The Dodds: Helvellyn’s other half
NY318189 From 1 Keswick the 555 bus stops at Stanah. For cars there are a few places for parking at Stanah, if these are full there is a car park 600m up the road at Legburthwaite (on the route). Take the bridleway east from Stanah and follow it across the aqueduct, then cross over the footbridge onto the south side of Stanah Gill. Continue along the bridleway as it climbs alongside Stanah Gill then swings south-east across a broad spur. The route then bears back to the east and climbs directly to the top of the pass.
NY341181 The 2 col at Sticks Pass is broad and featureless so if it’s misty it’s definitely worth taking a bearing! A moderately steep path climbs north from the pass, follow it on to Stybarrow Dodd’s summit shoulder then head north-east to the rounded grassy summit marked by a cairn. Next comes Watson’s Dodd. Descend north-west then make an easy ascent over pleasant grass to the summit cairn. Watson’s Dodd gives magnificent views both west and north out over St John’s in the Vale. Once you’ve finished with the views, head north-east with more pleasant walking leading up an easy climb to the summit of Great Dodd. Great Dodd is the highest of the ‘Dodds’ and commands superb views north and east over the quieter eastern fells towards the Pennines.
NY341205 The next 3 section is a long easy descent around the head of Rowantree Beck to the summit knoll of Calfhow Pike. Follow the path that heads west then north-west to the summit rocks. From Calfhow Pike make the brief descent to the broad col to the north. From the col the last climb of the day leads north-east to the summit of Clough Head.
NY333225 Clough 4 Head is poised at the edge of Red Screes, a tall escarpment that falls away to the north-west. From here you get unrestricted views of both Blencathra and Skiddaw. If you want to short cut the walk, there is a zig-zag path that heads west then north-east down the edge of Red Screes, however the broad ridge that leads north-east offers a gentler descent, more in keeping with the rest of the route. It heads north-east and is followed directly until it intersects the Old Coach Road at Hausewell Brow. NY339235 The Old 5 Coach Road follows a well-graded course and used to see horse drawn carriages and packhorses between Keswick and Dockray. Although no longer in use, its surface is still in good order and it offers easy walking off the fell. Follow it west as it gradually descends to the road in St John’s in the Vale. Turn left onto the road and follow it south all the way back to Stanah.
Dawn light on Stybarrow Dodd and Helvellyn, taken from Great Dodd.