ONE Wainwright walk: Dodd

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: 1 - 2 hours 

Parking: at the Forestry Commission pay and display car park (although there is limited room for free roadside parking nearby). In high season, you can also take a bus from Keswick.

The wooded slopes of Dodd - as seen from Barf

Dodd sits between Bassenthwaite Lake and the rest of the Skiddaw range like a baby brother or sister - and one that hasn't yet lost all the trees from its slopes. It's a fell that is part of a Forestry England plantation, complete with café, toilets and a choice of walking trails, even including lookout points to see the ospreys that can sometimes be seen fishing in the lake below. Most of those trails are through woodland although, in 2021/22, the actual summit area has been felled of trees.

So, a walk to the summit of Dodd feels very different to a typical Lakeland walk. However, that difference can also be a pleasant change - and is definitely worth doing, not least for the views south over Derwent Water.

Taken from - which estimates a 5km walk to the summit and back from the car park.

1. Given the marked trails and map provided by Forestry England, this route does not require much detailed explanation. There is a choice of trails to follow. However, the quickest route is to take the forest road straight uphill from the café. 

Looking up to the top of Dodd from the forest road

2. H
aving reached the col at the top of the forest road, follow the trail on the right that leads to the summit (1647').

The memorial stone on the summit of Dodd

Taking in the view towards the Newlands valley

The view across to Skiddaw Little Man

3. Whatever route you took to climb up from the car park, make sure to choose a different trail on the way down so as to take in the different views on offer as you walk through Dodd Wood.

Mist over the lake - as seen from the Dodd Wood Car Park

Worth knowing: Across the road from the car park, a white building marks the entrance to Mirehouse and its gardens, a historic home which can be visited for an entrance fee. However, a more interesting, and free, visit should be made to St.Bega's Church, by taking the public footpath that skirts around the gardens of Mirehouse to the left of the white building.

The church, beautifully situated near the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, was probably first built as early as c.950., although there are architectural elements from a range of dates and perhaps even hints of it being built on the site of an earlier Roman building. The church is dedicated to St Bega, reputedly an Irish princess who fled Ireland and landed on the Cumbrian coast at St Bees.

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