A few years ago, the Northern Fells were Lakeland's best kept secret. For those in the know, walking here often meant miles of uninterrupted ambling without any encounters with fellow humans. Granted, such outings would forgo the most dramatic of environments with fewer crags and dramatic gills and the like, but on a Bank Holiday when Helvellyn is more akin to Blackpool Promenade, for those seeking solitude the Northern Fells presented the perfect haven.
AW Says:"This is not a climb calling for old clothes and heavy boots....."
However, escaping my initial announcements, this walk might just be a little busy. Having said that, choose your time wisely and it may not be busy and of course it offers the advantage of being accessible to those in wheel or pushchairs. With this in mind it might be ideal for a young family wanting to escape for an hour or two or for those of you who might have to plan ahead for the wheelchair user in the family. Whatever the reason, Latrigg offers an exceptional view over Keswick and the full length of Borrowdale and of course can be linked together with other fells for that exploration of those 'back o' Skiddaw' fells already mentioned.
There is little need for route description with this particular route as it's a clear route all the way from the car parking area at the top of the Gale Road to the summit. The route is incorporated as part of the miles without stiles project instigated by the National Park Authority and is one of 39 such routes. For the able perambulist, such routes may not be the most attractive but the project aims to include everyone of all abilities and even for those dog owners whose trusty hound may have reached an age where negotiating a stile is a problem. All round a great idea.
The following description comes from the Lake District National Park and more information on the other 38 routes is given in the right side bar under the title, 'Related Links'. If the route up Latrigg is attractive to your needs then please do explore the rest and open up the world of Lakeland to you!
Through two gates at the head of the car park there is a sign for the Latrigg limited mobility path. The steepest part of the climb beckons, with a 1:7 gradient for 150 metres. The surface is well compacted stone but the steepness means that we do not recommend this route for people operating their own wheelchairs.
There is a resting place as the gradient eases to 1:10. Take a break here and look back at the grandeur of Skiddaw, Lonscale Pike and the western end of Blencathra which are behind.
The route drops slightly downhill until a junction with a public footpath, where there is a fingerpost. From here, the track rises again steadily at around 1:10 until a small plateau is reached - and a bench seat. Be prepared to have your breath taken away as the views of Derwentwater and the Borrowdale valley unfold. On a good day, most of the highest mountains in England - Scafell Pike, Great End and Great Gable - should all be seen at the head of Borrowdale and Helvellyn is over to the left.
The summit of Latrigg is not far away, but the path is steep and uneven. You need to retrace your route to get back to the car park. Be careful on the steep slope.
N.B. Note the large scale of this map.