St John’s-in-the-Vale Church and Tewet’s Tarn
3.5miles round trip, 200m (670ft) ascent to High Rigg summit at 357m (1170ft) alternative more level walk with one short steep track
Starting from Brackenrigg Holiday Cottages, we turned right out of the driveway.
After about 30m we took the snick through the opposite wall.
If its very wet, you can avoid crossing the damp, and often boggy, valley floor by carrying on along the road to the lay-by, and take the gated path to the left.
We crossed the valley floor, via the copse & little bridge, to the staircase stile over the far drystone wall. Going up the fell about 20m, and turning left – we reached the narrow track.
After 200m, there’s a gate, and then, after 50m, we found the path going off up to the right, towards a lone Ash tree just below the “col” (dip) in the High Rigg range. From this point there is a choice:
Mostly level walk:
We just carried on along the path. It becomes a very small lane, passing a few cottages to the left. Ignoring the left hand turn to Dale Bottom Farm & campsite, we followed the lane until eventually just before Sykes Farm, it curls up steeply to the right, becoming an un-tarmac-ed track again.
Upwards for 200m, it levels off, and we got to St. John’s-in-the-Vale church. A delightful little church. From Brackenrigg, this should take 30-60 minutes.
To conquer High Rigg:
We walked uphill for maybe 400m keeping the wall on the right. Just past the lone tree, we turned left along an obvious path alongside a wall.
The wall eventually diverts, but we just keep going along the path. We were heading due North towards the spectacular Blencathra (that’s a bigger walk for another day). The path meanders past a few little tarns and over some craggy view-points. Eventually reaching the summit of High Rigg 357m (1170ft).
We continued northwards until the path drops steeply for 400m-ish down to St.John’s-in-the-Vale church.
To get to Tewet’s Tarn (well worth it, additional 1 mile round trip):
Looking for a gap in the wall on the other side of the road from the church, we followed the path up to the top of the low hill … it’s called Low Rigg. We kept going down the other side – there’s Tewet’s Tarn …. Photos of which with Blencathra or Skiddaw in the background were a must!
Getting back to Brackenrigg from the church:
If you’ve come the easy way, just re-trace your steps.
If you’ve bagged High Rigg, just go left along the road – the track curls back round the flank of High Rigg, back to where you started.