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I have not been well for a while so it was nice to finally go for a long hike with family and see how fit I was. I have missed the long walks and the challenge it brings, so it was a test for me to see how I would get on. Also, it was a belated birthday walk and meal for my sister.

Total Distance: 8 Miles
Highest Point: 2560 Feet
Total Realistic Time: ~5 Hours

If you have more time, this is the link to the full Coledale Round walk ( We did part of the route so that we could fit in the belated birthday meal for my sister after the walk.

Coledale is a valley in the north western region of the Lake District in Cumbria –

Head towards Braithwaite in Keswick for car parking.

There is free parking where the trail starts, however it is a very small car park, to get a space you would have to start earlier than we did, maybe get there at the crack of dawn, way too early for us.

If you get there early enough, this is the Free Car Park by the side of where you start the trail we took

We could not find a space at the above car park, so just further up the steep hill from this car park, there are more free parking places on the side of the road, this one looking over to Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Reserve.

There are many small car parking areas close by which are also free, there are no toilets in the car parking areas. However, not far there is a pub/hotel Coledale Inn in the village which has rooms for stays and also eating areas inside and outside. They were open for food up to 9:00pm. Toilets are available here before you head out to the trail. 

Following is the route we took (Coledale half round Grisedale Pike):

(it is spelt Grisedale and not Grizedale – only noticed πŸ™„)

(route in purple)
1. Start at the red dot on the map and take the trail towards Grisedale Pike
2. From there head towards Hopegill Head
3. Then towards Force Crag where there are remains of a derelict mine
4. Then it is the home stretch back into Coledale village along the side of Coledale Beck

We walked down the hill from where we parked (over looking Bassenthwaite Lake) to the start of the trail. You see some steps going up on the right side of the original free car park (map above) – that is the start of the route we took.

Be prepared if you start at this point, it is uphill for a fair while. I have to say I struggled and I found it tough going. I did not think I was going to make it to the top of this never ending hill never mind completing the circuit we planned. I took it steady, kept at my own pace with plenty of snacks, trying not to look up, just taking each step at a time. 

The uphill grind was so worth it, when you finally get to the top we had an amazing view of the whole area and beyond. It was such a clear day, the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, could not ask for anything more. We sat gazing across the landscape, taking in the surroundings whilst having a spot of lunch.

Panoramic view looking back towards where we came from
Video taken on Grisedale Pike – where we stopped for a spot of lunch with a view

Further up from Grisedale Pike we went up the rock Hopegill Head and had another view point. So amazing.

We headed back down towards Braithwaite via Force Crag, which seemed to go on for a long time. It was downhill most of the way, very hard on the knees. It was ok we had plenty of snacks, my sister was a walking tuck shop, with a variety of goodies which kept us going. Thanks sis 😊.

When we got back to Braithwaite we decided to walk back to the car first, which was up the hill on the road. So glad we decided to drive to the pub as I would not have been a good sight walking up that hill after food. 

We ordered our food with a deserved pint of coke for sis and myself (big drinkers), pint of lager for my bro.

The food is very good, the portions are very generous, very much needed after the walk. We sat outside in the garden area catching up on life, it was nice and sunny with a little breeze, perfect end to the day.

A great day out with the family, and I am pretty sure my sister enjoyed her belated birthday meal and the walk. It was a tough hike but we all enjoyed it, it was worth the hard work and worth the wait.


  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro (for taking photos/videos)
  • Comfy walking shoes (most important)
  • Flask with Hot/Cold drink (a good cuppa is always welcome)
  • ibuprofen (helping hand if you have any aches and pains)
  • Food and snacks (fuel to keep you going)
  • Walking tuck shop (sis had all the variety of lovely snacks)


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