Things to do nearby The Barn (Borrowdale)

Borrowdale is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District. The valley offers a wide variety of walks many of which are accessible straight from the front door of The Barn including popular fells such as Dale Head, Glaramara or Fleetwith Pike.

In addition to walking, Borrowdale offers some classic rock climbing routes and scrambling opportunities. You can cycle on road through the valley and over one of the toughest passes at Honister, or go off road on the bridleways for some more adventurous biking. At the southern tip of Derwentwater you can hire all kind of boats for adventures on the lake.

Seatoller is a small hamlet at the head of the valley. There is a regular bus service to Keswick all year round and to Buttermere between April and October. Seatoller is at the foot of the Honister Pass, a dramatic road that winds its way uphill through spectacular mountain scenery before sweeping down to Buttermere.

Seathwaite is a mile from Seatoller. The small farm at Seathwaite is the traditional starting point for several magnificent walks including Great Gable and Scafell Pike.

Langstrath is an off shoot valley from Borrowdale. It feels quite remote and wild compared to the lush green of Borrowdale and charts a course uphill towards Angle Tarn and the Langdale Pikes. There are several popular swimming pools in the river including Black Moss Pot and the Fairy Glen. The Langstrath Inn is situated at the start of the valley and serves an excellent menu.

Further down the valley in Rosthwaite you will find the Royal Oak for a lovely afternoon tea, the Scafell Hotel for good bar meals or the Flock Inn for the best flapjacks in Borrowdale! The Flock Inn is a tearoom on a working farm where you can buy Herdwick wool, lamb and homemade preserves and cakes.

The famous writer Alfred Wainwright was very fond of Borrowdale and wrote the valley contained ‘the loveliest square mile in Lakeland’. It is hard to disagree with him. Coming from a man who knew Lakeland so intimately his description is quite an accolade. "It contains no high mountain, no lake, no famous crag, no tarn, but in the author's humble submission it encloses the loveliest square mile in England - the jaws of Borrowdale." 

The Barn is perfectly situated for setting out on foot to explore all the delights that the valley has to offer - the beautiful Derwentwater, lush valleys, majestic peaks, mature woodlands and the gorgeous river Derwent winding a route from its source high up at Styhead Tarn. Borrowdale really is prime walking country with routes to satisfy everyone from all day monster hikes to gentle rambles along the valley floor.

Our walking recommendations from The Barn include the Allerdale Ramble, Fleetwith Pike, Dale Head and Glaramara. You can read more about these fantastic walks on our Lake District walks page.

Grange village is the main settlement in Borrowdale although really speaking it is still tiny. It has a charming double hump back bridge over the river, which is mostly shallow at this point and perfect for paddling. You can easily walk down the bank from the edge of the bridge and wade across the river to one of the pebbled islands for a picnic or to laze with a book. It is a glorious spot and gets busy in the summer months. Grange has two tearooms, one is just off the bridge and has a lovely garden terrace overlooking the river, the other is opposite the church and marks the start point for the Allerdale Ramble, a charming walk through the valley.

Despite being only around 8 miles in length there are quite a few places to grab a bite to eat in Borrowdale. We have a comprehensive guide (and have tested nearly all of them!) to the pubs, cafes and hotels. To read more click here.

Keswick is around 20 minutes from The Barn by car or you can use the regular bus service. You can also arrive via the Launch across Derwentwater, which is altogether more civilised! Keswick is a traditional Lakeland town with a pedestrianised market square and a twice weekly market. In Keswick you can do all your essential shopping, visit the cinema or theatre and take in one of the many traditional pubs or stylish bars. For further information, please visit our Keswick Area Guide.

In the other direction you can take a trip over Honister Pass to Buttermere. Honister is a steep and dramatic pass that climbs to Honister Slate Mine at the top of the pass before sweeping downhill to Buttermere. Honister is the last working slate mine in the UK. Here you can not only pick up a slate memento but you can also take a tour of the mine, go for a walk through the industrial landscape or test your nerve on the Via Ferrata. The pass continues to Buttermere where there is a small village next to a lake of the small name.  There are two good pubs, a superb ice cream parlour and a tearoom. Stunning mountains including High Crag, Robinson, Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks surround the lake and there is a wide variety of good walking. Read our guide to Buttermere for more information.

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