Hayeswater Gill walk

Ullswater, Cumbria

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Four-legged friends are welcome on this trail © National Trust / Jenny Sutton

Four-legged friends are welcome on this trail

Ash pollards provide a vital habitat for local wildlife © National Trust / Steve Dowson

Ash pollards provide a vital habitat for local wildlife

Look out for red deer from the native Martindale herd © Paul Harris

Look out for red deer from the native Martindale herd

The remains of an old corn mill dating back from the 18th century © Stephen Dowson

The remains of an old corn mill dating back from the 18th century

Route overview

Hayeswater Gill runs down from Hayeswater reservoir, which once contributed to the water supply for north west England. In the past the water powered a corn mill, turning a water wheel that pumped out water from a nearby lead mine - which you can still see today.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Ordnance Survey map of the Hayeswater Ghyll walking trail
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Hartsop village car park, CA11 0NZ, grid ref: NY410130

  1. From the car park take the gate in the corner and follow the track past the sheep pens on your right. Proceed along the tarmac road with fine views of Grey Crag to the front and Hartsop Dodd to the right.

    Show/HideA sheep pen with a view

    The lucky sheep at this farm certainly have a pen with a view. Take in the fine views of Grey Crag to the front and Hartsop Dodd to the right as you pass. The sheep pens just beyond the car park were built in the early 1980s and are an important part of the farm. Pens are where the sheep are gathered from the surrounding fells to be sorted and either treated or dipped. Sheep pens are nearly all the same design with the dipping tub and a round pen in the middle.

    Four-legged friends are welcome on this trail © National Trust / Jenny Sutton
  2. After crossing the cattle grid, keep to the tarmac road and you will come to a gate. Once through the gate follow the road until you come to the old filter house which at one time filtered the water from the reservoir.

    Show/HideAsh pollards

    Along the walk look out for the numerous Ash tree pollards. Pollarding is the removal of branches above the reach of grazing animals and was carried out by farmers to feed the animals in winter and also for fuel for fires. In the Hartsop area there are over 250 Ash pollards which we continue to pollard today. These old trees are usually hollow and are a vital habitat for bats, birds and a variety of deadwood insects.

    Ash pollards provide a vital habitat for local wildlife © National Trust / Steve Dowson
  3. Take the path below the filter house and follow it down to the beck coming down from Hayeswater.

  4. Cross the beck using the small footbridge and climb up to the main track ahead. Once on the track, if you wish you can carry on up to the reservoir which is about 600m away.

    Show/HideRed deer

    On the fells around Hartsop you often see herds of red deer. These deer are part of the Martindale herd of which there are around 600. During the winter months they come down to the low land areas to graze and occasionally you can get a close look at them.

    Look out for red deer from the native Martindale herd © Paul Harris
  5. If you don't carry on to the reservoir, turn back down the track and follow it down through a gate and to the bottom of the slope, passing an old hogg house as you go. After walking a short distance you will cross another bridge.

  6. A short distance after crossing the bridge, turn left down the field with the beck on your left. You will now see in front of you several stone piers that supported a wooden trough carrying water to the wheel pit below.

  7. When reaching the wheel pit at the bottom of the field you can see Myers Head Mine - a walled structure across the beck. Turning right and keeping the beck on your left follow the path until you come to a wicket gate in the wall.

  8. Once through the wicket gate, bear right and follow the drier grassy path over a little footbridge towards another stone structure. This is the old corn mill with the sandstone wheel still visible in the ground.

    Show/HideOld corn mill

    In the field just below the road lies the remains of the old corn mill, thought to be of 18th century origin and last used around 1900. On the way back you can have a look and see the old sand stone wheel.

    The remains of an old corn mill dating back from the 18th century © Stephen Dowson
  9. Carry on past the corn mill and you will rejoin the tarmac road with the sheep pens ahead. Follow the track back to the start of the walk and the car park.

End: Hartsop village car park, CA11 0NZ, grid ref: NY410130

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
  • Time: 2 hours
  • OS Map: The English Lakes, North East area, Penrith, Patterdale and Caldbeck, Out Door Leisure No 5
  • Terrain:

    This is a circular trail. The first part of the walk is uphill along a tarmac road then onto a path down to a bridge across the beck. There is a steep climb out to a gravel track leading down to fields which could be slippery when wet.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: Hartsop village is connected by several public rights of way from Patterdale to the north and Kirkstone to the south.

    By bike: Hartsop village is just off the trunk road the A592 Penrith to Windermere. A bridle way passes through Hartsop village which comes from the north and leads up to High street to the south-west.

    By bus: Bus route 517 Bowness-Glenridding, 16 April-30 October weekends and public holidays 23 July-4 September daily. This route connects with route 108 from Penrith at Patterdale.

    By train: There are train stations at Penrith and Windermere which connect to bus routes 108 Penrith - Patterdale. Also the 517 Bowness - Glenridding during the summer months.

    By car: Hartsop village is just off the trunk road the A592 Penrith to Windermere.

  • Contact us