As the season to get fit is still upon us, we thought we would share one of our favourite local walks. Dodd Summit sits majestically across Bassenthwaite Lake from us here at the Pheasant Inn and is an ideal walk for winter, taking only 2-3 hours with good paths but has enough of a lung-buster ascent to burn off a few calories and make you feel like it is doing you some good!
The walk to the summit of Dodd starts in Dodd Wood car park which is pay and display. There are some very clean toilets and helpful information along with a café which is sadly shut in the winter, so you will need to bring some refreshments with you. Helpfully the routes around Dodd Wood are colour coded and way-marked and you need to follow the green route to make it to the summit.
The first part of the walk crosses Skill Beck and you start the ascent up the forest path through the trees. This is the lung-busting section but the views as you rise above the treeline when Ullock Pike and Skiddaw come into view make it worth it. After about an hour or so you follow the path right which opens up to reveal a wonderful view over Derwent Water and Keswick. The path becomes a lot more open and windier (!) at this point as there are far less trees to shelter you but the ascent is less steep as you approach the summit. The final approach is up a zigzag path which leads to a standing stone marking the top, where you will be rewarded with expansive views over Bassenthwaite Lake and out to the Solway coast.
We highly recommend taking a different route back down, returning down the zigzag path to a small knoll marked with a green post where there is a viewpoint and a bench (which is well worth a stop.) From here take the small gravelled path on the right and begin your descent along a good path with views across the lake to Lords Seat and Barf. The path also goes through a thick canopy of forest which adds an atmospheric edge to the walk.
Eventually you join a forest road, turn right and continue to head for Skill Beck and follow the path back down to the car park. For more information:
Photo by Chris J Coates (@ChrisJCoates)