Far from the maddening crowds
The Kentmere Valley is one of the more secluded and quieter places in the Lake District and therefore is less crowded. The village of Kentmere has a lovely church and pretty cottages and Kentmere Hall. The downside is that parking is at a bit of a premium the upside is that it is a lovely place to walk.
In my fell racing days, I used to run the Kentmere Horseshoe which is basically a route from Kentmere and takes in all the
Make the most of a lovely winter’s day and take a festive stroll in the beautiful and quiet Kentmere Valley
mountains that surround the Kentmere Valley. I thought it would be a nice to have an easier day and explore the valley itself. It proved to be a very beautiful and very interesting experience.
1Leave the Village Institute car park and turn left uphill then follow the road. Ignore the footpath signpost saying ‘Upper Kentmere and Kentmere Reservoir’ on the right and keep on until a track goes right just before a house called Greenhead.
There is a sign saying ‘Public Footpath Kentmere Reservoir Only’ pointing up the track. Pass two gates on the right with a sign saying ‘Greenhead Barn No Entry’ and, with a wall on the right, go up to a steel gate. Go through this and then after a short distance bear diagonally right and go downhill to a tarmac road and follow this left uphill.
Note: There used to be a lake south of the village hence the Mere in Kentmere but this was drained in 1840.
A small section still exists; Kentmere Tarn further south down the valley. Kentmere Hall has a Pele Tower built in the 13th century as defence from raiding Scots.
2The road forks at Hartrigg. Take the left fork and go up to a wooden gate with a stile and a sign saying ‘Public Footpath Only No Vehicular Access’. Cross the stile and follow what is now a track and keep straight on to a stile and a gate, cross the stile and then keep on the track downhill to anther stile and gate, cross the stile and keep on the track to another stile and gate, cross this.
3Reservoir Cottage is a white building on the left with an outdoor centre further to the left. There is a track to the left just past the cottage and it is worth taking a detour up this to look at the old slate quarry workings. The holes drilled for the explosives can still be seen in the quarry walls. There is an entrance to an old slate mine but don’t be daft enough to go down there. Re-join the main track and carry on going uphill past the mine spoil on the left towards the reservoir.
Note: Reservoir Cottage was built for the maintenance personnel for the reservoir.
ABOVE: Dramatic views of the valley RIGHT: Autumn colours in the Kentmere Valley