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A quiet Lake District hike with big views; Allen Crags and Glaramara

A quiet Lake District hike with big views; Allen Crags and Glaramara

Popular with walkers tackling England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, this part of the Lake District is notoriously crowded on a nice day with hoards of people heading for the country’s highest point. However, hidden in plain sight is the wonderful Glaramara which provides stunning 360 degree views of the nearby popular peaks, a variety of terrain and a feeling of wildness and remoteness. This is a beautiful area of the Lake District and if you enjoy a big mountain hike with some challenging ascent and the reward of some of the best views around then this isn’t a hike you’ll want to miss.

At a Glance

Difficulty: Difficult - some steep ascents, confident navigation needed if bad weather comes in, no early exits from the path, rocky ground.

Distance: 13km

Total Ascent: 910m

Est Time: 4.5 hours not including rest stops

Starting location: Either Seathwaite Farm Parking or Seatoller National Trust Car Park

Dog friendly: Only if confident with long distances, steep ascents and rocky sections. 

The route

The hike starts in the idyllic Borrowdale Valley area of the Lake District, known for being popular amongst climbers for its lower level crags, the stunning shores of Derwentwater, tiny, picturesque hamlets, wild swimming locations and its fabulous hiking. Regardless of whether you start at Seatoller National Trust Car Park or Seathwaite Farm, your first aim is to head out the back of the farm following the stony track and up the valley towards Stockley Bridge.

Stockley Bridge, an 18th century packhorse bridge, takes you across Grain’s Gill and the beautifully clear blue-green water. It’s also a great place for a wild swim here FYI - either in the pool just down from the bridge or just behind the bridge is what, if you really use your imagination, could be described as a jacuzzi (but just much colder).

Stockley Bridge Lake District

After crossing Stockley Bridge, head through the gate and turn left following the stepped stone path up the hillside tracking Grain’s Gill to your left. If you have time, there are some incredible plunge pools, waterfalls and swim spots along Grain’s Gill that are well worth seeking out if you have the time! If not, then the path gradually winds its way uphill towards the looming mountain in the distance. It gets steeper the higher you rise but eventually it flattens out at the top revealing the most stunning view back down the valley the way you came and further out towards Derwentwater.

Once you reach the head of the valley, following the path left will lead you to another set off crossroads. Take a time to really reflect on your surroundings here. Behind you, you’ve got Great Gable, to your right, Great End and Ill Crag as well as Scafell Pike behind them all, in front of you is Bowfell and down into the Langdale Valley with the iconic rounded top of Pike of Stickle and to your left, the way you’ll be heading is up to Allen Crags and Glaramara. Once you’ve enjoyed taking in your surroundings, head up the path to your left and you’ll soon be on the summit of Allen Crags, marked with a small rocky cairn and with views down to Great Gable and Sprinkling Tarn.

After leaving the summit of Allen Crags, you’ll be able to see the long path ahead of you. The path here isn’t always obvious and occasionally seems to disappear so if the bad weather came in here, this is something you’ll need good navigation skills for. The route here is also quite open so the wind can pick up unexpectedly. I'd recommend wrapping up in a warm mid-layer like the Rambler zip through fleece for this section. The walk along the top here is rocky in patches but also boggy as it passes smaller tarns and winds its way along the top. Eventually, you’ll reach a small scramble bringing you out towards the summit of Glaramara.

The views from Glaramara are once again spectacular so it’s worth enjoying a stop here for lunch. It feels isolated here and the views down to the Borrowdale Valley are spectacular.

There’s then a small rocky scramble down the mound of rocks on the summit of Glaramara before following the path over towards Raven Crag and Thornythwaite Fell. The path leads down the ridgeline of Thornythwaite and towards Combe Gill. There is a lovely little waterfall to enjoy here before the path leads you back to the main road where you can either head back to your car at Seatoller or walk down behind the back of the campsite back to Seathwaite Farm.

Map and key locations 

Access the route on the OS Map App here.


1: Parking at Seathwaite Farm to start the hike. Additional parking also available at Seatoller National Trust Car Park. 

2: Stockley Bridge and the start of the ascent up Grain’s Gill - some great wild swimming spots here

3: Meeting point of paths - turn left

4: Path veers off to the left taking you towards the rocky summit of Glaramara

5: The summit of Glaramara

6: The ridge descending down from Thornythwaite Fell

Komoot App

Have you ever tried Komoot? Komoot allows you to access routes planned by others or plan your own which you can then download to your phone to follow while you are out. Komoot is free to join and access and you can find the route for his walk here.

Top Tips

  • Parking at Seathwaite Farm is £5 all day but fills up quickly on a nice day. There are also roadside parking places along Styhead Pass on the way to the farm but these also fill up quickly. Arrive early and park respectfully to allow other vehicles to pass
  • Optional start point is at Seatoller Car Park. Free for National Trust members otherwise £8.50 for all day. 
  • There are toilets at Seathwaite Farm and at Seatoller Car Park but these are the only facilities on the route
  • The Borrowdale Rambler bus service runs from Keswick to Seatoller so you can access this hike via public transport


For additional UK outdoor adventures, wild swimming, hiking routes and more, check my other blog posts here on MY URBAN TRAIL and follow me @Wild_0utdoors on Instagram.

Happy adventuring!