Walna Scar Road

Laetitia burning down the Walna Scar Road back to the car, tea, cake, gin & tonic, and dinner!

Last weeks mountain biking trail, in a new area of the Lakes for us, was great fun! It’s easy to simply fall out of the front door of the house, on to the bike, whizz up and down one of the many fantastic trails in Kentmere, get home, shower, and enjoy tea & cake or a gin & tonic! Hence the trap that has made mountain biking seem a bit passé for us recently. Until, as with most everything, we put a bit more effort in and went further afield…

So this weekend we studied the map and formulated a circular route that seemed likely to achieve three things: provide a descent of the gnarly Walna Scar Road; take us close enough to a Lakeland Letterbox on Caw to collect on route; and ensure we would be completely knackered! We achieved all three.

As we parked the car at the downhill end of the Walna Scar Road I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake wearing shorts. The wind was absolutely bloody freezing! However, the initial gentle climb up the track before we turned south to start the loop proper soon warmed us up.

The trail south down towards Torver was great fun, but quite tricky in places – which was a minor foretaste of the technical challenges to follow.

After a short section along the road we turned in to the woods on Broughton Moor and were surprised to find a purpose made section of woodland single-track – cool! Another technical test, but still nothing of what lay ahead.

We ditched the bikes for just over an hour at Stephenson Ground to hike up to the summit of Caw and locate the letterbox.

Pete taking a break before abandoning the bikes for a hike up Caw to find the summit letterbox
Pete at Caw summit

Laetitia on the way through old mine buildings across to the Walna Scar Road descent.
With the Scafell range in the background.

After what seems like days of struggling up the gorge next to the river Lickle and avoiding knee deep bogs we finally found a reasonable trail back towards the Duddon Valley side of the Walna Scar Road. We were already wrecked and had to push the bikes even up only moderate rises as there was no strength left in our legs. The super steep section of the Road up to col behind Brown Pike was a killer. Although the views in the late evening sunshine across to Scafell, the Old Man, the sea, down to Coniston Water, and beyond to Windermere were breathtaking (not that we had much breath left). After a rest, a twix, and a drink we set off down the ultra steep, rocky, and technical Walna Scar – 400m of descent in a little over 3km, but the first 200m of descent only covers 500m of that distance, in other words STEEP!

At last, we've reached the col at the top of the Walna Scar Road - it's all downhill from here!
In wonderful late evening sunshine too. 🙂
Laetitia burning down the Walna Scar Road back to the car, tea, cake, gin & tonic, and dinner!

Series - Lakeland Letterboxes

  1. Lakeland Letterboxes
  2. Letterboxing and Flammkuchen
  3. Navigation Practice
  4. Three More Sunny Days
  5. Grizedale Letterboxing
  6. Wansfell Letterbox
  7. More Grizedale Letterboxes
  8. Helvellyn Letterboxes
  9. Martindale Letterboxes
  10. Coniston Coppermines Letterboxes
  11. Walna Scar Road
  12. Summer Evenings
  13. Letterboxes, Birthdays, Climbing Wall & eBay star
  14. Charmer’s Grave
  15. Lingmoor Tarn
  16. Holme Fell Scramble and Letterboxing
  17. Barrow Door Letterboxing

2 thoughts on “Walna Scar Road”

  1. Having worked in and around the motor industry for many years, nothing I find better than being able to leave the old gas guzzler behind. Love the North Wales area, Snowdonia and around the Horseshoe Pass (the Ponderosa Cafe is always a treat to behold!) Think I may well look at a trip to the Lakes after looking at this! We do live in a beautiful country….bit cold, but beautiful all the same

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