Glencoyne farm at Ullswater walk

Ullswater, Cumbria

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
The views from Glencoyne are something to behold © National Trust / Steve Dowson

The views from Glencoyne are something to behold

The 12 small miner cottages are well hidden in this hanging valley © Stephen Dawson

The 12 small miner cottages are well hidden in this hanging valley

Remains of earthen charcoal-burning platforms at Windermere © Pete Schofield, Oxford Archaeology North for the National Trust 2010

Remains of earthen charcoal-burning platforms at Windermere

There are lots of chances to see squirrels in Ullswater © National Trust

There are lots of chances to see squirrels in Ullswater

Route overview

At 1258ha and carrying a flock of over 1,500 hill sheep, Glencoyne is one of our largest hill farms in the Lake District. This circular trail will take you through the Grade II listed farm buildings (the earliest part built in 1629), along to the remains of old charcoal pitsteads and past Glencoyne wood, before bringing you back to the car park. With a distance of about 3 miles (4.8km) this walk will take approximately 2 hours to complete.

Route details

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

An Ordnance Survey map of the Glencoyne Farm walking trail
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Glencoyne car park, CA11 0QT, grid ref: NY386188

  1. Turning right as you leave the car park, walk along the road crossing the bridge over Glencoyne beck. The beck marks the old county boundary between Cumberland and Westmoreland. Carry on until you come to a long straight drive up to Glencoyne farm on your right.

  2. Take the track to the farm, carrying straight between the sheep pens, then the buildings and through the front garden. Don't worry about walking through the farm, as it's a public right of way and the farmer won't mind.

    Show/HideTake in the view

    Take time to stop and admire the views of Ullswater lake and the landscape beyond.

    The views from Glencoyne are something to behold © National Trust / Steve Dowson
  3. Leaving the farm, carry on up the slope and follow the path along the top of the gill on your right. You will soon spot the Seldom Seen cottages in the distance. Follow the path and this will take you underneath the cottages and out into the open fell.

    Show/HideSeldom Seen cottages

    These cottages were built in the 19th century to accommodate miners. They made their living extracting lead and silver ore from the surrounding hills.

    The 12 small miner cottages are well hidden in this hanging valley © Stephen Dawson
  4. Once past the cottages carry straight on for a short time and then bear left up a grassy slope towards the wood. Follow the path under the wall and you will come to a gate at the end of the wood.

    Show/HideSpot the charcoal pitsteads

    After leaving the cottages and walking up the grassy bank towards the woods, look out for round flat areas that have been cut out of the bank. These are called charcoal pitsteads and are burning platforms where charcoal was produced 100 years or so ago. There are many pitsteads in this area indicating that there was once much more woodland here.

    Remains of earthen charcoal-burning platforms at Windermere © Pete Schofield, Oxford Archaeology North for the National Trust 2010
  5. Go through the gate and turn left over a stile and into the wood. Follow the path down through the wood and you will return to the cottages below.

    Show/HideLook out for red squirrels

    When walking back through the wood look out for red squirrels. You may be lucky and see one. Glencoyne wood was a much better place to see red squirrels before the arrival of grey squirrels.

    There are lots of chances to see squirrels in Ullswater © National Trust
  6. Once past the cottages, follow the track all the way down to the A592 road. At the road go straight across and join the footpath, then turn left and take the path to the bottom of the hill. The path then joins the road which will take you past Glencoyne farm drive and back to the car park.

End: Glencoyne car park, CA11 0QT, grid ref: NY386188

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 2 hours
  • OS Map: The English Lakes, North East area, Penrith, Patterdale and Caldbeck, No 5
  • Terrain:

    The walk is steep in parts and takes you along road, gravel tracks and grassland.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: The only access on foot is along the A592 with a limited amount of off road footpath. The road can be very busy during the summer months.

    By bike: Again access along the A592.

    By bus: The start point is on the 108 bus route from Penrith and Patterdale with the bus stop at Glencoyne car park.

    By train: Nearest train station is at Penrith which conects with the 108 bus route to Patterdale.

    By car: The car park is adjacent to the A592 which runs along the shore of Ullswater lake.

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