Walk: Brigsteer Woods, Cumbria
Walk past a medieval castle and glowing wild daffodils with this four-mile walk in the Lake District National Park
Wordsworth’s famed daffs nod their heads to countless Lake District visitors beside Ullswater.
Far more secret are the woods above the tiny village of Brigsteer, nestled amid limestone hills above the Lyth Valley and Morecambe Bay. Here, wild Lenten lilies (an old English name for a native wild daffodil) stud the wooded slopes of Brigsteer Park, succeeded by ramsons and bluebells in a profusion of spring colours.
Brigsteer Woods walk
4 miles | 2 hours | easy-moderate
1. Through the kissing gate
Take the rising lane beside the Strickland Arms in Sizergh and, after a hundred metres, fork back-right in front of cottages. Bend left; then from a waymarked gate climb a path to a corner kissing gate; turn right through pastures to reach Sizergh Castle car park. At its far side, go left along Ashbank Lane, continuing to a minor road.
2. Brimstone butterflies
Aim to reach the far bottom corner of the woods and a gate into pasture. Now, shadow the field road up to the nearby Park End Farm. Cross the lane into the path through the yard, then rise to the top-left field corner gate, high above an unusual little waterfall. Turn right up the steep track; beyond the trees, turn up the slope to find Helsington Church. Clear days allow extensive views far into the mountains, sweeping from the Coniston Fells across distant Scafell to the Langdales.
3. Medieval pele tower
Neil Coates is a Manchester-based writer with nearly 40 walking/guidebooks published.