With so many hills in the Lake District it can be tricky to find a walk suitable for small children. I recently went on a walk with my little friend Merryn and explored a very pleasant mile or so near our self catering cottages in Borrowdale.
As this is a circular walk you can start it anywhere along the route. I find Rosthwaite is the natural start/finish point as there is a bus stop here (or the small carpark if you are in the car) and a great little café for a cup of tea at the end.
The walk is not much more than a mile so it is perfect for little legs. There is plenty to keep children entertained along the way as the walk changes very quickly between the fields and the river so you are never in one place for too long. The great thing about this walk is that you can spend as long as you like dawdling along the lanes and in the fields, exploring all the nooks and crannies that you find.
The walk starts out down the hidden lane behind Yew Tree farm in Rosthwaite. This lane goes past picture perfect, traditional old cottages with beautiful gardens and there are plenty of sweet little birds singing in the hedges and trees.
Turn right off the lane to go down by a paddock signed for Longthwaite. In the paddock there is a friendly Shetland pony that is happy to be stroked and petted. Opposite, a gate opens into a field behind the houses and the walk continues into this small undulating field. There is a small gentle hill perfect for doing a roly-poly! Into the next field you need to creep like a panther as there are usually rabbits hiding in the grass and you might just see them.
Exit the field and turn right to walk down the lane towards Longthwaite. Here you cross over an ancient packhorse bridge great for playing pooh sticks. There is a pebbled beach just off the bridge and the water is fairly shallow so you can paddle under the bridge and pretend to be evil trolls! To continue the walk turn right along the river and walk alongside it. In summer the hedges along the path are awash with blackberries. The path is shaded by trees giving you an opportunity to watch the wildlife in the fields on the edge of Johnny Wood. If you are lucky you will see deer especially at dawn or dusk.
It is a short walk along the fields and river. The path is bumpy with tree roots (trees for climbing) and leads to a sandy bay along the river. To cross the river at this point you need to make your way across the stepping stone boulders to the other side of the river bank. If the river is in full spate you can cross further down on a footbridge.
On the other side, the farm lane leads back to Rosthwaite. It goes through the farmyard so there is a chance to peer in the cowsheds to see the cows before you arrive back at the Yew Tree tear room where you started. The tearoom is run but the farm and owner Hazel makes the cakes herself. I can’t resist her Borrowdale tea bread and the flapjacks are simply fantastic.
For more great walks near Lake District cottages follow the link here to find out more.