Barrow via Barrow DoorThis is a very popular route from Braithwaite. At less than 1500 feet (455 metres) Barrow is not high enough to qualify as a mountain; however, it has a real mountain profile, and as a viewpoint is like Catbells in that it puts you at the heart of the real lake District fells. (And you have a perfect profile view of it through the single bedroom window of 1 Bridge Cottage!)
Length - 4 miles. Height gain - 1200 feet. Time - 2 hours.
Possible variants: visit Force Crag Mine (you'll need to book if you want to tour the workings, now owned by the National Trust) then drop down to Birkthwaite Beck on the track. Or join up with my Newlands valley walk.
The walk: leave 1 Bridge Cottage by the middle road (keeping the village store to the left) past the Coledale Inn (you haven't earned a pint yet!) and up the path, past the ruins of High Coledale, enjoying the views of the Coledale valley - Causey Pike, perhaps the most easily recognised fell in this part of the lakes ahead, Grisedale Pike, one of the most graceful fell profiles, behind.
It is possible now to take the footpath to Stile End, and either then drop off the summit to hit the path, or proceed over Outerside, joining the path at the sheepfold - neither are recommended in mist, however. Barrow Door was the access route for miners to the workings at Stoneycroft Gill.
At the Door, an obvious track leads off left to Barrow. Take the track, and enjoy the panorama that unfolds. The track leads to Braithwaite Lodge, where the bridleway takes you back to Braithwaite.