For both Barrow and Stile End we began in Braithwaite, a small village found in Keswick, Cumbria. Parking is limited here however, on weekends and school holidays, you are able to park in the school grounds for a small fee.
You begin this walk taking the farm road towards Braithwaite Lodge, you will notice a cattle grid as well as a gate to go through. Here you follow the bridleway and walk through Braithwaite Lodge (photo 1) until you reach the path leading up to Barrow (photo 2). The path is wide and the hill climb is nice and steady, perfect for slightly younger children. As you begin to reach the summit there are a few steep parts, do take care. Please also be aware that Barrow has a misleading summit – you often feel you have made it to the top before actually getting there! Don’t forget to climb that second bump to reach the true trig point (photo 3). For those who are wanting a shorter route here is where you retrace your steps, back down the way you came and towards the village of Braithwaite.
If you have older children or, like me on this walk, have no children with you then you might enjoy the slightly extended walk to Stile End. This circular walk is 3.3 miles in total and offers breathtaking views of many of the Lake District’s finest fells. Having reached the summit of Barrow, keep walking in the direction you were heading (away from Braithwaite), the path lowers slightly as you begin to descend Barrow (photo 4). You will then notice a path heading up towards Stile End, this is a short and steep section of the walk. Please be aware there are many routes to take here as this area is a gateway to many different fell walks that the Lake District has to offer. I would always recommend taking a map with you, or downloading a map that works without phone signal, to keep you on the right track.
Having reached Stile End the walk back down towards Braithwaite is nice and steady, the path is safe and wide and is a great space for children to enjoy (photo 5).
Follow our Strava map below to help guide you back round to your car from the summit of Stile End.