South Cumbria walk - Burton in Kendal and Hutton Roof Crags

The view towards Ingleborough

The view towards Ingleborough - Credit: John Lenehan

Burton in Kendal is a walker’s paradise and this brilliant route shows off its charms

There are several villages around Lancashire and Lakeland that could claim to have the finest location. Spots in the hills, by the coast and in our myriad other beautiful areas could all make a good case, but among the favourites for the title would be Burton in Kendal. 

The Market Cross in the village centre

The Market Cross in the village centre - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

The delightful village stands about midway between Lancaster and Kendal, in the shadow of Farleton Knott. Its 1400-or-so residents live within easy reach of Morecambe Bay, close to the Howgill Fells and in striking distance of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. 

The village was a staging post on routes up and down the west coast and was once home to a large corn market. Some impressive buildings remain and we'll pass some of them on this circular walk from the village which takes in the summit of Hutton Roof Crags which offers some spectacular views. 

1 Leave the car park and turn left up the main street toward the prominent village cross. Near to the cross is a telephone box and to the right of this is a footpath sign pointing right up a track. Follow the track uphill to a path junction and then turn right and cross the stile then bear diagonally left across a field to reach a gate stile between two metal gates. 

Near the start of our walk from Burton in Kendal

Near the start of our walk from Burton in Kendal - Credit: John Lenehan

Cross the stile and then go downhill to another stile and cross that and then carry one through a gateway and on downhill to a gate and stile and cross this into a road Dalton Lane and turn left. Keep on the road and reach a signpost on the left saying Dalton pointing up a single track road. Take the single track road and follow this until it reaches a wide road and turn right and follow the road. 

2 Reach two wooden gates at the foot of a forestry track leading into the wood and cross the stile at the right of the second gate and follow the track as it climbs gradually uphill through mainly pine woods. The map shows various tracks leaving the main track but these are pretty much insignificant so keep to the main stony track. 

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3 The track reaches an obvious fork and at this point turn left and follow this track uphill and keep on this as it climbs steeply at first then levels off through clearings to eventually reach a gate stile in a wall. Cross this stile and keep straight on to the Triangulation Pillar at the summit of Hutton Roof Crags. The views from here are spectacular. 

Note: The name Hutton Roof Crags is derived from the Old English and means ‘Crags on the hill near the farm of Rolf’.

A walker on Hutton Roof Crag

A walker on Hutton Roof Crag - Credit: John Lenehan

4 Keep on the same path line as the one used to approach the summit and, keeping the Trig Point on your right, carry straight on. The path descends steeply through limestone and eventually meets a wider path. At this point turn left. 

5 The path forks and here keep to the left fork and follow the path. There are places along the path that go between limestone pavement but they are quite easy to get through then, the path widens and eventually drops downhill to a stile into a road. Cross the stile and turn left, then follow the road downhill and pass the buildings of Rawley Copse on the left. 

6 Reach a metal gate on the left with a sign saying ‘Public Bridleway’. Go through the gate and with a wall on the right follow the path as it goes through a gate and on to a gate stile leading into the woods. Cross the stile and then go through a gate. 

Note: There is an information board telling of the paths and nature of the area. 

Turn right at the sign and follow the track downhill and pass through two wooden gates and carry on following the track. Reach a point where a track leads off to the left to a gate and a stile, do not follow this unless of course you want to revisit Hutton Roof Crags. Keep on the track going downhill and eventually it reaches a main road and the outskirts of Burton in Kendal. 

7 Go straight across the road and up what appears to be the drive of a house with a sign saying ‘Low Gables’. Go up the drive a few metres and bear right to enter a footpath and follow this as it goes behind houses to the right. Keep on the path as it passes through a series of stiles to eventually reach the footpath junction of the footpath up from the telephone box at the start of the walk. Retrace the route back to the Kings Arms.

Charming cottages in the village

Charming cottages in the village - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

Compass points 

The walking route

The walking route - Credit: OS

Start and finish: Kings Arms Burton in Kendal. Please ask the landlord for permission and make sure to try the real ale and great food after the walk 

Distance: 6.3 miles/10.2 km 

Time: 3.5 hours 

Terrain: Mainly good tracks and footpaths and a bit meandering through limestone. Good boots I think 

Map: OS Map OL7 The English Lakes South Eastern Area 

Facilities: No public toilets in village