High Street South
Stats: 12 miles as out-and-back excursion. More if you take the Nan Bield option. Many, many more, if you keep heading north from High Street. Ascent 2,500 feet
Start Point: There’s parking for half a dozen cars on the left, just as the A592 climbs and swings left after Limefitt Park caravan site.
Nothing en route. Limefitt Park shop will sell you an ice-cream if you ask them nicely. The Mortal Man at Troutbeck is nearby, or head back to Wilf’s for cafe fodder.
A grand pootle to the lonely head of the Troutbeck valley, followed by a high-level pootle to the summit of High Street. Well worth doing as an out-and-back but can be made into a loop either by wandering far to the north or by making a brief sortie on foot to Nan Bield Pass (no bridleway for c.1 mile) and returning via Kentmere and Garburn Pass.
1. From the layby, turn back south for 100 yards and turn into Limefitt Park. Go straight through this, up past the shop and left around the back. Rake up through a small metal gate and gain a strong bridleway, bordered by woods and deer fence. Follow this line, without cause for confusion, to the head of the valley, dinking left over the beck where you see a narrow bridge and a rise to a better track on the true-right side of the valley.
2. Pedal as far as your lungs and rear-tyre traction will allow then hoik the bike up to the 2000′ contour on the grassy flanks of Froswick.
3. Head north on a grassy ridge but avoid the footpath rising to the majestic pillar on top of Thornthwaite Crag, sticking to a sketchier trail overlooking the vertiginous drop into the upper Kentmere valley. This is not a good place to be in mist but, if you have that misfortune, set your compass to NNE across the marshy plateau, picking up the good track coming in from the left and joining a wall to the top of High Street. Great views from here.
4. Retracing your tracks, the carry up the side of Froswick proves a superb descent (best avoided in the wet as you’ll carve it up if you’re constantly locking the back wheel) followed a pleasant trundle back down to Troutbeck. If you don’t mind a short walk (and why should you in such a place?), you could vary it by heading over Mardale Ill Bell to the top of Nan Bield Pass for a tussocky descent into Kentmere and a stony pull back over Garburn Pass.
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