern Area, reference OS Explorer OL5, 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.

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Stanah Lane. The start of the climb to Sticks Pass.


Sty Beck Fall.


The climb from Sty Beck Fall to Sticks Pass goes on for over 1½ miles, with the first half mile being the steepest.


Looking north-west over Legburthwaite and Smaithwaite.


Looking west to Greathow Wood.


The view south-west towards Thirlmere (Reservoir).


Still on the steepest section of the climb.


Sheepfold at about 500 metres. It’s getting a bit misty.


The steepest part of the climb is over, but there’s still more than half a mile to go. At 600 metres high, it’s foggy and I can only see a few metres in front of me.

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Almost at Sticks Pass. Very poor visibility at 700 metres.


The Sticks Pass crossroads. It’s right to Helvellyn and straight on to Ullswater, but I’m turning left.


The summit of Stybarrow Dodd, 843 metres (2766 feet).


The summit of Watson’s Dodd, 789 metres (2589 feet).


The summit of Great Dodd, 857 metres (2812 feet). Unfortunately no views at this height today.


Triangulation pillar on Clough Head summit. Height 726 metres (2382 feet).


Three hours into the walk and the hill fog suddenly clears. I’m rewarded with some amazing views from the path just north of Clough Head. This is looking west towards Keswick and Derwent Water.


The view of Blencathra to the north. The ridges of Gategill Fell, Hall’s Fell and Doddick Fell are clear to see. Blencathra (also called Saddleback) is an impressive mountain and this is the view I was most looking forward to.


Looking north-west towards Skiddaw.


The view north-east towards Penrith and the North Pennines.


Heading north-west along Hausewell Brow. From this angle the track lines up directly with the mountain of Skiddaw in the background.

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Area of disused quarries below Threlkeld Knotts.


The beautiful valley of St John’s in the Vale, with Blencathra in the background. The white building is Bridge House, by the side of St John’s Beck.


St John’s in the Vale as seen from Rake How. Clough Head, where I had been earlier and which was enveloped in cloud, is on the mountain behind.


The bridleway leading south through St John’s in the Vale.


Meadowland at Legburthwaite.


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